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Day #3: Mesmerizing Sunrise At Lake Superior

Day #3: Mesmerizing Sunrise at Lake Superior

The Photo

Best Nature Photos. Mesmerizing Sunrise at Lake Superior in Upper Peninsula, Michigan. The largest of the Great Lakes of North America. Nature, Wildlife, Bird, and Landscape Photography by Prathap.

Mesmerizing Sunrise at Lake Superior in Upper Peninsula, Michigan.

Story Behind the Photo

I was lazy to wake up that day as I was too tired from several days of constant travel. It was already 6:30 in the morning and my wife could see out of our room window that Sunrise would happen anytime. She alerted me to go as I could miss that Sunrise I planned for the day before. I rushed to the Car and drove to a spot that I scouted previous day. I was pretty sure that the location would be ideal for Sunrise because of the tree line at the far end.

I rush to the spot with my tripod and camera to quickly set it up as I could see some hint of colors. My hands were freezing to death because I forgot to wear my gloves. I hurriedly wore the gloves as I was searching for something interesting to include in the foreground.

I found a log that was submerged in the water with interesting shape. That was a beautiful one to work with. As I put my tripod in the water to get a photo I was swept by the waves that left my feet cold. I was hopping back and forth to avoid the waves hitting my feet again as they were already freezing.

By then the sky was getting filled with amazing palette of colors. There was probably time for one or two more photographs. I was going crazy as I couldn’t miss that moment. I had to make atleast one photograph that represents such an amazing Sunrise.

The log was not helping me to get a perfect composition and there wasn’t much time left. I ran like crazy several feet back and used the waves as leading lines and placed the log in the middle ground to create much needed depth.

Then…I prayed to get the waves that form an interesting line which leads the viewer into the scene.

Next thing I remember is I was delighted to see what I got in my viewfinder. I looked up to see the scene and it was all gone!

What was the next thing I realized? Any guess?

My feet were frozen to death. I rushed back to my hotel excited to show what I got to my wife and to thank her J

Technical Information

Body:  Nikon D7100

Lens: NIKKOR 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED AF-S DX Zoom Lens

Focal Length: 12mm

ISO Sensitivity: ISO 100

 Aperture (f-stop): f/10

Shutter Speed: 1 sec

Exposure Compensation: 0 EV

Metering Mode: Spot Metering

Shooting Mode: Manual Mode

Quick Tip

Notice that I have used aperture of f/10 instead of using the lowest aperture value. You have to figure out what works best for your lens. Some lenses tend to introduce lot of diffraction when stopped down considerably (especially true for cropped-frame lenses) and also loses the sharpness considerably.

It is generally better to check for the sharpness of your lens at different Aperture values. This way you know the best values that would yield sharpness and deeper Depth of Field.

I hope you enjoyed today’s Photo Story. Have a Great Day Ahead!

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Prathap is a professional nature photographer and founder of Nature Photography Simplified blog. He aims to simplify every photography concept to help beginners and amateur photographers.

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This Post Has 9 Comments
  1. Hey Pratap… That’s a lovely sunrise shot you got. Looks good in portrait format. The log silhouette appears like hand coming out of water. The low shutter speed has very nicely provided a dreamy effect to water. The morning colors are amazing. The stones on the beach breaks the monotony.

  2. hi pratap:

    amazing colours. In your write up i didnt see any mention about filter. Assuming you have not used any.

    typically for a landscape photo do you focus for infinite or do you focus at hyper focal distance. Any difference in these two.

    also where did you spot meter

  3. Hi pratap

    amazing colours.

    in your write up, i didnt see any mention about filter. Assuming you didnt use it.

    typically in landscape, do you focus at infinity or you focus at hyper focal distance. Any difference in these

    and also where did you spot meter

    1. Hi Gopal, That’s a good question. I forgot to mention the filter I use. I use Circular Polarizer (CPL) Filter almost always while taking Landscapes, and this is no exception.
      I did use hyper focal distance. I kept the focus point approximately at 1/3rd the distance from the bottom of the frame. Sometimes if you have a strong foreground element and if you are too close to that, you might have to go for two exposures; one with focus point on the foreground element and the other at a hyper focal distance. Later you have to merge them in post.
      Another way is to use very small aperture setting, but that has inherent issues like diffraction and softening. And, it will not guarantee you the end-to-end sharpness in all conditions.
      It’s all about practice, I think.
      I metered for the sky.

    1. Thank you Carolyn Nagel. Actually we had plans to visit Lake Superior and stay there for atleast another week, but things didn’t work out as planned 🙁

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