It’s been a few weeks since I’ve had off so I took off today to search for Blackwater Falls state park which is about three and half hours from my home. Unfortunately, according to the weather service the morning sun was to give way to rain by afternoon. This meant I had to beat feet and get to my destination, grab my shots, and at least be on the road before the rain starts. I should say that I live in the lowlands of Maryland and the park is up in the Blue Ridge mountains. One of the things I thought I’d do was to stop at the various overlooks along the way to get some shots of the local fall color. Since the impending rain cut short my full itinerary for the day, I thought that I would at least hit a few spots to get something. The first overlook was a rest stop about an hour into my journey. Although I got a few good photos of the mountain, the overlook of the valley was terrible due to heavy mountain fog.
Besides the fog, it was extremely overcast and it was hard to gauge whether the rain was imminent or not. Now would be a great time to turn around, go home and call it a day. At the very least I would only lose an hour. It only took about a minute to kill that thought and I was back on the road. About an hour later I stopped again at another overlook. This time conditions were worse than the last stop. I found myself not feeling too good about the trip but felt I had come too far to turn back. It was about then I met a very nice couple by the names of Randy and Joyce who seemed to be fellow Photographers who had knowledge of the area. During our conversation I learned of some great places to shoot and more importantly, that despite the current shoddy weather situation, it wasn’t supposed to rain until about 4 p.m.
It was now about 1 p.m. and I still had at least an hour and a half to go. After the nice talk with the couple I jumped in my car and pressed on. Two hours later ( I got lost of course) I finally arrived at the park. Since one of the falls (Blackwater itself) wasn’t far from the parking lot, I went there first. There were a lot of tourists which the couple warned me about, but I was able to squeeze myself amongst them to get some decent photos without much of a fuss. The second Falls known as Elakala, was a few miles further done the road and as soon as I got there It started to rain. Just lovely. Not a steady or heavy rain mind you, but just enough drizzle to ruin the shoot. I sat in my car and thought long and hard about whether to stay or leave and cut my loses.
“Okay I’m just going to go home” I thought. It was about this time that the rain stopped. That’s when I decided that I didn’t come all this way not to at least try to reach my goal of getting shots of both falls. I got out of the car, threw on my camera bag and ran for Elakala before the rain started back up. I made it to the falls and set up the tripod and camera and started to shoot. It was then I noticed that the EF 50 lens from the last shoot was still on my camera when I wanted to use my 24-70. No problem, I’ll shoot with the 50 for now until I get cozy and then change it. Well, that was not to be. As soon as I was ready to switch, The rain came back, and this time a bit harder. I then realized that even though I wasn’t going to be able to shoot wide like I wanted, I still got a few pics with the 50 and to be grateful that I got any at all.
I packed up the gear and headed home. when I got back, I uploaded everything and realized that all my shots turned out ok despite me rushing myself due to the rain. It also made me think about how things don’t always go according to plan, but sometimes if you don’t panic (like I did) and just think about the situation before giving up, you can still accomplish something and be very happy. And as for me, I’m very happy.
Canon5D markII, EF 50 1.2 L, ISO 320, 1/8 @ f/10