On my first morning in Prague, I headed out early to shoot some pictures of Charles Bridge during sunrise. I am not a morning person - I always hate getting up in the morning, no matter how much sleep I have gotten - and it took some convincing for me to roll out of bed, but as soon as I was strutting through the deserted alleys of the Old Town, wrapped in my oversized blanket scarf to keep the chilly January air at bay, I felt energized by my uncharacteristic morning behavior.
Charles Bridge was quiet and calm, a far cry away from the chaotic place it would turn into a few hours later, as I set up my newly acquired tripod and contemplated which direction to point my camera first. Occasionally a local would pass by, paying no attention to the few other people that were awaiting the rise of the sun, and in less than half an hour the sky slowly started to change color from blue to purple and eventually to gold.
I had never seen the sky shining in such vibrant colors before and in that moment was once again convinced that there was no bigger artist in the world than nature. And while I also knew that I would never be a morning convert, I truly understood the hype around early morning light for the first time. Seeing a city sunrise one day should be on the bucket list of every person - it really is a bit of a magical experience.
Some people say that spending your time behind a camera keeps you from really taking in and living in the present and maybe that is true for some. But for me the exact opposite is the case: Photography has helped me appreciate and notice the little things in life; has caused me to seek out special moments like this morning in Prague that I otherwise probably would never have experienced. And that is what makes photography so meaningful and special for me.
But then the moment disappeared again as quickly as it had come. One minute I was getting ready to pack up my tripod and the next the glow of the golden hour was gone again. The scenery was still very much impressive... but not quite as spectacular as it had been before. The streets were still quiet when I headed back to our rental apartment, but as the smell of roasting Trdleniks from a nearby bakery hit my nostrils, I knew that my day had begun the right way.