One of the great pleasures of photographing sunrise in the Southern Appalachians is the possibility of encountering an early morning cloudfall as mists rise from one valley only to descend into another. Earlier this past week Bonnie and encountered such an opportunity along the Blue Ridge Parkway at Pounding Mill Overlook looking slightly northeastward along the Pisgah Ridge. What seemed especially intriguing were the textures in the cloud mass and the sun’s early light bouncing off the top of the wave.

A focal length of 300mm, close to medium telephoto-land gave me the compression and angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/22 provided depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 1/6th second at ISO 100 gave me an overall lighter-than-medium exposure.

The sight of these great masses of condensed air floating across a ridge and descending into a valley below seems like an act in defiance of nature; yet it is only nature being itself and allowing human voyeurism to go along.