Dolly Sods, West Virginia
I have photographed many sunrises on Dolly Sods; however, this image will be the most memorable image I have ever captured from this location –because suffering makes the difference! For me, it’s about the adventure, the story, and not so much about the image. I knew what it would take, I knew the elements I would be facing, and I knew it would be a very arduous 5 miles hike in knee-deep snow. I started my hike at 3 AM, leaving me enough time, so I’m not rushing up in a sprint. I reach Bear Rocks at 6 AM, greeted by a horrendous wind that Dolly Sods is known. While I’m sitting in a crevice trying to keep warm, my thoughts turn to why I elect to suffer so much? These are my thoughts; you have to suffer a little more to catch those moments that make all the difference. Photography, to some extent, involves a lot of luck; you have to be the one who is trying harder and putting yourself out there. The field has leveled with everyone having a good camera. But it takes a little more work to get those special moments; not everyone is willing to suffer as much for a shot. It’s what makes the difference.