This week’s My Sunday Photo is a memorable pre-dawn experience. It is called Staring At The Sun.
I decided to take a sunrise photo at one of our favourite beachside spots, to present to Emma as a birthday present. I woke up (extremely) early, tiptoed out of the house and made the drive to South Cronulla.
When I arrived, it was still very much pre-dawn. I set the camera on the tripod and went about taking some long-exposure shots of the iconic beach and some surrounding buildings. As it came closer to sunrise, I walked across the beach and over to the rocks and man-made pool. The light was constantly changing and I was very much enjoying myself.
I searched around for the perfect spot to stand and I took some practise shots. The sun was just about on the horizon and it was looking like it would be a good show to watch. Thrilled that I was about to capture the perfect moment to have blown up and placed on our dining room wall, I set myself.
Then, out of nowhere a person appeared. She had obviously been out enjoying her early morning walk and, inspired by the incredible scene unfolding before her, she decided to take a photo. However, there were two problems with this: She made the mistake that many of us do, which is to pull out the mobile, point it straight at the amazing sunrise and snap away. The second problem was that in trying to get as ‘close’ to the sunrise as possible, she had inadvertently entered the shot that I had patiently planned.
I can pretty well guarantee that she wouldn’t remember that sunrise (see below) after a while. The moment would be long forgotten for her and the photo on the phone relegated to some backup folder, or lost entirely. Yet there I was, fuming about the spoilt photo that I had worked so hard to achieve.
Thankfully, the woman was on her way soon enough and the show had still only really just begun. I snapped away as the light changed every few seconds and I ended up able to present my wife with a brilliant seascape sunrise that captures my eye every time I look at it.
When I went to process my photos. My attitude towards this particular moment changed entirely (possibly because I had been able to take the photo I wanted to). I realised that I had actually captured a great photo. This woman had added something really valuable to the shot. In her failed attempt to capture a moment, she had wound up the star of this shot. I really wish I had the opportunity to pass this photo on to that woman – to give her the permanent memory of this fleeting moment in time. Perhaps one day she will see it, who knows?