Sunrise Glow at Orlando Wetlands

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Want to know how quickly light changes at sunrise?

This image was made at 7:17am, a couple of minutes before sunrise. The sky was orange with the light that was about to explode in the wetlands. A gentle fog rose from the waters of the lake.

The Still before Sunrise

This image was taken at 7:22. The sun had made its appearance over the edge of the horizon. Although you can’t see it in the image, its bright light is reflected in the still waters. Look at the orange light it cast on the fog! It was gorgeous.

Sunrise
Fiery Glow

This was at 7:23. The giant orb was fully visible above the distant trees. This kind of light only lasts for a couple of minutes, and it’s pure magic. These images are all bracketed (5 exposures) and processed with HDR. But the colors are exactly what I saw that morning.

Sunrise
Sunrise

When it’s too bright to continue photographing the sunrise, it’s time to switch gears to the birds! The Roseate spoonbills were very active that morning. I made my way along the boardwalk, and I found a small group of spoonies hanging out at the edge of the water. Incoming!

Roseate Spoonbill
Roseate Spoonbill

The birds are always lively first thing in the morning. I saw them flying between trees in the foggy mist, and I hung out for a while, hoping I’d get some opportunities for flight shots with the fiery mist. I wasn’t disappointed. :)

Roseate Spoonbill
Roseate Spoonbill

This bird is looking his finest in breeding plumage! Last year we had some magical moments with the spoonbills along the boardwalk. The nests closest to the boardwalk were also heavily predated. The birds seem to be giving the wetlands another try for their breeding grounds, so I look forward to seeing what Spring 2024 brings us!

Roseate Spoonbill
Roseate Spoonbill

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!

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