Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunrise is 7:55 am today

(watercolor painting by Ron Pattern, called Whatcom Sunrise)
(From the current mystery book I'm reading, First Degree by David Rosenfelt)
"I'm up watching the news by five-thirty in the morning, but it isn't until an hour later that I discover the "sunrise scam". The weather guy has proclaimed that six-thirty-one is the moment of sunrise, yet I can now bear witness to the fact that at that exact time it is already light out, and has been light for fifteen minutes.

Does no one check these things out? Do they think the light is coming from another source, perhaps helping our eyes adjust to the upcoming sudden onset of sunlight? Or are we being deceived by someone, maybe the tanning and suntan lotion industrial complex?

And no matter what the reason for the deception, what is the value of knowing when sunrise is? And are there any other idiots like me, up at this hour and paying attention to this nonsense, so as to take their minds off of something important, something that's gnawing at their insides?"

Well, I for one can tell you the value of knowing when sunrise is: photography - photographing that burst of light coming over the horizon bringing the day our way. To catch that moment of magic light on a scene that in another moment is just another ordinary, flat light scene. I've seen them (the pros) scurrying around the tulip fields in April, setting up the shot to capture a flower with dew dripping and back light with the rising sun. I've been driven around the country backroads, rushing to the previously scouted spot to get "The Shot" at sunrise. Those experiences are high on my list of "best moments I've lived". It's a daily reminder that we have another day to get it right - a chance to try new things - to remember with a photo that special moment when the sun rose over our part of the world, again.

I want to play, too. So, I'm on the hunt for a big girl's camera. A camera that gives me the options I may or may not use to go out at sunrise (and again at sunset) and play with the big boys. I know it'll be a Canon brand, a SLR, a digital and within the budget for a fledging photographer to capture and remember that today's sunrise is at 7:55 am.

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