This was taken on a still and rainy morning in Valdez, Alaska. It really does feel like the majority of my favorite landscape photos have come from rainy or storm days. This day was the kind of rain that feels really light, but is heavy enough that you're soaked in 15 minutes. And, there was just enough wind to make rain on the front element of my lens an issue. Here's an update I wrote while in Valdez on my trip.
I was in Alaska with a couple of other photographers and we were about 10 days into our trip when we made it into Valdez. The drive to get there is incredible. Especially the pass you come through. But, for the first day or two that we were there, things were really dull and rainy. Sometimes, those descriptions mean for great photo opportunities, but in this case, it just meant lots of downtime waiting for some good light to come through. We ended up exploring along the waters edge outside of town and I happened to come across this view. I'm learning more and more that simplistic images with striking elements seem to catch my attention the most and this scene accomplished that quite well for me.
The pilings were far enough out in the water that I ended up taking this shot with a 70-200. While I love that lens for my portrait work, it doesn't feel like I get much use out of it with my landscape photography. But, this scene called for it. The focal length helped draw the pilings into the image and separate them from the range in the background. I only have a tiny travel umbrella in my landscape kit so the camera and me ended up soaked while I used the umbrella to protect the front of the lens. A camera can handle the rain but all it takes is one drop of water on the lens to mess with your final image.
For some reason, I really didn't think there would be huge opportunity for Alaska long exposure photography, but my favorite images from the trip all have longer exposure times. That work and style just speaks to me the most. Anyways, this photo is a 30 second long exposure taken at F11 with my D800 in the rain somewhere along the coast of Port Valdez in Alaska.
Dreary as it sounds, I loved it.
If you would like to purchase a print of Valdez Morning, please click here.