When the sun is just below the horizon, there is an infinite number of factors that can affect what the light will be like. From humidity, temperature, clouds or lack of them, as well as their structure, placement, altitude, recent weather…the list can go on and on. Even when conditions seem ripe for a good sunrise, some of these can inhibit the color or direction of the sun’s rays; whether they will reach those beautiful clouds you see, and even if they do, what color will result. So half the fun of shooting sunrises or sunsets is just the anticipation of what might be possible.
This morning when I woke up and peaked out the window, I noticed some pretty neat clouds and thought they might be just right for a good sunrise. The only problem was it was already too late for me to drive to the closest possible destination nearby; sunrise was in about 15 minutes and I was still in my “sleeping attire”. But I grabbed my gear and tripod and headed out the door anyway because I was wearing gym shorts and didn’t really have to change, and started walking toward an open area near a main road a few hundred yards away. But I still had intrusions in the sky and was a bit limited in the distance of my view. Then I realized I could climb the huge mound of dirt that was piled up about 40 feet at a new home development across the way which would get me above everything and give me a pretty clear 360-degree view. When I reached the top, the clouds were just catching the first hint of pink. If I had taken the time to change before going out of the house, I would have missed that light. I was pretty excited as I clicked off a few shots for a panorama anticipating the wondrous things to come as more and more of the clouds would begin to glow with that rich pink color I always lust for.