Chasing the sunrise

With a little bonus time on my hands - I'm still on holidays - I've had the opportunity to focus my attention on the stunning sunrises served up by our northern Alberta winter.  I've kept the ladder out for the last several days, leaning up against the garage, on standby for that magical 15 or 20 minutes when the sun begins tickling the belly of the distant horizon in the morning, several kilometres east, down the Clearwater River Valley.

The broken cloud has provided a brilliant canvas for the sun to paint its daily masterpiece. I start glancing out my study window shortly after 7:00 a.m., dashing out several times for a better look through the living room window.  Three of the past four mornings have proven bountiful, as I swung on my winter jacket, stuffed my iPhone in the pocket, grabbed our ten-year old Pentax istD digital SLR and scrambled up to the roof of the garage.

I usually take a few snaps with the iPhone and send out some couple of shots via Instagram before grabbing the real camera and capturing the scene.  Unprotected from the wind, it gets pretty cold up there watching the incremental changes to the brilliant scene unfolding.  Within minutes, my fingers begin to turn blue, but I keep snapping, knowing that the window of opportunity is very small and that a warm house is just a short trip down the ladder and into our front door.

The intensity of the light, the vibrancy of the hues, the formation of the clouds, change by the minute.  As soon as the top crescent of the sun pops over the distant hills, the symphony of colour comes to a close, a spectacular denouement as night gives way to day.

Here are a few of my favourite shots:

December 20, 2012

December 30, 2012

December 31, 2012

January 2, 2013

There is such an interesting consistency of line, though the actual cloud formations and colour palettes are strikingly different. Subtle, serene, sensational - our northern sky consistently surprises and delights.  It is part of the reason that we love our winters here.  It is a gift from God that deserves to be captured, shared and celebrated.  Have a great day!


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