For someone who enjoys street photography, the notion of getting up early to enjoy the experience of having a place to oneself may sound odd, but every now and then, even the most tranquil scenes need that human element to help tell a story, or give an image context.
Walking along the riverside footpath earlier this spring, I had taken a few shots with the puddles on the path and the sun slowly making itself visible through the mist, while I was quite happy with the results, I felt it needed something else.
Just a few moments later and these three very obliging ladies walked into frame, for me completing the image perfectly and one of my favourite shots of the last couple of years.
It’s five am, the first morning of the second three week lockdown, but my intention is to make full use of my exercise walk today.
With an early morning chill in the air, I am hoping to capture the mist on the River, before the sun’s rays reach out to melt its ethereal shroud.
My relatively short walk to the river path is barely interrupted by the roar of normal weekday traffic, in the words of the Morrissey song, ‘Every day is like Sunday’.
On reaching the footpath, the nearby playing fields have a coating of low cloud suspended above the grass, floating islands of mist, with a subtle pink tinge in the sky above, the first image of the day is bagged.
As the sun begins its dawn ascent, hues of orange light the underbelly of the clouds above with its fiery palette.
Watching the sun rise has always been a pleasure and a privilege I have treasured, under current circumstances, my joy in watching the day unfold is seen with a new appreciation.
The River has dropped somewhat from my last walk here in early February, it is possible to take picture from the waters edge in places, taking shots from previously inaccessible viewpoints.
From my new vantage point, I watch the mist slowly fade in the embrace of the sun’s warmth but not before I have a few more photos in the bank.
From these all too brief moments of perfect solitude, I am joined along the path by the few early morning runners, each of us respecting the other’s space, while exchanging polite ‘Good mornings’ ‘and thank you’s’.
My route home takes me back towards the quayside of the River Exe, the water lies still, with reflections of the riverside residences providing more camera fodder for yours truly.