Watching the Sunrise at the Fall Retreat

The sun rises in the early morning hours at Sardis Lake Christian Camp in Mississippi. Read all about it at Burnsland.

The sun rises in the early morning hours at Sardis Lake Christian Camp in Mississippi. Because when else would it rise than the early morning hours, right?

This past weekend was our church’s youth group retreat, and I went along as a chaperone. Part of my job was to help out in general, and I served food, made sure the sound system was working, checked up on teens, and did whatever else needed to be done. Another part of my job was to watch out for Jaylin, who was still on crutches. That was mainly to make sure that he didn’t try to overexert himself more than watching out for what others might do to him because they wouldn’t have done anything like that. It was really cool to see them hang with him at times when he couldn’t play some of the games at free time, and to see them make sure that he had his food at meal times since it is hard to carry a plate when you are on crutches. It really is a good group of teens.

There was also plenty of time for recreation on the retreat. When it was all over, my arm was tired from playing endless games of Cornhole and Horseshoes. I also played a few games of Knockout Basketball with some of the teens, impressing at least a few of them when an old guy finished in third place in one of the games. I didn’t let them know just how high my heart rate was after each game, though. Can’t have them thinking I am too old to play, right?

One of the many highlights for me was the sunrise on Saturday morning, which is what you can see in the photo above. The leaves on the trees were showing their fall colors, the clouds were playing around in the sky without covering it completely, and the morning air was nice and brisk. Around 45 degrees, if you are curious, which is rather cold if your cabin is just plywood walls and screens. Anyway, I had of course taken my camera with me, and I couldn’t resist shooting the sunset.

When the next morning, which was Sunday, arrived, I was glad I had gotten my sunrise photos on Saturday morning. Because Sunday was the first Sunday in November, also known as the return to Standard Time. That meant that the sun rose an hour earlier on Sunday than it had on Saturday, and I wasn’t quite up in time to see it rise on Sunday. I’m sure it looked just as good, though. Because sunrises are always nice.

Interestingly, the sun rises every day. But you probably already know that. However, if you are like me you don’t always have a chance to stop and enjoy it, or perhaps even a chance to see it at all. Maybe the sun comes up before you get up, which makes it really hard to see the sunrise through your closed eyelids. Or maybe you are like me and usually in the car when the sun is coming up, meaning that you are spending more time watching where you are going and watching the other cars on the road than watching the sunset. If you do happen to see a nice sunset when you are driving, you probably can’t get a good photo of it from a moving car. Or at least that is what happens to me.

So one of the nice things about retreats is the chance to get away from all of the normal goings-on and relax just a bit. The chance to take time to enjoy the sunrise. Or the sunset. Or both. And maybe even the chance to get a good photo of it. Like this one.

When one rules over people in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God, he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth. - 2 Samuel 23:3-4

About the photo:

While I really like this photo, the composition is somewhat off. It would have been better to have the bridges centered in the photo more than they are because the left bridge gets cut off a bit. When I was shooting, I didn’t realize how much the left bridge was cut out of the frame. So let that be a lesson: notice what is going on at the edges of your photos, and not just what is in the center. Even if you are hurrying to try to get a good sunrise shot before the sun is all the way up.

So that you can see the magic of photo processing, here is a before-and-after look at this photo:


Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Rokinon 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens
Date: November 5, 2016
Location: Sardis Lake Christian Camp, Batesville, Mississippi

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.