No matter who you ask, as long as they claim to know anything about photography, they will all tell you that the “best” light happens an hour before sunrise and an hour after sunset, give or take. This is such a known commodity that this time period is referred to as the “golden hour” or the “magic hour”. Because of this I’ve always wanted to try to get some early morning of the Atlanta skyline, but you can imagine how excited I’ve been to get up that early. Thanks to our new active lifestyle though, Jes and I find ourselves waking up around 7:30 am on the weekends without an alarm, so I figured it was time. Last weekend Jes and I woke up at 5:30 am to get out to Piedmont Park in order to catch this time frame, and let me tell, it did not disappoint. We got pictures of the light playing off the buildings on the West side of the park, pictures of Jes practicing her elementary gymnastics move and anything else that I thought was interesting.

I learned two extremely important pieces of information during this time frame. The first is just how important a tripod really is. In order to get the shutter speed high enough to not get some motion blur, I had to turn the ISO up so high the pictures became grainy. When I get a tripod (one day), I will certainly come back to the park and try again. The other thing that I learned is that light changes extremely quickly. The actual photo that I find the most interesting is actually the best shot of about 50 that I took straight into the rising sun. In the span of about 3 or 4 minutes I had to adjust the settings on my camera every single time I took another picture. Part of that is because I don’t know what settings I should have been using so I was just experimenting, but even when I got it right, 10 seconds later there was more light and I had to adjust. Anyway, I find this photo to be the best of that bunch (I won’t show you the other ones). I like that you can just barely make out the ground in front of me, so it’s not a pure silhouette, but it is close. I also like how deep the blue of the sky is in the image, and obviously framing the sun in between the two trees adds some interest. Take a look at the rest of the pictures that are worthy of being displayed publicly here and let me know what you think.

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