Evening in the Blue Ridge / by Todd Henson

Evening in the Blue Ridge

You just never know what a scene will look like when you travel any distance from your home. Sometimes it’s less than you might have hoped for. Other times it far exceeds your expectations. But it’s always worth bringing along a camera, just in case.

Today’s image (click on it for a larger view) was created in March of 2015 just after 6 in the evening. We had spent the day elsewhere but decided to head home by way of Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. This road weaves over the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the park, offering many scenic pull offs. There are also many miles of trails if you have enough time to hike or camp.

This particular evening had a nice mix of clouds in the sky and a few lower lying clouds hovering in the valleys. The sun was low and the light was shaped by and sometimes blocked by the various clouds.

I had originally bracketed the shot so I could process it as a high dynamic range photograph to capture as much tonal range in the shadows and highlights. Then I converted it to black and white and performed some dodging and burning to lighten and darken different areas of the image, bringing out the textures of the mountain slopes and the clouds.

I think it worked reasonably well. Let me know what you think. Maybe you would have processed it a bit differently?