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View from Crow's Nest, Hudson River

This month’s featured print is titled “View From Crow’s Nest“, taken close to my home in the Hudson Valley on a cold, brisk, fall evening. Looking for new and different views of the river and surrounding mountains, I headed out to some hiking trails I was aware of, but had not had a chance to explore. The Hudson Highlands are full of trails, and many yield different views depending on the time of day and year. Because the river lies in between several mountains, it is always a challenge to find a location where light during the golden hour will be where you want it! As I hiked northward along the trail, I noticed a high ridge east towards the river, and decide to climb my way to the highest spot I could see. When I finally reached the top, I had a commanding view of the Hudson, and I became excited with the potential for a special photograph. After some exploring, I found a huge rock about the size of a small car, and knew I had the ingredients I usually look for in a landscape image. All I needed now was the right light, and the right composition.
With so many details in the frame, I struggled quite a bit to find the perspective that would simplify the image, but include a sense of scale and grandeur of where I was. Finally I felt confident, and all that remained was the light. As usual, a huge bank of clouds moved in to obscure the western sky, and I started to have my doubts about my chances. But I didn’t give up, and the sun broke through the clouds at the very last minute before sunset, throwing a beautiful warm light across part of scene, and I took full advantage of it! I shot about 3 frames, and no sooner than that, the light was gone for good. But I was exhilarated with what I had seen and captured, and the hike back to my car was effortless.
Landscape photography is certainly about craft and technique, but it is also as much about perseverance and vision, and about the pure desire to share an emotion with the viewer. And this for me, is its greatest reward.

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