June Challenge: Sunrise… Entry #7 Daytona Beach Sunrise

This next entry is a beauty, submitted by Kristen J. This is probably what many of us were looking for when we were presented with so many clouds in the early morning hours of June.

I find it interesting that Kristen has broken all the rules of composition but I find that it works. Her sun is dead center but the thing that I like is that trail of light across the water. Sunrises are especially beautiful when you can catch them reflecting off of water. And the other thing she has done is gotten a sun star.

So let’s look at her settings to see how she did that. First of all her ISO was set at 100 (excellent… the lower the ISO, the better) and she was shooting at 27mm which is a wide view and I assume she was using a zoom lens. Because the sun was bright, she was able to shoot at a fast shutter speed of 1/500 second, thereby making it easy to hand hold without blurring and her Fstop was F16 giving lots of depth of field as well as causing a sun star. The number of “rays” in your star will depend on the number of leaflets in your lens from what I understand, and it looks like she has eight. Just to the right of the sun you will see two small areas of lens flare since she is shooting directly into the sun.

Now my only regret is the fact that it looks like she has one of two things… either a dirty lens or more likely, a dirty sensor. Look at the dark spots in the sky and there is also one in the water. I am counting about 13 that I am initially seeing and unfortunately they mar this beautiful image. If it is the lens, just clean the lens with a soft cloth or there is special lens cleaner that you can buy. If it looks like there is anything abrasive, like sand on the lens, be sure to blow it away before using a cloth. After doing this, shoot at a plain blue sky and see if those spots remain. If they do, then it is your sensor and that requires that your sensor be cleaned. In order to do this, be sure to carefully read your camera instructions as it is a delicate operation and if you are unsure of doing it yourself, then take it to a reputable camera dealer, but it will cost you!

Now the question comes… how do you prevent this from happening? It will probably happen at some point to all of us. Many of the cameras have an automatic sensor cleaning built into the camera itself and will indicate “sensor cleaning” when you turn your camera on or off and that is definitely a great help.

To prevent dirt on your sensor it is important that you limit the length of time it takes to change lenses. Make the change as quickly as possible and also do it with the camera body pointed in a downward position to prevent contaminants from falling onto the sensor. Needless to say if you are in a windy location or an area with blowing water or sand, it is essential to protect your sensor at all costs.

This would be a beautiful photo to have printed but obviously not with the spots so I will take this into Lightroom or you can do it in photoshop and remove those spots with the spot removal tool. When doing so, enlarge your image as you work and you will probably find more spots that you had initially not seen. Adjust the size of your spot removal tool and click on each offending spot. And if you have a blurry bird fly into your frame that is not wanted, you can remove the bird the same way.

Daytona Beach Sunrise (Photo by Kristen)

Daytona Beach
(Photo by Kristen)


So here is Kristen’s image after I imported it to Lightroom and removed the offending spots.
Daytona Beach Sunrise (Photo by Kristen J.)

Daytona Beach
(Photo by Kristen J.)


I am still seeing one problem that catches my eye. Look at the top left hand corner at the darkened area. I am unsure if that is from the lens hood or what but that is easily removed once again with the spot removal tool. So here is Kristen’s final image…
Daytona Beach Sunrise (Photo by Kristen J.)

Daytona Beach
(Photo by Kristen J.)

June Challenge: Sunrise… Entry #6 Another Day

This next submission is from Linda and was taken on a return trip from New Mexico. Here is her story…

“Just got back from a poetry convention in Albuquerque. Left home early Wednesday of last week and somewhere along Highway 287 I took this picture. Our hotel room in Albuquerque had great views, the Sandias to the east and what locals call the volcanoes to the west. The first night we saw a beautiful sunset, which also reflected in the window and made it appear that the sun was also setting over the Sandias. Two mornings we left the curtains open so that light would awaken me and I could take sunrise shots. We also spent a night in Taos and saw the sunrise there just before leaving for home. However, after viewing the dozens of shots I took over several days, I kept going back to this one. The sky wasn’t as spectacular and there weren’t any mountains, but I love the scene below. More old trucks, which always get my attention, and it just said to me, well, it’s another day.”

Another Day (Photo by Linda)

Another Day
(Photo by Linda)

June Challenge: Sunrise… Entry #5 Sunrise at Sunset Cove

This next entry is from Vickie and I must say, she has an advantage over the rest of us as she has a bird’s eye view of sunrise coming up across the lake from the comfort of her home. I think it’s time for a pajama party at Vickie’s place! (And I’ll have some bacon and eggs to go with my coffee, please!)

“I love living on the lake and my favorite part is waiting to see what the sunrise will be. They are all different and I wait to see how they will slowly develop. A great sunrise makes for the start of a wonderful day!! If the weather is nice, I have my morning coffee watching the sunrise. After over 10 years of living here, it just never gets old.”

Vickie has done a “Tess” and has sent me a couple photos. Not sure which she wanted me to use but once again in the interest of learning, I will post both and let you be the judge. Now… the first one is by far the most colorful and that I like very much but I am finding the silhouettes not to be sharp to my eye, and that is bothersome. When I see a silhouette, it will immediately draw my attention and I think it should be sharp. Also, there is a lot going on in the bottom of the photo (un-needed vegetation) that I think needs to be cropped out as it does not add anything to the photo but rather detracts from that beautiful sky. As you scroll on your screen, stop just below where the land meets the water at the bottom of the photo to see what the cropped version might look like.

Sunrise on Sunrise Cove (Photo by Vickie)

Sunrise on Sunrise Cove
(Photo by Vickie)


BTW… we will be doing a challenge soon on cropping of photos! Just to give you a heads up! Now with digital, it is easy to crop our photos and no need to use them as they come “out of the box”!

The second photo does not have the usual sunrise colors but is much sharper and certainly gives a whole different look to the sky.

” Living on the lake has been such a blessing to me. Every morning is a new and exciting picture out my windows. We have lived here for almost 10 years and I have never seen a sunrise like this one. This picture just doesn’t do justice to the actual sunrise which was just magical. ..sunrise peaking through the clouds and sparkling across the water.”

Sunrise Over the Lake (Photo by Vickie)

Sunrise Over the Lake
(Photo by Vickie)


Thanks Vickie for helping us to learn a bit more about photography! You are indeed fortunate to have such a lovely view each morning! Imagine taking a photo a day of sunrise for a year from the exact same spot and with the same framing and then putting them in a slideshow with each lasting only about a second. Just goes to prove… no two days are alike!

June Challenge: Sunrise… Entry #4 Sunrise Along Highway 121

Now as I am sure that many of you know, there are several of us who are posting to Capture Dallas and I wish more of you would join us. A great place to post photos, it costs nothing, your photos reproduce beautifully and there are a lot of nice photogs in the group. And not only that… there is more commenting and these comments sometimes carry over to include the crazies!
Look under “Favorite Photo Sites” for the link to Capture Dallas!

It took a second plea on my part to get you crazy women to act and capture a sunrise. Now had it been a sunset, I probably would have been deluged with photos!

So I click on CD and find a gorgeous sunrise photo from none other than our own rebeKah. And I think I could have counted on finding a comment made by Robin (you know… the “other” Robin) about her photo. So this was how the conversation played out:

Robin: And now I know where that ‘one entry’ came from 🙂 Congrats, that must have been quite a challenge.

rebeKah: Robin, actually I had not yet turned mine in so that e-mail helped remind me to do so. And yes, with all the clouds/rain recently I thought it was a challenging month for sunrises and this was all I was able to get. Sadly, it took me a few days just to locate where it would be.

rebeKah: Linda/Fay, you have been influential in helping me get this shot. Thanks.

Linda/Fay/Lala: Glad I could talk you into getting your butt out of bed to capture this. It’s a beauty and you are certified crazy!
Now we have to work on Robin!!!

rebeKah: Fay, next time instead of talking you should do some kicking!
Yes, let’s get Robin. And thanks for using all your persuasive powers.

Looks like we are on a common mission!
Watch out Robin! The crazies are after you!

Sunrise along Hwy 121 (Photo by rebeKah)

Sunrise Along Hwy 121
(Photo by rebeKah)

June Challenge: Sunrise… Entry #3 Drive-by Sunrise

When the Sunrise Challenge was first announced, I know I am in trouble. For one I am not an early riser that I check my alarm clock a couple of times before sleeping on my work days. The sunrise challenge is indeed a “true challenge”.

Since it was announced, on my days off, I put my alarm on so I can check the sunrise and see if it is beautiful, but unluckily I did not have any luck at all. I was panicking for I don’t remember to have any sunrise pictures in my archives.

Last week I was looking through some of my old pictures and came across this sunrise picture, a drive-by-photography from Kansas. The quality is not good as I used my old I-phone in taking this. The foreground of the original picture is not beautiful either, so I tried to find a solution by photoshopping our backyard as the foreground.

There you go Lala. Although this challenge is so hard, it made me feel challenged to look for ways and means to find a solution. Hope the next challenge is not as hard as this. LOL.

Drive-by Sunrise (Photo by Tess)

Drive-by Sunrise
(Photo by Tess)

June Challenge: Sunrise… Entry #2 Solar Powered Morning

Oh no… I’m not done with Robin yet.
When I first announced the sunrise challenge her comment was…
“OMIGOSH! Of all the possible challenges, you picked this one? This challenge, for me. is far less photographic than it is biological.
YAAAAAWN!!! My pooor bioclock…”

But rebeKah explained it to her…
“Therefore the word “challenge”, Robin. LOL You gotta get your shut-eye before 12a.m. I’m off to see The Solar Impulse at the airport. Does that count since it is sun related and it is before it next rises again?”

Hey wait a minute! Where did we find all of these Crazy Women?

So Robin, some of the “crazies” have been kind enough to forego a few hours of sleep just so that you may see exactly what a sunrise looks like and Crazy Woman Lorraine is about to show you a “Solar” Sunrise! This is her story, and we know she always has a story to tell!

“I started out on this assignment under self induced pressure. I am one to take several tries at my assignments trying to get the best shot I can. This time I knew I had only one shot at it due to schedules, etc, so I needed to make sure I had things planned out really well. I studied up on sunrises the night before. I planned on using manual settings and adjusted my camera accordingly. I chose a location that I thought would be good. Its off of Hwy 66 near the lake where “My Railroad Bridge” is, which is my year long challenge. My husband had taken a sunrise there before at the first part of the year and I liked the view.

I hurried out to the location to get set up before the sun came up over the horizon. I was pushing it time wise. I arrived and set up my tripod only to discover that I had a lot of brush and vegetation that had grown up around the area that previously had made a good sunrise shot. So off the crazy woman goes literally running with the tripod to try to find some higher land to get a better view. On higher land I could see the sun coming and was disappointed that it was going to rise over the power lines! Geez….of all places! I was hoping for it to come up over the lake more! In the end, the power lines didn’t hurt the shot like I thought they would.

I was afraid that I might have not gotten anything decent but was pleasantly surprised at some of the good shots I ended up getting!”

Solar Powered Morning (Photo by Lorraine)

Solar Powered Morning
(Photo by Lorraine)

June Challenge: Sunrise… Entry #1 Early in the Day

The deadline for the Sunrise Challenge was looming and I sent out this e-mail:

6/19/2013
“OK all you crazies! Thus far I have gotten only one sunrise photo for the monthly challenge! I really did think you were all crazier than that and will extend the deadline through the Summer Solstice which is June 21.”

Robin (as in, the “other Robin”) immediately sent this response:
“Just can’t do it. Heart refuses to pump that time of day.”

And my response was: “Quick! Call 911! See you are a crazy woman!
I was having second thoughts after posting it but hey… it’s called shooting something different!”

And Robin said: “Yea, maybe, but probably not. Haven’t seen a sunrise since I was extremely young. Not a morning person. Now, you want moon shots, I’m just waiting for Sunday night 🙂 Gonna use my hefty tripod this time, no truck going by is gonna spoil my shot!”

Me: “Spoken like a crazy woman, Robin!”

Robin: “I’m so glad to have, in some small way, lived up to your expectations, O great one-eye’d one.”

So after this exchange, I was not expecting much but then to my surprise I got 6 sunrises! You women really are crazy! Even I procrastinated until the last moment and by then the clouds were more common than the sun.

Soooo… here is the first sunrise from Donna:

“Early in the Day”
“I had been talking to Debbie and Merrie at work about shooting the sunrise and encouraging them to shoot a sunrise from work out the windows in the morning since they would be up-and-at-em anyway. Last Thursday, I thought to myself you should really take your own advice since I had to be in at 6:30am. I took my camera with me to work and on the way I stopped at the end of the Lake Ray Hubbard Bridge and shot the sunrise as it appeared over the lake. I decided not to crop the picture too much because I liked the image with the cars and bridge which went along with my journey to catch the sunrise!”

Early in the Day (Photo by Donna)

Early in the Day
(Photo by Donna)