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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Magic of Winter Sunrises

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Hello blog friends...sorry it's been a while since I've last posted. My computer died last week and I've been unable to post since then. Then, this morning, I realized that I had started this post a few weeks ago...and just had to add text!

A few weeks ago, during our cold snap, I captured the photo above and posted it on FaceBook...to which a few people mentioned how it seemed that the most beautiful sunrises always seemed to occur in winter.

Amazing Portland Sunrise
It's true...at least here in Portland! For some reason, our low cloud cover, paired with relatively clear air (rather than the hazy atmosphere of summer), pair to make amazing sunrises!

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When I lived downtown, especially, I'd often get up early and climb up to a high spot (Vista Bridge being a favorite), to roll the dice on whether the sunrise would be phenomenal...or a flop!

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As the sun climbs over the horizon and lights the underside of low-lying clouds...magic happens!

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The early wake-up call and cold hike always receded in importance at moments like this...it was always worth it.

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On the other end of the spectrum were the more infrequent foggy mornings...which are my personal favorite.

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Fog is unparalleled in it's ability to create an otherworldly atmosphere.

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I especially love it when the forested hills are shrouded in ribbons of fog.

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From above, the fog is a billowing, downy blanket...

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...or a wild, roiling sea!

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As the sun rises and the fog lifts...the sky smolders.

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It makes for some very dramatic effects to even the most ordinary scenes.

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And can transform even the plainest of objects...

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...into temporary works of art!

As we approach the first day of winter this weekend, I hope you're taking time to enjoy the things that make winter so amazing...and, of course, if you live somewhere cold...stay warm!

56 comments:

  1. Scott, phenomenal photos! You are so talented!

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  2. Lee@GuidetoNEGardeningDecember 18, 2013 at 8:35 AM

    Wow...wow and more wow! My two favorites are the photograph of the fog on the bridge and the B&W of the tree and arch. These belong on postcards!

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  3. Beautiful images! So beautiful in fact that I was almost able to overlook the fact you must have been standing in the middle of the St Johns bridge to get that shot of the foggy forested hills. I fear for your safety!

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  4. Beautiful photos Scott. Your sunrises are definitely beautiful and magic. I don't think ours compare although we have colorful sunsets much of the year.

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  5. These photos are so beautiful! I often see a lake of fog while driving down to the train station in the morning, thinking it would make such a gorgeous photo. But stopping to take it could be hazardous to my health. Seeing the quality of these photos, I really fear you should watermark them. Someone is going to steal them.

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  6. Love, love, love this. I did notice sunrises in the Midwest were also better in winter, but we sure didn't have Mt. Hood in the background or the St. Johns Bridge! Really masterful photos.

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  7. Thanks so much, Heather!

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  8. Thanks, Lee…so glad you liked them…I've been looking for an excuse to use some of these older images :-)

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  9. Hahahaha…it's so true, sometimes we photographers get a little obsessed with capturing a certain image and do things that are pretty stupid!

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  10. Our sunsets seem to be better in summer, for some reason, Shirley…I'm sure there's a scientific reason for it…but it's beyond me!

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  11. Thanks, Alison :-) You're probably right, I really need to start watermarking my images one of these days…sigh.

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  12. Thanks, Amy…I do remember there being some amazing sunsets in the winter when I lived in Nebraska…something about the dust in the air or whatnot…they could be amazing!

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  13. More than just beautiful photos, the atmosphere each and every image conveys pops out from the screen. Magical pics!

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  14. Thanks, guys…it's all about atmosphere, right?!

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  15. Just wonderful photos Scott!


    Two factors about winter sunrises that contribute to their amazingness: the sun rises later so if you're like me it's more likely you'll see it, and there are no leaves blocking the views! :)

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  16. That's definitely true about the time of day, Alan…I'm pretty much always up before the sun rises in winter…not nearly as often in summer ;-)

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  17. Scott, these are fabulous...you have so many talents! Cheers!

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  18. Fabulous photos Scott. You would make a good PR person for Portland.

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  19. I love the photos and the story! And Alison's right...it's time for a watermark on your shots and perhaps an Etsy shop to sell them. :-)

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  20. Jenni @ RainyDayGardenerDecember 18, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    How are you not selling your photography? seriously!! I am in awe of the beauty you've captured!

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  21. Mere words can't convey how incredible these photos are. I agree with the others--you should be selling your photos ... and winning awards. Wow.

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  22. These are all entirely wonderful shots! The sunrise pics are beautiful and the fog pics are other-worldly. One day I hope to get some decent shots of fog laying over the LA harbor - when that happens, the cranes surrounding the docks look like prehistoric monsters.

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  23. Beautiful post and breathtaking photos. Another thing I love about the watching the sun rise is that it is often relatively quiet, as the real hustle and bustle hasn't started yet. Best part of the day, IMHO.

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  24. Awww, thanks, Tamara :-)

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  25. Yes...I totally need to get in with the Travel Bureau!

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  26. Aww, thanks, Jenni :-) I've thought about trying it out...I just never seem to have the time to actually figure out how to do it...les sigh.

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  27. Thanks! Maybe I'll eventually get my act together and try my hand at selling some prints :-)

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  28. OOOO...I bet it looks quite surreal...I hope you get a picture of it!

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  29. Yes...there is something wonderful about the solitude...although I kind of want to run from door to door, telling people to look out their windows!

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  30. Thanks, Kathie!

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  31. You're both right...I really need to start watermarking, if nothing else...and an Etsy shop is a good idea...maybe 2014 will be the year I get my act together :-)

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  32. Phenomenal!
    I've been riding my bike to/from work and have been able to witness the most magical sunsets. It makes cold-weather biking worth it to have my own private show.

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  33. Yeah, it's sometimes hard to suppress that urge, but I find that if I don't - the spell is somehow broken. So mostly, I just enjoy the privilege! :)

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  34. Wow, those skies rival the southwest's...seriously! And I gare-own-tee we have nothing like #2 or #4, skyline with towering conifers...but the 5 or 6 mornings I recall like #5 with some mist and fog, were something, too. Thanks for this...I need to get out more, since my place or office no longer face a view...just takes a walk, and you can see up to 40 miles!

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  35. Wow, what can I say. Incredible pictures. That one of the tree framed by the arch and softened in fog ... amazing.

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  36. I'm the same, David...I used to get up nearly every morning with the intent of checking out the sunrise, but the neighborhood we live in now is surrounded by trees...so it's rare that I get to see them anymore...sigh...it's a trade-off.

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  37. Thanks, Jason...that's the St. John's Bridge...my favorite :-)

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  38. What everybody else said. Amazing photos! Sorry about your computer but glad it's better now! I often see amazing things on my commute to work as the sun is rising and think of pulling over to take pictures but since I'm usually running late, don't. The early wake up call is too hard when the puppies want to cuddle and or play.

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  39. I've been loving the sunrises, too. It's real Maxfield Parrish stuff. That shot under the St. Johns bridge and the one with the OHSU gondola are extra specially good!

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  40. These shots are phenomenal! Beautiful sunrises. We've been getting some nice skies here but not as dramatic as those in your pictures.

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  41. Scott, your photographs are like poetry, and your words are like paintings.

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  42. Can just imagine blown up 4'X 6' with matte on huge loft wall. Also my favorite, Scott.

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  43. Donna@Gardens Eye ViewDecember 23, 2013 at 4:02 AM

    Scott you capture such beauty all around you...here we too have the best sunrises due to the cloud cover we have most mornings...Happy Solstice

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  44. What a spectacular series of photos, Scott! Wow, I'd love to take a photo class led by YOU one day. http://www.penick.net/digging

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  45. Thanks, Pam...you never know...maybe someday :-)

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  46. Thanks, Donna! Yes...the cloud cover makes for some stunning sunrises, doesn't it!

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  47. Thanks so much, Carol!

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  48. Thanks! To be fair...except for the first one, those are shots from over the past few years during winter :-)

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  49. Haven't they been grand, Jane...sometimes I do have to remind myself to spin around in my chair to see them :-)

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  50. Hahaha...I understand that well, Peter...it can definitely be a challenge to get going that early...especially when there are so many other things jostling for our attention :-)

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  51. It's it amazing to have those sunsets...make it all worthwhile :-)

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  52. Thanks, Patrick!

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  53. Absolutely stunning. People who sleep in miss out on so much.

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