My early morning photography schedule has seen a recent change. Typically when heading out for some early seascape photography that doesn’t involve all the pretty colours of sunrise I have to do some fancy math to figure out what time I need to leave the studio and what time I need to go to bed the night before. It involves a spreadsheet that takes the sunrise time, subtracts 45 minutes because that’s what time I like to arrive at my location if I’m familiar with the spot, subtracts my travel time to figure out when I need to head out, minuses the 40 minutes it takes me to get out of bed and out the door so I can figure out what time to set the alarm for, then counts back eight hours to tell me when to go to bed.
Today sunrise was at 6:17 so here’s how my schedule would have looked if I was out making seascapes:
This getting up calculator is one of my favourite “tools” for making seascape photographs. All I do is fill in the two pale blue boxes, the sunrise time and my travel time in minutes, and it fills out the rest for me so I can keep on track. I also have it calculate the approximate time that I will be back at the studio so I can plan the rest of my day.
I find that when I want to photograph the pretty colours of sunrise I need to get there a bit earlier, say, about fifteen minutes. I know it doesn’t sound like much but in those wee hours of the morning sleep is a big deal. Plus when it means the difference between going to bed at 7:30 instead of 7:45 I feel even more ridiculous. Here’s how things would have looked if I wanted to play with the vividness of the sunrise:
I need to get there a bit earlier to capture the sunrise colours because on those days I’m shooting more into the sun so my exposure isn’t as long as I would like to smooth out those waves in the water. Plus I want to make sure I have lots of time to see where those reds, pinks, and yellows dance across the sky.
And for the record, I almost never go to bed at the time listed. I just can’t seem to fall asleep, then I get frustrated, then it’s even harder to sleep. So I typically aim for 9:00-9:30 and try to sneak in an afternoon nap the next day. Which is why you shouldn’t talk to me later in the day after I’ve had an early morning shoot, I tend to be delirious.
Are you a morning person or a night owl? What time do you get up at? When do you go to bed?