One of the most peaceful times of the year, in my humble opinion, is sunrise on a warm May morning. It’s not too warm and not too cold, and the humidity that plagues New Jersey in the dog days of summer is nonexistent. The birds sing their songs as they proudly glide through the skies, and the sun brings back the warmth we seem to have forgotten during the bitter cold winter months.

I decided to try to beat the sunrise when I woke up at 6am on Sunday morning. I grabbed my camera, my 18-135mm lens for wider angles and establishing shots, my 70-300mm lens for a closer look at some wildlife, a vanilla yogurt for some sustenance, and I ventured out the front door.

Spring Sunrise

This was my first shot of the morning. I actually missed the sunrise as the sun rose before I left my front door. My first approach was to get the sun shining through the branches but I couldn’t make it work. When I tried to bring the camera lower to the ground without using Live-View or the flip-out screen, I messed up the shot and accidentally placed the sun behind the tree. This was a blessing in disguise as placing the sun behind the tree brought so much more detail into the shot!

Leaves of a Tree

I liked the way the rising sun hit the trees and surrounding area. Here are some leaves and trees. This photo is the reason why photographers call sunrise and sunset the “golden hours.” The sun casts a warm golden yellow light onto all that it touches.

Mountains and Anthills

Even anthills are privy to this golden light, building the drama and emotion in an otherwise overlooked feature on the street.

New Life

Here’s a different approach to the renewal and rebirth vibe that springtime always brings about.  These are in all of the trees in the area.

The Other Side?

Even the squirrels are peaking out from their homes and locations to come out and play!

Spring Flowers

Aside from the wildlife, the flowers during this time of year cannot compare to those in the other seasons. Flowers begin to bloom and these colors are so refreshing.

Spring Flowers 2

Spring Flowers 3

“I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.” – John Keating (Dead Poets Society)

I am always looking for a different angle or view for my shots. So, I tried taking a photograph (below) by holding the camera inches from the ground while utilizing the Live View and the flip-out screen. It’s tricky and requires some different approaches, but I love it and I think that it will open up a whole new field of photography for me once I get more comfortable with it.  With this photo below, from our normal view from standing or walking by, it just looks like some grass or weeds beginning to grow.  However, from this angle, these plants take on a life of their own.  They come off as a forest or an army standing proud on its line.  With the sun dramatically highlighting the grass, this photo breathes new life into this greenery and again reminds me that we have beauty at any location if we are only willing to look at things in a different way.

A Forest Under our Feet

Not too bad for a half hour stroll around my neighborhood at 6am on a Sunday morning.