Sunrise

The house of the rising sun.

I apologize to the rock group of a thousand years ago called The Animals, who’s biggest hit carried the same title as the first line in today’s post.

Normally I include at least a few sunsets to go with the sunrises in a post like this. I likely captured at least 10 sunrises to every sunset I did, so it is fitting that this is all sunrises.  These were made at only a couple of locations.

I should add that I am beginning to omit some of the tech stuff I would have included in an article such as this, like explaining the use of split or graduated neutral density filters to hold back the bright sky or the bright reflections in a pond or lake, so as to keep the entire image in balance. I really don’t see a lot of interest in such today, and be it that I am getting lazier by the moment, I will take the easy way out.

I was always bigger on the dark and moody (like me?) sunrises than the bright and cheerful sorts, although both styles are valid and powerful.

This sunrise was made by a small lake and it held within those clouds some incredibly powerful and downright flamboyant colors and moods.

Normally I continue a day like this after the sunrise by spending an hour or so of photographing dewy webs and insects, and maybe a few dry ones too. After that came wildlife, with birds probably being front and center.

Sometimes the light on the clouds could be so bright that they almost hurt my eyes, yet the land remained in shadow as a series of shapes and forms.

This spot along the shores of Lake Michigan, with its oddly shaped coniferous trees waiting to be silhouetted, beckoned me to visit at sunrise on several occasions. If you create silhouettes on your photographic journey to capture sunrises or sunsets, the shape of those silhouetted objects are almost as important is the sunrise/sunset.

Often, a vertical tree (most do tend to be vertical, ha, ha) or other subject, will become more powerful if you make a vertical image.

Composition matters at least as much when creating silhouettes as it does with other subjects. There are always a variety of ways to compose them.

The first image below is “almost” evenly divided top to bottom. Such images are discouraged as being static in conventional landscape/waterscape image making but with photos that lack detail such as this, there is often a serene calming effect that viewers will find enjoyable.

That does not mean that more images with varying themes of composition are not a wise idea.

Whether they’re reflecting in the water, or merely hanging in the sky, clouds are the “dream weavers” of photography. There is no end to the shapes and styles these gasses come in.

You can use them as crisp counterpoints to an equally crisp tree and prairie, or as if they are a mountain standing above dark but gentle foothills.

Sometimes the clouds themselves are powerful enough, to become a subject in and of themselves. The very dramatic lighting here is really the central subject of the image.

Photography is often less about what we can find to “put in” our mages, than it is to see how much we can leave out. Less indeed can be more. That can frequently be true in life itself. Learning to omit can clean out the clutter that is choking the world.

God Bless,
Wayne
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