April 22nd, 2019
Sunrise photography always take a little bit of planning to get right. While you can't necessarily control everything what you can control is how early you get up in the morning. Earlier is always better. My rule of thumb is to have an additional hour up front to get prepared. If it takes 2 hours to get to your destination think of it as being 3 hours and set your alarm accordingly. I visited Shenandoah National Park for sunrise photography recently which meant I had to follow my own advice and set an alarm for 3:30AM. That alarm was rough, but it was worth it.
Two of the four photos, the one above and the other immediately below, were taken during sunrise along Skyline Drive at the Buck Hollow Overlook. Skyline Drive has so many overlooks that it's just a matter of choosing the one you like the best. Google Maps can be extremely helpful since most of the overlooks have a 360 degree interactive panoramic. This can at least give you a better idea of what to expect compositionally before arriving. The remaining two photographs were taken at Dark Hollow Falls.
If I had to choose a personal favorite from among these four it would be the first photograph above. Not only is it my favorite from the day but it's also my favorite photograph that I have taken so far this year. The sun had risen enough to cast light on just a few trees while the surrounding trees were left in shadow. My Fujifilm XF 55-200mm allowed me enough reach to focus in on the hillside with nothing else in frame giving me that simple landscape composition that I'm always looking for.