The Superstitions just before dawn

(click to see an extra larger than normal version to really fill your screen)

Back in April we had some good rain on the 9th, so the morning of the 10th I planned to get up waaaaay early and head out to the Superstition Mountains to shoot a beautiful sunrise with gorgeous clouds, cactus and all kinds of juicy stuff.  I was also meeting by buddy Ken Peterson out here and we’d hit the Apache Trail together.

You can imagine the slight disappointment you get when you are praying for awesome clouds in the morning and this is what you see above.

As is always the case, however…nature turns your sour lemons into lemonade by giving you something unexpected and just as beautiful. I sat at my favorite spot along Lost Dutchman Road waiting to meet Ken. And so I sat there watching the sky behind this mountain turn beautiful shades of morning colors. Normally I hate skies without clouds, but I loved all the solid colors here…dark silhouette with these gradient shades of purple and orange.

Plus you have Venus up there (at least I’m pretty sure it was Venus) adding just a hint of something extra.

For those that live in Phoenix, even a silhouette of these mountains is probably easily recognized by most people. I love that about some places…you can just see an outline or a shadow of something and know it instantly because you live there. It’s makes it something special.

(exif: canon 5d mark ii, tamron 17-35mm 2.8, 35mm, f/10, iso 100, 5 sec)

  • Chris Nitz

    It is so awesome that Venus is the only item in that sky of fantastic morning colors. I am digging the silhouette of the mountain as it let my mind wonder about what all was around it. Wonderful shot to start the day with.

  • Jesse

    Dude. This is awesome. I hear your sentiments about cloudless skies but the way you adapted to the situation is fantastic. Dig it.

  • Chris Frailey

    Mother Nature is finicky isn’t she. 🙂 Nice job Mike with the silhouette.

  • Scott Wyden Kivowitz

    Really fun shot!

  • Heath O’Fee

    Wow…love that silhouette against the amazing gradation of colour in the sky. Lemons into lemonade for sure!

  • Chris DeAngelis

    I really like how you silhouetted the mountain. Beautiful colors in that otherwise boring, cloudless sky!

  • A.Barlow

    Man i love silhouette shots and this one is great!

  • Curt Fleenor

    Sweet silhouette and the color in the sky is amazing! Nice Mike!

  • J Howe

    I guess when you are shooting nature you shoot what nature gives you. In this case, I think nature gave you something terrific. Wonderful image, great color and having Venus in the image is just an added bonus.

  • Dave DiCello

    This is just awesome Mike, love the depth, stunning silhouettes, I love those colors!

  • Toad Hollow Photography

    Sorry about the distinct lack of clouds, but WOW Mike…. this is awesome!

  • jina

    This is beautiful. I love the simplicity of it.

  • Jan Winther

    Great shot. The mountains looks like a Levels histogram. 🙂

  • Chrisdmrf

    The beauty of nature photography summed up to perfection in words and 1 glorious image

  • Thomas

    Look, there’s Venus! The colors are well-captured, beautiful.

  • Justin

    Beautiful Pano! I love the title.