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Grant Lake Sunrise (Eastern Sierra Nevada) | by Robin Black Photography
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Grant Lake Sunrise (Eastern Sierra Nevada)

This was a strange sunrise, and one I ended up shooting from a place I hadn't planned on. My first choice was to shoot from the shore of Silver Lake on the June Lake Loop, and as I drove up 395 in the predawn, the light looked promising; a big cloud bank to the southeast had already begun to glow a dark crimson. By the time I got to the lake, the wind had picked up, there were no clouds whatsoever to the SW (the direction I would shoot), and the shore line was already crowded with fishermen--and there was no color in the sky.


I resigned myself to not shooting a great sunrise, and continued on to the northern side of the loop to start shooting some of the aspen groves. I chose a grove upslope from Grant Lake--a lake I always found utterly barren and bordering on ugly--and had hiked about 100 yards up the slope when the washed-out sky began to turn pink. I don't think I've ever seen a sunrise do that before--light rises with no color, and then well past the point I expect to see any color, BOOM. So, I ran back down the hill and set up with the only comp that was handy--Grant Lake. This is probably the last place I would've expected a nice sunrise, but I was very happy to make do with it this morning.

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Taken on October 16, 2011