It’s not often I wake up early enough to see the dawn. I usually work late into the night, because I find that’s when I can gather my thoughts and be at my most productive — when I’m alone, the noises of the day have subsided and the only sounds I hear are the reassuring churning of the hard drive platters in my Drobo and my own breath.
When I do manage to wake up early (or work through the night and into the dawn), I get these gorgeous, glorious views of the Earth waking up as that huge fireball called the Sun starts to light things up. Mind you, I’m not talking about the sunrise. It’s the dawn, also known as the daybreak. It’s when the darkness of the night starts to fade away and shapes begin to form out of the mist. It’s when things unseen become seen.
I thought I’d publish a gallery of various photos I’ve taken in recent years of the dawn. Some of the photos are from places where I’ve lived, others are from places I visited and most are from the road. My wife and I would often just get in our car and drive to some town where we had business in the middle of the night, so we’d be there in the morning. The roads were quiet and it was an experience unto itself to be in the middle of nowhere, our car a capsule of civilization and warmth in an otherwise cold place at a cold time, its headlights eyes, peering out into the darkness and making sense of it. Now that we have a small daughter, there’s no night driving. We’re too exhausted. We’re happy to take any and all sleep we can get. Which is what I’m going to do after publishing this post, because it’s way past midnight here.
This gallery isn’t exhaustive, it’s a work in progress (I hope I’m around for a long, long time to capture countless more dawns on bits and bytes) but I think it’s beautiful to look at and I hope you do too. Enjoy!
The Tulcea Monument, early morning.
There was a gas station right behind me when I took this photo.
We’d been driving through the night and stopped to get gas somewhere in North or South Carolina. The station was closed and so were the pumps.
I paused to take a few photos. I stood the camera on the roof of the car and exposed this scene for a little over a second.
It was mid-winter. I was thoroughly frozen and my teeth were clanking by the time I got back into the car.
Somewhere in the Carpathian Mountains, about 50-60 km from the city of Brasov, in Transilvania, Romania.
A bright orange sky above distant mountain peaks signals a new day, while a winding road descends slowly into the fog-covered valley below.
Lacul Bicaz and the surrounding mountains, as seen from the pension Vila Ecotour, in the village of Ceahlau, Moldova, Romania.
Antennae and trees, morning fog.
Near the city of Brasov, Romania. The dawn sun is flooding the distant valley (just behind the peak in the foreground) with a lot of golden light. Meanwhile, the portion of the road where I stand is still covered in shadows.
Long exposure looking out over the Intracostal and A1A.
Dawn sky, Grosvenor Park.
Somewhere in South Carolina, on I-95. Life and travel are often alike, aren’t they? If you don’t stop to look around, things pass you right by.
Sandpipers pace the beach at dawn. Hollywood, Florida, USA.
Dawn, January morning, Grosvenor Park.
Hilltops in the distance, somewhere between Fiser and Rupea, Transilvania, Romania.
Daybreak, Grosvenor Park.
Dawn, Grosvenor Park.
Daybreak, Grosvenor Park.
First snowfall of the 2010-11 winter, Medias, Romania.
A long, straight road, lined with poplar trees and covered in fog. Somewhere in Dobrogea, Romania.
A hillside on the outskirts of Tulcea, Romania, blanketed in soft fog.
Winter at its best. Snow everywhere, clear blue sky.
Above Pisa and Livorno, Italy. Not an ideal photo but the dawn colors were wonderful.
Mt. Prislop at night, Bucovina, Romania.
Bridge over Intracostal Waterway, early morning long exposure, Hollywood, Florida, USA.
A colorful sky at dawn on a crisp and cold January morning.
Morning sky at sunrise.
Mt. Prislop at night, about 2 am, Bucovina, Romania.
Shore, Intracostal Waterway, early morning, long exposure. Hollywood, Florida, USA.
Dawn starts to color the sky in our neighborhood. Taken right from our apartment’s terrace in North Bethesda, MD.