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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 09/17/2012

A beautiful Washington, D.C. sunrise: Sunday, September 16


The photos above show the sunrise Sunday morning over Washington. The photos were taken five minutes apart. The photo on the left shows the Marine Corps Memorial at it was taken at 6:50 AM. The photo on the right was taken from the Netherlands Carillon at 6:55 AM. It is about a 5 minute walk from the Marine Corps Memorial to the Netherlands Carillon. A larger version can be viewed here. (Kevin Ambrose)

When the alarm sounded at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday morning for a sunrise shoot I thought, “Why?”

I started to go through the ole routine of trying to find any reason to go back to bed. I looked out the window and saw an overcast sky. My thoughts:

“Oh look, it’s too cloudy for a sunrise shoot.”

“Hmmm, look at the time. I’m kind of running late so I may miss the sunrise anyway.”

“I bet there is a D.C. road race which closes all the roads where I need to park. Why bother?”

I wonder if any other photographers do the same?

I decided to check the satellite loop on the computer. There was clear sky east of Washington with clouds overhead and to the west. It actually looked like a really good setup for a colorful sunrise. I got the coffee going.

Read below for a time lapse video and more photos.

A time lapse video taken from the Netherlands Carillon. The video compresses 24 minutes into 16 seconds.

I drove to Rosslyn and within minutes the sky just popped with color. Instantly, I remembered why I shoot sunrises. Shooting sunrises is not like storm chasing or photographing fireworks, but a good sunrise does put on a show. I think I’ll try it again sometime soon.


The sunrise over Washington and the Marine Corps Memorial, September 16, 2012. A larger version can be viewed here.(Kevin Ambrose)


A sunrise view from the Netherlands Carillon, September 16, 2012. A larger version can be viewed here. (Kevin Ambrose)


The sunrise over Washington and the Marine Corps Memorial, September 16, 2012. A larger version can be viewed here. (Kevin Ambrose)


The enhanced IR satellite image from early Sunday morning. There is a lot clear sky east of Washington, over the Atlantic, while cloud cover was overhead and to the west of Washington. It was a good setup for a colorful sunrise. (Unisys)

By  |  10:00 AM ET, 09/17/2012

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