As with most adventures, when we start out on a nature photography workshop, the weather is always a primary concern. Most people think that if we are greeted with clear skies we should be happy. As you can see in these images there’s a lot more to enjoy than clear skies. Many of us like to capture waterfalls images with that soft, silky look and glaring sun complicates the need for longish shutter speeds that make them possible. At the same time, gray skies, which reward us with the longer exposures we crave, also derail our interest in including skies above our waterfalls compositions. So it’s a balancing act.

The positive side of this dilemma is that it offers opportunities – opportunities to use neutral density filters (solid as well as split NDs), opportunities to try our hand at the HDR (High Dynamic Range) technique, opportunities to practice framing images without skies, such as extracts within the scenes we explored.

As is usual, each participant in my recent Shenandoah National Park workshop had his or her own idea of what would make a good image. As the days flew by, our image review sessions grew long and there was more and more to comment on. As you can see, there were a lot of “wows”, too.