For several day temperatures had been hovering in the low 20’s, and the overnight forecast called for low winds. While I am not a big fan of Arctic clippers, I had been waiting for these weather conditions because they are ideal for ice to form in the Inner Harbor. Thus, last Sunday morning I dressed in multiple layers, stuffed chemical hand warmers and a Clif Bar in my coat pocket, grabbed my camera gear, and headed out at 6:00am.

Mother Nature was quite cooperative. Not only did the skyline reflection sparkle across the icy surface of the Inner Harbor, I think you will agree the cloud cover and changing light put on an impressive show.

Winter dawn 1

Winter dawn 1 ... shot one hour before sunrise

Winter dawn 2

Winter dawn 2 ... shot about 45 minutes before sunrise

Winter dawn 3

Winter dawn 3 ... shot about 20 minutes before sunrise

I particularly enjoy photographing predawn urban landscapes. Starting an hour or so before sunrise, contrast is generally well-balanced and the sky features lovely deep blue tones. After 15-20 minutes you begin to see the real possibilities … the rising light level begins to color the horizon and add definition to patterns in the clouds. Predawn colors reach peak vibrance after another 15 minutes or so elapse.

The great thing about photographing urban landscapes at this time of year is you can sleep late-ish and still capture spectacular images … none of that getting up at 3:45am to go capture the predawn summertime sky.

If you manage your time well on a wintry morning in the Inner Harbor, you can capture images of both Domino Sugar and the Baltimore skyline sparkling across icy waters. I encourage you to watch the weather forecast to learn when conditions next come together to create calm winds and icy conditions in the Inner Harbor.

Icy predawn

A chilly and icy predawn view of the Baltimore skyline

Icy morning

First light on a cold winter morn in Baltimore

Wherever you live, I encourage you to bundle up and get out and photograph this winter. You will be able to add some unique images to your portfolio.