Guest Post: Get Up Earlier by Jessica Sweeney

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m not a morning person. That you have to shout to get me to even open my eyes, and that I move kind of slowly any time before 10 am.

Let’s put it this way: I don’t think I’d be gainfully employed if coffee had never been invented.

But I think we all know that the edges of the day are best for photography, because the light is just pretty blah any time else. This is news you have probably heard before, but if you’re like me, maybe you haven’t been listening really well. For a while, I relied on the fact that there are two edges in every day. So what if I missed dawn? There was always dusk to fall back on. Same pretty light, but none of the soul-shattering pain that comes with waking up before 6 am. It seemed like a pretty easy call.

But I was wrong.

Dawn is better, and I will tell you why. First, I’m not the only person who’s allergic to waking up early. Most other people are too. So that means if you do make the trek out of bed, you’ve got the place to yourself. You don’t have to shoot over anyone’s shoulder. Or plan to Photoshop them out later. This is particularly nice in areas that are usually heavily trafficked, or overrun with tourists.

Second, dawn is calmer. Lakes or ponds will be glassier, with fewer ripples. You’ll get more morning mist. More drops of dew clinging to leaves and petals. And maybe some more wildlife that hasn’t been scared into hiding by the racket we bipedals make.

I woke up for dawn last weekend, and it was amazing. Magical. An hour or two of shooting and I had four or five new favorite images, plus the rest of the day ahead of me. Then I ate some delicious brunch, and pretty much could have died happy right then and there.

I recommend you try it.

Below, some more shots from last weekend:

If you enjoyed my post today, please feel free to mosey on over to my blog, Quotidian Photography. I try to post a photo plus a few thoughts there every day.


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