sunny daily commute

Everyday commute can sometimes provide a breath-taking scenery. Driving highway 40 in St. Louis is my daily routine and sometimes I can go in almost autopilot mode, listening morning show @ Y98. But in last few days, thanks to a two specific conditions, I am rewarded with this stunning view (together with thousands of other commuters travelling from West County to downtown). Well, day is a bit brighter in the morning! Those two conditions creating this magic moment: a) time change from winter to summer time, when a typical commute time is during a sunrise - about 7.00-7.15am. b) only during a limited time of the year (twice a year, actually) you can have sun rising right in front of you, popping up from the highway at the hill where Hwy 40 meets Hwy 270. You must admit this definitely looks like riding towards a very sunny day!



When I've noticed existing opportunity, I've spent next three mornings waking up at 5.40 to find a safe spot, where I was trying to capture with my camera what my eyes were seeing. Not an easy task! Let me tell you why...



First of all, weather didn't cooperate. One morning rain arrived 20 minutes prior the sunrise. Second morning  a thick fog hide the sun above the horizon. However, both those mornings I've transferred into my advantage and took a very pleasing shots, as heavy clouds and thick fog gave sky a very dramatic look, full of lights, colors and  rays.

Raining clouds are approaching.



Foggy dawn with a soft lights in the background - vs "standard" morning dawn.



And thanks to a really thick fog I didn't have a chance to catch sun rising from the horizon, but later on, when sun was reaching top of the fog - oh boy, that was a fantastic view full of sun rays, orange light and burning clouds with a flame around their edges.

But main obstacle I had to overcome was how to get into a picture "my vision" of long red taillights lines and sun just above the horizon. Well, I've tried several neutral density filters, even my 10stops Lee graduated ND one, but those two lightning conditions were so different, that it was just impossible to get it into a one shot. Either I had a nice sun, but "just a cars" frozen on their way, or I had a nice red lines thanks to a 15 sec exposure, but than picture was sooo overexposed. At the end I had to create a composite, combining the best of two worlds. 6.40am shot with a a 7.02am shot - that was my vision of riding towards to sun! And that's the picture on the top of this post.

I should probably print out a bumper sticker - "honk if you see crazy man in orange hoody sitting next to the highway" ;)
Enjoy your commute!





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