The other day, someone asked me about my family surname, Beausoleil. It is a French-Canadian name and Beausoleil in English means “beautiful sun” (beau soleil). It seems rather fitting that I am a photographer who specializes in sunrise, night, and architecture photography which includes the sun with sunrises and sunsets!
Admittedly, I first fell in love with photography when I made my first night photograph.
It was (and still is) exciting to meet the challenge of making a photograph using what little available light there might be in the scene. It is rewarding to achieve the balance between the dark of night and the brightness of the available light. If done properly, a photograph made at night can be as stunning and detailed as one that is made during the day.
When I head out to shoot at sunrise, it is always about the light before the sun rises over the horizon. I am not there to point the camera directly into the sun as it comes up over the horizon. There are a few exceptions, of course.
When I was living in the Midwest, I loved using the reflections of the sun and clouds on bodies of water (Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, and inland lakes and coves). I would compose the shot by cropping the sun out of the frame so that my shot only included the sky (clouds) and the reflection itself. The bright sun itself can be distracting in a photograph and take away from the beauty of other objects in the scene.
Living in the mountains, I have had to produce other methods of shooting the sunrise without pointing the camera directly at the sun. Instead of using reflections, I use more silhouettes in the shot. Unless the clouds are extremely dramatic.
Or I turn around and look for a subject illuminated by the rising sun.
There are unlimited opportunities for several types of photographs at sunrise (or sunset), no matter where you are. We all share the sun, no matter where we are on the planet. Any one of us could take a picture of the sun and it would look like the others. What sets it apart is how we compose the photograph to include our surroundings and the effect of the light, whether it is the sun or the moon.
And that is my goal as a “beautiful sun” photographer. It is all about the light, whether it is at sunrise, sunset, or the dark of night.
Deb is a landscape photographer living in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The story behind the photographs are found here at Beautiful Sun Adventures. Her galleries can be found at Beautiful Sun Photography. Prints are available as wall art and home décor for your home, office, or business. Or as the perfect gift for someone special!