Sunset from Little Stony Man Cliffs, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

I’ve visited Little Stony Man Cliffs at least a dozen times before, sometimes with clients and sometimes alone. They face due west and therefore make a great location for sunset and later afternoon light. In all the years before, I have never been able to come away with anything truly epic from this spot, so when a sudden and severe thunderstorm struck Shenandoah this past weekend we took a chance and it payed off big time!  Although I was hoping to shoot looking north with the mountains rolling out in the background, the best clouds and color were directly to the west. I found this notch in the rocks that perfectly mirrored the cloud formation surrounding the sun. The light and color was amazing. This is a lesson to remain open minded when in the field. You never know what mother nature will through your way and some of the best shots are the ones that were never pre-visualized!

Tech details: Nikon D700, 16-35mm, Singh Ray 4 Stop ND Grad Soft, raw capture, 1/2 second @ F16, ISO 200