'First Light' meets 'Last Night'

Bournemouth Pier, Sunrise

Bournemouth Pier, Sunrise

I knew deep down that going to the beach at 4.15am could have it's problems. First off I had to creep like a ninja from my bed to avoid waking the significant other, then I had to somehow navigate 3 creaky doors out of our temporary accommodation in Bournemouth (without waking the whole place) and then it was something of a gamble on who or what I might bump into at 4.15am on the weekend in a Tourist heavy seaside town in the peak of Summer...

Well, pretty much as soon I as I left the house I turned to see a group of young lads that had obviously been out on the town and who were clearly still full of the happy juice. The fact I was (a) carrying a pretty heavy duty metal tripod, and (b) was fully sober and in pretty lean condition gave me perhaps a misplaced sense of optimism about how this rendezvous could turn out. Thankfully nothing came of our pre-dawn stand-off, apart from one of them quipping about how it was a pretty crap time of day to take pictures. I decided not to bring this chap to task and explain how the 'golden hours' were actually very fruitful, something told me this may have not gone down so well!

Onwards I went, constantly checking over my shoulder for the next group of comedians. As I got down to the beach the dark was just beginning to recede into dawn. I had already got a good idea where I was heading, it was then just a case of reacting to what the weather and light would throw at me.

Thankfully there was a good dash of colour just after sunrise (albeit v.brief - about 2 minutes max) and the receding tide allowed me to make the image above with the rivulets of water meandering through the sand in the foreground and the rich orange and blues illuminating from above.

Photographers often talk of 'the moment' to take the image, when the light is at it's optimum. This transient light can be elusive and as such it rewards with the biggest 'kick' when you catch it. With restricted chances to get out with the camera recently the best I can do is make sure I don't miss that moment when I am on location, thankfully with this one a happy concoction of pre-planning, early rising and patience paid off nicely.

For other images from Dorset and to see my UK Gallery please click here.