Sunrise and Sunset at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland outside of Cambridge. We usually go there for the wildlife, it has one of the largest concentrations of Bald Eagles on the East Coast along with a wide variety of mammals & birds. But because of its location, Sunrises and Sunsets can be spectacular with amazing colors. There can also be changes in weather with storms rolling in or heavy fog in the morning. In this blog I am concentrating on Sunrises & Sunsets. I use mostly Canon equipment so these are captured with either the 24-105 f/4L, 17-40 f/4 L, 28-135 f/5.6 & 400mm f/4 DO ( for birds flying through the colorful sunset or interesting closer compositions of clouds). For sunrises I usually like to be in the entrance area of the Wildlife Drive, either on the first turnoff from the entrance or further down on the turnoff by the new observation platform. This is also a great area in early morning to look for spider webs backlit from the rising sun. For sunsets, I usually like to be near the end of the Wildlife Drive with the line of trees for scale along the bottom of the frame with water in front. Also across the road at the end of the Wildlife Drive is a popular spot. This area helps minimize power lines that might get in your way along with the Loblolly Pines anchoring the frame with the colorful sky. The new Observation Platform near the entrance to the refuge, is a new favorite spot for Sunsets or Cloudscapes. You can add a lot of foreground with reflections going into the Sunset. When photographing Sunsets or Sunrises, try something a little different to help tell a story about your location, not just the usual composition. They tend to help show the location better to someone else, plus it is fun to try other versions. This also helps push your creative eye to see things a little differently. I tend to do this for my ebooks, using them as background images for other photos or text, often coming in handy. From my commercial background, I tend to not use the common rules of composition, instead leaving open space in areas for other placement of images or text.

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