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Sunrise at Minsi Lake with my friend Mike and we walked out on an earthen fishing pier near the boat launch.  It was the perfect vantage point from which to shoot the sunrise, which spread across the mirror-like surface of the lake.  The pier – and I know that’s not the correct term, but I don’t know what else to call it – is very similar to the one at Fords Pond back home, thanks to the consistency of the PA Fish and Boat Commission, who manages both sites.

This particular spit of land was blessed with these large stones at the end, right near the water’s edge.  I don’t know how they got there, but they were the perfect element to help anchor the foreground, and the sunrise light hit them perfectly as it cleared the trees to the east.

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Although we were both shooting the sunrise across the lake and a fisherman in a boat, I found myself returning time and again to these rocks as the light moved across them.  Sometimes the photos worked and others didn’t, or they were too similar to previous shots, or sometimes the angles just weren’t quite right.  But I did get a couple of different looks that I kept.

It’s more than just the rocks as subject matter; it’s about the textures in the image, the rough gravel and sharp rock edges in the foreground, abruptly changing to the glassy smoothness of the water, which was perfectly still and interrupted only by distant vegetation and the far shoreline – a bit of texture again, before the sky.

I tried the second scene in black & white as well, although I’m not sure about it.  B&W simplifies it down to a study in tones and angles, and the rocks work in that regard.  But without the color, the balance of warm and cool tones across the image, it doesn’t quite sing the same way.

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It’s funny, because despite this being a brand new location for me, it was similar in many ways to shooting at Fords – familiar and new at the same time.  What I do know is that I’d like to get the kayak on this lake and explore the distant shores.  Maybe next year…

Brent Pennington is a freelance photographer and the driving force behind The Roving Photographer. When he\’s not working with portraiture or promotional clients, he’s usually in the field, hiking, or kayaking in pursuit of nature and wildlife shots.

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