On the Edge of Morning

 

Three crowded expressways, a couple of darkened blocks through Hollywood, one steep drive up what seemed like a small mountain range later, and I had finally reached my 5:30 am destination at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. The unknown perils of wandering alone in a dark park across the country from my home were quickly erased from my mind once I entered a parking lot busy with cars and saw the mix of hikers, walkers and photographers milling about as though it was their lunch hour break on a sunny afternoon. No longer a believer in new year’s resolutions, I began 2015 with one promise, to get up more often for the sunrise. A daily routine so simple for many people is a chore for this confirmed night owl, and when I do try to crawl out of bed by 6:30, the sun fun is long over.

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Alone in Los Angeles for a few days, I spent a few too many hours fretting about whether I should just do it, get up in the tired hours and drive across the city in the dark to a place I’d only been once before in the daylight, to practice photography on the edge of morning. Funny how one internet article stands out among many others as a voice of reason, with concise instructions on the preparations for the best sunrise photography. So I followed the advice and encouragement of a virtual stranger, and before I settled in the night before, I filled the rental car with gas, put my tripod in the trunk, charged the camera battery, loaded empty memory cards and double checked the driving directions.

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I’m still learning the ins and outs of photography, but at this point should be a little more on my game with the technical aspects and a master of the manual settings. Once I get going however, I tend to get distracted by the beauty of a moment, the quirks of the people around me, and this trip was no different. I became both intimated and awestruck by the roller bags filled with camera equipment and compact car sized lenses around me, and lost focus once I realized that the space I claimed overlooking the city was the one worth waiting in line for. Not enjoying the performing under pressure feeling, I gathered up my tripod and backpack and began the hike up the Hollywood Hills to gain a quieter perspective on the arrival of the new day. Along the way I passed dozens of walkers trekking back down, and like the slow dawn around me, I realized that they had already made a “get up before sunset” resolution, ignored the misery of rising in the dark having already discovered its rewards and joys. Their connection with the world was evidence. Cheerful good morning greetings and the smiles I received propelled me forward to fulfill the New Year’s promise to myself, and to finish my pre-dawn photography journey that morning, and if I stick with it, many more to come. Bring it on, sunrise.

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Happy Morning People

 

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Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles  January 8, 2015

105 Comments

    1. Andy, thank you! There are definite benefits of getting out of bed before dawn….that did not happen for me this morning. Something that needs a few days of “come on, you can do this!” Ugh. Not a morning person.

      A beautiful day to you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Beautiful pictures that make even LA an attractive sight. Well done from a long time early riser. I hope your visit to our state goes well.

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  2. Wonderful! This is an exciting side to your photography. You’ll laugh when I tell you my dad got up every morning during his holiday visit to catch the golden glow hitting the mountains close by. He never quite got the moment he wanted to.
    x Laura

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    1. Yes, John, I believe I earned the trophy of well being that morning! And each sunrise I experience never disappoints…so why on earth do I miss so many? I will try to be better.
      Take care, and I hope you are enjoying your winter in the warmth. 🙂

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  3. Elisa these are spectacular! Thank you fro making the early morning effort to share with us. I loved the description of the crowd and their gear made up of ‘compact car sized lenses’. You are hilarious. 🙂

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    1. Sue, thank you. One of the pleasures of reading your blog is that your natural voice and sense of humor shines through the computer screen. Something to which I aspire! I’m so glad you stopped by…I look forward to catching up with your blog later on when I have time to READ!!! Have a wonderful, beautiful day!
      Elisa

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Elisa oh my goodness what a compliment! Thank you so much. I am happy to have you drop in any time but only when you have time. I want the blog to be like a magazine that you can pick up and have a wee read when the mood hits and the time is right. Happy day to you!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Fabulous shots, Elisa. I see those intimidating roller bags full of over-sized photographic equipment, and the lenses as big as bazookas, when I go out to look at the birds here. Well done on your early rising. I don’t think I could do that. 🙂

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  5. Joyful, Elisa! 🙂 I love that ‘sun comes round the corner’ moment. I’m an early bird on Summer mornings but become a bit more of a dormouse at this time of year. So often I wish that I was ‘out there’ when it happens. Thank you for the nudge 🙂

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  6. Hi Elisa, Happy New Year to you. For some reason your posts aren’t loading, so I un-followed and re-followed. Beautiful photographs, really makes one appreciate just how wonderful life is – have a great week.

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    1. Hi, Mary! Thank you for stopping by. I’ve had the same thing happen to me over the last couple of years, bloggers I follow seem to just fall off the WordPress grid. I appreciate you letting me know! To me fair, I fall off the grid quite a bit myself, so it’s probably partially my fault. I will try to be more consistent! Thank you, and have a wonderful and productive week!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, right. I’m still recovering from the red-eye back to Atlanta. Love you guys, though. You made me smile and realize that all was good with (most) of the world! Maybe in two days. Three max.
      🙂 🙂

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    1. Maureen I’ve been happily humming that tune all day today. Seeger brings back many memories from my college days, and Down on Main Street was another favorite. I’m going to go listen to a few memories. Thanks for that! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You captured my feelings perfectly! Not only of getting up that early, but also of performing under pressure…It’s so intimidating to shoot with photographers who have giant lenses! You did a great job-thanks for sharing!

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  8. Honestly, this is one resolution I wouldn’t be remotely capable of. Like, no way. But I’m so grateful to have the images brought to me at the decent hour of 8:03pm. I kind of feel like the world is a nice place when we can each do our part to share the best bits of it.

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    1. Your comment was so real that I have to confess; I was on Atlanta time when I made my sunset resolution…but still SO EARLY for me. Never was a morning person. 5:00am west coast = 8:00am east coast, so I didn’t suffer too much. Except for the driving in the dark adventure part. A beautiful LA sunrise. Still takes my breath away.

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  9. Splendid views of the big city waking up. One of the other advantages of waking up early is watching your own street wake up as well. Plenty of pictorials in that too.

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      1. Ah-ha, I’m doing a guest post on Paula’s blog at Lost in Translation this coming Thursday. It’s call Knowing My Place, and for everyone, including me, who is feeling a little jaded. The prompt is to go out with camera in a too familiar place and find a new story to tell. It might perk you up 🙂

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  10. Elisa, this is a pure magical tour for us on the other side of the ocean. I love to see the big city wake up. Thanks for leaving your comfort zone for this one … 😉
    Dina xo

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  11. Really terrific images Elisa that have captured the morning perfectly. I am so glad to be following your work and adventure in the art of photography. Hope you have a great week and I hope you have recovered from the early early morning…

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    1. Hi there! I so apologize for the late response! I occasionally get my comments mixed up on this new theme format I’ve been using, but no excuses! I’m happy you stopped by and appreciate your encouragement very much. Take care,
      Elisa

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      1. I hope Elisa. In my wish for 2015 there is a wonderful travel in America, I’d like to do the coast to coast travel. At the moment thank you and if you would come to Italy please have a look at my blog. Bye Bea

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  12. Hi,

    Thanks for liking my post on crossingforks. I am brand new to blogging and will be using this opportunity to develop my writing and share my travel stories and other notes with new and old friends.

    I really like your writing. You have a gift for words and expressions!

    Wish you the best,
    Hash

    Like

  13. Elisa you have caught the early light beautifully! I remember getting up early when I lived on the beach, to catch the sunrise over the ocean, it is so beautiful, and the sunset also. It takes dedication, but it is all worth it!

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  14. having been into hiking up (at wee hours) every weekend for many months now, I can surely claim that its a rewarding exercise….especially for some one who loves hiking and photography( both). Its something that you look forward to… every single day! I’m sure you must be enjoying hiking and photography…immensely!

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