Light in the Valley
This is a sunrise photo from the Oconaluftee Valley Overlook on Highway 441 in the Great Smoky Mountains. It is one of my favorite sunrise locations as you've seen before because of where the sun appears on the horizon, the layers of ridges, and the frequently present clouds hovering just over the mountains.
The thing about sunrise photos is that you never know what to expect, particularly if you set out in the early morning hours while it is still very dark. Actually, this is the only way to do it otherwise you will miss all those sweet colors that appear with the very first light -- generally 45 minutes before the sun actually shows itself.
In this case, there were no clouds in the sky so the orange and yellow tones that appeared prior to the actual sunrise were not reflected off the clouds but off the chemicals naturally and unnaturally found in the atmosphere (yes, even traces of smog can produce appealing colors on the horizon). And as it grew lighter, more of the valley revealed itself and the ridges became more defined.
Without light there is no photography. There are no pretty pictures. There are no sunrises. Without light we stumble in the darkness. King Solomon wrote:
The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble. ~Proverbs 4:18-19
Jesus spoke of Himself, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." ~John 8:12