Valley of the Moss
As a wandering photog, there is nothing worse than finding that spot that you just can’t get to (within reason), that spot you just can’t dig into and engage. One of those haunting spots is pictured above. This is a reservoir near Loggy Bayou, a spot you can only see from a narrow, no-shoulder bridge that passes over the floodway. I’ve passed it countless times and have driven every tangential back road in hopes of finding a relative vista. I’ve even exhausted Google maps hoping to find a hidden road. I have even stopped before the bridge, and walked below it as far as I could, alligators rolling into the water and everything. But on ground level, there is a loss in perspective. And with the drought, normal boat access really isn’t an option. An airboat or a related “mud” boat would be the only option.
I passed one overcast morning recently, and it was filled with a soft glow. The narrow bridge is remarkably busy for such a remote area. Most of the traffic tends to be big, usually speeding, logging trucks. On top of that, there is maybe a half-meter between the road shoulder line and bridge barricade. I had enough that morning, and just stopped. I pulled my camera from the bag, rolled down the passenger window, and framed up the shot. Already in my rear-view mirror, there was a truck coming up on the bridge. Then, right before the shot, the blue heron swooped into the center. I wasn’t ready, but had to take it.
Needless to say, it wasn’t a stellar capture. My shutter speed ratio was just a hair above the focal length as the overcast and dark wooded area wasn’t providing great light. I’m sure there was some camera shake involved too. In post, I took the RAW file and exported two additional exposures a stop above and below. While not as good as a true bracketed exposure, it does decent. Then I fused the exposures in Photomatix which helped decently. I haven’t given up on the spot, but at least now I have something on record.