Morning can be a particularly good time to take great photos. More and more I am refraining from taking photos between 11am and 4pm as the colours are just washed out by the strong overhead sun (unless of course the sun is not an issue and you have some interesting clouds or sky to enjoy.)
Mornings where the weather is very cold can often produce very high clouds which are then lit by the rising sun during what is known as the Golden Hour. The Golden Hour refers to the hour after sunrise when the colours are warm.
The photo below was taken about 20 minutes after sunrise. The original was a bit washed out as shooting into the sun can cause problems. If I had more time I would have used an ND grad filter to assist with the sky but I didn’t have it in my Camera bag at the time. I used 3 background duplicate layers in photoshop, (1) the original, (2) the sky and (3) the swans. Multiplying the sky enhanced the clouds and adjusting the midtone and shadow on the birds brought them out a bit more. The resultant photo of “The Golden Hour : Swans on the Lake” is below.
Some other slight adjustments which had to be made on this photo was a bit of cloning to take out lens flare above the swans (Tip, remember your lens hood).
The total setup time on this shot was about 30 seconds and I’m happy with the outcome.