Camera: Canon 77D; Lens: Canon L-Series 24-105mm
Aperture: f/5; Shutter Speed: 1/100; ISO: 100
I was nearing the end of my stay in Virginia; this had been one of the countless nights on Skyline Drive to watch the sunset. My goal on this evening was to walk away with pictures from a new perspective. There is no such thing as a bad picture here; the scenery is absolutely breathtaking. So what’s going to make my work stand out from the rest? I wanted to capture something different than what I saw all over these Virginia Photo Groups on Facebook.
A few miles past the Dickey Ridge Visitors Center, I found a quiet overlook to the West and deemed it perfect to watch the last bit of the sunset. I had already taken 122 pictures prior to capturing what you see here, and I was almost ready to pack up and go. The sun was falling behind the clouds, and I felt good about the shots I had gotten - but just as I got back to my car I saw this little window in the trees.
Everything had aligned so well. It wasn’t even a shot I was “looking for,” it just caught my eye at a moment's notice.
This ended up being my first image ever published by a travel page. Visit Waynesboro shared an article featuring must-see spots in the area. With the magic of Instagram hashtags, they found this shot and asked if they could use it. To me, it was mind-blowing that such a beautiful area that had been photographed thousands upon thousands of times was going to be represented by one of my images.
This was a realization that taking pictures could be more than just a hobby. At the time I was only 5 months into my photography journey but knew if I kept working I could really make it into something. This shot gave me a new perspective, fresh motivation, and hangs in my room to remind me of all the wonderful memories made in the Summer of 2020.