Over the past few days we have had some pretty spectacular sunrises and sunsets, including one last night which burnt into the night's sky long after the sun had slipped below the horizon.
I knew I had to stay reasonably local this morning as I am heading down to London later to cover the Arsenal v Olympiakos game in the Champions league. I also am trying to explore areas closer to home as I believe there is some untapped beauty out there on everyone's doorstep, even around the flats of Cambridgeshire.
Parking in Grantchester tearooms, I was surprised to see Pay and Display had been erected in the carpark. Not cool, especially as I had zero change with me. Grumbling, I made my way back out into the village to park along the narrow road. I never like doing this as I know this particular road becomes very busy with the morning commute traffic and a parked car eating up most of one of the lanes only adds to the problems. Still I had little choice. Once again, a bravo and well done to the folks at the tearooms - NOT !
As I made my way down to the river's edge I could tell that the pre-sunrise colours were going to be something pretty special. Remember folks, don't wait until the actual sun has broken the horizon to start shooting. Your camera's sensor will pickup all kinds of wonderfulness well before the actual sunrise time. The images below are very close to what I witnessed this morning with a slight crop, some black and white point adjustment and a slight increase in shadows is all that has been done.
I used a Formatt Hitech Firecrest 3 stop ND soft grad to hold back some of the highlights that were beginning to show in the sky. As with the previous day I knew the mist would soon burn away so I was pleased to capture the pre-dawn conditions. The colours were intense, especially when reflected on the surface of the river. The low lying mist just added to the scene.
I noticed that some of the early morning light had started to touch a large tree on the riverbank, so I wanted to try and include this in my image, along with some of the purple hues reflected on the river. I was therefore thankful that my previous walk along the bank had left a pretty handy line leading the eye up to the tree. I had noticed this line earlier and made sure I walked back along my original path as close as possible just in case I wanted to use it. Another handy tip when shooting in either dew, frost or snow covered locations - watch your footsteps, and if you have to walk into the scene, retrace your steps as close as possible.
Again using the 3 stop ND grad, this time positioned at an angle and trying as much as possible to avoid the tree.
All in all a very nice morning - I think this location would work much better in colder conditions with even some frost forming on the surface of the river. A location I shall return to later in the year when the conditions are right.