On the previous day, I had hiked up to Rough Ridge via a part of the Tanawha Trail. On previous trips, the views from there had been spectacular and I hoped for a repeat of those conditions. Unfortunately, although the view was beautiful, the conditions just weren’t great for photography. I took some good images, but nothing great. Perhaps they will improve with age, but until then I will spare you. However, I did end up spending an hour or so camped out on a large rock near the summit. Among other hikers who would stop there for the view, I met another photographer. As we chatted, she mentioned a pond further up the Blue Ridge Parkway that might generate some good images.
When she first mentioned the pond, I thought she was talking about Price Lake. I knew about that spot and had pulled out a couple of pretty nice images from there a year or two before. But, as she described the place, I realized that it was actually a small pond directly on the Parkway that I had passed dozens of times before but never stopped to shoot.
Since the pond was on the way to my intended sunset location, I decided to stop by and check it out. As I stopped at the roadside parking area for the pond and an associated trail, I didn’t feel very optimistic. Despite my pessimism, I carried on and began to look for an angle that could yield a decent shot. I quickly found the obvious spot at the dam end of the pond down close to the water on the rocks placed there to minimize erosion. I quickly realized that even though conditions weren’t perfect at the time, it could be a great location with no wind blowing. Then and there, I decided to return the following morning just after sunrise hoping for a calm weather day.
Even though conditions weren’t perfect, I still experimented and shot a few frames. I realized that the lighting and wind wouldn’t allow the reflection shot I had in mind. So, I began to shoot just the water looking for the right combination of trees, sky, and clouds. After experimenting a bit, I found this composition. I actually like the movement of the water disturbing the perfect reflection yet yielding an array of color and texture. As I edited the image, I briefly experimented with flipping the entire image to put the sky and clouds above where my brain expects them to be. I thought that that manipulation might yield an interesting “expressionist” image. Unfortunately, the ripple in the left foreground ruins the effect somewhat and makes it obvious that something is not quite right with the image. I included a copy below and would love to know which one you prefer.
There will be more from Sims Pond. As it turned out, the right lighting and no wind yielded even better images than I had anticipated. I’ll share those images soon. Enjoy.