I was debating with myself whether or not to take a trip down to Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park. At 1:30am, at the very last minute, I decided to go for it. The drive down was very exciting as I drove through a thunderstorm practically the whole way. And this was an active storm cell, lightning every 5 seconds or so and lots of streaks. Everything would be normal then all the sudden the whole landscape lit up in front of me from the bright lightning. Very distracting while I was driving, but great fun to watch. I was hoping to reach Shenandoah National Park in time to try and get some lightning shots but it was not to be this time. The storms that seemed to hover over my car ended up getting too far to the west for photography. However, the sunrise was pretty nice…
I wanted to try out a new composition technique. It revolves around mimicking shapes in the image and using an anchor point for the eyes. I decided to use a patch of Goldenrod to anchor the eye in the image. Personally, I like the play between the central mountain peak and the patch of Goldenrod. The patch of Goldenrod mimics the shape of the mountain behind it. And better still there is a line formed by the valley that connects the two shapes. I was really hoping to find some wildflowers to incorporate into my landscape images and I succeeded.
The first pull off I stopped in to shoot was also very pretty. However, some other photographer pulled into the parking area and parked right in my shot. He didn’t even ask me if he was in the shot, he just pulled up, got out, and set up shop. Eventually I got annoyed and left for another spot along the drive. I don’t know whether to be annoyed at him for his selfishness or to chalk it up to my super wide angle lens. Maybe he didn’t realize he was in my shot. Shooting with the D800 and the Tamron 15-30mm lens you get a field of view of approximately 110 degrees at 15mm.
Tomorrow I will post about two waterfall shots I took while in the park. There was water everywhere from the thunderstorms of the previous night.