I think that at some point, every photographer starts being more selective regarding the photos he (or she) takes. Trying to achieve a good image without pressing the shutter too many times (it's surprising how easy it is with digital...), is essential to minimize the time spent in front of the screen, sorting photos. Personally, I try to separate images taken as a part of a trip, to remind me of something I experienced, from images taken with the intent to become a little more than just that.
But even with this thought in mind, there are those rare sights that are so amazing, that even though I know I can't take a decent image of them, they simply leave me like a little boy, shooting and shooting and shooting. And hoping that maybe, against the odds, at least one good image will come out of it - with no hard-grain or smear or color cast.
Recently I traveled to Colombia for work. Colombia was beautiful (photos will come...). But it was the flight back that practically left me face-stuck to the window. It seems that for this one flight, all of the conditions were right. The timing of the plane, the weather, and the place. I was lucky enough to have seen this sunrise, from the moment the light touched the plane, through the red patches on the ground a little later, and until the sun was higher, as the plane landed. I decided to share some of the images taken from that flight.
While the quality of the images might not be the highest possible (due to the plastic window, the plane movement, and the constraints on the field of view), I assure you that the sight was breathtaking. I hope you can still get that impression from the selected images on the gallery. You can click on the images to enlarge them, or view them here.
The plane was lowering towards landing in Madrid, just as the sun began to rise. Since the plane was much higher than the ground (several Km up), the first rays touched the plane first, casting such a warm light I don't remember ever seeing. This lasted only for several minutes - and the initial, red-orange glow - lasted even less than that.
The ground was still dark. But as the sun began to climb, little by little, small red patches started to appear on the surface, on the higher ground facing east. At first they were hardly noticeable to the camera, but it only took a minute for them to become visible in the images as well. These red patches started to grow and expand, until at some point, we passed a mountain range, watching the texture caused by the light, the peaks of the mountains painted in glowing-red, and the warm horizon starting to brighten up. You can see the low angle of the sun by looking at the "shadow line" in the air, caused by the high peaks.
From here, it took quite a short time for the sun to climb, and light-up the ground with the golden morning light. It was the fourth time I have flown over Madrid's area, watching the patches of the fields form abstract images on the ground. But the morning glow gave them an even more impressive appearance.
Shortly after, the plane landed. It's amazing to think that each day, thousands of different people witness the same beautiful sight.