As the morning crept closer to sunrise the tree and rocks were no longer featureless against the crimson sky. I started to be able to see what was in front of me and I was able to venture out onto the rocks and to scope out my sunrise shot.
I wanted to try and place something interesting in the foreground, but this was not so easy as the rocks were mostly barren and not much vegetation existed on them. I spotted the plant/shrub pictured above and composed my shot making sure to include this in the frame. Another factor that complicated matters was the sky. As you can see, just above the horizon were some nice clouds that took in the color quite a bit. Above these clouds, however, was a big ugly gray cloud that was quite big stretched across the width of the frame, detracting from the overall beauty of the scene.
Once the shot was composed I placed to Cokin graduated neutral density filters on my camera in order to allow me to hold back the bright sky so as to properly expose the foreground.
I learned something later when I got home which will save me $75. For this shot I badly wanted to use my circular polarizing filter to get rid of some of the reflections in the water. At the same time, I wanted to used my graduated neutral density filters to deal with the variance in the sky and foreground. I thought I needed to purchase a special Cokin circular polarizing filter for the filter set, but I discovered something that I wish I noticed earlier! It turns out, my Tiffen circular polarizing filter has threads on the outside which allow me to screw in the Cokin filter holder. Thus, I can use both and do not need to spend any more money! Now that I know this, I'm excited to play with circular polarizer and graduated filters together.
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I invite you all to visit frequently and leave comments and feedback. I would really appreciate constructive criticism that will help me improve. You don't need to be a photographer to help me, tell me what you like and don't like. If you have any suggestions of interesting things to shoot or fun techniques to try I'd also love to know.