Up With The Sparrows / by craig levers

I used to hate dawnies, and I'm gonna dob me ol' mate Ste'en Webster in for this aversion to the early. Ste'en's idea of a dawn patrol was never to get up at dawn. It was to leave Ponsonby at 4am to be grovelling over the low tide rocks at Raglan pre-dawn [mid winter]. Chugging down through the Waikato in the dark and fog. In his oldies' ancient green Kombi with the shittiest heater ever. The drive was harrowing. The rock crawl pre dawn was traumatic. And then as a 15 year old grom to be faced with 6 foot walls of white wash rolling through at Outsides just as you can start to see... well the whole thing was a f@cking ordeal. 

Tim and Ste'en Webster and yep a crusty lil punker Jan 1983, in front of the Kombi in Trinity St. Photo Lois Webster

Tim and Ste'en Webster and yep a crusty lil punker Jan 1983, in front of the Kombi in Trinity St. Photo Lois Webster

The thing is Ste'en would ring up 'Wanna do a Dawn Patrol to [insert location]' and I'd always go 'YES!'. What are you going to do, miss out? No way commander- shot gun! These drives also led to a deep loathing of Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel and Rush... but that's another story. 


This morning pre dawn


5 minutes later... 

Opting to be a chaser and catcher of light, i.e; a photographer. If you don't deal with the early, you're kind of screwed. I've learnt to deal. I'm not going to write it's 'now my time of the day', or, 'there's nothing better than watching the sun and light play at dawn.' 'Cos there is something better- a nice warm bed. 

This morning was fun though. Being in mission mode is fun. Calculating the variables, going for it. This morning's dawn was hardly a trial, no four hour dive, just a simple 45 minute stab over the Waitak's. The plan for a while has been to get this pano, waiting for the right amount of fog, sun track and even tide. Lucky? Sort of, it was more calculated than just dumb luck.


5 more minutes...


and what's going on behind the camera...


...which means any minute. Shoot over! 

Yeah, I hate to admit it, but Ste'en's training and ethic has stuck. Thanks old boy! 

From The Galleries


And just a mere 30 years after the first image in this post was taken, this one was. That's quite a lateral leap aye? This Pano of a deserted shack on Amboy Road in the Mojave Desert won an Epson International Pano Award in 2013. It is hands down a favourite for me. It's all about the composition of those power poles. Check it out bigger HERE