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Dawn at East Lake Golf Club Atlanta GA 1
Dawn at East Lake Golf Club Atlanta GA 1


A Sunrise To Remember!

Fairways to Heaven: A monthly photo series and random thoughts from Photographer Dave Sansom.

By Photographer Dave Sansom  | Aug 21, 2017

Dawn at East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, GA | © 2017 Dave Dave Sansom

I love sunrise. I believe everyone loves a good sunrise, but not everyone gets up in time to see this glorious wake up call. Golf Course Superintendents and their staffs see sunrise every day, but with important work to do, they seldom have time to fully appreciate this wonderful beginning to a new day. Happily, it’s part of my job to photograph this, my favorite time of day.

As a professional golf course photographer, my main focus is to capture the wonderful golden hour, early morning and late day shots of golf holes. It’s expected. And I enjoy those shots. But aside from my freakish love for sunrise, I think of golf courses as much more than beautifully designed fields of competition. I see them as amazing landscapes, well worth my attention 24 hours a day, 12 months a year.


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“I’ve been known to take night shots, capture images of snow-covered greens and fairways, and on August 21, 2017, I’ll be photographing the total eclipse of the sun on a golf course”.


Dawn at East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, GA | © 2017 Dave Dave Sansom

It may be a personality disorder.  Sunrise derangement syndrome or something. But I digress.  Let’s get to the subject at hand… June 1st sunrise at East Lake.

In May, Caroline McGill, East Lake Golf Club’s marketing director, asked me to capture 6 or 7 specific holes for their image library. I arrived at about 5:15, got a cart and set up to capture sunrise across the lake at the 15th green, a hole not on Caroline’s list, but for me, a favorite location to shoot the sunrise.  And what a sunrise it was! This was definitely a case of “right place… right time”.

After the shoot, I completed a collection of the images Caroline had requested, and then left for Hong Kong a few days later.  I had included three shots from the June 1st sunrise with the set I gave the club, but I planned to get back to that morning’s shots as soon as possible.  I returned from Hong Kong at the end of June, and spent almost 4 weeks completing 276 images for The Hong Kong Golf Club.  As soon as that project was completed, it was time to play!

Dawn at East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, GA | © 2017 Dave Dave Sansom

That June 1st sunrise at East Lake was something that required a completely unique treatment.  Unlike most of my sunrise photo shoots, during which I move around extensively to capture a variety of shots, I was so captivated by the marvel that was developing in front of me that I never moved more than about 25 feet, capturing a stunning set of images. The 21 images I finished span a full hour, showing the development of one of the most beautiful sunrises I’ve had the pleasure of shooting. A couple of days after I completed the set, I went a step further and selected 17 of the 21 images to create a 2 minute video of this exceptional hour.

If you CLICK HERE, you can see the full screen, 1080p video. I hope you like it. I think it may explain why getting up ridiculously early is not a problem for me. I know there are more where this one came from!

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About Dave Sansom

Based in Atlanta, GA, Dave Sansom is an award-winning freelance golf course photographer, who works throughout the USA and in Asia. Dave is a preferred photographer for both Troon Golf and Marriott Golf.  Shooting public, private and resort courses, Sansom has experienced his fair share of world-class courses, including many PGA and USGA tournament venues. Dave was recently featured  in Worldwide Golf Shops’ blog post, “Top Golf Photographers”, featuring 35 golf photographers considered to be among the best in the world.

For more information on Dave Sansom or to acquire his stunning photographs and prints: Visit his website and follow on Facebook and Twitter.

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