Alabama Hills - Sunrise


I came up a day ahead of some friends that I would be camping with up in the Rock Creek area for the next 5 days. I wanted to scout and spend some time in the Alabama Hills just west of Lone Pine, CA before joining up with them, so I spent my entire yesterday in and around that area then settled into a motel for the night.

Just minutes before 5AM while I was loading the last of my gear into the back of my SUV and I found myself trying to talk myself out of heading back up into the Alabama's for a potential sunrise shoot.

Luckily, I resisted the temptation to take the easy way out and I made the effort to head back up the road into the Alabama's. I parked in a small pullout just off of a dirt road that I had been following, exited my vehicle in total darkness and was greeted by a nasty cold gusting wind. The gusts were occasionally strong enough to rock me back on my heels and had me maintaining constant contact with my tripod mounted camera. Crazy!

As annoying and challenging as the winds were, the sky above was becoming more and more filled with the potential for a memorable sunrise so I hunkered down and waited for the show to begin.

Half way through my next mug of coffee I started to notice some pinks and very faint hints of orange or yellow in the sky to the north and as the light grew brighter clouds were starting to appear in all directions. It wasn't long before there were potential photographs pretty much everywhere I looked!

In this photograph the beautiful morning sky filled with spectacular layers of color - powder blue, pure white, orange, yellow, purple and gray are enough to hold ones attention, but I moved out into the middle of the dirt road and reframed my shot using the road as a leading line that helps draw one out into the landscape. There is also another more distant road visible on the right about a 1/3 up from the bottom which reinforces this.

This was a special morning and well worth the early alarm and a little extra effort.

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