Sunrise Progresses More Slowly in the Mountains

A view to the west as the sun comes up behind me in the Blue Ridge Mountains in October.

A sunrise in the mountains is different than it is on sea level. Depending on where you are in the mountains, it can take another 30 to 60 minutes for the sun to rise over the mountain after it comes up over the sea level horizon.

The colors are more muted because the valley wasn’t awash in bright sunlight yet. At sea level, the would have been filled with light, seemingly all at once. But in the mountains, the sunrise seemed to progress more slowly as the light gradually fills the valley. That is what happened on this day. It made for a marvelous transformation!

Many of my best photographs are taken before sunrise when the light is changing rapidly. In the mountains, I have even more time to capture magical light of the sun because of the length of time it takes to rise over the mountains.

Please visit Beautiful Sun Photography to see more of my sunrise (and sunset shots), both in the mountains and on the Great Lakes.


Beautiful Sun Adventures is created by Deb Beausoleil, a landscape photographer living in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her photography can be viewed (and purchased!) at her website, Beautiful Sun Photography.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow, great start to this blog and a great opening photograph. I do sunrise images at the beach and there is, obviously, a difference in the way the sun announces itself upon breaking the horizon. However, I enjoy photographing the sky as it brightens and changes colors “before” the sun makes its appearance. I do need to get out to the mountains to experience what you have described – and capture it in my own way.

    1. Thank you, Bill! I’m finding all sorts of new ways to capture the sunrise here in the mountains that I never had to consider in the Great Lakes region.

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