First Light in the Finger Lakes

An autumn sunrise over Honeoye Lake creates a blazing appearance of both the sky and the lake. The most colorful, vibrant skies often occur just before the sun breaks over the eastern horizon.

Morning is a fragile time of day. Its sensitive nature can mirror one’s mood, as morning sometimes brings with it the hopes and excitement of a new day, sometimes the gloom of a day with unwanted events. Morning’s character can also contrast with one’s emotions, like when a bright and lively sky lifts one’s spirits and chases away a dull mood. So it is that morning’s visual appearance is intimately intertwined with our moods. The single unwavering constant that is part of morning’s character is the sun, whose seemingly mechanical movements bring it above the eastern horizon to start the day. But before it emerges over the horizon, the sun signals its appearance by radiating the first light of the day. Initially subtle and soft, the first light of the day grows in intensity as it builds towards the crescendo of sunrise. This first light is often striking in its beauty and has a quality that, like the morning that follows, varies from serene to ominous. The following  photographs illustrate this beauty as first light emerges over the Finger Lakes landscape.

Michael Venturino, a native of Geneva, is a Human Factors Engineer and an avid photographer of the Finger Lakes landscape. He may be contacted at

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