Jan. 29, 2006
It's something of a shock to me because I've never been a morning person, but I've come to like getting up at about four on a Saturday morning, whipping up breakfast for the dogs, and loading up camera gear and Junie and taking off. I like gassing up in Elkins, grabbing something sweet and something salty for a completely unhealthy breakfast, and then winding along the hills on a dark and deserted highway for a little over an hour to Boxley Valley, listening to old time radio shows on my little MP3 player all the way.

In some ways, I think I like the routine of it, too. Always a stop at the Ponca bridge outhouse, always a visit to Hedges pour-off for a look at sunrise, and then a hike or a jaunt at some other nearby locale, often Leatherwood Creek, to try to take advantage of the morning's good light.

There were ploops of fog here and there along the running river this morning, although running water and fog have both been pretty scarce here this winter.

Later we strolled up Leatherwood to continue experimenting with shooting the beeches there under different lighting conditions. Today the idea was to see how things looked under some fairly strong light, kind of high and hot. I've been of two minds about the resulting images, one minute thinking they look fine and the next minute wondering what I could have been thinking. They are certainly a departure for me as I usually try to stay away from this kind of higher angle, contrasty light, but finally I just threw my hands up and decided to post some of the images and let you decide for yourself.

Maybe it's just me, but I can tolerate a high contrast image better in monochrome or sepia than I can in color.

Today's Back Light was taken on a sunny but frigid afternoon in January of 2004 as Junie and I were wandering around in the Ponca Wilderness not far from the Centerpoint Trail.