3 amazing lighthouse sunrises

These sunrises blew my mind

In late Augues I was at Michigan's Lake St. Clair helping to cover a Bassmaster Elite Series tournament, and while running across the lake we passed the St. Clair River Lighthouse β€” and I knew I wanted to grab some shots of the 19th century structure.

My opportunity came a couple of days later when I was out on the water about 30 minutes before any of the professional anglers as the rising sun began painting the clouds garish colors.

I had my boater position me so the lighthouse was backed by the amazing sky, and then shot a number of photos over about 15 minutes. The cool thing about a sunrise is the colors become softer the closer to official sunrise β€” and that's exactly what happened on this magical morning.

First photo was nuclear

The sky in the first photo of the day looked angry, with bright oranges contrasted with dark clouds. It was just amazing.

Those garish clouds presented an angry look to the beginning of the day. And the lighthouse was more silhouetted against the garish background. It was really a dramatic photo.

Second photo turns pastel

Minutes later, however, all that contrast faded and the sky turned a softer, pastel orange. 

This photo has a completely different look.

I was pumped about these photos, and really thought I was done with the lighthouse.

Not done yet

However, the sun rose on the final day as a perfect orb shining through what I think was smoke from the fires out west. There were no clouds in the sky so that's the only explanation I have for that sunrise.

Again, I was out early, so I had my boater run straight back to the lighthouse β€” and this time I chose my longest lens to help really compress the image and make the sun look as large as possible in the frame.

And then I positioned the boat so the sun was at the top of the lighthouse, actually lighting up the light camber of the old structure. The resulting photo is stunning!

I drove the 1,100 miles home knowing I had some real winners in my computer!