Making photographs, not just taking them – Dundee, Tayside, Scotland

Winter Sunrise

As luck would have it when the first frosty night of the year arrived I just happened to have the day off work the next day.  This presented a very rare opportunity to get out with the camera early knowing it would be a crisp clear sunrise.  An opportunity I couldn’t resist.

So the night before I checked a couple of apps on my phone to see what time sunrise would be, all came back consistently as 08:22.  No rush to get up I think, how wrong could I be.  Looking out the window at 07:00 I discovered the sky was already reasonably light and colourful, not great considering I really wanted to be on location under those conditions.  Of I ran around the house getting warm clothes on, collecting camera gear then off out to scrap the ice off the car.

By the time I got to my destination (not far from home) this was the light levels, much closer to sunrise than I wanted:

Quickly setting up I managed to get some shots of the very quiet scene capturing the colour of the sky:

But within only a few minutes the scene changed dramatically and I set up again to record how fast things were changing as the sun appeared over the horizon.  These images were taken over only 8 minutes so illustrate how fast the sun rose:

While I’m happy enough with the above shots, I’m still kicking myself for not getting up and on location much earlier.  My real intention was to get some very low light long exposure shots, the longest from the above was probably 1/4 second (nowhere near long exposure).  What I’m taking from this is that despite the fact I knew that sunrise would be 08:22 and that the ‘golden hour’ is from sunrise, I really need to plan in the future that the actual sunrise time is when I’ll be thinking about packing up and going home after getting the shots I want.


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