Sunrise on a Crisp December Morning

Back in the early 1990s, I was working at a camera shop, developing film, printing photographs, taking pictures of the mall Santa Claus with kids and doing general duties of an assistant manager of a one-hour lab. I began working there because of my love of photography.

While I learned a lot about this area of the art, I wanted to expand my skill with my 35 mm camera. At that time, night courses were all the rage. I’m not sure if they are now, but even 15 years ago, they had been, and I had been an instructor on several of them.

Anyways, Dartmouth offered a wide-range of night courses for fall, winter and spring. This included photography. Ryerson Clark, who I believe lived in Halifax, was our instructor. I signed up for all three courses he offered, completing one then going onto the next.

His courses involved composition, lighting, film types and other important components to capturing a great shot. It was the first time I had used in slide film, and I was rather enjoying the experience. He wanted slides so students could share their images with the class on the big screen.

Courses ran from September to June and while we went on outings every month (or was it weekly? I can’t recall) when it came to capturing the early morning light of dawn, he chose January, our coldest month. Personally, I believed he wasn’t a morning person, so didn’t want to be on the road at 6:00 am to be on site at 6:30. Meeting in January meant we didn’t have to arrive at the chosen destination until 8:00 am.

But maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps he instead wanted to capture the crispness of frost.

Yesterday morning, I awoke to -17 degrees Celsius instead of the predicted -9 degrees. Inspired by the frosty morning and glow of the sun rising over the hill flanking our yard, I snapped a few shots with the phone camera (I’m still saving to get a decent digital camera). This brought back memories of those early morning shoots, 10 to 15 eager souls scouting the area to capture the best images and asking Ryerson for tips. Those were good times. Good days.

Below are my crisp December morning photographs. Yes, it was nippy but with no wind and the sun shining, it wasn’t that bad.


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