My early morning gambling habit

Hi there. My name is Alistair. And I have a bit of a gambling habit.

I have this urge to set my alarm for a very early hour on a weekend morning, when most sane people are indulging in the fine art of the line in. But early I will arise. I will be as quiet as I can be for fear of waking my slumbering wife. I will pack my bag and sneak down the stairs to the door. And head out to gamble.

Before you begin to worry about me too much however, I am not of course talking about a financial gambling habit. Rather it's the lottery of the sunrise photo shoot. 

Sunrise shoots are always very speculative. When you're setting the alarm the night before for early the next day, you never quite know what you will be waking up to. And as you travel to your location, you can never be sure that the sky will light up appropriately in those moments before the sun rises over the horizon. 

This morning looked at first like it was going to be one of those that didn't deliver. After an early start, I headed towards the Giant's Causeway. Although there were clouds in the sky (always important, as the sun needs a canvas upon which to paint its morning masterpiece), they seemed to resolutely refuse to glow with any kind of sunrise colour. Still, I'd made the effort to get up and out, so I thought I'd head down onto the stones anyway. It was one of those grey Irish mornings and there weren't even any dramatic waves to capture with long exposure. The clouds were in place, the sun was rising, but the magic wasn't happening.

A phone shot of the grey pre-dawn before the colours came out. You can see my tripod in place for my DSLR camera.

In fact, I had pretty much packed up and was about to call it a morning when all of a sudden it seemed that the clouds burst into colourful life. No sooner did the colours come out than out came the camera again and I tried to find a way of composing the shot now that the sun is rising very much to the south of south west. It forced me to look for something a bit different than what you would normally see of the Causeway, looking back up over the main Causeway to the cliffs behind.

I quickly wanted to find some decent foreground interest. Not having photographed the Causeway from this location before, I had to look around to find something that would help draw the eye into the photo. Fortunately, there were plenty of puddles in the stones to reflect the light back and towards the end the orange light reflected not only off the clouds but off the tops of the moist stones too. I got my tripod in place at the far end of the Causeway (and, of course, it was then that the big waves decided to break over the stones very close to my location behind me!) and took a series of shots. (I have some more still to process and will add them to this blog when I get a chance to work on them.)

So this morning I got my gambler's fix. And you know what that means, don't you? I will be setting that early morning alarm again soon.

My name is Alistair. And it appears that I have a bit of a gambling habit...

Post Script

After I left the Causeway, I swung around to Whiterocks, Portrush, where the morning sunrise was still delivering the goods. I did take some photos with my proper camera, but in the meantime here's a phone shot to act as a taster of what's to come.