Changing Seasons: September

On 1st September the Australian spring officially sprang. While those north of Canberra may think it might as well still be called winter down here, the inhabitants of this capital can see the seasonal signs that temperatures are slowly slowly creeping up.

Before yesterday, before 6.12am yesterday, I could’ve said I’d lived in Canberra for 20 years and had never seen the sun rise over Lake Burley Griffin. Now I can say I have. I rose at 5 to get to the lake for the ephemeral moment of joy at 6.12. It wasn’t the cloudy, fiery sunrise of the previous morning (see Brand New Day), it wasn’t breathtaking like the dawn seen by rowers in winter fog. There were no orange clouds and no pastel mist; it was an absolutely clear sky giving me a brilliant start to the day. Sure, the temperatures were not springy. It was 3 degrees when I left home at 5.45, barely 1 degree down at the lake, then after an hour of sunrise-watching it had warmed up to 4, but back home it was down to 2.

Still, this post is about the signs of changing seasons. If the dawn temperature has improved little since winter, it’s evidently spring when the trees are slowly putting on their new clothes. Some even burst out in flower before leaf. A close look at the branches highlit by the new sun reveals tiny prunus bouquets here and there.

Moments before sunrise,  facing the moon
Sunrise, Lake Burley Griffin. Two long shadows, one is a tree, one is me.

That moment when the ball of fire that is our sun appears in full over the horizon is always a head-turner. It’s hard to believe I didn’t feel the earth move even though it did.


The Changing Seasons photo challenge comes from Cardinal Guzman.


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Weekly photo challenge: Early Bird

I’ve been to Port-Vendres in France twice, and each time I found the early mornings to be a great introduction to the day.

Once, I was awake before sunrise, admiring the blue cargo ship moored in the port overnight beneath the lightening sky of deep pre-dawn blue.  By a happy coincidence, the dome of the church at the centre of my view is also blue, and the lighting on the obelisk at the right is mauve-blue.  But that day wasn’t a blue blue day.  The sun rose and shone on the old village houses, highlighting the pink and orange tones of their walls, promising a good day.

Pre-sunrise, Port-Vendres, France
Pre-sunrise, Port-Vendres, France
Early morning, Port-Vendres, France
Early morning, Port-Vendres, France

Thanks Weekly Photo Challenge for the prompt.

Weekly photo challenge: The Golden Hour

When I read the weekly photo challenge to take a photo at the golden hour of sunrise or sunset, I thought, well, I already know about sunset light, so why not make an effort to study the light of sunrise.  But to do that I’d have to get up at sunrise on Sunday.  I had no intention of doing that.

Then, this morning at ten to seven, after six hours’ sleep, I woke to see my room suffused with pink.  At first I ignored it.  Too tired.  But I dared to open my eyes again a few minutes later and the light in the room was tinged with reddish purple.  I jumped out of bed and raced to find my camera, knowing that coloured light is fleeting.  You can see that I took the first photo at three minutes past seven – it took me that long to get ready for my cold back yard.

The official sunrise time was 7:10am, but Canberra was pretty in pink before that moment.  Not really a ‘golden hour’; more of a ‘rosy hour’.  When the actual moment came at 7:10, the pink glow had mostly gone, faded to grey.  It’s mid-winter here;  the temperature was about 6 degrees, a few degrees warmer than usual for this time of morning; the sky today is completely covered.  I know the sun was behind these rosy photos but I never saw it.

Sunrise, Canberra, 14th July 2013, three minutes past seven
Seven minutes before sunrise, Canberra, 14th July 2013, three past seven
Five minutes before sunrise, Canberra, 14th July 2013
Five minutes before sunrise, Canberra, 14th July 2013, five past seven
Exact official moment of sunrise, Canberra, 14 July 2013, ten minutes past seven
Exact official moment of sunrise, Canberra, 14 July 2013, ten past seven

Same subject, different time: East of Málaga's photo challenge

Marianne of East of Málaga had the idea of finding a subject worthy of an impressionist painter’s interest.  For me it’s this view, one I reckon Monet would have painted if he had been on my balcony.  And he could very well have stood on it – the building has been there for a century or two!

Two views from the same spot;  different days, different hours:

Port-Vendres, France, sunrise
Port-Vendres, France, rainbow
Port-Vendres, France, rainbow

Marianne proposes we recommend two blogs worth commenting on.  I found these two which show amazing wedding photography though neither of the bloggers is a professional photographer (yet);  have a look at what’s possible when you love what you do: