I'm not lucky, I'm a Scientist.

Today my wife and I got up before dawn (civil dawn was at 6:29am today) to take a special Good Friday picture. This is the story of that picture.

The only good photos in this post are at the first and last, the rest are just story.

Because of prior calculations I knew that today the sun would be blasting down Jasper Ave, fully above the horizon, right in the middle of the road when seen from one section of the road; and because it’s a holiday there would be little or no traffic in my way.

Because my compass and inclinometer aren’t terribly accurate, and Google Earth didn’t give me a very good backup information we left quite early, leaving time for some breakfast and the first photo.

At 6:46am I was set up on the Low Level Bridge for the first picture of the morning. At this time the sun was at an azimuth of 77° and an altitude of -4° (slightly below the horizon.) There was lots of time to spare.good-friday-solar-calculation-1.jpg

Then it was back into the car to make it down town with enough time to walk from our parking spot to Jasper Ave somewhere between 103 St. and 105 St.

We needed to walk around and which intersection was going to work best. Because Jasper Ave is curved it would effect the time slightly. As it turns out at the optimal location for the architecture there were lots of trees in the way. The sun moves very fast that early but we figured it out with enough time to grab some Tim Hortons at 103 St.

At 7:07am the sun hit the top of the Enbridge building, ever so slightly, it was quite dim, but it was the first sign it was coming. You can just see the pink cast at the top in this picture. (azimuth 81°, altitude 0°) good-friday-solar-calculation-2.jpg

Five minutes later at 7:12am the sun was creeping down the Western Canadian Bank building. (azimuth 82°, altitude 0°)good-friday-solar-calculation-3.jpg

The street was still pretty dark at that time.good-friday-solar-calculation-4.jpg

By 7:19am the Western Canadian Bank building was fully lit up. (azimuth 83°, altitude 1°)good-friday-solar-calculation-5.jpg

By 7:21am the sun was quickly moving into position, now it was above the horizon casting light down the road but still not quite there. It was fully above the horizon now, and just needed to move between the buildings. (azimuth 84°, altitude 2°)good-friday-solar-calculation-6.jpg

At 7:26am it passed the buildings on the north side of the road and was well in view, and very bright. (azimuth 85°, altitude 2°)good-friday-solar-calculation-7.jpg

Finally at 7:31am it was in position for the shot we’d come for. (azimuth 86°, altitude 3°)good-friday-solar-calculation-8.jpg

We had originally hoped to take the photo from one block further West and thus have a longer corridor of buildings for the shot, however on arrival it turned out there were too many trees in the way and we had to move East. That cut our time from 7:37am to 7:31am, resulting in the sun being 2° lower in the sky.

All in all it was well worth getting up for.

« Previous post Next post »

If you would like to improve your photography skills Edmonton Photography Classes offered by The Canadian Photography Learning Centre (The CPLC) are excellent.