With Storm Frank bearing down this evening, myself and a couple of photographer buddies (Stephen Wallace and Stuart McChesney) had a small window of opportunity to get out for sunrise in the calm before the Frank. Where else to head but Cavehill, scene of so many wonderful sunrise shoots for me.

Only today, it looked like it might be one of those "well you gotta put in the hours if you want to get the shots" mornings. With cloud covering most of the sky, the rising sun just about poked through a narrow gap just above the horizon, a small orange orb perched on the far off horizon.

In fact, we packed up our things and started to head back down already contemplating the post photo shoot coffee. That was all we were going to see this morning. We are seasoned photograhers - we know how to read the light.

Don't we...?

Apparently not! All of a sudden, we noticed golden light spilling onto the eastern flanks of Black Mountain to the south, picking out the buildings of south-west Belfast in sparkling light.

I grabbed a quick shot or two with my zoom lens, then rushed up onto the top of McArt's Fort for a better view. By now, the light show had begun in earnest, as crepuscualr rays fanned out across the docks of Belfast and golden light spilled out all around.

If you look closely here, you'll see the crepuscular rays from the sun being split into lots more sub-rays as then shine though the trees on the hills to the east of the city.

All the while, the light was squeezed between the shadows of the ground below and the dark brooding clouds above. It created the most perfect natural framing for shots of Scrabo Tower near Newtownards and the Mournes far to the south.

Finally, as the cloud began to break up, I headed back to where I had started off with a view of McArt's Fort once more - but this time with plenty of dramatic light to adorn the view!

Lesson learnt - when you think that a sunrise or sunset has given all that it's going to, hang around for another 10 minutes. You never quite know what might happen next!


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