At the end of July a local photo group I belong to did a sunrise shoot. Now, fortunately, it was at the beach next to the Magic Hedge, so I could basically roll out of bed, fall into some clothes and get there in like six minutes.
Which would have been important if I'd actually slept that night. I'm not sure why, but my insomnia had been plaguing me so I had a whole... maybe forty-five minutes of sleep before getting to the beach at 4:30.
Now, sunrise is a kind of surreal time to begin with, but it's really trippy when you haven't slept leading into it.
That said, I had a lot of fun experimenting with different long exposures. The sun actually comes up pretty quickly. It went from full dark at a little after 4:30 to full light by 6:00. This means you're constantly adjusting for new light levels, but when you get good weather like we did, it's worth a little time and effort.
|On Alien Shores|
|Where Earth and Sky Meet|
A really long exposure (5 seconds) gives these pylons and the pier a very surreal effect. Because of the long exposure the waves come up on the shore look like they're covered in mist, but it's just the effect of the moving water over time. The layers of color add to the mysteriousness of the shot.
|First Rays of Sun on Lake Michigan|
There's something so very different about the lighting and the feel of a sunrise shoot in Chicago as opposed to a sunset shoot. I think it has to do with two major factors:
1.) Over the course of the day the air quality can change pretty spectacularly. I think the haze that sets in on a hot day with a lot of car traffic and factory pollution in the air it can really change the way the colors in the sky appear when the sun isn't 'up'.
2.) In Chicago the sun rises over the water, but sets behind it. We're west of Lake Michigan so we face the sun when we look over the water in the morning. Shooting the sunset can lead to pretty colors, but you don't actually have *the sun* in your shots and you often have weird things happening with shadows since the sun is coming in low and behind you as you face the water.
|Photograph of Photographers|
Also, trying to get pictures of the sun without actually *looking* at the sun? About as hard as it sounds.
|Do Not Taunt The Happy Fun Balls.|
|Seemingly Black Shores and Pink Skies|
|Early Morning Blues.|
More sunrise pics next. After that, the *amazing* morning of dew-sparkling spider webs in the Hedge.