Monday, August 19, 2013

Sunrise over the Valley

I got it in my head last week that I wanted to find a spot to take sunrise photos.

I love sunrises and sunsets.  I love seeing how the sky changes color.  And how vibrant it can get.  I love how the opposite horizon is affected as well.  And how it's different EVERY time.  No two sunsets or sunrises are the same.

This time of year is great for sunrises.  It's late enough in the morning that I don't have to get up at completely ungodly hours.  It's still warm enough that pants and a sweatshirt are sufficient.  The bay area gets some really iconic fog that makes for fantastic photos - especially with the sun reflecting off it or shining through it.

We live in a valley and really can't see much of a sunrise or sunset.  Gotta climb some hills to really get to a good spot to see one.  Or stand on a freeway overpass.

Friday morning came and I had totally forgot that I wanted to go.  Annie came in the room at 6 and I remembered.  The sun was starting to come up.  I grabbed flip flops and Annie and we ran out the door and went to find a location.  My first location was way up high on a hill.  Unfortunately it was so foggy Friday morning that I couldn't see anything.  I drove down the hill a tad and grabbed a couple shots, but was just barely on a shoulder of a 2-lane road and couldn't really stay there.

So we drove some more.  I saw a road go up a hill and decided to follow it.  It went around a bend and at the top of the hill is a school.  And a parking lot.  And a small field that overlooks the valley.  I parked and Annie and I both got of the out car and we watched the sunrise.  It was fun.  I got a couple decent shots - especially of a really thick patch of fog.  But I felt like I missed the best part of the sunrise.  So I decided to try again the next day.

Saturday morning came and I couldn't sleep.  I was afraid of missing it again.  I grabbed my phone, my camera, my tri-pod and a soda and left.  This time I took the time to get dressed.  I drove off to the same place as the day before.  I was up earlier and knew where to go, I was sure to get some better photos this time.  Unfortunately, I didn't have the fog that I had the day before.  So the photos weren't as mysterious and glowy.  But the sun was neat.

Watching the sunrise made me feel like the neighbor boy from The Incredibles.  Mr. Incredible says, "What are you waiting for?"  The boy replies, "I don't know!  Something AMAZING!"  Yeah ... that's how I felt.

Stood there waiting.  Snapping a photo here and there.  Then watching and waiting.  How was the light going to change?  How were the clouds going to reflect the light?  What color would it be?  Will I get "God-Rays?"

It was absolutely gorgeous.  I loved it.  Spectacular.

I only hope my photos did it justice.

The fog from Friday Morning's outing

Sunburst from Friday 

dublin hills sunrise panorama.jpg
Sat AM Panoramic - built in Photoshop Elements, processed in LR



I love this one.  I love the way the mist and the light make it feel like the Serengeti or somewhere ominous.  Anywhere. Can't see the city.  Can't see the field. 

(I'm struggling with editing/processing sunrise and sunset photos in LR.  Trying to get the colors right and to get the right balance of light and dark.  I tried a bracketed set for HDR, but it didn't work right.  Also have a hard time remembering what the light looked like to properly process in LR.)

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