I saw at least four weather forecasts declaring that Christmas Day was going to be an on and off rainy day in Cape Coral. I did not expect there to be fleeting dawn light with the sunrise. I hustled out of my mom's condo with the Nikon D300 in tow and raced to a secret high spot. Anyone that knows Cape Coral might have a hard time believing this sunrise photograph was made there because Cape Coral is largely a desert-like landscape of poor land made dry by hundreds of canals.
I was about 10 minutes late from making an actual sunrise photograph of quality. By the time I clamored up to the top of this viewpoint, there was no more golden orange light reflecting off the clouds, nothing warming the tops of the trees.
This should be a lesson for me and others: real photographers do not let semi-incompetent weathermen dictate when they shoot. I should have at least had my gear prepared and popped my head out the window 45 minutes before sunrise just in case shooting conditions were good. Another photographer's rule to apply to this situation is that you can never wake up too early to go shooting!