location: sheldon wildlife refuge
backstory: whether film or digital, photography is primarily about light; how light affects the chemical process of film or the pixels of sensors. nature photographers prize the light available at dawn and sunset for the subtle qualities illuminating a scene. i find myself mostly drawn to the hours around dawn.
this scene is a good example of the impact of dawn light. the low angle of sun rays provide shadow, depth and texture. diffuse light allows for richer and more varied colors. even the clouds have a little more dimension with dawn light. in a short while the heat of a summer day will wash out all these lovely qualities.
photographers refer to it as the golden hour.
one of the joys of the photographic/creative process at dawn is when all of these elements appear, briefly, combined like an intricate dance. muted pre-dawn light gives way to golden sun. a light breeze moves clouds slowly across the sky. shadows stretch across the ground and rock edges. the coolness of nite gives way to morning's warmth. animals and insects stir, call and begin their daily wanderings.
sitting patiently. watching. listening. awaring a gradual ebb and flow of nature at this exquisite time. it is more than a beautiful scene for a photo. it is presence. it is simple and natural being...just in this moment.