Burlington Sunrise

The 5th of August was a holiday in Ontario. So I made arrangements to spend Sunday night in Burlington, Ontario. The goal was to catch the Monday morning sunrise because PhotoPills planner shows that the sun would rise directly behind the Spencer Smith Pier.

Spencer Smith Pier Pre-DawnSunrise was going to happen at 6:15AM, so I made sure to be where I had to be more than an hour early. Even that early, I was surprised at how bright it was outside.

I setup the camera on the Platypod and placed everything on the top of a concrete bollard along the Spencer Smith boardwalk. I used a cable release to ease the picture taking and began to wait.

I really liked how the very first picture turned out. The camera had a longer shutter speed in the dim light, so that smoothed out the waters of Lake Ontario but kept the reflections from the pier intact. The sun was below the horizon, but its light was already moving around the atmosphere. Cool.

Spencer Smith Pier SunriseAs golden hour approached, the sunlight became even more vivid. Although I did a few visual tweaks in Photoshop, these shots are really very close to be straight out of the camera.

Gradually, more people began moving along the boardwalk. Joggers and walkers. Plus a rather surprising number of photographers. Thanks to PhotoPills, I knew I was in a prime location for the sunrise.

Spencer Smith Pier SunriseThe clockwork of the cosmos did not disappoint! As expected, the sun finally peeked over the horizon, exactly beneath the pier sculpture.


Of course, the earth’s axis is tilted and we are rotating, So the sun appeared to move in an arc. It didn’t take long until it was beside the sculpture instead of behind it. I could have moved my gear to maintain the angles, but I stayed in place.

Please check out my Hamilton & Burlington, Ontario Flickr album to see the other pictures. You will have to scroll down since Flickr sorts albums in ascending date order. I rather like the hand-held shot right at sunrise that put the bollards and anchor chain into the foreground.

I’m going to use PhotoPills more often to try to plan photo shoots like this again. There is a great deal that this app can calculate for a photographer. it is worth the $15 investment many times over.

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