Morning’s Promise

A normal habit for me when out of town is to rise before the sun and get out to take some long exposure dawn pictures.  It really is a great way to start the day.  A recent stay in Bath, Ontario was no different.

The first day the conditions were not ideal-overcast and dark.  But as we all know, when taking sunset and sunrise pictures, the best colour is found near in the direction of the sun.  So to look on the bright side of an overcast day, at least I was not bound by the location of the sun for composing a picture.

This first picture was taken close to Amherstview, just off Bath Road at a rest stop. The water of Lake Ontario was quite low at the time, so I was able to capture some of the rocks that are usually submerged. The dark clouds, though lacking complete definition, have an ominous feel to them. This is part of the reason I chose not to shoot using the Big Stopper. The water was also pretty calm so the misty effect created by the big stopper would be nonexistent.

where pebble meets rock

Where Pebble Meets Rock
Amherstview, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800 w/ 16-35 f/4 @ 16mm, ISO 100, 1.6 sec at f/11
0.6 ND Hard Grad, B+W Polarizing Filter

The second shot was taken at Lemoine Point Conservation Area, just along the path that loops around the park.

lake ontario rocks

Lake Ontario Rocks
Lemoine Point Conservation Area, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800 w/ 16-35 f/4 @ 16mm, ISO 100, 90 sec at f/11
Lee Filters Big Stopper, 0.6 ND Hard Grad, B+W Polarizing Filter

It really wasn’t until the second day, that I got the best shot, and completely by accident.

On the second day, upon rising, there was clear sky. I always wish for some good cloud formation but that only seems to happen when I’m not in a good spot or don’t have my camera. The lack of clouds made me limit the amount of sky that would be in the shot, because a huge blue sky isn’t all that interesting.  I composed the picture around some rocks in the foreground, slapped on the polarizer to limit the reflection of the water so the pebbles would appear through the water, and added a hard grad for the sky and the big stopper to create a long exposure. The end result of this picture was completely by accident. I had composed, metered, and began taking the picture before the sun had risen. I really didn’t want the sun in the shot.  It was to be an eight minute exposure, however at about three minutes, the sun began to peak over the horizon.  So instead of leaving the shutter open for the entire eight minutes and run the risk of a blown out sky, I closed the shutter and ended the exposure at 6 minutes.  The sun warms up the picture and the rocks substantially and gives brightens the entire mood of the picture.

mornings promise

Morning’s Promise
Heritage Park, Bath, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800 w/ 16-35 f/4 @ 25mm, ISO 100, 360 sec at f/11
Lee Filters Big Stopper, 0.6 ND Hard Grad, B+W Polarizing Filter

So what started as a mistake ended up being the best picture of the weekend.  And while every morning brings the promise of a beautiful new day, sometimes a mistake may just be the perfect start to a day.


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