I have uploaded some Venus Rising pics from pre-dawn this morning [Jul 6]. I´m in Florida, and I took these pics between approximately 5:30 - 6:00 a.m. Rising above the eastern horizon. I took the photos with my digital camera (Gateway 4.0 Megapixels). Yes, you can see this with the naked eye - it is very bright in the pre-dawn sky. The photos were taken over the course of about a half-an-hour. One pic was taken just as the sun was rising and the sky is very grainy (probably because I had the camera on the night sky setting), but you can see the bright star. The colored-haze affect did not appear to the naked eye. To the naked eye, the object (Venus) appears to be a very large blazing star.
They are tremendoously over-saturated. Much of the blur comes from false-color and chromatic aberration. Set the photo from color to black and white (not gray scale), and adjusted both brightness and contrast. The crescent will pop into view. The white dots seen in the pictures are not stars, they are just CCD noise.
Here are the Venus Pics for today [Jul 7]. The sky was a bit brighter in these due to my snooze button.