A sunrise or sunset at a lake is one of my favorite subjects. I have many images like this in my library. The key to making a great image is perseverance. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets are very difficult to predict. Sometimes you’ll be rewarded with amazing colors and great light. Other times you get nothing. Paying attention to the weather can help increase your chances but it’s not a guarantee. Generally speaking, you’ll want partly cloudy conditions. High altitude cirrus clouds can offer some of the more dramatic scenes in my opinion. There are also times when the various cumulus-type clouds can add interest to the scene. Clear conditions generally won’t offer much in the way of color unless it is hazy. Usually low, thick stratus clouds mean nothing interesting is going to happen.
Fortunately for the last twelve years, I have lived near a state-owned conservation area that boasts numerous fishing lakes and many options for composition. Being close by, I’ve been able to go often at both sunrise and sunset. If the possibility of a good sunrise/sunset exists, I don’t try to over think the situation – I just go. The worst that can happen is sitting in a beautiful spot and watching the day come to life or the night take over. I can’t remember an occasion when I regretted being out there whether I made the image I wanted or not.