CA Capital at Sunrise


CA State Capital at sunrise by Chip Bunnell Photography

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To me, there is no better time of day than sunrise. It is the start of the new dreams and all the slates are wiped clean from the previous. Mix in my city-boy roots and you have the love for photographying the streets on a weekend morning. Gone are the crowds of people and virtual parking lots of cars on the main roads. Calm and a brief feeling of openness fills the void. As an unpublished bonus, if you happen to look in just the right direction, at just the right time, you get a truly colorful treat in the urban sunrise sky.

A recent family trip took me to the state capital of California, Sacramento. With nothing more than a goal of seeing a unique bridge over the river and a GPS I headed out into the darkness. I was lucky to find a parking garage right across the street from the bridge with an empty spot right in the front – another bonus to photographing when most are fast asleep. As I stood at the corner waiting to cross, I looked to the right and then to the left (yes kids, look both ways before crossing the street) and saw one of the most amazing skies I have seen in years! From fiery reds to cool blues, it seemed as though a giant paint brush used just about every rich color in the pallet. The State Capital building stood as a brightly lit marker to draw my focus. I quickly positioned my tripod and made several frames from various angles, hoping that even a small piece of what I was witnessing could be captured.

Within a few short minutes the magical explosion of color faded and I moved on to my primary destination. Sometimes you are in just the right spot at the right time. That day I was, and that moment will live on in my archives to remind me of that powerful view.

Photo Stuff:  Single frame on a tripod, Processed in LR, PS and Topaz Adjust 5
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LOCATION :: Windy Fall Road


Windy Fall Road by Chip Bunnell PhotographyA recent assignment took me to the mountains surrounding Asheville, NC. I was fortunate to be there during the height of “leaf peeping” season. Being a self-professed, modern day beach enthusiast, I have had little experience in peeping on leaves, but was excited to see what all the fuss was about. I am happy to report the adventure did not disappoint.

The leaves were at their peak. Everywhere I looked I had traded my familiar flowing palms for tall, majestic trees covered in florescent orange and fiery gold leaves. There was just enough wind to send some of leafy colors to the ground like huge pieces of confetti celebrating the season. The thick forest had a rich contrast as I scanned from the individual tree textures to the large trunks that seemed to go on into infinity. Being a car enthusiast, some of my favorites scenes were the windy roads as I climbed and descended along the rugged mountain sides. One particular scene stands out.

Just over the South Carolina boarder I found myself on a quiet 2-lane road. The tight corners and hair pin turns seemed to go on and on. I pulled over to admire a curvy stretch and make a few final frames of the wonderful fall colors. In the distance, I heard the familiar sound of a finely tuned classic German sports car. Seconds later, a beautiful maintained Porsche 911 gracefully passed me as it confidently handled each corner with the greatest of ease. I could swear I caught a glimpse of the driver’s face, smiling with an almost childlike joy, as he piloted his dream car through a perfectly picturesque setting. As he vanished around the distant bend, I couldn’t help thinking back to my own times behind the wheel of my dream cars image the feelings of freedom I felt.

Such a simple moment became a true gift I enjoyed and captured. This windy fall road once again proves my belief that the journey is greater than the destination.

Photo Stuff:  Single frame, Processed in LR