Color Me Purple

I love Ethiopia and all that this amazing country has to offer the world.

I haven’t posted too much on this blog yet regarding all things Ethiopia so I wanted to share the first of what will be many more stories and pictures.

I remember when I left to go to school in the UK, I was 15 years old at that time, I promised myself that I would come back to live in Ethiopia. I gave myself a timeline of 10 years to return but unfortunately, it took me an additional 4 years to finally make the move.

A loose tooth will not rest until it is pulled out – Ethiopian proverb

Since being back home in the land of “13 Months of Sunshine”, I’ve traveled in the country but not nearly as often as I would have liked. This picture is my first sunrise picture taken after having moved back. It’s at my favorite lake, Lake Langano, that my family has been going camping at for years. This time I wasn’t camping but staying at Borati Lodge, where we had decided to celebrate my birthday.

Getting the Shot

I woke up stupidly early and went out to sit on the cliff overlooking the beach down below to capture this. The lodge itself wasn’t complete at the time and I had noticed this fantastic vantage point earlier in the day so returned to set up for the shoot.

I had recently (way back in 2011) bought and started Trey Ratcliff’s HDR tutorial (there’s an updated version available) so I was keen to use some of the new techniques I had been learning about. I wanted to create a beautiful sunrise and I wanted to use HDR.

From my chosen vantage point, I set up my tripod and camera and waited for the sun to come up. I had loaded Magic Lantern onto my Canon 550D to extend the camera’s firmware and allow me to take more than the standard 3 brackets. I would recommend this software to everyone using a Canon DSLR as it simply adds so much functionality to your camera.

A couple of hours later and I had shot my first sunrise, I was really happy with the pictures on the back of the LCD. However, I had also successfully frozen my fingers due to the extremely low temperature of that morning and learnt a valuable lesson – your camera bag should always have some gloves in it.

Would you be interested in knowing the final post-production that was done to this image?

If so let me know in the comments and I’ll see if we can arrange a little behind the scenes post-production video.

You can also go ahead and get Trey’s course if you’d like using my affiliate link in the image below. This course is probably the best of my first investments into learning HDR I ever made.