By Robin Slick, Published Monday
Photographing Nantucket: What is it About a Sunrise?
For me, the early morning is the most peaceful time of day. A time to be alone with my thoughts, planning how the day will unfold. Getting outside first thing, breathing the cool air of a fresh new day makes me feel alive and ready to take on the world! Experiencing a majestic sunrise is a gift, one that I look forward to and treasure.
Whether you are a professional photographer or an amateur like myself, the subject matter of a Nantucket Sunrise can make just about anyone look like a professional. It’s actually hard to take a bad photo here! I love that the same location is different each day, never knowing exactly what you will discover.
If the thought of waking up at the crack of dawn seems a bit early to jump out of bed, you may be more enticed to take sunrise photos this time of year, when the sun rises an hour later than in the spring when the clocks change. A little tip, make sure to be at your desired location a half hour before to get the most diverse colors and contrasts.
Kayak Beach in Town
When choosing the best spots, don’t limit your self to Sconset, thinking that because its the most eastern part of the island you have to go only there. In fact, I have found some of the most interesting sunrise photos are taken facing a completely different direction. For instance, Brant Point faces primarily north, but looking to your right and left provides endless choices for superb photos.
Leaving the ACK on the 6:30 Steamship
Once you have arrived at your desired spot, notice that there may be unique colors not just facing the sun as it is rises over the horizon, but also, if you turn in all directions you will see the colors as they reflect off the sun.
Seagulls at Brant Point, photo by Tim Walker
Clear skies are not the only days to produce noteworthy photos, paying attention to the clouds and where they are can make for unique sunrise photos, sometimes not even recognizing when the sun actually arose.
Easy Street in Town, photo by Tim Walker
For me, what makes the ACK itself so special to photograph at sunrise is that it offers a diverse backdrop illumining the foreground of lighthouses, wildlife, landscapes, homes AND beaches.
Cod Fish Park in Sconset
Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Tim Walker, a fellow amateur photographer who has an eye for beauty, not just when taking unique and vibrant photos of the islands' sunrises and sunsets, but also when it comes to designing floral masterpieces during his day job at Flowers on Chestnut.
Sunrise at Surfside Beach, photo by Tim Walker
When asked what sunrise spots he enjoys most, Tim loves Brant Point because the rising sun is great there any time of year. In wintertime, he enjoys the beach at the Surfside area, including Fisherman's and Stones beaches. And in the warmer summer months, he finds Sesachacha Pond to be perfect and Sconset if he gets up early enough!
A cute story occurred a couple of weeks ago. I tend to go to Sconset a lot, because I live close by. So there I am one morning, watching a glorious sunrise by myself, feeling as if I was the only person on the island. Having the urge to share the moment, and not in a Facebook sharing kinda way, rather in a more personal way and thinking maybe Tim might be out doing the same thing, I messaged him a photo at 6:54 and sure enough at 7:12 I get one back from him while he is at Brant Point. Instant smile on my face!
Our morning photo swap. Mine above at Sconset Beach and Tim's below at the Brant Point Lighthouse.
So grab your camera or iPhone and off you go. If you are blessed with a furry friend like me, combining his walk with a photo shoot is multi-tasking at its finest. Nothing more brightens a day than a beautiful morning sunrise!