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Tag Archives: sunrise
Like the colors of autumn, wildflowers in July are a ritual in the mountains. And there’s no better place than Albion Basin in Alta, Utah at the head of Little Cottonwood Canyon.
Photographing Albion Basin is a bit daunting, to say the least, simply knowing where to begin. With over 120 species (count em, you’ll see) it’s a spectacular array of color dominated by the bright yellow small mountain sunflowers.
While the wildflowers are a colorful treat to the eyes, they present interesting challenges to the photographer. In the early morning hours, sun paints the mountains while wildflowers languish in the shade. And when the sun breaks through, the reflective light off the bright yellows and whites can easily wash out detail.
This image was made just after sunrise on the mountain tops – over an hour before sunlight would wash across the flowers. It was made with a Manfrotto tripod mounted Nikon D300, f16.0 at 1/13th of a second at ISO 200.
It’s barn season! Yes, a rite of spring when it’s up and out by 5:30 a.m. to get the first glint of light on a rural scene around Park City.
For all of my travels in 25 years around the Wasatch Back, I’m still finding new subject matter. I’ve passed this beautiful scene dozens of times driving from Peoa to Oakley along the Provo River. But this particular Saturday morning, it was aglow as the morning sun broke through the dawn cloud cover to bathe it in golden light.
This particular image was with my favorite Nikkor 10-24mm DX lens on my D300 body.
While there’s nothing super spectacular about the scene, the quality of light frames every aspect. All it really needed were a few more puffy clouds and it would have been a real winner.
I love wandering around Arches National Park. As many times as I’ve been there, I continue to find new places and photographic angles. This past May I was out one morning for sunrise and decided to hike back behind the Courthouse Towers. What a completely different world!
It’s a short hike but a challenge to stay on rock and not damage the soil. Once back there, the entire desert opened onto a slickrock bowl with this wonderful bank of pristine desert sand stretching up to the base of the towers. It was completely aglow in the morning light, with wavy, rippling patterns formed by the wind.
This image is one of my favorites of the year, captured on a tripod with my Nikon D300 and Nikkor 10-24mm lens at about 12mm. Exposure at ISO 200 was 1/50th at f25.
This image is one of my favorites for 2012. You can checkout more on my Flickr Photostream.
Our last morning in Paris and I hope to find just one more memorable photograph. In the pre-dawn hours I grabbed a Velib bicycle and cruised down along the Seine. It was much quieter than it had been just a few hours earlier.
It was not a brilliant morning. Grey clouds blocked much of the sun. But as I rode past the Pont de l’Archevêché and looked back at Notre Dame, I was struck with the pastels in the sky and just a glint of dawn light touching the cathedral.
I made a few initial photographs with the D300 and super wide Nikkor 10mm before switching to the D700 at about 24mm on the zoom. I propped the camera up as best I could on a railing for stability, with no tripod available.
It was okay, I though, and rode away.
Just a few days later I brought the image into Photoshop and saw just how wonderful the light had been. Beautiful pastel skies with grey morning clouds whisping over Paris. Very little direct light but the splash on the east side of the cathedral really helped to make the photograph work.
It was a great way to end a weekend in Paris, spending a morning on the Seine. (c) 2012 Tom Kelly
I love barns. What photographer doesn’t? Barns are prolific in my home state of Wisconsin. So when I’m back there, I love cruising the rolling hills at sunrise searching for a great photograph.
I had spotted this particular farm several days earlier. I made several sunrise trips up there with no success. This particular morning, the shoot was going well with a magical sky and mystical light. But as I photographed the red barn, I noticed all the birds resting on a silo. I immediately changed the shot … and waited.
With camera on tripod (brand new Nikon D700 with Nikkor 70-300mm zoom), I waited. And I waited. Suddenly, the birds flew. The sun reflected off them against the darkened western sky. And the magic of the early morning light through the clouds painted a colorful picture on the silos.
It wasn’t what I came for, but it was a fantastic result and one of my favorite photographs of 2011.
One of my most enjoyable memories of 2011 were the days spent aboard the pontoon on Lake Owen with Bill and Ralph, my guides as I photographed for a pictorial book on the Northern Wisconsin Lake. This particular photograph became my favorite from the moment we turned into this bay one August morning.
Lake Owen has an amazing history, originally settled during the logging boom of the late 19th century. Top to bottom it measures nearly 12 miles with over 1,300 acres.
While I have much background in the Cable Lakes region, I had not spent much time on Lake Owen (other than living in a non-winterized cabin the winter of 1977-78). So as we cruised the bays and channels, I was in constant awe of the scenery.
We were blessed with perfect shooting conditions each day. Making images from a pontoon boat isn’t the most stable, but a tripod, calm waters and good boatsmanship from Captain Bill made it all worthwhile.
Most of the boathouses on the lake date back 50 more years. And with present regulations, you can’t build, remodel or substantively repair the existing structures. At some point in the foreseeable future, they will go away. That will be a sad day.
This particular boathouse struck me for its vivid red with green trim, reflected in the calm sunrise mornings.
The image was made with a Nikon D300 fitted with a Nikkor 70-300 zoom on a Manfrotto tripod.
Early mornings in the desert are a special time. What’s even more special is when there’s puffy clouds floating against the blue western sky. Such was the case this past May during the Moab Photo Symposium in Courthouse Wash of Arches National Park.
It was a lazy morning. A day earlier I had driven in the pre-dawn hour to be in place at Mesa Arch. Today was going to be a bit easier. My favorite morning spot in Arches has always been Turret Arch through the North Window. But as I drove up the switchbacks as the pre-dawn light was tickling the sky, I could see I was in for a treat.
The clouds were racing across the sky, high enough to not block the sun as it crept up over the eastern horizon. The speed of the clouds diminished the opportunity for an HDR. But it wasn’t necessary.
As dawn broke, the clouds initially blocked the sun. But it looked hopeful, so I setup. Then – boom – the skies broke, the sunlight painted Courthouse Tower, and the puffy cumulous clouds literally flew across the sky.
No, it’s not an HDR. But the combination of white clouds against a deep blue sky and the brilliant redrock of Courthouse Towers made it a photograph to remember.
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There is nothing more breathtaking than morning light hitting a snow-capped mountain. This was one of those mornings to just take a break from the hustle-bustle of the opening race of the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup to just look around at the panoramic beauty of Austria’s Tyrolean Alps. The press center at the Soelden World Cup is the most scenic of any sport, anywhere in the world. High up on the Rettenbach Glacier, you can look down into the valley and pillows of fog, or scan the panorama to see glacial ice and snow bathed in low angle light.
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Redrock glows at sunrise as the Colorado River winds its way below Dead Horse State Park towards the confluence with the Green River. (c) 2009 Tom Kelly
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Golden Gate Sunrise
The sun rises over San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.