When I think about my many photos of Vermont, this one has long been one of my favorites. And like so many of my photos, this one has a story about combining timing, location knowledge, and weather. They all aligned to let me take this photo, and any one of them could have ruined it otherwise. Thankfully, the end result is a nearly perfect capture of Vermont as a place and a feeling.
When my company had a team trip to the Grand Tetons in 2016, I was super excited for the opportunity to see an incredibly beautiful mountain range. One of the activities we could choose was an early morning animal photography experience, where hypothetically we would get to see some of Wyoming’s extraordinary wildlife up close. This event turned out to be kind of a bust – we mostly stayed in a bus and drove around looking for wildlife. And while we got to see some animals here and there, it was tough taking great photos from a bus by the side of the road.
One of the things about traveling to Sydney from New York is that the jet lag will wake you up early. The time difference is 10 hours ahead, tomorrow, which more or less means that you want to be awake when everyone else is asleep and vice-versa. While this can be incredibly annoying, it does have the one benefit of making it easy to plan for sunrise photos. If I’m going to be wide awake anyway, I might as well capture something special. So it was with this in mind that I started looking for a place to go and see the world wake up.
On our visit to Scotland in 2012, we made a stop by the Dochfour estate near Inverness to take a look around. The weather was sunny with bright blue skies, something that I think is pretty unusual for Scotland. I’m sure the locals were loving it, but I did wish for a few clouds to help add some drama to my photos. The sunsets were also harsh and a bit hazy, so I needed to get a little creative. Finding this wonderful forest was just the ticket, and it gave me a great way to put some pop in my photos.
The weather had been wild on our drive to Vermont. Thick angry clouds loomed in the sky while incredible rainfall pounded the car and flooded the surrounding fields. The Mad River was rising over its banks, and the highway patrol had closed VT-100 between Hancock and Granville because of high water. With no cell service, we had to use my Garmin GPS to plot an alternate route through the green mountains on back roads. We were incredibly tired by the time we arrived in Waitsfield, but then the weather started to clear and a little bit of sunlight peaked out in the gloom.