I recently took a trip to the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia with some friends who wanted to photograph the Fall colors. We got up early the first morning to capture the sunrise in the Dolly Sods Wilderness area and although I have been there a few times before, it always seems that no matter what time we get up we always seem to be scrambling around to find a spot to shoot and end up missing what I think is the best time, which is the few minutes before the sun breaches the horizon. It is amazing just how much light the camera can actually see when it still appears dark to the naked eye. On this occasion though we were up extremely early and after arriving we had to scramble over the rocks with a flashlight. I remembered a spot from my last visit that I wanted to get to and managed to get set up well before the light started to appear. Until the sun rises above the horizon there really isn’t much in the way of color and so, while those who were there for the color camped out waiting for the sun to rise I was already looking for images to capture, knowing that I was going to be working them in black and white.
Whenever at Dolly Sods I am always in awe at the vastness of wilderness stretching out before me as the countdown to a new day nears its end. Layer upon layer of mountain ranges reveal themselves and valleys blanketed in early morning mist fill in the gaps as dawn approaches. It is the feeling of the vastness that I wanted to capture and I wanted to use the tones, shapes and textures to add emphasis.