So… my internal alarm clock goes off at 5.40am, 20 mins before my actual alarm clock. After a few minutes I realise why I’m up in the middle of the night. Oh that’s right, there’s a beast that needs feeding. A beast that has a never ending appetite, one that can never be satisfied. But I must try. This beast thrives in all creatives. It can drive us to do some pretty crazy and dangerous things and I know you’re concerned. But the most dangerous thing I face today is the fear of spilling my expresso.
The excitement is palpable, well as much as it can be at stupid o’clock in the morning. A quick look out of the window to confirm the weather, its foggy, perfect. I love it when a plan comes together. I have breakfast, I always have breakfast, Porridge gets inhaled along with an expresso. I’m good to go. I grab my cameras, ‘don’t forget the tripod’ I keep telling myself. Happy that I have everything I head to the car and off into the eery fog like some brave explorer.
This is a day that I’ve had on the back burner for 20 something years and today I was finally going to actually create what has been in my minds eye all this time. I had carefully planned times for arriving on location including the 35 minute walk up a very steep hill carrying 2 cameras, lenses, tripod and all the other paraphernalia a photographer carries. I also built in time for just standing there and taking in the view. Sunrise was 7.25am according to a handy wee app.
After the climb up the hill and much heavy breathing I arrived at my desired location. It was just before 7am so I could spend time picking the perfect spot to setup and still have plenty of time to flaff about. I could even have a coffee from the flask… if I had brought one! Never mind, the inner beast would keep me warm as it was still pretty chilly.
The plan was a simple one. Wait for the sun to burn the fog back just enough to reveal my intended target. Almost on time the sun appeared, I say almost, even with the elevation I was at, the fog was thick enough to delay the appearance of the sun.
From my vantage point things where progressing as planned; I could see the sun was doing what was required, burning off the fog. I could see church spires start to appear and houses became visible. It was all going as I had hoped, perfect. Just perfect. I could see the fog swirling below me, hiding and revealing the landscape as it goes.
As time passed, things began to change and not in a good way. Rather than the suns ray intensifying there was a slight but perceptible weakening. A slight haze started to envelop the sun, dam this would delay me for a bit. Then from nowhere a bank of fog rolled in from the left and cut visibility to less that a 100 meters. It’s going to clear pretty soon I kept telling myself. So when I could see less than 30 meters, it slowly began to dawn on me that my goose was cooked on this one. The cloud base was rising. The best part of 3 hours later cold wet and miserable I gathered my stuff together and headed through the heather towards the path which was about 100 meters away.
Now I know the area reasonably well having been there countless times over the years, all I had to do was walk west towards the well trodden path and then back to the car. But… for a moment I thought I was going to have to call international rescue so bad was the fog. I can easily see how you can become disoriented in thick fog! Thunder Bird One wasn’t required this time, happily. I made the walk back safely and without incident.
You may wonder what I was there to photograph. With the beast remaining unfed that day and the fear that I may break some Geneva convention I’ll have to withhold that information. At least until the fog returns…