Sunday, July 5, 2009

First Dawn Shoot of the Trip

It's always a pain to wake up at 5 (or earlier) to catch some shots at dawn, but always worth it. A peak out the window showed promise with some early morning mist and overcast skies. By the time I got out the door it started to clear, but the first thing that caught my attention was the street. Very quiet and moody:

Getting out to the lake area the sky was showing promise - sun was already breaking through so I grabbed this before heading down to the pier.

One of the pier lamps was setting the rocks and trees glowing, classic contrast of warm orange against cool blue. If I were Joe McNally I would have lit the trees like that myself.

The sun was starting to break and I had to get myself set up for the standard rock-foreground shots that pretty much make themselves here. Clear Lake got it's name for a reason - the water allows a clear view of the rocks stretching out from the pier into the distance. I stack a neutral density filter to slow down the shutter and smooth out the water, plus an ND grad to balance the sky and foreground. Voila - instant Clear Lake shot. Here are a few variations on a theme:

Now, remember my post from yesterday waxing poetic about looking around? Well, in the process of capturing the last shot above I turned to look in the direction I originally started shooting from. I breathed three words: Oh. My. God.

Unfortunately this picture still doesn't do justice to the real thing. I scrambled to relocate and recompose and grabbed what I could. I'm not an outdoorsman, but I sure enjoy the solitude of morning shoots and seeing stuff like this. It's pretty surreal.

By this time I figured enough rocks but thought this looked interesting - would have been better were I to have shot it earlier when the sun was in full bloom to frontlight these trees and rocks against the framed distance shore. This was the last gasp, however, as a pretty heavy fog started setting in.

Last but not least, to conclude the morning shoot I had to grab this misty bridge shot. I saw it in black and white from the get go. Incredibly I had to wait for someone to get off the bridge despite the early hour. Guess I wasn't the only nut out this morning. Had the Sigma 10-20 at full wide thus the apparent topling of the rails. I'll straighten those puppies out when I get back to a computer with some horsepower.

More to come throughout the trip. Don't know how much I'll be able to keep up.

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