This is a one minute exposure of Sunrise on the Manatee River in Bradenton. People that show up here for a morning walk see a version of this every day. I'm not a regular so for me it's an extra special treat. One thing for sure, the sunrise walkers are super friendly. I must have had half a dozen people come up and say good morning while I was taking pictures. It was like they had organized a welcome committee. It was awesome.
Most mornings the river is smooth like glass and the long exposure has a tendency to make it look even more so. The clouds were moving towards me and you can see a little of that action at the top. All in all I like how this turned out and there was very little I did to adjust the final image. I love editing photos but in some cases the original speaks for itself and needs very little help.
I came here looking for a totally different shot. I thought the clouds would be fuller and all lit up with the warm glow of the sun. For whatever reason that never happened. Being flexible is key to photography, especially if you shoot landscapes outside. You just never know for sure what you'll get. In this case I got an unexpected scene and about a half dozen good mornings.
What do you call a place that starts the day with a sunrise and ends with nature's fireworks? I call it Florida in summer. Normally the thunderstorms come in the afternoon but once in a while they'll occur at night. The spectacle is both awesome and beautiful. The lightning flashes occur every few seconds appearing like something out of a science fiction movie. When I first moved here I was awestruck, now I'm more or less accustomed to it.
Most people stay indoors, it's not a good idea to be outside when this happens. Getting struck by lightning is a real possibility in this region. That being said, I was a couple of miles away from these strikes and after just a few shots I retreated to my car. A picture may be worth a thousand words but it's not worth getting hurt over.
But, thunderstorms rarely last for very long. Within a few minutes the lightning stopped, the rain started and it all blew over within about forty-minutes. Even though its officially autumn, the tropical weather continues here in Florida for about another month. Then, sometime in mid-to-late October we'll get a cool front and it all stops as quickly as it started. But for now, we still have a few weeks of nature's fireworks remaining.
On Sunday I spent part of the morning at the pier on Anna Maria Island. This image is a study of sorts. I recently purchased a couple Lee filters and have been experimenting with long exposure daytime photography. In this case the experiment was to see what would happen if I took a long exposure of the sunrise. I used a wide angle so that the pier would be somewhat proportional to the sun. This is exposed for nearly three minutes, 175 seconds to be exact. For an experiment, I kind of like how it turned out.
If you look close you'll see ghost like images of the white egrets that populate the pier in the morning. I would normally try to keep them out of the frame but in this case they're faded presence adds a narrative to the scene, an indication of what was going on at the time. In fact, what was going on is there were fishermen behind me net casting for bait fish. They would dump the catch on the pier and the egrets would snatch up any that didn't make it into the bait bucket. Long story short, I was surrounded by white egrets.
I came here to watch the sunrise on a Sunday morning. As usual I wasn't alone, there are always a handful of people doing the same thing. It's a beautiful place and time of day to be here and it's almost like being in church, there is a sense of reverence. In a way I suppose I was at the weekly Anna Maria sunrise service, only the parishioners were my fellow egrets and fishermen.