In a rather haphazard way, back in January, I decided to start taking photographs from our bathroom window of the sky just before sunrise. I’m always up pretty early and I’d noticed some beautiful skies at this time of day – yes, sunrises are often stunning, but I’m talking about the 20 minutes or so leading up to sunrise (and, anyway, sunrises seemed too straightforward!). This developed into an idea for a whole-year project – perhaps a dawn photograph of the same view taken EVERY day for the whole of 2014? But this was clearly impractical – what about holidays? Weekends away etc? So I eventually opted for taking photographs on 10 consecutive days every month.After three months you get to appreciate that morning sun changes position(!), so I realised that I probably needed to have two distinct views to take account of this (which, after 12 months, now seems entirely justified). As you might imagine, some mornings produce nothing more than grey murk but, on other occasions, the skies can really be quite magical.
In the end, I developed a sort of routine - probably taking three photographs most mornings, after setting the alarm on my mobile phone to ring on “snooze mode” at five minute intervals say 20, 15 and 10 minutes before sunrise.
I absolutely LOVE skies (and not just the early morning and sunset ones) and it’s been fascinating to watch how they change – literally from one minute to the next. The year-long process has also underlined how much beauty we all FAIL to see or appreciate… it’s all too easy to wake and register that the sun is shining or that it’s another grey day or whatever. Over the course of the past 12 months, there have been SO many fleeting, beautiful treasured early morning moments that so few people have witnessed (obviously, mainly due to them being asleep!)… and it’s at that time, as sunrise approaches, the sky is probably at its most beguiling and surprising.
It’s been a very enjoyable project… and one that I’ll rather miss. Another of life’s simple pleasures.
Photo: 120 days of dawns – January-December 2014.