So it just now occurred to me that I took a huge number of photos on a trip to Chicago a few years back, and somehow neglected to get more than a handful out on the internet to date.

That being said, here’s a shot I took of a Chicago sunrise, partially reflected in the Cloud Gate sculpture (a.k.a. “the bean”) in Millennium Park:


For those interested in visiting, I’ll be writing up a post in the next week or so with tips on photography of and with Cloud Gate; as public sculpture goes, it’s a particularly fun object to work with photographically.

Morning comes to Flores

Sunrise in Flores, Guatemala:

Morning comes to Flores

We didn’t get to spend much time in Flores on our autumn trip to the Yucatan — really, just a night sandwiched between the ruins of Tikal and our flight east to Belize.  But we had a great night on the island, and were greeted in the morning by this amazing sunrise.

The original part of Flores (where we stayed) is an island in Lake Peten Itza — it was once the last Maya holdout (from the conquistadors) in the Yucatan peninsula.  Now the island is connected to the mainland by a causeway, and the town of Flores covers more ground there than on the island.

Morning comes to Victoria

Another shot from our Puget Sound air-/road-trip. This one’s looking back toward Victoria, BC from the ferry headed south to Port Angeles, Washington.

Morning comes to Victoria

This shot would have looked about as nice if the sky had been clear and blue. Still, I like the smooth background light that the light overcast gave the scene. For those of you taking notes, I made this image with an Olympus E-M5 camera with the 12-50mm “kit” lens.

Mesa Arch sunrise

So we recently returned home from an extended weekend trip to Moab, Utah and the surrounding area. If you’re unfamiliar with the neighborhood, “surroundings” in this case means Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

Anyway, it’s been aeons since we last visited Moab — well before I had any decent digital camera gear, so I did my now-usual photographic research before we went. Turns out that one of the “must see” things in the area is sunrise at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands.

So here’s my first go at the sight (I’m still tweaking levels to make it look less-obviously HDRed):

Mesa Arch sunrise

In retrospect, it’s kind of funny how most images of this particular sunrise location focus heavily on the arch — when, from my perspective at least, the arch is best used as a nice frame for the incredibly layered scenery on the other side of it.

By the way, the layers come courtesy of local coal-fired power plants. Coal exhaust haze: lousy for lungs, great for sunrise vistas.

Anyway, from the looks of this, you can’t really tell just how small the arch is. Perhaps this helps:

2010-09-06 2010.09.06 Canyonlands sunrise crowd 7

Since the word is out about this arch, and there isn’t much room to set up in, you’re well advised to get there early (at least 45 minutes before sunrise) if you want a shot exactly at sunrise. At least, if you want to shoot over on the left side. Right side was less crowded the morning I went:

2010-09-06 2010.09.06 Canyonlands sunrise crowd 6

Go figure — the view’s just about as good from the less-crowded right side, too. FWIW, the tripod with the black and red leg padding (in line with the guy in white here) is my rig, firing away with an interval timer.

I scouted out the arch the day before in daylight and marked the parking lot on my GPS navigator — makes life a lot easier in the morning, when you’re driving in the dark with no visual cues. Oh, and bring a spelunker’s flashlight (the kind on an elastic band for your head) — makes it much easier to find the trail to the arch in the dark.