Gotta get up early for good photos

A pair of fisherman troll along the shoreline of Hoover Reservoir in early morning.

A pair of fisherman troll along the shoreline of Hoover Reservoir in early morning.

You’ve got to get up early in the morning to make good photography.

Some photographers take a mid-day siesta to recover from the hours before a sunrise wake-up call or alarm clock that allows them to be in position when the sun breaks the horizon.

While most people are enjoying a leisurely lunch with friends or a second helping of bbq pork, most really good photographers are catching a few Zs on the couch or leaning back in their office recliner.

Slipping a camera, lenses and a tripod into a dark car trunk signals an advanced dedication to good photography. The act of preparation for an early morning shoot means the photographer is adept at planning, anticipation, clarity of purpose, and willing to take risks. All the signs of a photographer whose work eclipses that of the photographers who wait until sunset for similar light. The moments of early morning light are fleeting.

The is that time, just before sunrise, where all the world is gray. The only light reflecting from your subject lacks color and contrast. The shadows are midnight black, the highlights defined only by their shape and slight depth.

If you listen, just before sunrise, birds announce its anticipated arrival. Before the first rays of light begin to give color to the gray landscape and before the light begins to fill shadows with details and before teh night changes today, birds begin their cheerful greeting of first light.

The evolution is rapid. The opportunity for good photography quickly evolves as light alters the landscape.

Go out this afternoon and find a spot where you want to stand tomorrow morning when the sun rises.

Listen before sunrise. Watch the light change the landscape.

Enjoy it. Take pictures of it. Do it again the next day.