I'll go ahead and say that this morning didn't really go as planned. The subject that I was most excited to photograph didn't pan out at all. Since I was going in to work late, I decided to take the time and try to shoot a sunrise. When it comes to the edge of light photography near home, I have to be a little cautious since there are very few places that offer nice visual anchors, have no street lights, and don't have the horizon blocked too much. With a potentially good sunrise being forecasted, I thought that I would try my luck with an idea that I've had for a while. There is a nice little barn just off of Union Cross Rd which I've shot several times in the daylight. It is situated where the background is to the East. The sun has just recently moved to the position of the sky that would be directly in the background. The timing was perfect for this shot.
I got up a little earlier than normal so that I could be at the barn in plenty of time to get set up for the sunrise. As I pulled onto the road where I was going to park, the sky behind the barn was starting to light up and it looked like I was going to have a decent sunrise. My happiness was quickly dashed as I realized that there was a 53' semi trailer backed up to the main opening of the barn. That successfully screwed up my entire shot. I paused for a moment to take the scene it. It was workable...without the trailer that is. I decided to abandon this location for the day and try again later.
I spent the next 30 minutes driving around aimlessly looking for something to put under the sky. I wasn't able to find anything before it was too late. The sunrise was colorful, but not overly dramatic. That helped to ease the disappointment in the morning's failure. The sun was now right at the horizon and I had to decide what to do next.
My original plan to go go to Shore Styers Mill Park and try to work the waterfall there. This had been kind of the "B" plan as my hopes were all tied up with the barn that I was going to shoot. I have been to this waterfall a handful of times and have found it pretty, but difficult to shoot. There is a lot of graffiti around the shore lines and it is kind of difficult to get into position to shoot it. I was almost going to give up on that location before I even got there. However, when I started trying to decide where to go next, I didn't have any real options, and the clouds were looking great for waterfall photography.
I have to admit, the trail down to the falls was nice with steps and everything. Once I got down to the creek, I noticed that a lot of the brush had been cleared away along the shore. There was a lot less graffiti in the area, but I could still see "AMANDA" sprayed on the opposing shore. This has been here since my first time ten years ago or so. Regardless, I was seeing so many opportunities, and I had a clear path to get up to the falls without having to fight my way there. I got my camera out and left the 70-200mm lens attached since I knew I would be shooting isolations as well as possibly a panorama. I added the Singh-Ray Color Combo Polarizer and I was off!
|A Step Ahead|
The second panorama series turned out to be nine shots total, and it appeared to have turned out wonderful. When I got it home and stitched the images together, my suspicions were right. This was a great image, and by far my favorite from this waterfall. It was partially due to the clearing that had been done in the park, so I'm very appreciative for their efforts with that.
|What a Rush|
By this time I had shot pretty much each section several different ways from each location. I was feeling like I had everything that I needed from this waterfall and was feeling very good about how the morning had unfolded. I had been here about an hour at this point, and for a single subject under perfect lighting, that was plenty of time to work out what I was wanting to get. It was time to call it a day and head on to the next location.
|South Deep Creek|
I shot a few different compositions, but in the end it was this simplistic one that held the most visual impact. It was one of the last few of the 56 images that I shot for the day. I was done at this point, and ready for the next adventure. I went ahead and packed up the camera.
Once I got back to the truck, my intention was to go and hunt for rural scenery since I was in Yadkin County. I started to drive around and noted that the light was still very good, and there was even some good detail in the sky. However, I was having to start looking at the time so that I didn't get caught too far away from work when it was time to go in. Now that I was seeing a time crunch, my creativity was starting to wane, and after such a successful session with the waterfall, I was actually a little creatively exhausted. With all of those factors working against me, I decided to go on home to be with Toni for a bit before work and to maybe get the images processed.
I actually had about 2.5 hours to work with when I got home, and I made use of every bit of that to get these images ready for print. I am so glad that I went out this morning after seeing how the images turned out. After my last trek in the rain, I was feeling a little down about my photography, so this was the perfect time to have a successful session. These images are much more what I expect from myself, and they speak much clearer than the woodland intimates from a couple of days ago.