"Its all about the light, being at the right place at the right time, make the effort" these are all phrases that are synonymous with photography and are indeed words of advise that are well headed. However there is also a lot of planning involved in a successful shoot, scouting the location, being mindful of the weather and ensuring you have all the right equipment on hand.
Most of the above was relevant for me on a brisk early morning Landscape Photography shoot in Nyanga, Zimbabwe as I was strolling down from our lodge to the waters edge, in the dark and cold. The weather had been terrible for the past 4 days and this was my last opportunity to have a go at getting a decent sunrise shoot in as we where leaving that day. The weather reports the previous evening had been vague at best but inclined more towards the weather clearing a little and thankfully when I had a peek out of the window at 445 am the rosy stain of pre-dawn was lighting up the horizon.
A short trudge through the mist and the damp grass saw me at my pier which I had scouted the previous day and worked out that the sun should rise just to the right of the end of the pier, allowing me to use the pier as a great leading line to draw the eye to the stunning colours in the sky.
I must say that I personally prefer the above landscape photography as the silkiness of the water and the cloud detail that is being reflected adds an extra layer of dynamism to the amazing colours in the sky. The portrait version below is no less dramatic but somehow just not my favourite, which one do you prefer? Leave a comment below and let me know!
The pre-dawn magentas and blues didn't disappoint and got richer and richer as the sun rose closer to the horizon, and then started to quickly and dramatically loose their saturation as the sun started to tip over the horizon. At the same time the clouds started to close ranks and in the space of 30 minutes my sunrise has been overshadowed by the persistent clouds.
So I can testify that the old adage's mentioned at the start of this blog are correct, and that if you want to create great sunrise shots then you have to make the effort and get up early as well as be prepared and scout your locations before you shoot!
Where: Loch Conn, Connemara Lakes, Nynaga Zimbabwe
How: Manfrotto tripod, Nikon D800 with 16-35mm shot at 16mm. ISO 50 f16 @ 5 seconds