"Sunrise on the Dock"/www.ernestjschweitphotography.com

Picture story

The making of: "Sunrise on the Dock"


I've always had a fondness for docks as a subject for my photography. There' something powerful about how they form so large in front of the camera and quickly narrow as they move into in the distance...creating a sense of depth and drawing you in.

Then there's the water on either side; with a slow shutter speed, the texture changes from choppy waves to a creamy surface, so cool against a clouded sky. “Sunrise on the Dock ,” a new addition to the landscape gallery on my website , is a good example of all that. 

  I made  this image at Independence Grove in Libertyville; with its huge lake, access to the Des Plaines River, and forested biking and hiking trails, this Lake County forest preserve is one of my favorite local locations.

The recent trip on which I made "Sunrise on the  Dock" was actually my first since returning from a series of visits earlier this summer to Tucson, Az., where I photographed the Catalina Mountains and the Saguaro National Forest.

Surrounded by mountain ranges, Tucson is brimming with natural beauty, amazing color and clear blue skies (on good days). Tucson set the bar very high in terms of photo locales. It took me a couple weeks to readjust to the flatlands of the Midwest.

But I digress...

I had hoped for partly cloudy skies at sunrise as I headed out, picturing in my head a yellow sun peaking through the clouds, spreading soft light over still waters of the lake. As she is prone to do, Mother Nature had her own idea; she provided a splash of yellow sunrise at the horizon and gently textured blue clouds.

With cooler temps, the morning had the feel of early fall. I leaned into that feeling just a bit by using a darkening filter on the sky and adding just a touch of color to sunrise.

I like the slightly threatening look at the sky ...as if teasing the start of fall with winter not far behind. The decking of the dock provides a nice  leading line into the heart of the image, drawing you in to the sunrise, which is kinda the point of the image.


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