Canon EOS 60D | EF-S 10-22 @10 | 1/4s, 1s, 4s | f/11 | ISO 100
This was my second attempt in as many weeks trying to photograph Harpers Ferry. The first time was a bust, I went to the base of the hike but before I got started I realized it was probably about to star storming. So I walked along the river before finally getting caught out in the rain and leaving.
On this particular trip the sky had been gray and mostly overcast. Another trip looked like it was going to be in vain. I decided that since my first trip was a bust, I was not going to give up that easily.
I had about an hour and a forty five minutes before sunset, which I assumed would be more than enough time to reach the cliffs. Unfortunately, I was out of shape, and unprepared for the hike ahead (especially while carrying a backpack full of camera gear). The hike started from down by river and reached a maximum elevation of about 200 feet higher than where this picture was taken. Needless to say, it was not easy for me.
After hiking on for about 45 minutes, tired, nearly broken, and ready to turn back, I turned and looked through a small clearing in the trees and noticed that the clouds were breaking a bit and the sun was poking through. I figured the sunset might not be completely wasted and carried on before finally reaching the cliffs about 20 minutes or so before the sun set.
What happened then was both amazing and nearly horrible. The amazing part was that the sky started showing signs of a very nice sunset, one which only got better and better as time past, turning out to be one of the most amazing sunsets I have ever witnessed. The nearly horrible part was that when I opened my camera bag after that long hike, I realized I had left my memory card at home. Luckily I had a small backup card available. Because of that, I was still able to shoot the scene, but only had enough room for about 70 shots.
After shooting the sunset for the better part of 45 minutes, the sun had set and it was already quite dark. Due to my lack of planning, I had no flashlight with me. Exhausted from the climb up, I started on my way back, with only the light from my cell phone to guide me. About 45 minutes later, I reached my car and ended one hell of an evening.
If this one looks familiar it is because it is. This is a shot from my archives, taken in June 2011 from Maryland Heights looking down on Harpers Ferry, WV. The reason for reposting this one is because I finally decided this one needed the processing it deserved. The original image was composed of two shots, hand blended very crudely by me in photoshop. Additionally I was working on an uncalibrated monitor and the shot was far far too dark.
This image was created from 3 separate shots, to a hand blended HDR using luminosity masks and then edited properly to finally give this image the treatment it has deserved.