Desert Sunrise

There is something about watching the sun set and then getting up and watching it rise the next morning on the opposite horizon that is a bit surreal to me. Maybe it is the feeling of being so small in a giant mechanism and watching the large scale workings occur from my powerless position. Maybe it is just weird to think about living my entire life on the surface of a gigantic rotating rock. It’s kind of like being on a spinning carnival ride. At least you get a regular change of scenery in the sky.

Sunrise at Big Bend National Park
Sunrise at Big Bend National Park

Well enough of that silliness. I got up to take some fantastic sunrise photos. My original target was the Mule Ears area, but I ended up at this desert overlook. It was cold, windy, and the few clouds that showed up refused to gather any color. No fantastic sunrise photos were taken, but the sun did rise and a new day began.

Sunrise at Big Bend National Park
Sunrise at Big Bend National Park

As soon as the sun rose, I turned around and started focusing my attention on the desert mountains behind me. I had the notion that these mountains would catch the first rays of sun quite nicely and I might get a few good photos. And indeed the mountains began with an almost magenta color which transitioned to gold.

Desert Mountains in Morning Sunlight
Desert Mountains in Morning Sunlight

Just a few precious minutes from when the sun light crests the eastern horizon until it gets high and bright enough to lose the deeper warm tones is all you have to compose and take the photos. The photos below were taken less than a minute apart and you can see a big difference it their colors.

Desert Mountains in Morning Sunlight
Desert Mountains in Morning Sunlight
Desert Mountains in Morning Sunlight
Desert Mountains in Morning Sunlight

The golden light stays around for a while but it’s not long before it is white light and the mountains fade back to brown and tan. And as the sun rises, the shadows that define the texture of the mountains depart and they lose a bit of definition.

It was time to start my long drive back home.

35 thoughts on “Desert Sunrise

  1. What do you mean, no fantastic sunrise photo? I love the deep orange your camera captured in the photo that shows the sun barely peeking over the horizon.
    It seems to me that the early morning and late-afternoon hours seem to be the best for taking photos. The colors seem to be more vivid, and you get more shadows, which add dimension and character to a shot.

    Liked by 3 people

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