28 November 2017

Sunrise Passion

A couple of weeks ago, I captured a full-sky sunrise that made me wish I'd brought along my Big Gun fancy Nikon and my fisheye lens. I carried the fisheye with me every day after that, hoping for a repeat sun and cloud performance. On November 19, the dark predawn sky revealed a narrow band of clear horizon and no stars above.

I was finally going to get my chance!

My dear, sweet Lizard had bought me a Gorillapod a week earlier specifically so I could shoot a time lapse sunrise on my way to work without having to lug around the wonderful, big, heavy, sturdy, dependable tripod he bought me for Christmas last year. I'd carried the Gorillapod in my backpack each day after he bought it, but sunrises didn't cooperate until November 16. I didn't pull it out that day because the color began exploding too quick, and I didn't want to miss a single frame.

On November 19, I didn't have to be at work, and I was finally going to get to try out the Gorillapod, too!

I'd planned to return to the picnic table at Chatfield Reservoir I'd photographed earlier during my November Reign project because I could get great reflections, and I could set up the Gorillapod on the table so I didn't have to sit down on the ground to look through the viewfinder.

Little did I know, the tide was high, and the table's feet were now under water. Frozen water.

I braved the ice, punching through and completely immersing my feet while trying to be careful not to slip on the ice while fully loaded with cameras, gloves, sunglasses and the Gorillapod. Oh, well. I've survived worse. I could still make this dream shoot happen.

The cloud bottoms began turning maroon and bright orange as I set up the point-and-shoot Nikon on the Gorilla pod on the table. I snapped a couple of shots with the fisheye while I worked. The fisheye wasn't as satisfying as I'd anticipated, but it caught a unique (to me) view.

After setting up the point-and-shoot, I pulled out my phone. I've got a special app that allows me to remotely shoot the little camera with the phone, preventing camera movement. I turned on the phone, selected the camera, then repeatedly tried to fire the point-and-shoot by pressing the little button on the phone. Nothing was happening. The clouds were now crimson, and I was missing out. Meanwhile, another photographer just down the beach a little way was firing away, click, click, click... And his feet were dry. He was on the sand with two big tripods.

My big tripod was in my car, but it was too late for that now. I turned off the phone and turned it back on, hoping the camera would sync up again, but I couldn't get the two pieces of modern technology to communicate at all.

I tried to turn off the camera, thinking a reboot would fix everything. The camera wouldn't turn off. I picked it up, Gorillapod and all, and slid open the battery compartment, detached the battery long enough for the camera to power down, then replaced the battery, closed the compartment and set up the Gorillapod again. The sunrise was now in full blaze glory. I shot another frame with the fisheye. This time, I put the horizon straight across the center of the frame to avoid curvature.

It's not a bad shot at all. But I think I'd hoped for more color and less darkness around the edges. Even cropped tightly, there is still a lot of deep, dark blue.

The phone had gone back to sleep, so I turned it on once again and reconnected to the camera's wifi. The horizon wasn't level, and I was photographically missing the sunrise. I detached the camera's wifi, picked up the camera with Gorillapod still attached and began shooting the sunrise. I decided to try the Big Gun on the Gorillapod, even though I knew the good camera was too heavy for this particular model of Gorillapod, which was made for small, lightweight cameras.

The big camera flattened the Gorillapod, I was still missing the sunrise, and my feet were as frozen as the camera had been!

Off came the Gorillapod, into my coat pocket it snuggled, and both cameras took wing as I (successfully, thank heavens) tried to fly across the ice without falling. Around my neck both camera straps landed, a super no-no now with two collapsed cervical discs. But I had to put on my gloves. I couldn't take the cold anymore. My fingers were frozen, and I couldn't remedy the situation with cameras in hand. Yes, my neck hurt, but my fingers were now covered!

I walked along the beach to stay warm as I took shots with both cameras, occasionally removing a glove to manipulate camera controls. My fingers would get icy cold again. I was shivering. I couldn't wait to get back to my car. What a morning this was turning out to be!

Until I got home and downloaded both cameras. When you snap awesome sunrise shots, it doesn't matter how many times the camera and/or phone screw up or how cold fingers and toes become.

What matters is the eye-popping shots so delicious, you can't wait to go out again the next day and do it all over again!


  1. Sure some amazing shots indeed. Wow, you'll do anything to get them. Ice, cold hands and feet, sore neck. Dedication.

  2. Really outstanding photography.


Dusty words lying under carpets,
seldom heard, well must you keep your secrets
locked inside, hidden deep from view?
You can talk to me... (Stevie Nicks)

All spam is promptly and cheerfully deleted without ever appearing in print.

If you are unable to leave a comment and need to contact me, please use the email address in the sidebar. Thank you!

Related Posts with Thumbnails