It was just that perfect time in the morning when what seems like complete darkness magically changes.
It was just that perfect time in the morning when what seems like complete darkness magically changes. Light creeps in and the whole world suddenly changes. One world transfers itself to another.
I was out once again as the transformation takes place. This time, however, I was more interested in photographing the sunrise. And while I do like a cloudless sunrise, a cloudy sky can give a sunrise photo a more dramatic effect. As long as the cloud cover is not to heavy and there are numerous breaks throughout.
Maybe this is part of why I am a weather nut. I check the weather repeatedly throughout the day and evening just hoping that the following day will be advantageous for my photography work.
I park my rig and wait, enjoying the silence. This by far is my favorite time of day. And when I speak of silence I don’t mean complete silence in a traditional sense. Only the sounds of nature; no people, no cars, you know what I mean. You can only get this when you get out of town. Fortunately, we are all fifteen minutes from anywhere, and by anywhere I mean somewhere where you can slip away from the sounds of an awakening city.
It would be 45 minutes yet before anyone would drive down this road. And it will more than likely be someone on their way to work. The poor soul will be driving fast, probably heading to a job that they can’t stand, but yet for some reason, one I do not understand, still want to get there as quickly as possible.
We all see sunrises and sunsets, but have you ever just headed to open country to watch one. Your view is wide open, not hindered by houses or trees, giving you full views of nature’s finest. And the skies, a wide expanse to witness in all her glory. You feel small when in the open, not like the views of peering through the trees in your backyard where you still seem larger than life, the king of the land.
There is that excitement when the orange glow first appears. The glow slowly pushes upward along the horizon as the skies take on that dramatic display. Within minutes the big orange ball will break and a whole new day will begin.
This is where the clouds come in. The morning display takes on a whole new ballgame when clouds play a roll. You don’t want them heavy, just enough breaks where they will be highlighted by the changing light. Each second is different than the last. It’s ever changing, each second more beautiful than the last.
Many times photographs will appear more dramatic than the actual sunrise itself, and that is true to a certain degree. While the sunrise is beautiful all on her own, there is a trick to getting the most of it. Now, while photographs, at times, do not capture the true moments or even the true colors of a sunrise, there is one step that will help you grab that perfect moment. I simple underexpose the photograph. This will darken up the clouds, giving you those eye-popping colors in the sky. This is why I prefer cloud cover; cloudless sunrises are mundane to a photographer.
Everything works together in wonderful fashion. The sun breaks the horizon and plays with the clouds. It will go quickly, and it does. The sun soon crashes through the blanket of cover and shines ever so proudly.
The quiet remains however, only the calls of blackbirds, meadowlarks and quail. I can smell the grasses, still wet with morning dew. Behind me, the now rising sun illuminates the prairie wildflowers, blazing stars, daises, coneflowers. All seem happy that a new day has started.
Take a side trip to enjoy the morning. Slow down on your way to work. Relax and just get out in the big, wide open. It won’t feel like the grasslands of the west but at least it is something. Pull off the side streets and head to the country. Really look at the sky, I mean really look at it.
**Sometimes I wonder how certain animals just seem to show up, the how and why I will never understand. Earlier this week we were sitting outside when we notice a little creature up near the house. Thinking it was just another chipmunk we played it off. But then it came to within fifteen feet of us and I quickly realized that it wasn’t a chipmunk at all but a ground squirrel. We have never had a ground squirrel in the yard, so it was a shocker. Yes, there are some a ways down the road but that is a good distance away.
The ground squirrel was all by itself and looked scared and confused. It worked through the front yard and then I lost track of it. It appeared to be a youngster and might have just been looking for some new territory. I do hope that it will come back, maybe even start a little colony along my hillside. The hillside is boring and could use a little life.