DOG IN DEEP WOODS
I introduced you to Rufus earlier on my hike into Cash Hollow, (see article posted on web site, Mountain People), but he managed to become the center of interest in this image quite by chance. This photograph was made along the Appalachian Trail, which parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway south of Waynesboro, VA.
As I pointed out in an earlier chapter, many of my concepts begin with long-range planning. The mood is not always what I might envision on the first outing. This is particularly true when I am dealing with landscapes that require the right touch of lighting to blend with numerous other elements. I might wait for a year or more after spotting a potential concept before all the pieces come together, making it as near to perfect as possible. And, there is always the added variable of spontaneity—being in the right place at the right time and being able to make a quick decision about capturing a particular scene on film.
Dog in Deep Woods is a combination of these principles. This image was on my mental list for a year or more, waiting for just the right amount of snow and fog. When it happened, I had to get there within a half-hour, before any of the snow fell off the twigs or the fog lifted.
My original visualization involved capturing the mood of the forest and the soft carpet of freshly fallen snow. That concept changed dramatically when Rufus jumped out ahead of me on the trail. I yelled at him to stop while struggling to set up my equipment as quickly as I could. Fortunately, in this case I had the tripod, with camera attached, already over my shoulder. He stopped dead in his tracks when I yelled at him and told him to stay. Rufus’ idea of stopping at this point was maybe all of ten seconds, but in that brief time, I was able to make a couple of memorable exposures. This is yet another example of the Decisive Moment. No second chances.
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