I'm often sitting in my kitchen eating breakfast watching a great sunrise while I tuck into my fruit and fibre. Sometimes I jump up and dash out, down the road and then 50 yards down the farm track to try and grab a shot.
|Stapleford cracking sunrise|
|The farm track disappointing light|
|B&W 6 stop ND filter (long exposure)|
In these circumstances I frequently use my B&W 6 stop or 10 stop ND filter. Lengthening the exposure often brings out the colours in the sky. It also seems to reduce the dynamic range a little meaning you are less likely to clip the highlights. Reds are always the first to clip on Canon cameras, so it's good to check the RGB histogram on your cameras rear screen not just the highlights and shadows.
A little further from home requires a bit more effort. 10 Minutes in the car gets me to Grantchester.
Persistence usually pays off . I always check the weather forecast, favouring times when it looks changeable around sunrise. Two weeks ago I was convinced all was looking good, a frost during the night, clear skies clouding up just around dawn and while driving over to Grantchester in the dark there was a hint of greater things. Alas sunrise came and went without any photo opportunities. I took 3 photos of a frosty puddle then headed home. Last Saturday Phil (a photo friend) had arranged a quick shoot before the Men's Breakfast at Church. We needed to be close to Church which was a little limiting, but what a cracking sunrise.
|River Cam sunrise|
Despite being early and seeing the colour develop I couldn't decide on a good composition. I tried out a few shots looking across Midsummer Common down to the river, but it just wasn't working. In the end I quickly composed a 2 shot panorama looking down the Cam. Later on, back at home, I decided to go for a square crop to exclude the white minibus on the left bank. I was a little disappointed I hadn't been in a better location, but the breakfast made up for it!
I'm still striving for the perfect Cambridge location for sunrise, a few others I've tried out recently include:
|Mullard radio telescopes - just beyond Barton|
|The Cambridge Backs & Colleges|
|Ditton Meadows on a frosty morning|