I like to think I don't have much of a problem getting up early in the morning so I can capture sunrise images. During the summer months the shock of a 3 am alarm call is enough to shake the resolve of even the hardest landscape photographer. While I can and have got up at this time in the morning it often means a fairly difficult rest of the day.
The difficult part is when I return from the shoot. It would be lovely if I could just come home, have some breakfast and then have a nice little nap. For a couple of hours. In reality though I have to plough through the rest of the day as if I had just got up at 7 am. It's hard to function with little sleep and still behave like a normal human being. It is for those reasons that I will only get up for a 5 am sunrise if the weather is promising to be epic or I am meeting someone.
As the nights start to draw in it's getting harder for me to get out to shoot sunsets, so as I sat at my computer the other day planning out my photographic week it suddenly dawned on me (excuse the pun), that sunrises are now at a much more sociable hour! With a 7 am sunrise I don't have to set an alarm until 5 am, maybe even 5:30 depending on the location.
To get myself back into the swing of early morning rises I decided that I would make life easy for myself and go somewhere I know and that is local. If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know exactly the location I'm talking about. Yep, that's right, Dawlish Warren. I've created many videos and blog posts from this location. There are too many to list here, so if you want to see what I captured on previous trips just use the search box at the top of The Exposed Blog page and search for Dawlish Warren.
Get Your Camera Out!!
I was actually rather excited to be heading out for a dawn shoot at Dawlish Warren. Not only I had I not been on a sunrise shoot for a while but I also hadn't been to Dawlish Warren for some time. It was hard to tell exactly what the sunrise would be like from the weather forecast but I wasn't going to let that put me off.
I arrived at Dawlish Warren about 6 am, roughly an hour before sunrise. As I strolled along the beach I took in a big lung full of fresh sea air and decided that there was no place better to start the day. I was the only person there and it was wonderful.
When shooting the beach at Dawlish Warren I normally like to shoot past groyne 9. Dogs aren't allowed past groyne 9 at any time of year so there is no risk of jumping dogs and unwanted footprints in the pristine sand. As I got to groyne 9 I could see a heavy bank of cloud on the horizon where the sun would rise from. This could be a problem but I decided not to let it get me down and so I sat down on one of the sand dunes to see how things might pan out.
As I watched the waves roll in that pesky bank of cloud wasn't shifting. The sky above Dawlish Warren was looking good with plenty of breaks in the cloud which, if the sun could break the horizon, would light up nicely. The time for sunrise approached, arrived, and went, but no sign of the sun in the sky.
Sitting there I did think to myself that I might not even bother getting the camera out. It's not as if I'd never been here, or would never return, or that I didn't have any good shots from this location. Experience has taught me though that it is always worth getting the camera out! So I got my camera out and I have to say that I'm glad I did. As the sun finally broke above the bank of cloud the sky started to get interesting. Not amazing, but interesting enough for me to want to take some photographs. I soon found my creative juices flowing and I got busy with the job of creating photographs.
Do you shoot sunrises all year round or wait like me until the autumn and winter months? What is your favourite sunrise location? Do you always get your camera out or have you gone home having taken no pictures at all? Let me know in the comments below.