Glendale Veterans Memorial at Sunrise

I was sort of bummed that the forecast for today called for a 60% chance of rain.  I really wanted to try out my new tripod.  When I woke up at 5:30 this morning (hubby had to get up to go to work), I looked out the window and as far as I could tell it was completely overcast.  I went ahead and had a cup of coffee and some toast and resigned myself to getting an early start on the tax returns.

Then, about 6:30 I looked outside and saw that there were some breaks in the clouds just as dawn was breaking.  I got dressed, grabbed my camera and tripod and headed over to the Glendale library, which is just about five minutes from my house.  I had been planning this shoot for some time, and had just been waiting for a morning with a good sunrise.

In front of the Glendale library there is a memorial to U.S. Veterans and to those lost on the USS Arizona during WWII.  It’s a beautiful sculptural piece of copper, bronze, steel, sandstone and concrete, shaped into four trees surrounding an obelisk that contains actual salvaged pieces of the USS Arizona.

I drive past this memorial every day and noticed how the morning sun creates a beautiful golden glow on the copper leaves of the trees. So this was the morning to finally capture it.  I did all my shots in bracketed series of three shots at -2.0/0/+2.0, and shot at ISO 100, aperture-priority.  The new tripod worked like a champ.  I didn’t realize just how much easier it would be to shoot with a decent tripod, but quickly fell in love with my new Sunpak as I discovered just how simple it was to switch from landscape to portrait orientation on the fly.  The pistol grip with the squeeze trigger has me spoiled already.

I took quite a few shots of the memorial and processed them tonight in Photomatix into HDR images.  I’ve already uploaded them to Flikr in a new set called “Glendale Veterans Memorial“, so be sure to check them out.

I also got some great shots of the library, a neighboring church, and some of the plant species in the botanical gardens around the library.  I’ve already processed these in Photomatix as well, but haven’t yet uploaded them to Flickr.  I may want to tweak some of them in Paintshop Pro just to see how much they can be improved.  I should have them uploaded early next week.

It was a great hour of early morning shooting….no crowds, no security guards hassling me….just the beauty of the sunrise and the surroundings.  It was a very zen-like way to start my weekend, and it proved to be short-lived–about ten minutes after I got home it started raining, and it didn’t stop until late this afternoon.  It’s all about the timing!




  1. Glendale Veterans Memorial 13, GVM 18, and Glendale Main Library 10 are your best three works in my opinion. They just seem to have this other-wordly feel about them that I associate with HDR. The way the light just kind of glows off the leaves and the tree is fantastic. Keep shooting. You motivate me.

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