Back in September, I attended a workshop at Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. On our last morning in town, I got up early to take a few photographs before breakfast. Low clouds and fog were blocking most of the morning light, and I was regretting my decision to leave my warm bed. As I was about to pack up my tripod, the clouds on the horizon parted enough to allow the rising sun to cast a jaw-dropping golden glow that reflected off the fog, drenching the air in honey. This light lasted for maybe 2 minutes, then disappeared.
Golden Light Behind Tree at Sunrise, Friday Harbor, WA (12″x18″)
Bulb exposures of passing clouds reflecting morning light at the Stan Sayres Boat Launch in late August.
Stan Sayres Dock at Sunrise (Angle), Seattle, WA (12″x18″)
Stan Sayres Dock at Sunrise (Side), Seattle, WA (12″x18″)
Back in late August, I decided to head down to the Lake Washington shore to photograph a new subject before sunrise. Passing morning clouds provided a nice linear structure in the sky for these 3-5 minute exposures.
Submerged Tree Branches in Lake Washington at Sunrise (BW),
Seattle, WA (12″x16″)
Submerged Tree Branches in Lake Washington at Sunrise (Color),
Seattle, WA (12″x18″)
The weather at 14,000 feet in June in the Himalaya can make coring lakes difficult. The sky tends to be clear from around sunrise to 11:00 AM, so I woke up early every morning, shook the ice off my tent, ate a quick breakfast, and got out on the lake to start work before conditions made coring nearly impossible (hail, lightning, thick fog). Here is a panorama of a picturesque cold, clear sunrise before we started our work.
Shoreline, Sunrise, and Shadows, near Jumla, Nepal (16″x62″)
After coring lakes in the Himalayan foothills, we stayed at a town in the pines on a ridge top. I got up around sunrise and walked along the cliffside highway to take a few photographs of the light through the trees.
Sunrise through the Pines, far Western Nepal, (15″x48″)
I recently photographed a series of sunrises and mountain ranges between Sonoyta and Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. Here are two of my favorite panoramas from the area.
While scouting Mesa Arch in the evening, I took a panorama of the rock formation near the upper end of the Arch (see my post from 2 weeks ago). I decided to re-shoot a similar panorama at sunrise with better lighting because I liked the way the Arch seemed to dive away from the camera.
I slept in the back of my Subaru to save time in the morning. When my alarm went off, I deflated my sleeping pad, hopped into the driver seat, and rubbed the sleep out of my eyes as I turned on the defroster and headed to Mesa Arch. Sunrise was gorgeous, but the crowd of photographers that showed up a few minutes after I arrived made me want to hang back and wait for a clear view of the arch and mountains. After most of the other photographers rushed off to their next tour stop, an incredible glow developed under the arch when the sun started to reflect off the sandstone cliffs below the overlook.
Even though the air was a chilly 19F, I was excited to get up before dawn to photograph the Grand Teton- I hoped the winter clouds would be hanging low over the peaks and the cold air would help make a great sunrise. Before the morning sun hit the valley floor, the pre-dawn glow reflected off the snow-capped Tetons. I took seven panoramas, and this is my favorite. Although last week’s post had great lighting and shadows, there is no strong foreground element; I zoomed in for this compositions in order to get the tree in the foreground and the peaks and clouds in the background.