Rewards of an Early Alarm

I really enjoy urban night photography, or in this case, urban early morning photography. I love how the city lights come to life in the darkness and on the edges of darkness as well.


Fall and winter are my favorite times of year to do this type of photography because at this time of year it gets dark earlier and stays dark farther into the morning. This means an early alarm rings out at a little more of a tolerable hour and getting home for dinner at a somewhat more reasonable hour.


I made the following photographs on a late November Southern California morning.

Early Morning, Off-Shore Oil Rig - Huntington Beach, CA


This was my main goal for this morning’s shoot. I have driven through this area countless times in the dark and have often thought that the oil rigs that sit just off the shore would be fun to photograph. I was right! They were fun to photograph, and I am very happy with my results.

Early Morning, Surf City - Huntington Beach, CA


After I finished photographing the oil rigs, I drove down Pacific Coast Highway a short distance to the Huntington Beach Pier.


Now on the beach working my way down towards the water's edge. I turned around and framed up this shot looking back towards the shops and restaurants along Pacific Coast Highway.

Huntington Pier - Huntington Beach, CA #1


Dawn, at the water’s edge. Still doing my best to work the pretty soft morning light and colorful reflections from the pier’s overhead lighting.

Huntington Pier - Huntington Beach, CA #2


A litter further into the morning. A little more day light. Less shadows. Pretty colors and textures. The early rising surfers are now obvious out on the water.

Moody Morning, Huntington Pier - Huntington Beach, CA


Day light before sunrise. Peaceful! I chose a long exposure (8 seconds) in order to create the peacefulness, that I was feeling at the time.


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