First Light

Tree stump, waterfalls and forest in Bolton, Vermont.

Sometimes a difficult shooting session can lead to some pretty interesting images. Today’s image was my attempt to come away with an image after an hour-long attempt to cross the swiftly flowing river you can see here. I know the area quite well and having shot here many times but on this day the water levels were a bit high making crossing this river a challenge! While I was vainly trying to find a crossing I stumbled upon this image and immediately set about shooting it. While I lost the morning light I was looking for I really loved the mood that was set in this image by the first rays of sun striking the rocks and trees as it rose up and above the mountains here.

I wanted the tree stump here to be pretty dominate in the foreground while still showing some of the scene beyond. The stump was in some deep shade so I challenged myself to shoot a series of images to blend for focus, Break out my flash and gently illuminate the stump. The first image was shot focusing on the tree stump and was lit with Canon 430 ex II speedlight set to 1/4 power. The second image was shot for focus on the background and I merged both in Perfect Layers 2. Behind this stump in a straight line to the other side of the river is where I shot my previous image “Stasis.” Eventually I found a crossing with knee-high water.

Image Data: Two images for sharp focus. ISO 100. 17mm. F11 @ 1/10. UV filter and a Cokin P series circular polarizer.


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