One extremely smokey morning, thanks to Northwest wildfires, I went trekking for dramatic sunrise photos. The elevated location I'd planned wasn't as perfect as I imagined when I discovered it near sunset. The sun just minutes away from peaking over the eastern horizon, I could now see scores of telephone lines that had not been visible to my naked eye the night before.
I zoomed to my backup location, a highway pullout above Chatfield Reservoir I'd used multiple times because it has trees, which are great for silhouettes, and water, which is great for reflections and a bonus when mist is rising. This was my lucky day! Mist drifted across the mirror-like surface of former gravel pits-turned-ponds.
But another photographer had already positioned himself atop the best mound.
I selected another opening in the trees where I still had a magnificent view so as not to interfere with the other photographer. I waited for the sun to make its appearance, which took longer than I expected, thanks to a low bank of clouds completely hidden by dense smoke. Click, click, click as a sliver of the bright pink orb finally crossed through the murky twilight!
"Hello, Deborah!" I heard as I clicked away.
Initially shocked, and perhaps a trifle nervously cautious, I thought I probably ought to be sociable. Obviously, this other photographer knew me. I just didn't know him.
Until I got closer.
His wife and one of his daughters were at my last girls' camp. He'd mountain biked with my husband. We're friends on LinkedIn. And he was using a drone to shoot the misty, smokey pink and orange sunrise! I'd never seen a drone in real life! It was fun to watch him operate it, and after watching a few minutes (and missing some great reflections on the water) I imagined my flight- and aircraft-loving husband would love flying a GoPro-equipped remote control F-15!
A few more shots of my own, and it was time to make my way back home.
Making my exit, I discovered another gem of a pond I'd never used as a sunrise reflection point. Time to give my clicking finger another heavy workout!
Once again, it was time to make my way home. But then I saw a balloon. And then another. And then yet another.
I'd forgotten this would have been the weekend of the Rocky Mountain Balloon Festival if it still existed.
Area balloonists had not forgotten.
I took a bunch more shots, and once again, I thought I should go home. But then I noticed a skeleton tree full of red-winged blackbirds. If you've never walked by a flock, chattering or murmuration of blackbirds, then you will not understand why I HAD to stop one more time, and attempt to breathlessly, covertly and painstakingly get One. More. Shot.
Should have used the movie function!