The big kids had the day off of school on Friday and it was super warm out, so we decided to gear up for some waterfalling down at Willow River State Park. If you live in the Twin Cities area and have not been here, it really is worth the hour (or less) that you’d spend in the car to get here. These long exposures were all shot with a CPL and 3 stop ND filter, which gave me a 2 second exposure time. It looks like we may have one more nice day on Monday, so I’m hoping to get another day of hiking in.
The clouds were at higher altitudes and the humidity was low, so I figured there would be a good chance for a decent sunset tonight. After a bit of research on TPE (http://photoephemeris.com/), I decided to explore a section along the Rum River at the Anoka Nature Preserve that had some larger trees washed up on the shoreline. I arrived an hour before sunset and decided to take the long way around to see other parts of the forest. The location I had originally picked out had roughly ten feet of mud separating the trunk of the tree from me and I wasn’t in the mood to risk getting stuck out there. So I continued up the shoreline for a while and came across a perfect spot that didn’t require any adventuring to get to. Once my camera was set up and I had my tripod secured to the tree trunk, I was able to just take in the sounds of a late Minnesota autumn. The geese were still in the area and I was able to watch a Bald Eagle catch some fish across the river. After about twenty minutes of waiting, the sun dropped below the horizon and the sky started to light up with reds and oranges. It’s always hard to balance capturing the moment and also living in the moment. Once I was certain I had an image I liked, I sat back down and just watched it fade to gray.
When I was setting this photo up, I really wanted to be on top of the log shooting down and out over the water. The main issue I ran into was that the log was not very stable and offered very limited tripod placement locations. Ideally, I’d have liked to shot closer to f/7.1 and a ISO of 100 or 200, but this would have given me a longer exposure time and camera shake blur. The result was having to shoot at a shorter exposure duration, a higher ISO, and wide open at f/4.