Sunrise – The Luck Of The Draw

I love sunrises but I rarely photograph them,  the ones I normally get to see are the ones that I witness on the way to work in winter and therefore have no camera. I’m not an early morning person so am very reluctant to get up at silly o’clock to photograph  what is quite often a non event, the exception being is when I’m in Scotland during the spring and fall and this post is about one such occasion on the 8th of October.

The weather forecast was for scattered cloud and sunrise at 07:37 local time, my location was to be at the foot of Buachaille Etive Mor in the Highlands. Even a lazy so and so like me can be up for 06:30 especially in a location such that I was in.

I set up in darkness with the help of a torch to see by and a laser pen to help achieve focus as can be seen from the image below. The forecast was correct – scattered cloud. I’ve posted a sequence of images from that  morning and have included a time stamp.



Although sunrise was timed for 07:37 it get’s light significantly earlier and as can be expected there is a lot of light in the East some 40 minutes before sunrise. (Below)


32 minutes to go and the colour balance has changed considerably and the clouds are building, beginning to think that this might be a non event.


Things are looking promising, some nice shades of pink are appearing but the clouds are threatening to spoil the show.


The sunrise gods were on my side as the hole in the clouds on the horizon was letting a fair amount of gorgeous pink light through.


And still some more but not as much as I had hoped for. About a minute to go until the ‘official’ sunrise


Nearly 5 mins after the ‘official’ sunrise the suns rays are just breaking my horizon and are teasing me with a bit of colour on the Buachaille.


A quick glance over my shoulder to see what else the suns rays were touching had me spinning the camera around approx 100 deg to capture these two images


The peak that is lit by the suns rays is I believe, Buachaille Etive Beag, which stands prior to the entrance to Glencoe and at that moment that was where I was wishing I was.


There was nowt I could do about my location, I had chosen, so I had to make the most of it, I swung the camera back around to it’s previous direction just in time to catch the wisp of cloud highlighted by the sun. I waited with fingers crossed that the sun would light the cottage before the clouds blanked out the sun.


My luck was in, the sun lit the area just as I had hoped and I achieved this frame which is a 2 shot pano and my favourite from the trip.


And then it was over, on any other day I would have been happy with just this shot below. I like the tendril of cloud that is being drawn down the edge of the mountain.


On the short walk back to the van I stopped off to take this image, more of a ‘recce’ shot for future reference.
g13Whilst having a ‘brew’ I took a moment to reflect back on the previous 90 minutes as to how the weather/outlook is constantly changing and was quite pleased to see the images on the LCD screen on the camera. Not too shabby after all.


Before it got too late I relocated to nearby Glencoe and was surprised to see some of the peaks were still being lit by the sun, over an hour since sunrise, although the best light had gone it gave me ideas for the future.