There is a good reason photographers love the early morning light. Today’s images explain why it is absolutely necessary to be out before dawn.
Even though it was -20F well before sunrise as I was walking along the Arctic Riviera, and I did not find the Snowy Owl for which I am looking, the sunrise made the cold hike worthwhile! After my visit to Lake Superior I drove up to my owling grounds and found four Great Gray Owls including this individual flying across the frozen tundra.
Lake Superior is fickle. Yesterday my end of Lake Superior was iced in as far as the eye could see … thus my ice sunrise photographs. Today, a very strong wind out of the west blew most of the ice away from Duluth. Thus, we have open water once more 1/2 mile downhill from my house. There is a small stream that is underground for a while just where these mallards are congregating. I think they like the relatively warmer water, and the fact that the HUGE ice build-up on shore is protecting them from the wind.
These first two images show how a photographer is able to dramatically change an image. The point of view is the same, but in the first photo I chose to focus on the ice leaving the ducks out of focus, and in the second image I kept the foreground ducks in focus.
An overview of the Brighton Beach ice and mallards
Per my norm I was out before sunrise this morning. While I did find owls, the beauty of the sunrise over the newly formed Lake Superior ice was awe inspiring. Perhaps the Ice Caves near the Apostle Islands will open after all this year. We can only hope. Here are a few pics from my 2015 visit to the Ice Caves.
Sunrise at French River on the North Shore of Lake Superior