Up before the crack of dawn

Getting out of bed before sunrise is difficult. Especially on a cold winter morning when temperatures are in the single digits.

As a nature photographer, it benefits me to get outside before the sun comes up. That is when the warm colors of low angle sunlight can illuminate the undersides of clouds. It is also a great time to see wildlife.

Since we are discussing valuable morning time, I hope you noticed the part above about getting outside before sunrise! Ouch! Even on cold winter mornings?

Even though I am motivated on most mornings to get outside and photograph the early morning light, today was not one of those days. Looking out my bedroom window, I could see the sky above the Sangre de Cristo mountains turning pink.  Nice, but just another sunrise/sunset photo.  After a few minutes, the interior of my home is lit up with a bright red glow.

Morning scramble to get the photo

In half an instant, I am scrambling to throw some warmer clothes on, grab my tripod and camera on the way out the door.  Sprinting to a favorite tree on my property’s backside, I make it to a good spot to take photos. I made it!  Whew!  Composing the photograph, I realize my camera battery is dead.  Argh!

At this point, I have to stick with the plan; otherwise, I would have just dashed out of the house for no reason other than to convince my neighbors that I must be crazy! I sprint back across the frozen field to my house to get a fresh battery, turn around and run back to my tripod a few hundred yards away, all the while watching the colors of the sky begin to mute.  I have just enough time to take a few photos (one is presented below) before the intense light fades.

Dawn light preceding a winter storm and prompting me to get out of bed.  December 10, 2020. Santa Fe, New Mexico