Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Steep Bets

Chasing beautiful sunrises and sunsets is a thrill and a nightmare. On one hand you have to usually walk long tiring distances to get to a nice spot to shoot. On the other you see nature in all its glory. This shoot was one of those examples experiences. 

I have been home wanting to go shooting for two weeks, but the rain and snow and spring deciding if it wants to start or not kept me inside and lazy. Finally I checked a website I use that's very accurate at predicting vivid sunsets and sunrises and there was a slight spark near Peterborough NH. One place I always wanted to shoot was the top of Pack Monadnock. So I left about 2 hours before sunset and set out in hopes of something decent. 

The old saying "you learn from your mistakes" really hit hard when I realized I forgot to grab my filter bag with my grad filter in it about 5 minutes from the mountain. After driving 35 minutes I wasn't about to turn around and give up. So I parked the car and started the 1.5 mile trek up the auto road. At about a quarter of the way up I had an epiphany....I'm really out of shape. It didn't help that the road still had about 5 inches of mushy snow on it and I rushed out with just my sneakers on. But great rewards don't come without hard-work. After about 35 minutes I got to the top and sat on the picnic table to catch me breath

Super steep incline at the final stretch
There's a cut out in the trees that gives a perfect view of Mount Monadnock. The sun was setting next to it and I decided to focus my composition there. Using the rocks as a foreground I set up  my tripod low to the ground and framed the shot and did the most boring part of photography. Waiting. After about 15 minutes the sky started to turn a soft pinkish purple and i knew what was coming. In another 3 minutes the sky surrounding Mount Monadnock turned a dreamy purple color and made the clouds an offset pink. As the sun dipped below the ridge I fired away. And after another 4 minutes the show was over.

"Set in Stone"
Now I had the task of walking down a slippery mountain in the dark. Luckily it was a full moon and I didn't need my headlamp. Still it's very creepy being alone in the dark on a mountain. There's no noise except your footsteps and breathing. Thankfully I made it down safely (obviously since your reading this).

Lesson from this shoot is: always double check to make sure you have all your gear. Had I remembered the filters I could have gotten a little more punch out of the sky
Thank you for reading. If you would like a print or canvas of the photo I took you can get one here: Link to Prints

Steve

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