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Opening shot: Warmth at minus four

By on December 22, 2019 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

 By Marc Dilley

 Photographing mist and ice at sunrise on our local rivers is a decades-old ritual for me. 

This image was shot along the banks of the Wenatchee River near Peshastin on the 5th of January, 2017. 

With a stand of cottonwoods and pine trees on the opposite shore, and a stretch of iced-up boulders and stones on my side of the river, the setting was gorgeous. 

It was clear and frigid that morning — minus 4 F according to my truck — perfect conditions for awesome mist and phantasmagoric ice shapes. 

Mist isn’t necessarily a rare occurrence, but with the clear night/very low temperature requirement, the phenomenon is spectacular only every few years, so I took full advantage of this morning.

 In situations such as this, when light is rapidly changing, photographers take numerous exposures in rapid succession, maybe one every couple of seconds, until the light has stabilized. 

In the case of a sunrise/sunset, this might be a five-to-ten minute period. Back in the days of film, such a practice would have been expensive or impossible. 

With modern digital cameras, however, long shoots are relatively casual. This morning I began shooting at 9:17 and continued until 9:24, with other subjects shot before and after this time period.

 As the sun rose and peaked over the foothills above Wenatchee, the frigid sky turned dark purple, then magenta and finally a most brilliant egg yolk gold. 

The scene was so astonishing that halfway into the sequence, I stopped clicking the remote shutter release, gazing blankly at the scene, and no exposures were made for a precious 20 seconds that I can’t get back. 

As the sun tracked up and right in its January path, patterns of the intensely golden crepuscular rays moved around wildly in the sky like gold searchlights. 

After I was confident the scene was finished being awesome, at 9:24 to be exact, I walked along the riverbank, looking for other interesting subjects to shoot.

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