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Sunrise and dawn light at Bolsa Chica        Images © Mark A. Chappell

I do a lot of bird photography at the Bolsa Chica wetlands in coastal Orange County, California, and usually try to get there before dawn.   This requires an hour-long drive early in the morning but the view is often rewarding:   these scenes were photographed shortly after sunrise.   The birds in the image below at left -- mostly elegant terns -- were already actively fishing before the sun had come up.

  • Canon 30D, 7D, ID Mk. II, 1D3, 1D4, or 5D4; 500 mm IS lens; 11-24 zoom, 24-105 mm IS, 70-200 f4L, Tokina 11-16 mm f2.8 (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018)