Dawn’s Early Light
I’m lazy. I admit it. I have a cushy bed. It’s warm. Leaving it is hard.
But lately I’ve been doing what serious photographers do – getting up when it’s dark in order to get photographs in that lovely light. Civil twilight. Damned if I know why they call it that.* Pre-dawn is damned uncivilized if you ask me.
It is worth it though.
This one was shot in a conservation area. It’s a bog and the wooden platform trail snaking in rests directly on the water. Low-topped shoes not recommended. The sky was completely unimpressive, but waiting for the sun to crest and kiss the tops of the snow-covered trees was worth it. This snow came right after a warm fall so the reflection was a bonus.
Another morning I felt ambitious and went to a lake I used to live across from. I hoped the beaver lodge would still be there, but had no idea that we’d still have open water. Sweet. Some would have cranked the color on this, but I think the subtle approach is best.
I don’t know if I’ll be this diligent come summer when the sunrises are earlier. For now, driving an hour to the coast is still doable. If I have my thermos of coffee that is. This one is from Great Bay, a tidal estuary with more coastline than our actual beach coastline. Once again the sky was dull as dirt, but the foreground had stuff going on. I was really pleased with the color reflected in the snowline.
The next time out had promise. A small-town river scene. Somehow it didn’t come together. Compositionally nothing really worked, but once the sun came up I shifted position and got this one. The colors weren’t strong enough to stand on their own so I did a sepia treatment with added grain in Lightroom. I think it works.
I really hate it when I miss the good colors. Walking through the woods I could see the sky get pink and orange and I tried to hurry, but by the time I reached the frozen pond it was all over. But the clouds persisted and they were so cool, I didn’t feel so bad. There are other shots without the low horizon included, but they feel adrift and sloppy. This is the one that works.
So hopefully I’ll still haul my butt out of bed and be able to witness and hopefully share the glorious light.
* Yes, I do know why they call it civil twilight…I was just being silly. Doesn’t change the fact that dawn comes too damn early.