It’s sunrise. You’re standing in the snow next to your tripod, which holds your eastward-pointing camera. Maybe there’s a bit of a breeze, cutting through your clothes to the vulnerable skin below, and maybe not.
Perhaps there are clouds which obligingly reflect the light and lend some color to the pre-dawn… or maybe they aren’t in the right position, or at the correct thickness, or possibly whatever break in the layers happens to exist a bit higher above the horizon.
But you’ve gotten your shot, and you’re ready to head back and into the warm. Thoughts of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate might be filling your mind right now, along with imaginings of dryer-heated slippers and fresh fuzzy socks. Your body might shiver under your outdoor gear (because of course you’ve dressed properly, you’re becoming an experienced hand at this now, and would never risk hypothermia or frostbite by overlooking proper preparations), responding to your longing thoughts of warmth and relaxation in a psychological rather than physical fashion.
Be patient. Wait a while. Just as some sunrises combine conditions to offer the most vibrant color fifteen to twenty minutes before you see the sun, so too do some sunrises save their brilliance for those who are patient.
And that’s going to be the case for nearly any event that involves the combination of variables that you can estimate, but not truly predict: sunrises, sunsets, eclipses,the entire lunar cycle, storms, the Aurora, meteor showers. It’s almost as if there’s a Murphy’s Law of sky photography in effect: The most beautiful of shots will invariably occur once the photographer’s camera is put away.
So just hang out. Be patient. Wait a while. Watch the skies develop, or let them grey out peacefully. Quiet your mind and just enjoy your surroundings: “The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it.” –Richard Bach.