When I — “tongue in cheek” — noted that I didn’t want to offend Hemingway and be guilty of the very thing I occasionally rant against, copyright infringement, an astute friend pointed out that it wasn’t Hemingway’s at all, but actually comes from the bible. I am reasonably certain we are beyond the copyright expiration date for the particular author. So there you go. 🙂
Sunrises reveal themselves in a number of varied conditions
Perhaps more meaningfully, my left turn into the topic of “sunrise” vs “sunset,” caused me to wonder just how many times I had ventured into the early morning, pre-dawn darkness, to try to capture the sunrise. So I went back through my archives. I was surprised (though I should not have been) to find that my sunrise images were far fewer than my sunset images. I found about sixteen of them, most of which I had never given any serious post-processing. I will use the next two posts to showcase some of them. I will not say they are in every instance, my best work (in fact a couple were taken with lower-quality digital cameras in low light conditions — in a time when sensors were simply not as good as they are today). The St. Thomas shot was made as the sun broke the horizon in the pre-dawn light, with a Canon G12 (which had a smaller and less capable sensor than my Sony RX100iv). My Sony body is half its physical size.
I believe the images here illustrate some of what I said in the prior post. Sunrises reveal themselves in a number of varied conditions. Sunsets can often be colorful. Sunrises are generally more subtle, but as the Otter Beach shot shows, there are occasionally glorious exceptions. Cooler temperatures create fog and mist. Cold temperatures create a cool look to the image colors.
The earliest recorded attempt I made at sunrise shooting was on a freezing cold morning in February, not far from my home in Saginaw, Michigan. Saginaw is part of the so-called, I-75 industrial corridor, formerly known for its General Motors auto manufacturing plants. But it may not be a well-known that it is also one of the largest agricultural areas in the mid-west. As soon as you leave the city in almost any direction, there are farms and farmland. This image was taken with my Nikon 35mm SLR camera and color transparency film. Slow ISO speeds of such film dictated the use of a sturdy tripod and cable release. The image here was scanned with an Epson scanner and is not the quality equivalent of the drum scanners that were used back then to digitize media in high resolution. Even so, I am impressed with what modern “home-brew” digital technology can accomplish.
When my son was younger (me too 🙂 ), we used to do an annual late summer camping trip. One of our favorite spots was a small National Forest Campground called Horseshoe Lake, in Lower Michigan. One of my early “successful” attempts at sunrise photography was, perhaps, unplanned. I have never been a fan of camping and especially, of sleeping on the cold, damp, lumpy ground. So it was not surprising that I woke early in the pre-dawn. I restarted our campfire and boiled a pot of water for coffee. My son (like any pre-teenager) was sound asleep and apparently unfazed by the lumpy ground. So I carried camera and tripod a few hundred feet down to the water’s edge and began looking for compositions. I made a few images that morning, but the resulting shot was a bit of a surprise. The image was shot on Fuji Velvia color transparency film. A characteristic of this film with certain light conditions is to render blue. While this was not my “vision” while making the image, I liked it well enough to keep it. And it has been sold a number of times. Who knew?
In 2009, my best friend, Rich, and our spouses made a week-long trip to Bar Harbor, Maine, and Acadia National Park. We always have fun when the 4 of us travel. But Rich and I are pretty unrelenting on our commitment to be out early. This trip was no exception, and we picked our way down a little known path (we had found during prior daylight) to a rocky portion of Otter Beach, where both the image above, and the opening image were taken, several mornings, waiting for the elusive sunrise I think it was worth the wait when this one finally came.
In 2010, we to our first cruise. I was lukewarm about the whole cruise idea. In my mind, cruises were about partying shipboard, buffets, and sun and fun in the Caribbean (which, it turns out, isn’t such a bad gig after all). My wife wanted to do a cruise, so I agreed–as long as I got to pick it. And I chose the Alaska Inside Passage cruise. It turned out to be a great trip and we learned that cruising is a pretty comfortable way to see new places.
Another plus to going west is the time change. Already a relatively early riser, the 3 and eventually 4 hour time difference had my wide-eyed before first light nearly every morning, as we cruised the inside passage. The sun was pure gold the morning we approached the port of Juneau. A day later, approaching Skagway, the rising sun lit the sky with multiple colors.
On the final morning of our cruise, I walked the rear deck of our ship, the Diamond Princess, and watched a dramatic sunrise under cloudy skies. I was a convert to cruising, and we would cruise 3 more times between 2010 and 2013.
Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY, TRAVEL | Tagged: Acadia National Park; Maine; Bar Harbor; Huron National Forest; St. Thomas, Andy Richards, color, inside passage, Light, LightCentric Photography, National Park, National Parks, New England, Nikon, PHOTOGRAPHY, Photoshop, Princess Cruises, reflection, reflections, Sony, sunrise, travel, tripod, USVI, water | Leave a comment »