You may be wondering - why call this Blog "Up At Dawn"? Well, it seemed to fit my preference for getting up at the crack of dawn, even while on vacation. After 30 years of getting up before dawn for my regular job, it's kind of hard to just "turn it off" even while on vacation. And since I try to incorporate my landscape photography into vacations, getting up early isn't really a problem.
Since I'm up early anyway, why not take advantage of the golden hour. There's a certain magic that happens when I'm getting set up, waiting for the sun to rise in a beautiful location such as the South Tufa of Mono Lake. As popular as this place is, many is the time when I've had the whole place to myself. Watching God's big show is an amazing experience! There's such a short amount of time to make sure everything is set up and to make some photos, and to watch the drama unfold. This can be especially wonderful if there are some clouds since this really adds some color and texture to the sky. And before your know it, it's over. The funny thing is that as I'm packing up, I've seen several "photographers" running to try and take some photos after the golden light is gone.
There is another opportunity at sunset, but that can depend on where you are. Since the light is coming from a different direction it may or may not work to your advantage. One of the best examples is the photo of the ocean and pier at the top of my blog. This is really an image of the Pacific Ocean at sunset. A great time for this location, but since this isn't dawn I guess I need to change the photo.
I'll leave you with this shot, sunrise at the Alabama Hills. The golden light really really brings these rock formations to life. The sun rises slowly over the White Mountains in the east, and starts painting everything in warm golden light. You really need to be there yourself to see what I mean!