Sunrise at the Circle B Bar Reserve


This morning the sunrise made up for the icky cloudy day yesterday.  I arrived at the Circle B Bar Reserve well before sunrise.  Unfortunately I arrived at the Wading Bird Way trail about 15 minutes too late to photograph the setting moon, which was beautiful as I watched it driving across I-4.  But I did arrive with plenty of time to watch the sun as it began to peek up behind the clouds.

The rays of the sun were bright, and it was unusual to see them peeking out from behind the clouds as they did this morning.  I had my wide-angle lens with me, but with the crop factor on my 40D, I couldn’t zoom as wide as I wanted.  So I shot the picture below in two sections and stitched them together in Photoshop.  Each section was an HDR combination of three exposures shot at +/- 2 EV.

The sun was slow to peek out from behind the clouds to actually “rise”.  I kept moving down the trail, trying to find marsh water not covered in algae to provide a good refection.  I  continued making multiple exposures to later combine with HDR techniques.  As the light increased, I switched from 3 exposures to 7, metered at 2/3 stops.  I was pleased to be far enough down the trail that when the sun finally peeked out, it was behind the “birdie Christmas trees.”

The sun quickly became blinding as it rose over the trees.  I was glad that my camera was already in place on the tripod.  I took one final set of bracketed shots using Live View, so that I could adjust the exposure bracketing without having to look through the viewfinder at the sun.

After the sunrise, I spent a pleasant couple of hours wandering the reserve with the Beast, looking for migrant birds.  I will post those pictures tomorrow…

Want to learn more about nature photography at Circle B Bar Reserve?

Check out my Circle B Bar Reserve page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!

Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!