The Sunrise That Nearly Never Was

February 19, 2012  •  3 Comments

I went out early this morning to photograph what I hoped would be a nice wintery sunrise. Leaving the house at 6.30am the sky looked promising but as I approached the coast I could see a thick band of stormy looking cloud hanging over the sea. I tried a couple of favourite haunts along the coast but there was nothing, the sun was shrouded by the cloud. 

I was about to go for some breakfast and call it a day when I thought I would try another spot, on Scarborough's South Bay, near the Spa. As I pulled the car up I suddenly felt optimistic that maybe, just maybe, I would get the shot I wanted. I made my way across the wet sand to some rocks that would make a good foreground. I waited, and waited and then suddenly the sun started to peep around the stormy clouds. I was treated to a stunning display which lasted maybe 5 or 10 minutes at most. 

My camera was set up already and waiting, the Canon 17-40 F4 lens set nice and wide, a narrow aperture (F16) to keep everything in shot in focus and of course, most importantly, filters ready. I used a Hitech 3 stop reverse ND grad to pull back the sky (for non photographers this has a dark band across the middle to stop the sun being too bright and going pure white). I also used a Cokin 3 stop solid ND filter to slow the water down, this also has the side effect of a slight magenta colour cast which suits this kind of shot.

I had chance to squeeze off 4 or 5 shots with different compositions, this was my favourite, I like the patterns in the sand in the very foreground leading your eye to the rocks, I also like how the sun's rays came through the clouds below the sun.

As quickly as the sun had come then the moment had gone, the sun came into clear sky and the light became quite harsh.

I retired to quickly process the shots before leaving for work.

The Sunrise That Nearly Never Was - available to buy as a print or canvasThe Sunrise That Nearly Never Was


Comments

Mark Mullen Photography
Thanks John, glad you like it.

Davide, I did very little in Photoshop, a little curves to bring out the contrast, some dust spotting (a hazard of shooting at small apertures) and some noise reduction with Noise Ninja. The raw file was processed in Capture One Pro in which I gave it a touch of saturation, contrast and corrected the white balance. I also gave it some clarity which brings out the details in the rocks. I'm glad you like it.

Thank you both for the positive comments.
davide(non-registered)
Hi!
Great shot...But did you also heavily processed the shot in photoshop? Or was the shot in the camera almost like this?
I love learning about photography...thank you

davide
John Patrick(non-registered)
Beautiful. The surprise ones are often the best and it just shows you have to be out there when the moment happens.
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