Sunrise, Sunset

The lyrics from Fiddler on the Roof may at least be part of the explanation for our fascination with sunrises and sunsets.
“Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears.”
Naples, Florida is known for its sunsets, but I hope you will also enjoy my Everglades sunrise photo.

Everglades Sunrise

Everglades Sunrise


Naples Sunset

Naples Sunset


Pier Sunset

Pier Sunset


Under the Boardwalk Sunset

Under the Boardwalk Sunset

#7 – A Tie!

The esteemed panel of judges (aka me), after much deliberation, decided number seven in 2014’s top ten was a tie. The first picture is from Key West, Florida. Chickens are allowed to roam freely throughout the island and dawn-confused roosters crow all day long. It took me a while to find this very frequent disturber of the peace and a lot of patience to wait for a good shot because the rooster liked the shadows.

The second #7 was taken during an early morning sunrise in a field not too far from home. I like the colors of this image and the defiant weed that had not yet succumbed to the beatdown of winds, snow, and sub-freezing cold.
rooster

sunrise and weed

Waldron Road

It wasn’t a very exciting sunrise this morning except for a few pink-laced clouds. But, I wasn’t out for the sunrise. I was looking for that golden hour or two that comes after the sunrise on a clear morning. This morning was supposed to be clear but, in Michigan, mostly cloudy is sometimes about as close as we get.

I was traveling the 15 mile or so stretch of Waldron Road that runs south from U.S. 12 (the old Detroit to Chicago stagecoach route) to U.S. 34. The road is hilly and winding, like many roads in this part of Michigan. It is the kind of area where both old trees and old houses are left to be reclaimed by the earth. At spots along the road where I pulled over to get out and take some pictures, I would put on my flashers for safety. Three times gentlemen stopped to make sure I was okay.

Stepping out into the 33 degree morning, I did have a few moments of golden light and some silhouettes that I liked. The sun hit the hilltops first, then the valleys, and finally the swamp land so common around here. These are a few of this morning’s moments.

Swamp Sunrise

Swamp Sunrise


Reflection Circles

Reflection Circles


Tree, Shed, and Sun

Tree, Shed, and Sun


Log Cabin and Corn

Log Cabin and Corn


Treetops in Sun

Treetops in Sun


Weed, Trees, and Sun

Weed, Trees, and Sun

Haunted House?

Haunted? Probably not. It’s more likely the beginning of settlement on this farm property.
I rarely talk about my shooting process, but here goes. I typically address three questions; sometimes mulling them over and sometimes almost instantly. The questions are 1.) Why does this shot appeal to me?; 2.) Is this the best angle to capture the image?; and 3.) How can I best convey the emotional response this subject raises in me? I have been influenced in these questions by Freeman Patterson (whose work I love!) and Ansel Adams (who still often inspires me, though dead, to consider black-and-white photos).
Here’s how I answered the questions. One. I love the mystical image of the fog, mist, and old wood contrasted with the reflection of the morning sun off of the window. Two. After moving around a bit, I settled on this shot because the light reflected best off of the window, the road draws your eyes to the cabin, and the trees frame the shot. Three. Getting a darker picture with the fog still prominent and the light just starting to break through came as close as I could come to conveying my emotional response.
In processing I preferred the starkness of the black-and-white photo (all I used to shoot), but included the color image for comparison.
Which image connects best with you?

House in Black-and-White

House in Black-and-White


House in Early Morning Color

House in Early Morning Color

Autumnal Sunrise

Pat and I set out early to try and capture some of Fall in Michigan during the golden hour (or two). A great surprise was to come upon a Great White Heron in one of lower Michigan’s many swamp lands. Enjoy.

Corn Stubble

Corn Stubble


Corn Stalks

Corn Stalks


Berries and Leaves

Berries and Leaves


Great White

Great White


Field and Trees

Field and Trees


Fall in the Water

Fall in the Water

T for Two

Pat and I went out in search of gravel roads and all of mysteries they hold, but had a hard time finding gravel roads north of Jackson. What we did find were T junctions . . . at least a couple dozen. It seemed like every road we took ended with a t
We did get some early morning shots of sunrise and dew on the flora.
sunrise
morning dew
fern
We stopped for more coffee but it turned into second breakfast with some very delicious pecan rolls at a small but very busy bakery in Leslie.
bread
We continued our travels and were able to find more photo ops before having lunch at a depot diner.
hollyhock
It was a fun Saturday morning.

Birds of the Everglades

The Everglades, especially in the rainy season, is a slow-moving river 60 miles wide and over 100 miles long. Shaped by water and fire, the Everglades experience frequent flooding in the wet season and drought in the dry season. While we often think of the Everglades as dense marshlands, there are also expansive grasslands throughout the area.

Our (me and Pat) expedition to the Everglades began very early in the hope of getting both sunrise and mist shots over the grasslands. We were successful in our effort as seen in the first two pictures below. We then took a gravel road through much denser swamp areas with occasional openings or “glades”. It was at these small ponds that we were able to get pictures of both birds and alligators (my next post). The captions in the pictures below identify the birds with one exception. If you know the identity of the bird listed as “friend”, I would love to hear from you. I enjoy hearing from you if you don’t know this bird’s identity as well.

Sunrise over the Grasslands

Sunrise over the Grasslands

Morning Mist

Morning Mist

White Ibis

White Ibis

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis

Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret

Egret and Friend

Egret and Friend

Great Egret Neck Extended

Great Egret Neck Extended

Anhinga

Anhinga

Reddish Egret

Reddish Egret

Western Sandpiper

Western Sandpiper

Black Vulture (much rarer than the Turkey Vulture)

Black Vulture (much rarer than the Turkey Vulture)

Florida Scrub-Jay

Florida Scrub-Jay

Young Great Blue Heron

Young Great Blue Heron

Parting Sunrise Shot :-)

Parting Sunrise Shot ๐Ÿ™‚

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