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May 18, 2021
"Sunset at Ravens Roost" was the first sunset print I've created in what seems like forever, and it was epic!
It’s seemed like forever since I’ve been set up to capture a beautiful sunset. I’ve been traveling with Bassmaster like crazy, and the early hours and days on the water have meant early bedtimes.
However, I determined I’d be set up Saturday night for a Smoky Mountains sunset after wrapping an event on the James River in Richmond, Va. The mountains were only a couple of hours away, and the only thing I needed to do was find the perfect vantage point to take in the ending of the day.
I used an app (Really Good Photo Spots) when the mountains reared up before me and Ravens Roost Overlook popped up. It looked perfect, with a cool tree right on the edge of the bluff to provide a perfect foreground element.
Upon arriving about an hour before the show started I hurried to the rock bluff and found a family firmly ensconced around the tree. Mentally shrugging, I moved to the side and set up for the standard sunset photo showing the iconic ridges of the Appalachian Mountains.
So I was surprised when the only male in the family group walked up and asked if I was “trying to do something with the tree.” I smiled and told him I would certainly use it if they weren’t there, but pointed out that they beat me to the spot so I’d be OK. He quickly hurried his family to the side, leaving the tree available for the photo.
That set the stage for what was a spectacular sunset. I framed up the shot so the tree was a prominent foreground element, and ensured the sun would hit the horizon right on the end of that limb (I used another app to check the precise sunset location).
I love the finally print, with the rugged rocks of the ledge and the tree leading the eye right to that beautiful setting sun. The clouds even point to the sun. And the star bursting over the mountain ridges just caps off what I really think is a great sunset photo.
This was a great way to begin a couple of days of banging around the Appalachian Mountains in Western Virginia and West Virginia before heading down to the next Bassmaster Elite Series event in Alabama (which starts Thursday).
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