This is one of those days that I really should have just stayed home and rested. However, I had a free day to myself and I decided to go out and do some pictures. Based on the weather forecast, it was looking promising to do some landscapes, but it was going to be iffy depending on how the clouds acted. I had wanted to go up to Grayson Highlands and spend the day, but looking at the distance, and having to pay to park, I wasn't all that excited about doing that without a much better forecast. I ultimately decided on Hanging Rock since it was close.
My goal was to hike down on the Southern end of the park along Cook's Wall Trail. I had never been on this trail and wanted to see Wolf Rock and House Rock. I started the day early enough and got to the park when it opened. I decided to park at the lake since that was going to be the general direction I was going to start hiking in. I also wanted to capture the sunrise over the lake.
|The Boat House|
What started out as just a test shot of the boat house turned out to be my best image from this location, and about 30 minutes of shooting. It had a very serene feel to it, and the exposure worked very well without the need for any ND grads. I really liked the reflection in the water of the distant trees which were still bare from the Winter. It wasn't what I had envisioned prior to setting the camera up, but I liked it just the same.
When I decided that there was going to be no color in the sky, I went ahead and packed up my bag and set off on the trail. I was going to stop by Wolf Rock first and see what I could do there. I knew that it was an outcrop, and had seen some hiker's pictures of it, but had no idea what to expect. When I got there, I was impressed and disappointed all at the same time. The outcroppings were wonderful, but there was so much brush grown up around them that a clean picture could not be shot except for a couple of compositions. Those compositions would have needed a much different sky to work, and even then I was doubtful about the outcome. I decided to look for some different subject to shoot around Wolf Rock.
|Welcome to the Shadows|
The hike took a little while, but it was clearly marked and enjoyable. When I got to House Rock, I saw my previous problem with the sky. The clouds were just not working with me at all. I found a place to set up on one of the distant outcrops, shooting over House Rock. I tried several exposures to no avail. There was just not enough interest in the sky to make it work. I decided to explore a little bit and see what the sky would do. I worked my way around to the base of the outcropping and found a little cave which caught my eye.
|Into the Fold|
I stayed up here for about an hour waiting on the light to change, and it never did. Reluctantly, I decided to cut my losses and start back to the parking lot. I kept my eyes out for other subjects to photograph, but never could find anything. I even tried to work out some compositions with the lake in an attempt to take advantage of the clouds overhead. It just wasn't working at all. It was time to leave.
Before setting a course to get home, I decided to go and hunt old cars along Hwy 89. Surprisingly, I actually found one sitting on what looked like an old service station parking lot. It was in the shade of a semi trailer, but with the clouds, I was going to be able to take advantage of that. I pulled off of the road and got the camera set up....just in time for the sun come out. Well, I was going to have to wait until the light evened out a little before I could get the picture.
I would never have that time though. A pickup truck came into the parking lot and I was asked what I was doing. Well, I was trying not to be a smart ass since I was standing there in broad daylight with a camera on a tripod...so I simply answered "taking pictures". Well, He didn't like that answer, and wanted to know of what. I said the truck.....and things went downhill from there. I apologized and said I would leave his property, but he still wanted to talk with me. Nothing like trying to leave, but they won't let you. I managed to get the camera put away, while I'm sure I was being covered by a firearm of some sort from inside of the truck. I left, and was followed for a while by the truck. Yeah, that kind of put a damper on finding old cars to photograph.
I decided I would give up and head home...but before I got there, I decided I would try one other truck that I have been wanting to photograph for some time now. It was well off of the road and I would have to venture onto the property for this one. That meant I was going to need to ask. Well, there was nobody home. The truck was looking nearly perfect in this light, and could have done so much with it. But alas, the owners were not there, or were not answering the door. Either way, had I continued, I would have been very much in the wrong, so I decided to save it for another day. This day was done.
While I came back with some keepers, I wasn't really happy with this set of images. The lighting just wasn't what I wanted, and I seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time repeatedly. You win some, you lose some as they say.