Partly Sunny, 21 Degrees, Northwest Winds 5 – 10 mph.
The sun was shining through gaps in the clouds when I left the house this morning. The air was clear and the temperature a bit cold, though not unpleasant with the sunshine. The sun was up in the sky although with daylight savings, it was lower than it has been for a while. This made the light for photography better.
Yesterday I had wished for my wide angle lens when I was trying to shoot the sunrise so today I took it with me and carried the tripod as well. I was thinking of shooting the sunrise again, but this time with the sun (ha ha ha). I carried the collapsed tripod in my right hand, the camera and lenses in a small pack, and Jamie was in my left. This is not a bad arrangement.
Once at the woods, I set up for the road shot I always start out with. I was using a nice low ISO, a stopped down aperture for depth of field, and mirror lockup to minimize vibration. This was all good for shooting the road and the sunrise, but of course as I’m making all of these settings a flight of four Sand Hill Cranes flew over making their incredible calls. I considered trying to change all the settings to shoot a fast moving target free hand, but it just wasn’t possible. They were obscured by trees anyway, but one of these days I want to capture them. They are remarkable looking in the air.
With the sunrise on my mind and the camera set up for long exposures on a tripod, I just walked straight down to the woods and the marsh. Taking the tripod definitely tends to limit what I look at and what I shoot. When I’m shooting freehand I look at everything I pass and take a lot of shots out of curiosity. I’ve really enjoyed that over the last month or two, but today the sun was rising fast and I wanted to get down there and shoot it before it was too high in the sky.
It was too late for any early sunrise color, but the sun was burning through broken cloud and it wasn’t a bad look. I shot a number of shots, moving around to different places on the trail, shooting through the pine arbor down by the marsh and shooting the sun across the marsh and the copse of trees over there. I shot a number of images with the trail in view and some tighter shots without.
There was a cool sparkle of tiny snow flakes in the air that I hope will show in a print. It won’t show on screen here. This is not what I would call “snow”. Rather than falling from clouds, these particles are tiny bits of moisture condensing and freezing in the air down at ground level. It’s something usually seen at very cold temperatures, down near zero, but it was there today and added a little magical touch. I hope it shows.
I tried a few more shots back in the pine grove, but I didn’t see much that I liked. I am definitely finding that after a month and a half of shooting every day in this wintry environment I’m running out of fresh ideas. I can do more of what I’ve been doing, of course, but with shooting every single day, I am losing energy for that.
I’ve been reaching out to new locations well off the trail, but not finding much even there. I probably need a break, but Jamie needs to walk every day and I don’t want to miss any interesting weather or lighting conditions, so I’m going at it every day.
The light is much nicer now with the sun lower in the sky. That’s helping some, but I should get up earlier if I want to catch the magic hour. I’m probably catching only the last ten or fifteen minutes of it. I don’t expect a lot from today’s pictures, though there were a couple that looked good through the viewfinder. We shall see as I edit today.
I actually got some hard new yesterday that I’m still trying to sort through. I’m not quite sure what it means yet, but I don’t think it’s good. I’d write about it here, but I’m afraid it would be lost at the end of this post, so I’ll write a separate post about it and post later today. Stay tuned.