Good morning, Kansas

(click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, canon 85mm 1.8, f/8.0, iso 100, 1/400 // buy print)

Please click on this one to view in the lightbox, I think it looks a lot more accurate.

This photo represents such a beautiful moment for me, it’s an image I’ve held back for awhile, for whatever reason. I took it on the open roads of Kansas the second day of my stormchasing trip to the Midwest this past May.

I had landed in Denver the day before around noon, drove to Nebraska’s northwestern corner…then into South Dakota…then hovered around those two states until maybe 11pm. I knew at some point I had to head south because storms would be popping in southern Kansas the next afternoon and it was about a nine hour drive.

So I was up until around 4 in the morning driving into Kansas. I slept in the back of the car until the alarm went off at 6am. And so I kept driving. It was still a bit dark out, but the light was coming up.

And for some reason…it was hazy almost my entire trip out there.

I’m driving down this road headed for the interstate when I see the sun start rising off to my left. I’m tired. I hadn’t talked to another person in quite awhile. There was this overwhelming sense of freedom deep inside me. I had no rules to follow, no one telling me where to go. I just woke up and started driving.

And then I see the sun outlined against this hazy, Kansas sky. I know we all touch up our photos for color, etc., but all I did here was a tighter crop and some contrast in Lightroom. The sky just looked like it was painted on by an artist. And the silhouette of the wind mill is just what Kansas is about to me.

You’ll notice some faint lines stretching across the image. To the right of the image was a very tall antenna of sorts, with these cables keeping it tied firmly to the ground. I dunno…I didn’t mind them much.

I can’t explain too well the feeling I had while taking this picture…but I know it will stick with me for a long, long time.

  • http://goldenhourstudios.com Jesse

    I WANT A SHOT LIKE THIS. Love it.

  • http://heathofee.com Heath O’Fee

    So peaceful, and I really like all the different colour tones you get as the brightness of the sun fades through the frame.

  • http://www.chrisfrailey.com Chris Frailey

    Gorgeous reds!

  • http://www.doephotog.com A.Barlow

    Nice shot man. That warm morning haze really looks cool.

  • jina

    It’s really beautiful! Of course, I think I do remember being obnoxious and telling you all kinds of stuff you should be doing… like eat something, be careful, try to sleep at some point. Ah, annoying wives…

  • http://none aalevy

    I love this early dawn shot, that and the silhouette of the wind mill make it a prize photo..In fact, the cable lines add some suggestion of framing the sun.
    Thank you.

  • http://catchthejiffy.com Adam Allegro

    Beautiful sunrise photo Mike! That sun is awesome and loud! Wonderful work.