Saturday, 26 May 2012

Dawnwatch 07/04/2012 Royal Easter Dawn

Dawn from an East-Facing Balcony in Sydney
This is the last autumn where I’ve posted a video because I can no longer see the sun rise; it’s disappeared behind the northerly trees.  For this video, I ran the pictures together in same time sequence because this dawn did not progress in stages.  Small changes - the shifting clouds, the light of the rising sun - added up to stunning big changes.  The photographs will explain everything I’m trying to say.

Royal Easter Dawn:  Saturday, 7 April 2012
Awakened by the sound of birds going crazy.  I don’t know why, but this was the last good dawn until I guess spring later in the year.  And it chanced to happen during the Easter holidays when I had the leisure to photograph.  The birds at least knew that Easter Saturday was their last opportunity to celebrate.

The dawn began with the clouds eerily lit with pink light.  Weirdling clouds revealed as the dawn light begins.  It was still pre-dawn dark despite the pink, and my initial photographs consequently have a slightly unfocused quality from the long exposures.  Must be something to do with the season, but there was some magnificent stuff going on in the sky, an unfortunately barely enough light to capture it with my camera.

As the sun rises, the pink glow cast by invisible cloud wisps reflecting back dawn’s pink light suggests a reason why this dawn lacks light.  The opaque veil of cloud is hampering the morning light from penetrating through.  Pink mingles with the blue background to create a stunning purple sky.  This contrasts against the thick lower clouds on the horizon between the trees that are ochre red.  I toyed with calling this dawn Ochre Dawn, Wild West Dawn, or Purple Plains Dawn, but in the end opted for Royal Easter in honour of the holiday date and the purple skies.

The low clouds begin to broil, churn and burn like a fiery furnace, and the higher clouds reflect back the reddish light.  I was afraid the reds wouldn’t turn out properly, and I was right.  The real thing looked more dramatic, but at least the photos give you an idea.

The colour in the lower cloud bank fades, and the higher cloud puffs are chased away by streaming white clouds.  The bright azure canopy properly belongs in the midday sky, but it’s put in an early appearance, as the greying cloud on the horizon proves.  Morning meets dawn and clash in the same sky.

If a single word describes this dawn, it would be stunning.  Royal Easter Dawn did not have the contrasting and very different stages of the magnificent dawns, but the progression of dawn passing into morning certainly produced a series of stunning pictures.

Anyway, if you skipped the book, as they say, you can catch up with the video on YouTube here.

Souvenir posters and mugs of this dawn are available from the Gagothicfunk store at as displayed below:

Don’t forget your humble photographer also writes fantasy adventure fiction under the name of S E Champenby.  Paperbacks and epubs available from at S E Champenby’s store.