Sunrise in Denver

I am a big fan of shooting at sunrise - I know, it’s hard to get up!  But more often than not, I am rewarded big time for my efforts.  Sure, I have my share of wasted mornings but generally I find that I get great light and of course there are no people around.  That makes it worth the risk for me.  I prefer to have empty scenes, especially because I normally shoot in cities, which are obviously full of people.

This photo is from a nice wintry morning in Denver, CO.  I had been up and about before most everyone else, firing off shots here and there and generally enjoying the hell out of it, despite the reasonably cold temps (it had been snowing).

As I was making my last little stop on my route back to the hotel, I came up on the 16th Street Mall just as the sun was trying to break through the thick clouds.  The snow had melted, which left a nice wet sheen on the pavement, and gave me a lot to work with.  That’s one of the great things about shooting in HDR - you just can’t get all this sort of stuff in a single frame.

Sunrise on the 16th Street Mall

Do you ever find yourself in absolutely the WRONG place when the light gets all awesome?  It happens, and it never stops sucking when it does happen.  You don’t really get over it, or used to it.  It always sucks.  But what can you do about it?

I know what I do.  I fire away at anything I can so at least I feel like I am being photographically productive.  The pictures don’t end up being remarkable, or special in any way, but at least I made an effort.  You have to capture some light.

That very thing happened on this cold, wet, and otherwise miserable morning in Denver.  Don’t get me wrong - I love Denver - but I was cold, wet and miserable.  I had fired some nice shots prior to this, such as this one of Union Station.  So the morning wasn’t a total bust.

But a while later I found myself on this street corner at the bottom of the 16th Street Mall, and the sunrise light was getting all fabulous, and I literally had no where I could go to get a great subject for this shot.  So I just fired away from the street corner, and had to deal with it.  It happens.

I also went ahead and did a quick Before & After comparison on this shot. Normally my comparisons are a bit more dramatic...cause you know, I like moving sliders around LOL...but in this case I feel like the changes that the HDR brought out (and of course, my processing choices) were a bit more subtle.  Just thought I would share.

DenverHDRBeforeAfter.jpg