Happy Canada day eh?

I was up again before sunrise to catch the first light on the prairies during Canada Day.

There is something very special about the quality of the light just before the sun rises. Blues seem to be more powdery. Magentas more soft and delicate and the light seems to delicately caress the land.

There was a bit of fog forming last night when I was driving home and Environment Canada forecast it so I was looking forward to a heavy covering of it. The heavier it is, the more diffuse the light becomes. Foggy mornings are best when there are light clouds overhead but lately the skies have been cloudless. That forces me to point the camera more to the ground than I usually do.

As I left town early this morning, I could see clouds on the distant horizon. There were no clouds overhead. I think because there was a bit of a breeze there was hardly any fog either. Ah well, up early and awake, nothing wrong with a pleasant drive in the country.

I ended up driving farther than I wanted to in pursuit of the clouds. Usually, ten to fifteen minutes max is as far as I need go for pictures.

The sun was only a few minutes from rising and I still had no place in mind to photograph. I turned off the highway onto an area that was a little lower than the rest. A shallow blanket of mist was lying in the pockets. This was completely new territory for me. I’d never been on this road before. It was only a few minutes later that I found myself next to a gravel pit. DANGER! OPEN EXCAVATION! it read. What pit might have been there was covered in water and surrounded by tall reeds.

It was just before 5:00 a.m. and it was getting close to sunrise. I pulled over and hopped the fence. Five meters from the fence was this shoreline. I snapped a few variations of this spot got in the car and continued on for a half an hour until the sun was too high for any decent landscapes.

On my way home, I passed a field full of campers and trailers. There were a few stages on one end of the sea of recreational vehicles. A large sign read, “Boonstock Festival”. Everyone was sleeping. Missing the best part of the day and no doubt suffering the effects of the previous evening. LOL

This is an HDR. I know what some very opinionated people think about HDRs. They don’t all have to look like something from a comic book or nuclear war. I shot five exposures like I normally do. I ended up only using the middle two. I didn’t need the overexposed one for all the shadow detail. Sometimes what you don’t show is as important as what you do show.

For all that are eager to drop a few hundred or thousand dollars on color enhancers or graduated filters, this is proof that you don’t usually need them. I’ve seen many fine photos on one of the groups that I moderate on Flickr that have been ruined by them. Overly dark skies and too punchy colors. Filters are never a good substitute for the proper light. They end up hurting the scene more than helping because you can usually make things better in post processing.

Happy Canada Day to all the canuckleheads out there and happy shooting,


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~ by Dan Jurak on July 2, 2012.

9 Responses to “Happy Canada day eh?”

  1. Happy Canada Day Dan, hope you had a good one! Thanks for your comment on my last image as well :)

  2. We’ll be in Canadia next week, actually. In Campbell’s River, which is a little west of you.

  3. @ Rick, that’s only a TWENTY HOUR drive from where I live, roughly. LOL Good luck with the salmon fishing!

  4. @ Justin, it was a very nice landscape. I’m pretty stingy with my compliments. I was taught in school not to BS people when commenting on their pics, so when I say I like it, it’s from the heart. Great shot!

  5. Great photo Dan. I agree about the morning light – there is nothing like it. My previous job had me commuting before sunrise, generally through rural Ohio, and on some days the light coupled with the morning fog was stunningly beautiful. Unfortunately I was on my way to work so I couldn’t take advantage of it photographically.

  6. TY. Mornings can be so much more dramatic than evenings if only because the fog adds a layer of mystery to the landscape. I know what you mean about things getting in the way of photography. LOL That happens to all of us.

    Thank you for visiting and commenting,

  7. Thank you for always inspiring me….I’ve nominated you for an Inspiring Blog award.

  8. Typical forgetful me…forgot to attach the link:


  9. @ Paula, thank you for visiting and commenting.


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