Montreal downtown: 10 minutes after sunrise…
is considered a photographic failure when the object is to capture the rising sun.
Last Saturday morning, I decided that it was time for me to shoot my first sunrise ever (I am more of a sunset person…) I made a rookie mistake: I decided to go shoot at a location not previously visited in Mont-Royal Park. Actually, it is probably the most well-known lookout area in the park, located just behind the chalet. Well-known or not, it matters not as I was desperately trying to find the place in the dark, running around with all my gear strapped to my back, up and down the hill. I finally found the place just after sunrise, completely exhausted from the unplanned morning jog. I think I missed a really colorful sunrise as I could see a lot of potential in the skies through the trees.
Here’s a recipe to miss a sunrise:
- Wake up at an unnaturally early time and get out of the house
- Park car as far as possible from destination
- Head in wrong direction. Run as if you knew where you are going
- Realize that you are headed in the wrong way. Return to car
- Repeat steps 3. and 4. multiple times
- Ask for directions when it is too late…
So I got the picture above with the ominous skies as the day had just broken.
Since I do not give up that easy, I returned to the same location the next day on a bone-chilling windy morning, having scoped it out the previous day, to shoot a sunrise. As you can see, the skies were quite different. I got to the spot about 40 minutes before sunrise the capture to first two pictures below. Both are produced from different sets of images, shot at two different focal lengths, but more importantly, they differ in the HDR algorithm used. The first uses the Detail Enhancer whereas the second uses the Tonal Compressor. I kept on shooting as the moments leading to sunrise progressed. I actually left before the official sunrise time as my fingers were freezing. I figured that no picture is worth losing fingers to frostbite.
All that being said, I guess I am still technically a sunrise virgin. I do plan on getting out there again, but maybe not in winter… I am saying that now but when summer rolls around and the sun rises at like 4 AM, I am certain that I will long for missed winter sunrises at 7AM!
Equipment: Canon DSLR 5D Mk II, Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L lens