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Sunset At Great Falls National Park

Sunset At Great Falls National Park

I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited Great Falls National Park, both the Virginia and the Maryland sides, a number of times over the past eight years or so.  Strangely, I’d taken very few photographs despite the reoccurring visits.  Most trips were focused on hiking or picnics, with the occasional snap of the shutter here and there.  For whatever reason, I never attempted any serious photography until recently.

Great Falls Sunset

Canon EOS 5D, 28-70mm, f/16, ISO 100, GND filter

As you know from my last blog post, I visited Great Falls (Virginia side) during National Park Week and captured an image that showcased an over flooded Potomac.  I returned to Great Falls Saturday evening hoping to photograph another sunset, but with a calmer Potomac.  While the water level had retreated some and more of the iconic boulders now peaked above the rushing waters, it was still murky and higher than average.

On this visit, I chose to once again blaze my own trail, but rather than finding a focus point below the falls, I opted for one adjacent to the main drop.  Setting up a few feet from the edge of the rock cliff, I found a decent shot to frame and fired some test shots.  While not my favorite scene, I felt it was the best I was going to get from this location.  As time passed and I took dozens of photos, I became dissatisfied with the results. 

A heavy cloud blanket rolled in, which  ruined my shot.  I decided to turn around and shoot downstream towards the falls and away from the western setting sun.  This turned out to be a good decision because the cloud formations were nicer and the last few glows of the setting sun nicely illuminated the sky.  And the resulting photograph turned out much better than my original ideas.  This experience reminded me never to settle on a photographic vantage point if you’re not totally satisfied with it.  Capturing fading light is difficult and finding the best location is key to making photographs over pictures.

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2 Trackbacks

  1. By Jason Stricker Photography | Not Found on June 22, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    [...] Sunset At Great Falls National Park Search Search for: [...]

  2. By Great Falls Overlook #1 on June 22, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    [...] I mentioned in my Sunset At Great Falls National Park post, I’ve been spending most of my photography time this year at Great Falls.  I’d [...]

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