Tick tock, goes the clock; one hour till sun thus rise.
I was growing increasingly restless – one can only be explained as equilibrium counteracting my fatigue – foolishly, I somehow reckon in hindsight – from not going to sleep. For a reason, of course: I simply couldn’t trust myself to wake up early enough to capture dawn over Kuala Lumpur’s iconic twin towers.
A spontaneous decision, really. And a self-issued challenge.
Wrapped up another post from the previous day’s writing streak, may have gone a tad overtime. I glanced at the four digits, at the top right corner of an eye-jabbing computer screen: 06:40. Twenty-past seven was the sunrise allegedly taking place, with a walk between hostel and destination taking half an hour at least.
Yes, definitely overtime.
Backpack with camera gear slung on, I raced out of the door. Quickened in pace, straight down the path as instructed.
The morning was young and the streets yet dark, but already the city had stirred. School uniform-donned adolescents met me as I trotted, and so were the early-risers hurrying to work. Traffic surged as minutes elapsed, the silhouette of Petronas loomed, and first hints of sunlight penetrated the horizon to herald the day’s start.
At least I got there before it really happened.
As if I was going to be the only person there – already, two blokes were on the scene, equipment set up and preying the moment. I had mine laid out, seizing as one cameraman backed off the revered conduit sprung from the garden underneath the towers: the line of symmetry.
Then it transpired. Behind their outline, the magenta hue partially overtook the sapphire and wrapped around nuggets of clouds.
As swiftly as it came, the transition lingered for mere couple of minutes before fading back into the dominant blue and grimmer grey.
I inspected the shots I took, gave myself the tranquilised self-congratulatory note; then, as the skies brightened, I hauled my weary body back to the hostel.
Behind the lens
Click thumbnail to enlarge
To obtain a decent image, containing all the gorgeous colours, it demanded a depth of field that puts both the towers and the coloured skies behind in focus. This particular shot was taken at f/20, a setting that must be counteracted by a much slower shutter speed to absorb enough light through an already confined aperture – 1/2 second should cut it.
Not that one half of a second wouldn’t be exposed to the minute quivers of being balanced on my not-so-still hands and get away without a photo-wrecking blur.
Whilst I opted not to travel with the extra weight of a tripod, the more compact Gorillapod served as the fixed source of steadiness during this particular photoshoot.
Other than that, it’s good to have some strong coffee in the toolkit for an early shooting session too.