My alarm went off at 455AM. I did not hit snooze. In one sleepy motion I pulled the three layers of covers away and swung my feet out from under the warm cocoon and down to the carpeted floor. Stretching as I stood in the darkness I made the same short walk to my bedroom window that I have made hundreds of times before. Now at the window - looking up through the trees up toward the sky. Decision time; go, no-go? I see a few stars shining brightly high above. I also notice some thin mid-level clouds as well as what I believe are scattered clouds near the obscured horizon. "Looks like a go" I say quietly out loud to myself.
Thirty minutes later I was dressed, caffeinated and standing along the edge of Santa Margarita Lake watching the light and studying the sky as I searched for a good vantage point that would allow me to take advantage of what I had to work with. I was pleased with my decision to head out this morning. The conditions weren't all that fantastic, but I felt they were good enough to have fun with.
Twenty minutes before I created this image there were only very faint hints of clouds above this ridgeline which as I stood was just out of my peripheral vision to my left [PHOTOGRAPHY TIP: "Always look behind you"]. I was actually concentrating my efforts in another direction and making quick glances back every minute or so. Each time I did the cloud cover increased and became more vibrant. Eventually I shifted my complete attention here. This is my favorite image of the morning. Glad I headed out!