In Blighty we have a phrase “up before sparrow’s fart”, the colourful term is cockney rhyming slang meaning “an early start”, get it? Being dragged out of bed before our tiny avian friends have passed wind or completed any other essential bodily functions probably doesn’t sound too appealing. However those that do are often treated to stunning landscapes with beautiful hues.
The amazing shades are not limited to the heavens either, they often coat the ground in a soft glow, or reflected in the smallest patch of water. The steadily climbing sun creates deep shadows, providing natural contrast to the scene, possibly causing them to stand out as dramatic silhouettes.
Early morning photographers are often treated to low-lying mist, or a crisp freshness to the air that it seems visible even in their images. It suggests another colourful term “the early bird gets the worm”. Getting an early start can prove very productive, but even early risers without a camera can enjoy nature’s first show of the day.
There maybe some argument that sunset is equally appealing, and there’s also usually the opportunity to enjoy them sipping mojitos or other cocktails. Actually ignore that last comment, it’s just a little too convincing an argument for sunsets. However, merely because the weather is favourable in the morning, or even late afternoon there isn’t any guarantee it won’t change.
A last word of wisdom comes in the form of “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”. Apart from demonstrating our love of colourful, cryptic phrases, particularly ones which mention birds it informs us that possession is better than potential. Getting those early morning snaps, while the getting is good is therefore preferable to waiting until the evening, when the weather may have changed and the chances of good photography blown.
Ok enough of the bird brained phrases, I promise, but remember to take a tripod to get the best results. Move around, but remember the changing light can make the same landscape seem completely different, and add interest.
On the last day in Manitoba, everyone in our group managed to drag ourselves out of bed pre-dawn. Our enthusiasm was rewarded by some lovely sunrise scenes in the desolate beauty of the Hudson Bay coastline. Deep orange and soft purple hues provided some warmth on a chilly morning, dark clouds rolled overhead, diffusing the light from the fiery sun. The colourful sky reflected in the brackish streams, rocks provided a place for the shadows to dwell, and contrasting trees or people in the foreground were dramatically silhouetted against ground and sky.
Studio Manitoba provided an ideal sunrise destination, and scenes like this are worth getting out of bed for; in fact they’re worth travelling half-way around the world for.
It can take a lot of willpower to climb from beneath a warm duvet and venture out into a cold, autumn morning, especially if enjoying too many of those mojitos during the previous evening’s sunset. It’s pleasing however, when the results turn out well, I may be up before sparrow’s fart more often. Hopefully they don’t produce the silent but deadly kind though!