In the early morning light

Cool August Morning, originally uploaded by ken.udle.

Capturing a sunrise has been a bit of a challenge during the spring and summer. The biggest issue has been time – not finding the time but actually being able to get up out of bed in time to see the sun come up. I did manage it during the May 24th weekend in Algonquin Provincial Park and came close during July as part of a class assignment. For the most part though, rising at 4 or 4:30 for a 5 or 5:15 sun rise has been a bit more than this tired body could manage.

It’s August now and the day starts a little later. On Saturday I was out walking the dog at 6am and even though it was cloudy, I could tell the sun was still very low in the sky. This was a nice surprise as I’d arranged to meet my brother Dave just before 7 for a morning shoot. We decided to stay relatively close to home on account of a golf date with my nephews at 10 but that’s another story.

I hadn’t been to the Mer Bleue (located south of Ottawa in the NCC Greenbelt) since last November – search Flickr for Morning Glow. Dave had never been there before. Ecologically, this is an important and sensitive part of Ottawa. It is the largest bog in Southern Ontario and is home to a wide variety of plant, aquatic and wild-life. Of interest to bird watchers and photographers is the 1.2 km boardwalk that begins at the parking lot, loupes through the bog back through a forested area to the parking lot again. I’ve been there a few times of the years and each visit brings something different.

Capturing the sun rise is not convenient though, even if you’re able to rouse yourself out of bed as early as that. No the parking lot is gated about a km down the road and doesn’t open until 8 am. In November I ignored the no parking signs (if they were there) along the road and walked into the boardwalk. Dave was driving this time and preferred to obey the signs. No matter, the light was still good just after 8 when we arrived on the scene.

We stayed there for about an hour. We both captured the sun’s rays in the distance but from different vantage points. I then switch to a few Marco shots but I don’t know how they turned out just yet. It was good to spend the time with Dave again – it had been a while due to busy schedules and other commitments. We’re nine years apart but share a common interest in photography. Along with our other brother Scott and a cousin Tom in the Toronto area, we’re able to motivate one another to get out there with a camera. We’re all competitive too. We have a year long challenge (Project 52) plus other weekend challenges and I don’t mind admitting that it’s all about winning. No one really cares how hard the others tried, having the best shot is what it’s all about.

There are no stated prizes but you can bet when one of us posts a Macro shot only to find another got closer or produced a tack sharp picture, there is some clenching of teeth, maybe privately but it happens nonetheless. What’s this got to do with early morning sunrises? Tom is killing us with his spectacular sunsets, I’m hoping it’ll be harder for him to get up early in Toronto to catch the sun but knowing him, he’ll just go to Algonquin Park and catch something awesome there.

Well, guess where I’m going in September?

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