The Saharan Dust Cloud was back in mid-June, and as the dust made its way over Florida, the sunrises and sunsets were spectacular. I headed to the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive on my bike, hoping to catch a glimpse of a good sunrise. It exceeded my expectations!
My goal was to bike up to the Crazy U, where I’d gotten some beautiful bike-scape photos earlier in the summer. But the sunrise wasn’t going to wait that long. I peeked over my shoulder and saw the beautiful colors in the sky, so I repeatedly hopped off my bike to take a few shots.
As usual, I bracketed my exposures and did some HDR post-processing using Photomatix. Sometimes sunrise photos are overdone in post-processing, but here, I tried to stay very faithful to the colors I had seen.
A Great Blue Heron stood quietly near the reeds as the fiery sky reflected in the water around him. Little did I know then that I would spend many happy hours hanging out at this same spot over the next few weeks.
The light changed very quickly. I alternated pedaling and shooting as the color exploded through the clouds.
This was the peak moment. It was so spectacular that I almost forgot to take pictures.
The light faded as quickly as it came. By the time I approached my intended destination, the sun was already obscured by the clouds. A grackle watched the light fade with me. I headed back down the trail, not intending to stay very long. But I was detailed by three very cute subjects that you’ll meet in my next post!
Want to learn more about nature photography at Lake Apopka?
Check out my Lake Apopka 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!
Spectacular photographs, Jess!