The one that got away: Bradley’s Head sunrise

Just a week ago, I bemoaned the fact that it had been 2 weeks since I’d been out to take any photo’s. Well last weekend that changed – on 3 consecutive mornings I made it out of bed and visited 3 different locations. Today’s post is of photo’s taken last Sunday and, really, its a story of a missed opportunity. You see, when I woke at 5.55am and peered out the window, I had been greeted by what looked like very dense cloud cover. I headed out anyway figuring that I might be lucky and could get that nice soft, pastel shaded sunrise I’d pre-visualised which would work well for this location. Well, was I wrong.

It was still dark when I drove off but not 5 minutes down the road I began to see the bottom of the clouds get that silky red tinge. 3 minutes later, those very same clouds were dancing in lacy red, orange and blue hues and to my horror, it was intensifying! Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap; I was still 5 minutes away from Bradley’s Head. Even as I approached my destination the sky was exploding in the most glorious sunrise I had seen in a very long time. I pulled up, jumped out of the car, grabbed my camera bag and tripod and tore down to the shoreline. Tick, tick, tick. As I rushed to set up the tripod and mount the camera the light was changing again…fading now, like a dying star. It was the first time it’d been to this spot so I didn’t have time to scout for optimal angles (damn you Google maps). By the time I’d screwed on my ND filter, the glorious visage of the past 15 minutes was almost gone. And there you have it. The one that got away. The couple of shots I was able to grab were just a pale shadow of those precious minutes before I pressed the shutter button. Teasers of the one that got away…

They say you should never bemoan a missed shot; that other wonderful opportunities are right around the next corner. Its no comfort.

Canon 7D | EF 24-105L | f11 | Tripod | Post: Aperture 3.0


Above: The safety shot. With the colour and light changing dramatically, I grabbed this frame the moment I’d mounted the camera on the tripod. Its a 1.3 sec exposure without the ND filter. It’s almost painful to look at now (knowing what I had just missed). 

Above: This was taken within 2 minutes of the one above. Its amazing to see the sky turn from deep red, to red, to orange and then to yellow in literally seconds. You can see the sun has just crested the horizon here. I’d managed to put the 9 stop ND filter on before taking this one – its a 61 second exposure.

10 minutes later, there was nothing. When I say nothing, I mean nothing! It was grey, overcast and utterly, utterly colourless. No remnant left of the stunning sunrise just 15 minutes earlier.

Above: Early morning fishermen. Although I’ve converted this to B&W, believe me when I tell you that it was hardly worth the effort. What little colour there was could only be seen in the sandstone and gravel pier these men are fishing off.

So, hears to the next sunrise. Hopefully, I’ll be ready and waiting 🙂


7 Comments Add yours

  1. Distan, your photos are stunning!! Can’t believe there is such a huge difference in just 2 minutes!!! Crazy!!! 🙂 **


    1. Distan Bach says:

      I know; if I hadn’t of seen it, I wouldn’t of believed it myself.


  2. i understand your feeling, however you still got a nice shot 🙂


    1. Distan Bach says:

      Thanks Michael, much appreciated.


  3. Karl says:

    Unlucky. That second one is still a beautiful image though!


    1. Distan Bach says:

      Thanks Karl. Appreciate you stopping by too.


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