It only makes sense that I start my first morning explorer blog in Aberdour, the place that I’ve called home for over two years now. After all, most of my morning exploring have taken place in this charming coastal village on the south coast of Fife. Getting out and about before the hustle and bustle of daily life begins is what morning exploring is all about. Soaking it all in - the nature, the scenery, the sunrise, the stillness. Exploring can mean something different to everyone. For me, it’s all about seeing the world through the lens of my camera and capturing moments that will never occur exactly the same, ever again.
I prefer to get up before sunrise, this way I can try to find captivating landscapes and compositions before the first ray of light hits. If I manage to rise early, I’ll take my time. I’ll wander to new areas of the hills and woodlands north of the village, or I’ll search the rocks at Blacksands for new compositions I haven’t noticed before. Other times I’m late and I run down to Hawkcraig to shoot the iconic wooden pier that I’ve shot so many times before, but always in a slightly different way. The light is always changing, my position changes, the tides ebb and flow - only creativity stands in my way of coming up with something new and extraordinary. Sometimes everything clicks (pun realised after) and I end up with a spectacular image that I’m proud of. Other times I can’t quite make it work. This is when I have to remind myself that it’s ok - If it was easy, I probably wouldn’t like it as much.
I haven’t always been a morning person. In fact, if you’ve heard one of my army stories from the time I spent in the Norwegian military, you’d probably know that I have slept through a fire alarm. While on duty… As a fireman… At an even earlier stage in my life I’ve fallen out of a top bunkbed while snoozing, only for my mum to rush in and find me still sleeping curled up on the floor. I’m better at it now though and it gets easier the more I do it, but I will confess that I struggle at this time of year with the sun rising at 4:30 in the morning.
It’s easier to go out for an early wander when you have a purpose. So it’s probably not a coincidence that I only ever meet dog walkers when I’m out for my morning exploring. Photography therefore, offers the perfect motivation. Even if you don’t consider yourself a photographer, have a fancy dslr or the newest mirrorless camera, you can still take great photos with your phone. Most smart phones (we can probably drop the ‘smart’ part at this point, it’s just a standard phone) have a decent camera and everyone can take great images.
The most important factor that goes into making a photograph is light, and at sunrise you’ll often get the best light there is. That is why I am usually out there at this time. If you’re a morning explorer too or would like to give it a shot, why not get out there and take some photos?
Upload your image to Instagram - That way you can prove to all the snoozers that you were there dammit!!! It would be great to see what you get up to, so feel free to tag me in your posts and be sure to use the hashtag: #morningexplorer
Tip: Don’t always go for the direct shot into the sun. Some of the best images can often be found behind you - look around.