Finally! A day off when it wasn’t raining! So I dusted off my cameras and headed to photograph sunrise at Orlando Wetlands Park. I got there just as the gate was being opened – perfect timing! The sky was already lightening as I headed to one of my favorite sunrise spots.
It never fails. We get beautiful wispy clouds every morning as the sun rises on the way to work. But on the weekend when I’m in a pretty location, the sunrise never is as good! On this morning, the clouds caught some of the sun’s fire, but the thick clouds on the horizon hid most of the actual sunrise.
I wasn’t the only one watching the sunrise. The park was full of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, whose cheerful calls echoed throughout the wetlands. They flew around in small flocks as the light got stronger. Many of them were perched in the trees backlit by the rising sun. I put a 2x teleconverter on The Beast and got some silhouette shots. At one point these two birds started to fuss, and one started to bite the other bird’s foot! It reminded me of my cats when Whiskey sneaks in to steal Squirt’s breakfast.
When the sun filled peeked out, it bathed the marsh in beautiful golden light.
Then I found a spot where I could position the sun behind a clump of trees. I used a high f-stop number to make the sun’s beams render in a starburst pattern. Then it started to get hot. Very hot. Did I mention that I’m looking forward to cooler temperatures? :) and winter birds!
After the sun came up, I switched into bird photography mode. You’ll see some of those photos in an upcoming blog post. But a few minutes later, I turned around and saw all the marsh grasses bathed in beautiful golden light. It was so pretty that I had to pull out the wide-angle one more time…
Up next – birds! :)
Want to learn more about nature photography at Orlando Wetlands?
Check out my Orlando Wetlands 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!