Dawn at Hoo St Werburgh – a set on Flickr

(For those on i-Devices, see the set here.)

Once again, I got up stupidly early. I was hoping to hit the Hoo Marina in a Dawn Raid that coincided with a high tide and sunrise, which were both due around 0530hrs BST.

As I parked the car, with about half an hour to spare, I began to walk down the footpath to the river. Those of us who generally never surface before the sun rises often don’t realise how bright it can be in that hour before dawn, when the sky is clear. I adopted a brisk pace to ensure I reached my selected vantage point in plenty of time to set things up. I felt good. I felt alive for the first time in a long time. It was great to be out in the fresh air, just me, the sky and the local wildlife.

Sadly, my chosen location perhaps wasn’t the best in hindsight. While it still afforded some good shots across the Medway, the early August sun peeps over the horizon between the power stations on the north bank. I was hoping for more reflections in my shots.

After getting a sequence as the sun appeared and rose into the sky, I quickly collected everything and shifted position further upstream, where there would be more water in front of me.

The wind, coming offshore, was preventing me from getting the mirror calmness I’ve seen at this location before around slack tide. Still, the rising sun, glittering off the wavelets, was worth capturing.

Once I had had my fill of the rising sun, and noting that clouds were looming from the landward side, I wandered back to the car, stopping to switch the camera to black and white mode for shots across the boat graveyard and into the fields. The “golden hour” seemed to have passed remarkably quickly, probably not helped by the increasing clouds.

It was well worth the effort, I think. Oddly, I feel I have exhausted most of the opportunities at this location. Then again, I haven’t visited on a cold, frosty morning. I think I need to plan a trip for the winter. At least the sun rises later in the day then!

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