Pounding Mill at Sunrise

Pounding Mill at Sunrise

Sunrise achieved
The sun’s up, and the colors are still nice and rich.

Oi, Vei!  My main photo drive crashed on Friday… I’m sending out out this week to recover the data.  How could this happen to a 9-month-old hard drive?  Argh!

Well lemons can become lemonade… Instead of tossing, turning and being grumpy on Saturday, I got up super-early (for me, 4:30 is crazy early), and drove up the Blue Ridge parkway to Pounding Mill… just west of Mt. Pisgah and the Pisgah Inn.  Clouds on the horizon made for an extra-colorful sunrise, and you can even see clouds in the valley.  I’ve added a 10 picture catalog to the menu.

So, minor philosophical stuff here: I am finding that going out to nature, especially the mountains, is a real healing thing for me.  As a kid, I spent summers in the Laurel Mountains, so it’s a bit “regressive” for me… very comforting.  As a photographer, what a nice subject!  The only downside is that after having gotten up that early, I napped throughout the day, so nighttime/start pictures weren’t happening.  Still, it was a great break.

I now have a full cloud backup…which I SHOULD have been doing all along.  Once the drive situation settles down, I will get back to making videos… I have several ideas, and needed to re-assess my priorities before starting that as a regular thing.  I should be regular on YouTube by November, if not a little sooner.  (Like to my YouTube channel is on the left).

Things you MUST have for this kind of work:

  • Coffee
  • Sturdy Tripod
  • Coffee
  • Remote trigger, or knowledge of setting up a 2 or more second delay
  • Coffee
  • Camera – seriously… any camera… even a phone, if you have a steady mount for it
  • Wide lens

Things that make this kind of work easier:

  • Coffee
  • Ballhead tripod head, for more control when your tripod is on a slope
  • Thermos for coffee
  • Circular polarizer to help control the sky (I forgot this till near the end)
  • Water to cleanse the palate – between coffees
  • Patience, or liking to watch nature between shots

I shot from f/16 to f/22… would have shot smaller, but that’s as small as my 10-20 sigma lens will go.  I got basic settings from Aperture Priority (Av), then switched to manual so I could work the settings from there as I saw fit.  ISO 100 only, for daylight (lower if you have a camera capable of it).  Most of the exposures were 2-18 seconds, then under 2 seconds once the sun was fully up.

I noticed a couple good potential other shots coming back, but was too tired to stop and try them… expect some weird tunnel pictures in another week or so.  I found 2 tunnels that face east-enough to maybe get sunrise through.

Also, for out-of-state folks, leaf peeping season is almost here.  I noticed a FEW trees changing with the hurricane and rain last week, so others will follow.  I’ll be putting up some hurricane related stuff, if they can recover it from my E drive.

Given what just happened, I can’t recommend STRONGLY ENOUGH:

  • Cloud backups can be gotten for 50-100 dollars a year
  • WD makes a great portable drive (Passport Pro…4Tb with built-in SD reader).  I was using it for travel, but given my issue here, I’m going to use it as a mid-stage part of my workflow from now on. 
    • The drive crashed WHILE downloading (and clearing) my SD card… I was fortunate that those were travel photos, so they are already on the WD
    • Had that been a paid job, I would have lost the day… that’s why I’m suggesting card->passport, THEN card->PC and wipe.  Slower, but safer.

Once things settle down, I’ll probably put up a video or two about what I’ve learned, and how my workflow is changing to be more professional.


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