County Road 2, Keene, Ontario, Canada by Jim Babbage

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Early mornings and I don't often get along, but the reward of getting up before dawn and watching the sun come up can make the effort very worthwhile. Especially in the autumn, when the light and weather often collaborate to create something magical. As I drove along this country road near my cottage on Rice Lake just after 7am, I was first struck by the rising sun through trees, ethereal shadows forming in the mist-enveloped branches. The effect was stunning, but the scene held too many background distractions. As I turned around to head back to the car, across the road, I was presented with the scene you see here. Perhaps not as visually dramatic, but it struck an emotional chord in me. The vibrant orange maple leaves lit perfectly by the rising sun, and contrasted by the dirt road, fading into the obscurity of the mist. And counter-balancing the shot, past the band of mist, stood the old wooden barn. Perfectly pastoral.

The big challenge was to ensure my shadow remained out of the scene, as the sun was just above the horizon.

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