I’m an early morning gal by instinct. So long as I get just enough sleep I can get up at any hour without problem, but of late I’ve been keeping odd hours, what with moving and the festive season. That’s why, faced with the prospect of getting up at 6am yesterday, and having done everything right to assure a good night’s sleep, I didn’t – sleep that is. The fear of not getting up in time gnawed at my brain, which then fooled my body into thinking it wasn’t comfortable, so that I tossed and turned all night.
Trixy and I trotted down to the end of the street in the darkness. She hates it. She’s a daytime gal too. I made strong coffee, and we were off to meet up with Maria at 7am at the autopista junction. I even managed to get a lousy #walkingwithTrixy pic of the Christmas lights, still shining bright in the morning gloom.
We were headed for Poris de Abona, just beyond the beach about which I wrote last month. When I was pottering about on that evening it struck me that a good sunrise from around there, complete with lighthouse, might be quite spectacular. Maria and I decided, oh, let me see, about five years ago that we would do a project to record all the island’s lighthouses, and this was the first time we’d actually set out to do it! It’s been one of those things life got in the way of, although don’t hold your breath waiting for the complete set of photos! Still, it’s a start.
As we meandered through the sprawl which is Poris, the sky, which had been coal-black only minutes before, began to pale on the horizon, and light leaked along the line where sky meets ocean. As I inched “Fred” (my faithful, old car) over the bumpy terrain beyond the proper road, and to the foot of the lighthouse, the pale was already turning to crimson. Photographing sunrises and sunsets is such a “time is of the essence” thing. We abandoned the coffee, left Trix to guard the car and wandered off, clicking happily away.
There is a point to a sunrise, here at least, where the sky is pale blue, but the sun hasn’t actually shown its face. The spectacular part is before it actually rises. In that space we moved a bit further up the coastline to capture the emerging sun. We could see the outline of its fore-glow seeping along the tip of the purple mass of the island of Gran Canaria.
We were a short distance apart but with the noise of the waves crashing onto the ragged coast I couldn’t make out what it was that Maria shouted, but I looked over to see her gesticulating excitedly and swinging her tripod around. When I glanced behind me El Teide and the surrounding mountains were bathed in the reflection of a sun we hadn’t even seen yet. It it any wonder that ancient peoples found something magical and godlike in those peaks?
You have only minutes, in the absence of cloud, to photograph a sunrise, before the sun is too bright, at least with the equipment we have, and with the wind rising I found myself unexpectedly nervous. My determination (I hesitate to use the world resolution because the failure rate on New Year’s Resolutions makes the phrase an oxymoron!) is to improve my photography this year, and I don’t think this attempt was that good, but for the record, here it is.
With the rising, the mountains turned back to brown and green, and the horizon became too bright, but the early sunlight was reflected in the foam and spray as ocean crashed onto rock, and close to shore the sea took on a turquoise hue it would lose with the brightness.
One more turn around, to see the lighthouse clear in the early morning sunshine, for now it was sunshine and not sunrise, and it was time for that coffee, and one of the great things about rising early with the sun is that the day still stretched before us, new and full of possibilities.