Urban Sunrise

An early wake up this morning for sunrise photography at Tempe Town Lake paid off!  My alarm went off at 5:30 this morning and I considered turning it off and going back to sleep.  Within a few minutes I heard my coffee pot starting to brew, as I had set it last night to automatically start this morning, and decided to stick to my plan.  Leaving my house early to get to the lake before sunrise, the sky was still dark and I couldn’t tell if there were any clouds.  As I was driving,  my mind started visualizing different compositions for a cloudless sunrise.

Mill Avenue Bridge at sunset with Hayden Mill in the background

Mill Avenue Bridge at sunset with Hayden Mill in the background – click on the image in the gallery below for a larger version

Arriving at the lake much earlier than necessary, I chose to sit in my vehicle for a while as it was chilly this morning.  I was dressed for the early morning temperatures, which are in the low to mid 40’s here in the desert, with my fleece jacket and even gloves.  The shot I had originally visualized is no longer to be made.  A new structure is being built and now blocks part of Hayden Mill.   This shot taken in the summer of 2013 at sunset is one of my favorite urban landscape images.  I was hoping to get a sunrise shot with a similar composition.  But no such luck as not only is a new structure being built, but a very large crane is also a distraction.

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Sunrise at Tempe Town Lake – click on the image in the gallery below for a larger version

However, to the southeast the most gorgeous orange color was starting to show.  Quickly changing locations and using five large cranes as well as new buildings going up for my composition, I decided to make this urban sunrise shot.  The lake was still and the reflection was amazing.  As I was shooting with my 50 mm 1.8 lens, compositions were limited.  At one point I wished my lens was a zoom to about 200 mm as a guy rowing passed right through the brightest part of the orange reflection and would have made a gorgeous silhouette image!

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Abstract image of sunrise at Tempe Town Lake – click on the image in the gallery below for a larger version

As the color was becoming less prominent, I decided to walk along the lake and scout potential sunset shots that would be different from other images I have made at the lake.  When shooting water I like to make abstract images of reflections.  This image was certainly not one I had visualized, but a great surprise as I was wandering along the shore.

 

 

It was now time to enjoy the coffee that was waiting for me in my vehicle.  The stainless steel cup kept the coffee hot enough to warm me up even though it had been in my cold car for over an hour.  My sunrise photography shoot at Tempe Town Lake with a surprise reflection image was over, but I wasn’t done shooting and was rewarded with another unexpected image, which I’ll show in a future post.

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