Canon EOS 6D | EF 17-40 f/4L @26mm | 0.3s | f/16 | ISO 100 | Lee 0.6 SE GND
Well, I couldn't think of a title for this one, so the title is what this image represents to me. Firsts. There are a lot of firsts for me in this image. This is the first image I am posting from my new camera, the Canon 6D (which is great so far!), along with a new lens, the 17-40 f/4L. This is also the first image I am presenting worked on with some new workflow techniques I recently picked up. And of course, this is the first image I am sharing in this new year.
And for all these firsts, I decided to make a trip to Great Falls, VA. Great Falls is a location I have a little bit of a love/hate relationship with. It is a wonderful natural place, in fact it is the only real landscape location I know of in the immediate Washington, DC metro area. But I always struggle to find new and interesting things to shoot when I go there. It can be very one note... either shoot some rapids, or get lucky and try to shoot some birds. I almost always know (or think I know) what I am going to get when I go there, yet I almost always end up with some great shots.
Having seen some wonderful shots from the Virginia side at sunrise, I knew I had to make it out there for sunrise. I arrived about an hour before sunrise and set to trying to find a location from which to shoot. There are three overlooks on the VA side, but anyone can go there, and having seen shots taken right down by the river, I knew I had to try and find a location like that for myself. I am always wary at Great Falls because there are signs posted everywhere, letting visitors know that straying off the path is prohibited, and that it is dangerous to get too close to the river, as the rapids can and are deadly. Nevertheless, I had to try.
About 20 minutes before sunrise I finally found the spot I was looking for. Carefully I headed down to the water over the jagged rocks and found a spot I really liked about 5 minutes before the sun crested the horizon. I carefully balanced my tripod on three separate rocks at waters edge and got to shooting.
Unfortunately for me, the weather on this particular day was terrible. And I of course mean terrible from a photographers perspective, not a cloud in the sky. Realizing that I was not going to be treated to a great light show that morning, I knew my only option was to capture the light as it was first falling on the ground. This particular shot was captured moments after the sun cleared the trees and is the first light of the day hitting this particular stretch of the river.
I had a great time putting my new camera through its paces and "discovering" this spot. I hope you enjoy this image as much as I enjoyed creating it!