Sunday, 13 May 2012

Dawnwatch 28/01/2012 Apocalypse Dawn

Dawn from an East-Facing Balcony in Sydney
What do you do when insects, birds, planes and jets intrude into your photographs?  I for one welcome birds; in dawn shots, they add an extra nature element.  Insects often appear as a blur and wreck the picture.  Aeroplanes you just have to put up with if they are moving slowly across the sky just when the most brilliant dawn spectacle is underway.  As for high altitude jets and the white streams they leave behind, well, sometimes they are just unavoidable, as happened today.

Apocalypse Dawn:  Saturday, 28 January 2012
A messy dawn.  Bits of cloud against a clear sky.  That’s how it began.  And as the dawn progressed, more bits of cloud appeared.  Itty bitty bits of cloud dotted the sky.

The pre-pink dawn and the light blue of the sky combined to produce an incredible purple sky - stunning against the glory tree.  That’s the tree planted in front of my building facing from my balcony south-east.  Often east and south clash behind that tree to spectacular effect, and this morning was one of those days.

Moving on, the sky becomes multicoloured, resembling Neapolitan Dawn.  The purple sky is breaking up into its constituent rainbow colours.  Increasing light also reveals that all those little clouds are dark with rain.

At this point the first jet appears, streaking across the sky towards the as yet to rise dawn sun.  This is so early in the morning that the white jet stream appears as yellow.  So that’s the yellow vertical line in the picture - an incredibly messy picture.  We’ve got a multitude of cloud puffs, a multi-coloured sky, and now a vertical jet line.  I’ve slowed down the video so that you can absorb the confusingly complicated busyness in the photograph.

If that wasn’t enough, jet number two appears and leaves its white streak across the sky, following jet number one over the horizon towards the as yet to rise dawn sun and a little over to the right, as usual.  These two jets regularly appear at dawn, much like I see the same birds every morning.  How many times have I posted pictures depicting three cranes?  I must tell you, it’s the same three cranes every morning!  But I digress.  If the trio of cranes appeared this morning, you’d never see them in all the mess.

In the final phase, a little wind springs up and causes the pieces of cloud to congregate.  It does so in a very unnatural odd-shaped clump that covers only half of the sky, then slowly creeps across.  The rising sun bathes the sky in golden light.  But those angry dark clouds like the exhaust from cannons, the grey of supposed smoke in the sky, the vertical streams from the jets, the electrical wires strung across like barbed wire - it’s so very easy to imagine this dawn as the picture of a war zone.  This is Apocalypse Dawn.  In the words of Pro Hart, what a mess!

You have to see this dawn to believe it.  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.

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