Well, Mt. Battie was certainly an experience. I woke up just before 5 in the morning, about the time I typically find my way to bed, and we all got packed up and piled into the van. Cramped, tired, and cold, we made our way up Mt. Battie. When we got up there, the light was already great to get the gear out and start shooting away. So that’s exactly what I did. But first I had to find the spot I wanted to shoot the sunrise. Brendan and I walked down the hill a bit and he got set up and I kept going another fifteen feet or so, settling in an area that I thought had a potentially nice foreground. For me, the colors of a sunrise just aren’t enough, I really search an area for foreground and middle ground elements. And if I can’t get those elements? I shoot anyways and just try an enjoy the sunrise. After messing around for a bit with some failed panorama attempts, I finally got the light I wanted.
And although my hands were numb for half an hour after departing Mt. Battie, I’m glad I was out there. Even if the foreground wasn’t as interesting as I had hoped it would be, I still got the opportunity to shoot the sunrise with my classmates, insructor Moose, and T.A. Brendan, and that’s something only them and I get to say. And for all of the people that could not have possibly have been there, it’s my responsibility to do my best to bring that sunrise back with me on my compact flash card.
Later in the day, we all got our gear together again after a long morning and afternoon of learning in the digital lab and headed off for Owl’s Head. After getting there and realizing that we probably wouldn’t be able to see much color in the sunset, I tried to mix it up and approach the situation a bit differently. I busted out the macro lens, but some wind prevented me from getting anything worthwhile with that. I brought out the 70-200 and tried to shoot a very old and very creepy statue that was off in the grass near a staircase. And although neither of those ventures provided me with great shots, I still tried something a little different and didn’t let the prospect of a disappointing sunset stop me from shooting and having a good time. But when Moose threw on his 16mm fisheye and shot the lighthouse, the whole night turned into a great shooting opportunity. So, taking his cue, I threw my 14-24mm on the D3 and angled it up at the lighthouse as I stood at its base and just fired off shots, looking for some interesting clouds in the sky. At this point, the sun had already set and the sky was a deep blue. I liked the blue well enough, but wanted a bit more drama, so I pumped up my white balance to 10,000 kelvin (in hopes of graying the sky) and dialed into -1 exposure compensation and angled up to catch a very dramatic sky.
Shooting at Owl’s Head with Moose and the gang taught me a very important lesson; not every good shot is just gonna show up, sometimes you’ve gotta dig deep within yourself and push yourself harder and harder until you see an opportunity. As Moose said, he pushes himself further and further all the time, and honestly, that’s what it takes to take capture a shot sometimes, that extra push.