Posts Tagged ‘sunrises’

Agawa River at sunrise_3316Agawa River at Sunrise in Ontario’s Lake Superior Provincial Park

I arrived home from my jaunt to Ontario’s Lake Superior Provincial Park late Wednesday night. My brother Gregg, founder of WorkCabin, Canada’s largest eco-friendly environmental jobsite, accompanied me on the trip, which brought back memories of how we use to wander off deep into the forest to explore the woodlands around the family cottage near Parry Sound, way back in our early teenage years. On Wednesday morning the alarm clock rang out at 5:00 a.m. and I walked down to the Lake Superior shoreline to assess the skies for any possible sunrise opportunities. I could see some low-level, alto-cumulus clouds forming. These clouds are typically characterized by parallel bands or rounded masses, and when present have the potential to create stunning sunrise imagery. I decided it was best that we head over to the Agawa River to see if we could capture a couple of sunrise images before departing for home. The decision to head to the Agawa River was bang-on as the skies were on fire about half an hour after we arrived on the scene, well prepared for the action. Without a doubt this was the most beautiful sunrise I have ever witnessed. Now, if only a bull Moose could have been standing in the river.

To hold back the intense glow of the sunlit skies I used my Singh Ray 2-stop Graduated Neutral Density Filter on either my Nikon 24-85mm lens or my new favorite lens the Nikon 18-35mm attached to a Nikon D800.

The three images in this post represent the transitions in the sunrise, from it’s most intense glow to the moment the color began to disappear.

Please click on each of the images to see the larger, sharper versions and let us know which is your favorite of the three.

Agawa River at sunrise_3320Agawa River at Sunrise in Ontario’s Lake Superior Provincial Park

Agawa River at sunrise_3324Agawa River at Sunrise in Ontario’s Lake Superior Provincial Park


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Tiny Marsh at sunrise (3-stop reverse graduated filter)

On Friday morning I made a quick trip up to Tiny Marsh for some sunrise photography. Tiny Marsh, located just west of Barrie, Ontario, is one of my favorite destinations for sunrise photography and wetland wildlife images too. Don’t let the name fool you, this is a very large wetland. The wetland section of this location is 600 hectares in size and is surrounded by 300 hectares of forest and fields. It is managed, in part, by Ducks Unlimited Canada. This was my first visit to the marsh this year as I have been too busy to get here sooner. I often arrive long before sunrise to allow time to walk out across the wetland trails to be where I want to be when the show begins. It is always a pleasure to listen to the sounds of the marsh as it awakens with the new day. Black Terns, Pied-billed Grebe, Osprey, Trumpeter Swans, Least Bitterns, Otters and many other critters abound here.

I have begun to use a Singh Ray 3-stop reverse graduated filter for sunrise photos where the sun is just above the horizon. The reverse graduated filter does a wonderful job at holding back the bright sun as it rises above the horizon. This filter yields more pleasing results for these type of images as opposed to using an ordinary graduated filter.

Tiny Marsh at sunrise (3-stop reverse graduated filter)

While waiting for the sun to rise don’t forget to look over your shoulder. Often you will find some rather pleasing colors in the sky. For the image below I used a combination of a Singh Ray 2-stop soft edge graduated filter with a Singh Ray Color Intensifier. The original image was composed with some wild rice poking into the foreground. To include the cloud formation reflections I was forced to include them in the composition and then evict them later in post processing.

Tiny Marsh (Singh Ray 2-stop grad filter & Color Intensifier)

As I was walking out along the wetland trail towards my car, the sun was much higher in the sky and broke through an opening in the cloud cover producing rays of light that shone down on the wetland. For the image below I used a 2-stop graduated filter and a Cokin Blue and Yellow Polarizing Filter. I don’t particularly like using the blue and yellow filter, but do find that it has its place when used sparingly. Often when using this type of filter with digital capture some adjustment to white balance and color temperature is required. If you are interested in using this type of filter I would suggest you purchase the Singh Ray version (I keep putting it off, but need to replace the Cokin one with this one) which is called ‘Gold-N-Blue” and to use if effectively refer to Darwin Wiggett’s blog entry at Focus on Singh Ray Filters.

Tiny Marsh (2-stop grad filter & Cokin Blue & Yellow polarizer)

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Here is a recent sunrise image from Tiny Marsh near Elmvale, Ontario. Tiny Marsh is one of my favorite wetlands to shoot at sunrise. Despite its name, Tiny Marsh is quite large at approximately 600 hectares making it an important wetland in south-central Ontario for migrating waterfowl. It was once drained for agriculture, but through the efforts of conservation organizations it is now a flourishing wetland once again and a popular spot for birding, naturalists and duck hunting when in season.

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