The waterfall you see in the photo is the final plunge for Chapel Creek before it empties into Lake Superior. It always makes an interesting cut through the sand - but - you just never quite know what path it'll take. Most of the time, it likes to wind off to the right, but a gale force weather event pushed the sand back in, making the new cut anybody's guess.
Even with that wildcard in mind, I decided to use this for my morning location the next day. Additionally I couldn't help but think this little waterfall might be a really cool foreground for some sunlit clouds over the lake at dawn. Of course, if the creek cut the wrong way, it'd be a no-go. With the waves still pummeling the shoreline, I'd have to wait till morning to see if there was actually a shot.
I retired to my tent with raindrops lightly tapping the nylon and grand sunrise images dancing in my head.
The next morning I awoke early and hurried to my spot - and was THRILLED to see the cut in the sand - it was perfect for the image I had in mind. However, the light was nonexistent. Cold, steel grey clouds threatened to ruin the morning's shot.
I knew from painful past experience that at times like this you STILL set up your shot because you never know what's going to happen. I knew the chances of getting a shot were slim, but I stood there in the creek, tripod setup, cable release in hand anyway. I didn't have anything better to do, so why not?
I stood there and watched as the sky grew slightly brighter, but still no real hint of color. I contemplated the gentle waves as they lapped at the shoreline, amazed that just last evening they were viciously attacking the beach without mercy. How quickly things change...
Then it happened - one low hanging cloud intercepted some brilliant red light from a struggling sunrise! My jaw dropped at the scene and I quickly gathered myself and started snapping away. It faded away just as suddenly as it appeared, the whole show lasting under a minute. All I could think was "Thank God I was already set up and ready to shoot!"