We were driving back from Meschen a couple of days ago when I saw these beautiful cloud formations where the light was breaking through the thick cover and creating these beautiful effects that resemble light pouring through cathedral windows. I suspect the reverse is true, which is to say that cathedral architects were inspired by this natural phenomenon when they designed buildings where the light comes in like this at certain times of the day. Enjoy the photos!


Today’s images


It’s not often I wake up early enough to see the dawn. I usually work late into the night, because I find that’s when I can gather my thoughts and be at my most productive — when I’m alone, the noises of the day have subsided and the only sounds I hear are the reassuring churning of the hard drive platters in my Drobo and my own breath.

When I do manage to wake up early (or work through the night and into the dawn), I get these gorgeous, glorious views of the Earth waking up as that huge fireball called the Sun starts to light things up. Mind you, I’m not talking about the sunrise. It’s the dawn, also known as the daybreak. It’s when the darkness of the night starts to fade away and shapes begin to form out of the mist. It’s when things unseen become seen.

I thought I’d publish a gallery of various photos I’ve taken in recent years of the dawn. Some of the photos are from places where I’ve lived, others are from places I visited and most are from the road. My wife and I would often just get in our car and drive to some town where we had business in the middle of the night, so we’d be there in the morning. The roads were quiet and it was an experience unto itself to be in the middle of nowhere, our car a capsule of civilization and warmth in an otherwise cold place at a cold time, its headlights eyes, peering out into the darkness and making sense of it. Now that we have a small daughter, there’s no night driving. We’re too exhausted. We’re happy to take any and all sleep we can get. Which is what I’m going to do after publishing this post, because it’s way past midnight here.

This gallery isn’t exhaustive, it’s a work in progress (I hope I’m around for a long, long time to capture countless more dawns on bits and bytes) but I think it’s beautiful to look at and I hope you do too. Enjoy!


The dawn


Fun with shadows

You can get wonderful photographs by playing with shadows. They’re used to great effect in portraiture (which is a subject for another post) and you can use them to the same effect when photographing objects or shapes, in effect sculpting the image with light. Here are a few examples.


Fun with everyday objects

Continuing along the same lines as my previous post, you can have lots of photographic fun with everyday objects you’ll find in your kitchen or your living room. You just have to slightly re-imagine them in a different light or a different angle. Here are a few photos that do just that.


A simple round ceiling lamp can be reimagined like this, emphasizing its glow by overexposing it and vignetting the corners.

Even something as banal as a furniture surface or a carpet can be photographed in such a way that it would make for an interesting desktop wallpaper.

I hope you’ll take a bit of time to experiment and have some fun with your cameras!


Watching the skies

I count myself blessed for living where I live. Our community is a beautiful place, and even though it’s in the middle of a city, surrounded by major roads, great care has been taken in its planning and maintenance over the years. It feels more like a park than a residential community, and the fact that we’re bordered by forests on either side helps a lot. We have an open view of the horizon that looks out toward Rock Creek Park, and as a result, I get to see a lot of beautiful skies. Here are a few recent photos taken right from our terrace.

I couldn’t believe how beautiful these clouds were. They look hand-painted, don’t they?

Quilted for extra softness

A recent dusk featured a gorgeous light show that painted the clouds in all sorts of hues.

Heavenly light show

We had a full moon last week, and I “captured” it.

Shoot for the moon

These two buildings are quite far apart, yet the long focal range compresses the distance between them, making them look as if they’re superimposed.


Planes often fly above. We get plenty of supersonic jets and military aircraft, since we’re very close to Washington, DC. Sometimes we also get these planes. I think they’re doing aerial photography that later makes it onto Google Maps.

Aerial photography

Lots of Canadian geese choose to winter in our area. I see them in the nearly frozen water, swimming along as if it’s summer. I don’t know how they do it. I guess it’s warmer than Canada, but still… These three geese (one of them is obscured by the tree) were flying in to bed for the night.


This is my week 4 submission for the 2008 Community Challenge.