Hands down the worst sleep I’ve ever had in my life.
Dingy pull out bed + cross bar that dug into my lower back + freezing air conditioner and thin blanket = me getting up at 3 and 5 am. Once I was up for a while, I debated on whether I wanted to relocate and sleep on the dirty motel floor or if I should just stay up. Then I had an idea.
- I was in Wildwood, NJ – the southern-most tip of the state with its beaches facing east, giving an uninterrupted view of the sunrise.
- It was about 5:20 am. A quick google told me that sunrise was at 5:48 am. If I left now, I would be right in the middle of blue hour and could catch some photos of the beach during golden hour.
I’ve never shot with the sunrise golden hour and this was going to be the best chance I’ve had at one during the summertime for a long while. So I got dressed, grabbed my camera bag, and stepped out.
I immediately ran into a problem. Early mornings by the water can be humid. Very humid. And I didn’t quite account for this when I came out of the room, which was a frigid 64 degrees F. So naturally, all of my camera gear was cold from the night. Do you see where I’m going with this?
My first half hour on the beach was a blurry mess. I was convinced that every glass element that I had on me had condensation on it, from my viewfinder to both sides of the UV filter. If I wiped the lens clean, it would immediately fog up in seconds. But somehow, I managed to salvage a few shots on my way onto the boardwalk and sand.
My only regret was not having a model with me during the sunrise. As with any golden hour, the light was really soft but changing quickly. If I thought more about it and planned beforehand, I probably could have finished with much better shots. But who plans on waking up at 5 am during vacation anyway?
A lot of coffee was had on the way back to the motel.