There is a moment every morning where the transition from night to day begins. A moment when the sky is still dark and the stars are still shining brightly but those first few rays of sunlight break the horizon.
It's officially known as astro-twilight and for me it's one of the most magical moments of the day. There is so much promise in this moment. What will the new day hold? As I'm working my way up and down the beach capturing images I'm always keeping track of the time. I want to make sure I'm ready to shoot this moment and I also know it signals the end of my morning.
As the moment arrives I tend to have my camera setup and I just let it capture images as I stand still and soak it in. The world seems to stop, sound falls way and it's just me and the dawn. I'm captivated, this is what I'm here for, to experience this and try to bring a piece of it back to share.
Just like that it's over, the faint reds and yellows give way to blues that begin to stretch across the sky. The stars begin to fade and sunrise is on its way. I'm usually packed up and well on my way home the time that occurs but those moments really stick with me long after I've left.
Once I'm home and rested it's time to pull the image off the cards and see if what I captured matches up to what I saw. This past Saturday was my first real trip to shoot Milky Way this year and I wasn't disappointed. It's was early and cold but I managed to find just the right spot at just the time to capture astro-twilight.
After I processed the image I noticed a bright point of light just above the horizon and just below the rest of the stars. Not only did I manage to capture the dawn, the Lagoon and Dark Horse Nebulas but I got the rarely seen planet Mercury. It orbits so close to the Sun that it's only visible shortly before sunrise or just after sunset and only briefly.
I really hope I can find some clear skies this year, I have missed these mornings one the beaches with the stars waiting for that moment to stand still and see the dawn.
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