Another Holbox sunrise

I’ve returned to editing photos taken in Holbox, Mexico back in January, and I’m amazed by how good so many of the sunrise photos turned out. It pays off to get up early. This photo, like the previous sunrise photo from Holbox I posted, was taken from Punta Cocos, a beautiful beach which looks across a shallow lagoon. I don’t know if we just got lucky while we were there or if the sunrises are always amazing in Holbox, but they were among the best sunrises I have ever seen.

Sunrise in Holbox, Mexico

Early sunset at Sunset Cliffs

Sunsets can be hit and miss, since the quality of the light is dependent on the amount and location of the clouds. A perfectly clear sky looks boring but too many clouds and the sunset isn’t visible. Ideally, there is a moderate amount of clouds high in the sky. But many days are not ideal. The day in San Diego that this photo was taken was one such day. This photo was taken about half an hour before the sun was supposed to set. Because of the clouds low on the horizon, the sun had already disappeared by this time and minutes later all color in the sky was gone. When photographing sunrise or sunset, it is always a good idea to arrive early, because you never know if the light will be good early, late, or somewhere in between.

Sunset over the ocean in San Diego

Sunrise at Bryce Canyon

This photo was taken in Bryce Canyon National Park, from the aptly named Sunrise Point. We arrived at Sunrise Point 20-25 minutes before sunrise and the actual sunrise point was completely filled with people, so we decided to hike down the trail just far enough that we could enjoy sunrise in relative peace. Being late May, the temperatures were quite cool, which may come as a bit of a surprise given the warmth of this photo. As the sun approached the horizon off to the left of the photo, the clouds began to light up with brilliant color and the canyon got enough light to see the details without the harsh shadows that would appear in the canyon minutes later. This photo is a nice example of how the best sunrise/sunset photos aren’t always taken with the camera pointed towards the sun.

Beautiful sunrise in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Sunset in the Magic Kingdom

While I generally prefer the great outdoors when it comes to vacation, there is no denying that there is something magical about Disney World. The parades are brilliantly done, the shows are the perfect mix of humor and cuteness, the castles are straight out of a fairy tale, and while the rides may not be as thrilling as at other theme parks, they are full of charm. The entrance isn’t cheap and the crowds can be a little excessive, but for those who are young or merely young at heart, a little magic is worth the cost of admission.

Castle in front of a sunset at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Botanic garden sunset

The highlights of the Chicago Botanic Garden are the beautiful flowers, impressive bonsai collection, and the peaceful Japanese garden. While those all provide wonderful photo opportunities, the lake near the entrance to the garden isn’t bad either, especially on a calm day when the reflections in the water are clear. We just happened to be walking towards the exit as the sun set on this day, so how could I not stop and take a photo?

Sunset at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Sunset #3

Everyone loves a good sunset photo, so why not go for 3 sunsets in a row. This photo was taken on the island of Holbox, located in Mexico, a couple hour drive and ferry ride from Cancun. The small island has dirt roads, most people get around by golf cart, bike, or by walking, and the island has no shortage of beautiful beaches. This photo was taken on our walk back from attempting to walk to Punta Mosquito, which we realized was not going to happen when we reached a river we would have to swim across to continue, a river in which crocodiles swim, so you can understand why we turned back. Fortunately, this meant that we were walking along a beautiful stretch of secluded beach as the clouds in the sky lit up as sunset approached.

Sunset on a beach in Holbox, Mexico.

Sunset surfer in San Diego

We’re going with a sunset photo for the second day in a row, because who doesn’t like a good sunset photo. This photo was taken in San Diego, more specifically from Windansea Beach in La Jolla. It was a perfect early November evening with just enough clouds in the sky to make for a great sunset, a beach full of people, and an ocean full of surfers. It took me a few tries to get a decent photo of a surfer, either I would mis-time the photo or they would fall before getting to the position I wanted them in, but eventually I got this photo of a surfer catching a nice wave in front of the setting sun.

Sunset with a surfer in the foreground

Sunset in Siena

Several years ago we spent a couple days in Siena, a city in the Tuscany region of Italy. While not as well known as more popular tourist destinations like Florence and Pisa, Siena is a beautiful town with tons of charm and impressive sights like the cathedral and main piazza. This photo is of the Basilica of San Domenico. The outside of the Basilica is not very aesthetically pleasing in my opinion, so when we got this wonderful sunset the night we were there, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for a silhouette photo. There are so many great places to visit in Italy that it is hard to see them all, but Siena is definitely worth a visit. Rick Steves, who I have always found useful when planning travel to Europe, has some good information about Siena on his website.

Silhouette photo of a basilica at sunset in Siena, Italy

Egret at sunrise

This photo was taken during a recent vacation on the island of Holbox, Mexico, which is a couple hour drive and a ferry ride from Cancun. It is a beautiful, relatively undeveloped island with nice beaches, lots of birds, and great sunrises/sunsets. This photo was taken at sunrise from Punta Cocos. Most of my favorite sunrise photos are taken before the sun actually comes up, but as you can see, this photo was taken shortly after the sun appeared. The way that the sun bathed the clouds and water in golden light made for a very warm friendly scene, and this egret was nice enough to land in front of me just in time to get in the photo.

Warm sunrise on the island of Holbox, Mexico with an egret in the water