I was having trouble sleeping, so I got up early (4am… no alarm), and did my normal morning stuff (breakfast, cats, dishes, etc), then went South/West on the Blue Ridge Parkway around 5:30. Just past Mt. Pisgah is Funnel Top Overlook. I was planning to go to Pounding Mill again, but noticed the moon was still visible, so I stopped and set up my tripod a few miles early. The picture above was my first ‘ok’ shot of the morning. I had to play with the aperture to get a good focus range, which staying quick enough to not fuzz up the moon (the little sucker moves).
You may notice there’s a HUGE cloud base on the horizon. However, up around 5,000 feet, that’s actually usually not a bad thing. We end up with nice sunrises, even though folks in the valleys think they are fogged in. Below is one of the last photos of the morning, showing the sun clearing the cloud deck.
The moral of this story is to keep your eyes open on the way to a planned shoot, because sometimes you’ll catch something unique. Yes, this sunrise would have been as pretty from Pounding Mill, and with less ground clutter, but I probably would have missed the few shots that included the crescent moon before it got hidden by the sunrise.
There are about fourteen pictures in a new gallery page with the same title as this article.