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Getting out of bed well before the sun rises is not often an easy task. For those of us who love to chase the sunrise, early mornings are part of the daily routine. Bleary eyed and half awake, we stumble in the dark or guided by the dim light from our phone, we grab the gear we packed the night before, stacked neatly by the door, throw down a cup of coffee and a few power bars, grab the car keys and quietly slide out the door careful not to wake our loved ones who will not rise for several more hours.
It's still dark at 4:30 and there are few cars on the road at this hour and even fewer people out for morning walks or filling gas tanks as they prepare for the day ahead. The Landscape photographer grows to know this feeling well, often rising well before the sun peeks over the horizon.
It’s a peaceful, quiet time as our adrenaline begins to kick in and we imagine the sunrise ahead and how we will shoot the location we are headed to on any given day. In my case, today, it’s a local favorite, not far from my home, a 30 minute drive or so and a popular tourist location. I know there will be other photographers by my side, along the ragged and often slippery rocks. Though not generally a fan of crowded locations, this is my home turf and I feel comfortable here. In the fall I often meet and chat with small groups of tourists visiting the northeast for our incredible fall leaf peeping. Many make “The Nubble” as it is known locally a “must see” stop on the journey.
Today, I have no plan in mind for my shoot and instead have decided to see what the weather conditions and last nights high tide reveal. I pull into the parking lot, gather my gear, turn on my headlamp and wander down to the rocky outcropping where most people set up to shoot The Nubble.
I am greeted by a wall of seven or eight tripods and their associated photographers who have arrived before me and are merrily chatting away in the dark trading stories and debating lenses and gear selection for the day of shooting ahead. I assess the scene before me, grumble under my breathe about the crowd and quietly reposition myself on a rock just above and to the side of the group giving them plenty of space to move about yet making sure they are out of the way of my image as I go about composing a shot I like. The sun is still 20 mins from rising and the sky begins to brighten ever so slightly. I can hear the excitement level rise in the group below me. I breathe out the mornings harried preparations and take a moment to relax and wait, quietly sipping what’s left of my coffee and debating the location of my next composition.
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