Lessons from the Shenandoah National Park
I recently posted about hiking to the top Hawksbill Mountain in Shenandoah National Park to photograph what turned out to be a beautiful sunrise from the summit. Being on the top of that mountain taught me to experience sunrises and sunsets in a different way. I’ve always looked for that decisive moment when the light is at it’s peak. Now I realize that a sunrise is a story that starts at first light and ends when the dawn colors fade. Sunsets are the same, just in the opposite direction.
This realization really came home recently when I went to photograph the sunrise in the New Jersey Pinelands. This sunrise was a story of light and weather that I was able to witness as the sun rose just before a storm front moved in.
When you go out to photograph a sunrise, it is usually impossible to predict what will happen. It’s something I fret over before heading out, especially on a warm muggy morning. After hiking to a location then standing around swatting mosquitos while pointing a camera at the brightening sky, you hope to get something out of it.
On this morning there was no disappointment. I saw a predicted storm front coming in from the north and hoped to get a window of nice light before the clouds covered the sky completely. The photograph below was made with the camera facing north, away from where the sun was going to rise.