Sunrise, Sunset, Surprise

Sunrise and sunset are prime time for photography. Light is soft and smooth. At this time of the year, sunrise is around 5:30am and sunset 8:30pm in our area.  I don’t usually get up that early for sunrise images unless I am on a photography retreat or on a vacation where we can have an ideal spot to view the scene. The dramatic rise and set of the sun from horizon happen in that five to ten minutes window. We need to have our camera gear more than ready to capture the dramatic moment. It is a luxury to be able in the right place at right time.

Morning Glory

This picture was taken early in the morning in the woods. The warm and fuzzy morning sun just began to embrace the earth and have us drowned in its glory.  In this shot, the sunlight was filtered through trees that created layers of monotone from white, gray to black. It looks to me that the trees were soaked with light and drunk in soothing pleasure.
In many cases, I was just passing through somewhere in the car. Camera is not accessible or it is ready but I am right in the middle of the freeway.  If I am fast enough to pull over at an exit, I may still get a shot if the location is open and angle of view is manageable. Sometimes, the sun was either up too high or disappeared from horizon by the time I found a place to stop.
The lesson taught me to just shoot regardless whenever an opportunity comes up and not to worry so much about photo quality.  If I don’t get a great shot, I at least have chance to examine the setting of my camera and learned from there what I can do better next time.  I am anxious to explore and to learn, but I know I cannot give myself too much pressure. I have to be carefree, take one step at a time.
On a trip back from a photography event, I was pleasantly tired and anxious to go home.  But when I spotted this post sunset sky, I was determined that I wanted to get off the next exit.  Luckily I was able to find a good angle for the shot, but it was pretty dark all around. I hand held my camera and bumped ISO up to 640 to shoot.  I could have raised ISO higher but I was concerned about the details of layers and colors.  I also did not remove electric pole and power lines as I always like them to be in the scene to be more realistic.
Sunset (Three Sisters are in the background)
I grew up in the city and now become a country folk. Believe or not, I have had very few experience taking trains. My first experience taking a train by myself was in Cologne, Germany at my 30’s. When I was young, I was gutsy. I did not speak German. I had not taken a train before by myself. I only had the address of a company that I planned to visit and talk business. I remember that I purchased a ticket and my seating was later claimed by the conductor that it is first class, and I had to pay him another $20 Dutch Mark (then about US$10).
On a trip to visit my daughter and grand children in Seattle, I took a train, my first experience (again) taking a train by myself in US. It was a 6:00am train. As I recall, sunrise was 6:42 am or so on that day. I found myself a seat on east side and started to figure out the settings. The train moved fast and the sky was dark, I definitely needed both shutter speed and ISO to accomplish the shot.  As sun started to shoot out its orange light from below the horizon, I started to shoot whenever I could find an open spot.
Train was moving and there were all kinds of barriers in front of my subject. I must have fired 30+ shots including when the sun was finally above horizon.  Most of the shots were very cluttered because of the various items existing within the distance, but I got couple OK shots. Because high ISO was used, some post processing to reduce the noise was necessary.  I was busy selecting better shots and reducing noise, and I did not realize that there were two suns hanging high in the sky, two of them. I was stunned and could not figure out why. My husband is the one, as usual, to come up the logic answer for me.

I was sitting inside the train by the window. Window is composed of two layers of glass panels. The sunlight was first hitting inside panel of the window in an angle (from high to low) and bounced back through outer panel of the glass (from low to high). My smart camera has caught both Suns, the reflected one was dimmer and higher than the real one.  Does this make any sense? You may have better answers. Please feel free to chime in.
I am not writing mystery fictions, I am unfolding mysteries in our nature.

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