For shooting sunrise, I like to be at location at least forty-five minutes early to watch the sky shift from the dark blue of night, to the oranges and pinks of dawn. This is one of the reasons why I go camping. Since I do not sleep well bedded down in a tent, it is the perfect way to ensure I will be up well before dawn to capture the sunrise. If conditions are right, I just stay up all night, photographing sunset, the night stars, and sunrise, then doze the day away.
Every summer, I search out new state parks to stay at for a few days. This year, I chose Crown Point Campground on Lake Champlain for a two-night stay. Our campsite was only steps away from the Champlain Bridge, which crosses from New York State to Vermont. Across the street were the ruins of a eighteenth century fort, originally constructed by the French to hold the narrowest part of the lake against the Iroquois, then taken and held by the British until the American Revolution. It was from this point that I watched the sun rise on the Fourth of July.
As the sun began to crest the horizon, its rays reflected off the bank of clouds that had gathered in the east, brightening the dark mass with a vibrant pink. Using a neutral density filter and shooting with an ISO of 100 and an aperture of f/16, I was able to get a thirteen-second exposure. This long exposure stilled the choppy water of Lake Champlain enough to reflect the stunning oranges and pinks, which contrasted nicely against the grey of the clouds.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor