I was searching for a rare bird when the setting sun caught my attention. When I noticed how the last of the day’s sunrays illuminated the ragtag fringes of the cattail heads, I forgot the bird to capture this shot.
The golden tint of the sun on the lake highlighted the rich and varied browns of this late November scene. I didn’t see the bird, but this moment made the trip worth it.
One of the lessons of photography is patience. I drove to Lake Shenandoah a few miles east of Harrisonburg, Virginia, yesterday hoping to capture a photograph of the evening sun shining on the red barn, with a beautiful reflection in the lake. As you can see, that’s not the shot I got.
Clusters of clouds blocked the late afternoon sun. Plus, a steady west wind rippled the shallow lake, eliminating any possibility for the anticipated reflection. I got in my car and started to head home when the sun broke through.
I quickly parked my vehicle and decided to head to the south trail. I kept looking back, and just as I walked beyond a tall sycamore tree, the lighting seemed perfect. I scooched down to properly frame the photo. The light bathed the cattails in the foreground and just kissed the red barn enough to have it pop among the russet colors. In addition, a sliver of the lake showed and far beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Shenandoah National Park.
Patience doesn’t always pay off, but in this case, it certainly did pay dividends.