scott bean photography
Iced Over Pano
Iced Over Pano

(7 shot stitched panorama: each frame ISO 100, 10mm, f/8, 1/25)

At the risk of “TMI”, I’ve been working on developing some better habits for 2014, one of which is setting a regular sleep schedule and getting up at 6:30 a.m. I haven’t been much of a morning person so the first week of this was rough, but now I’m starting to enjoy getting up early. It is nice to start the day off with some quiet time first. Anyway from a photography perspective getting up early has allowed me to get out and photograph some beautiful sunrises this year. In fact, my first trip out and about with my camera in 2014 was to photograph sunrise .

This past weekend I photographed sunrise on both Saturday and Sunday morning and both sunrises were spectacular.  I was a bit later getting out the door on both days than I had planned on and as I was driving out of town on Saturday the sky exploded with red color about 15 minutes before sunrise. I ended up at the River Ponds area below the dam at Tuttle Creek Lake because it was close by and I was hoping to make a few photos before the red color was gone (the River Ponds is just outside Manhattan, Kansas and not far from my house).


Pre-Dawn photograph from the River Ponds at Tuttle Creek Lake.
Pre-Dawn Color

(ISO 100, 24mm, f/8, 1/30)

The photograph above is the first image I made Saturday morning and the color in the sky was already fading at this point as the sun was just coming over the horizon. Still an amazing view though.

Sunrise and the Shoreline of the River Ponds
Rocks and Color

(ISO 100, 10mm, f/13, 1/6)

As the sun continued to rise I worked my way along the shoreline composing a few photographs of the rocks along the shoreline and the rising sun.

Leaf and clouds at sunrise
Melting In

(ISO 100, 10mm, f/11, 1/30)

By this time the sun was up and the sky had lost all its pre-dawn color, but the patterns of the clouds and the light in the sky was still very interesting. As I was moving along the shore I was looking for interesting leaves that were visible on top of the snow (thinking about some of the images I had made on my first sunrise trip in 2014.

I found one leaf that looked like the snow underneath it had started to melt before the surrounding snow had, forming a cradle of sorts under the leaf. I used my widest angle lens and got down very close to the leaf and framed some shots with the interesting cloud patterns in the background. I really liked this composition and this was my favorite of Saturday’s outing.

Not to be outdone, Sunday’s sunrise was also fantastic (and I was also a bit later leaving the house than I had intended) and also had some brilliant reds lighting up the sky about 15 minutes or so before sunrise. I hurried back to a different location at the River Ponds and again quickly starting shooting before the colors changed as the sun came up.

Sunday morning sunrise at the River Ponds near Manhattan, Kansas.
A Sunday Sunrise

(ISO 100, 10mm, f/11, 1/10)

The photograph above was my second image of Sunday morning. Not a bad sunrise at all.

 A leaf photographed at sunrise at the River Ponds near Manhattan, Kansas.

(ISO 100, 10mm, f/11, 1/20)

After Saturday’s fun shooting the leaves on the snow, I started looking for interesting leaves on Sunday. The wind was blowing on Sunday though and it seemed like each time I got my camera set up and in position the leaf I was trying to photograph would blow away. I finally found the really large leaf in the photograph above and set up to shoot it. True to form, the wind came up and moved the leaf. At this point I picked the leaf up and moved it closer to the edge of the lake where it as a bit more sheltered and I made the photograph above.

Stitched Panorama of sunrise at the River Ponds near Manhattan, Kansas.
Blown Onto The Ice

(5 shot stitched panorama: each frame ISO 100, 10mm, f/11, 1/30)

I finished up shooting along the shoreline by making the above 5 shot panorama. I really liked the way the leaf that had blown out onto the ice was catching a bit of the sunrise. I was lucky that I had a lull in the wind to get my camera set up on my pano head and all the shots for the panorama made before the wind moved the leaf.

So far getting up earlier in the morning has really paid off for me, photographically and on several other fronts. I’m looking forward to seeing what sunrise will bring this coming weekend.  If you are so inclined, getting out and watching sunrise is not a bad way to kick off your weekend.

( View more of my work at my web galleries and if so inclined, purchase a couple of prints!)

Scott (249)