Motivation Assignment Winner Mark VanDyke

'Grassy Ridge Rhododendron Fog Roll' by Mark VanDyke

“Grassy Ridge Rhododendron Fog Roll” by Mark VanDyke

Congrats to Mark VanDyke for winning the Motivation Assignment with his photo from the Roan Highlands!

“This photograph was taken on June 13, 2012, on Grassy Ridge in the Roan Highlands of Western North Carolina / Eastern Tennessee.  The composition of this image was certainly pre-visualized, the result of several years of previous hikes and scouting trips. However, the natural conditions that would occur were anything but predictable. It is not often that I find myself with good company on hikes; the life of a landscape photographer is up extremely early or out extremely late, often getting excited about conditions that others cringe about.  On this particular morning, I was lucky enough to have my father and his young German Shepherd with me. It was not until we arrived at the location and waited for the sun to crest the horizon that the skies began to clear and the fog began to push and hug the mountainsides.  The scene that actually unfolded, despite being pre-visualized from a compositional standpoint, was unlike any that I could have pre-visualized in my minds-eye. The show nature put on between the fog, light, and natural conditions was fantastic—and it was really neat to share it with my father,” says VanDyke.

Equipment: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 lens, Tiffen 2-stop GND filter, Really Right Stuff tripod and ballhead.