I was going through photography withdrawal, having not taken a picture of anything since my return from my Maine trip . It’s been 3-4 months since I last visited the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge in my part of southeast Texas, so I thought that would be a worthwhile thing to do over the weekend (now that the government shutdown is over and the refuge is open again).
So I got up Saturday morning (Oct 26) at 5:11AM and was out the door by about 5:45AM. I arrived at the entrance gate, parked my car, and waited in the dark. The sign says the gate opens at “dawn’” and closes at “dusk” (whatever hours constitute dawn and dusk times is anybody’s guess).
At 7AM, I heard the rumbling of the gate as it automatically opened up. So now know – 7AM is dawn.
As I sat there, watching the distant horizon turn from indigo to a deep pink-orange while deep blue clouds drifted past, I kept thinking jeez – I’m missing some good photo ops. Luckily the gate opened up with time for me to get to the spot I wanted.
Once I got there, though, I was a little unimpressed. Nonetheless, I affixed the polarizer to my lens because I wanted to saturate the colors. I also used a graduated ND filter because the area below the horizon was naturally darker than the area above the horizon. Aperture was set at either f7.1 or (in those instances when I wanted to try and achieve a sunburst) f22. ISO was 160 to 250 and I played around with the shutter speed, anywhere from 1/30 to 1 second (I shoot in Manual mode).
I took a few shots (the ones above) then proceeded to take the camera off the tripod.
I happened to look back toward the horizon to see the clouds lined with a brilliant golden-yellow and sunrays reaching past the cloud blockade.
Camera went back on tripod.
Not a bad way to start a Saturday morning.
Here’s a link to the video I uploaded to YouTube of my morning visit to the refuge. I mention in my video commentary that it’s winter. It’s still fall, but here in southeast Texas, the two seasons are interchangeable. And while you may not see much birdlife, you can hear it in the background, along with the crickets and the wind.