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!