Dawn’s early light

It’s back to school time, and not to be outdone by those who are less than half my age, I’ve enrolled in an online class that will run through the end of October. The first class has to do with using available light in dramatic ways, and of course the light is most dramatic as the sun is coming up and going down. So, I’ve made a deal with myself: if I’m up before the sun on the weekends – which happens more often than you’d guess – and there’s a chance that there’s more sun than clouds, then I’ll head outside. This may not work so well once the temperature heads below freezing, but the chances of having much sun then are pretty low, too. Since I don’t have a lot of experience being both awake and outside so early, my ventures so far have been hit and miss. That said, here are some of the scenes I’ve been greeted with, along with one late-afternoon shot that I can’t resist including:

Before sunrise

Yesterday's foggy morning led me to focus on other things besides the sun. Treman Marina, Ithaca


A beautiful sunrise... need a better setting for it

Morning goose

Flying into the sunrise

Belted Kingfisher

This Belted Kingfisher won't stay still during the day, but he posed for me this morning

The heron tree

The heron tree, lit by the morning sun

Rock star spider

A rock star spider, backlit by last night's setting sun



  1. Thanks for the comments! I cropped it to about 1/3 its original size but otherwise it’s pretty much SOOC.
    I noticed a few weeks ago that spiderwebs get kind of prism-y in the late afternoon sun. Then I noticed a few days ago that there were a lot of spiderwebs along one of the bridges near my office… so last night I went over there around 6 PM with my macro lens. This particular spider had built his web between two poles that were about 2 inches apart, and had attached part of it to a cross-pole that was an inch closer to me – hence the 3D effect. So – it was all luck and timing. 😉

  2. Since the Sun rises later as the year goes on, you should have lots of good opportunities. Golden hour time is wonderful and you are off to a great start. Have to agree with the others, that spider web shot is unique and well done.

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