"Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it." ~ Richard Whately
It's becoming more and more apparent to me that the best light of the day, the light that I would love to have shining on people and places and things so I can capture them with my camera--all of that perfect, clear light is going on in the morning, while I'm in the office.
What a waste!
So to add to my self-imposed mission of taking at least one good photo a day (which means I have to take a lot of others that aren't so hot), I have started leaving the house earlier so that I have time to walk around for a while before I have to head into the corporate blandness at 8:30am.
So far, I've ended up in Chinatown before 8am a few times and it's a completely different place when it's empty and the shops are closed and the tourists are still in their hotels, folding their maps and consulting their guidebooks.
I love Chinatown and it is very quickly becoming one of--if not my favorite--places to wander on my lunchtime walks. It has a million details to notice, some only visible to you from a particular vantage point or corner. It is part of my affection for the place to find every wonderful angle and interesting little sight that goes unnoticed by most.
But in the early morning, when I have it all to myself, Chinatown is even better.
Yesterday morning, the sun was bright and the sky was so clear when I took the first photo. I didn't even need to do anything to the photo except crop it slightly. The color was as vibrant and as perfect as you see it here. It was the morning light that added the magic.
This morning was completely different. There was no light. The air was full of mist, grey and flat. It made my hair damp and start to curl, and the air felt cooling on my face as I walked the hills of Commercial and Sacramento streets to get different views. I could see the top of the Transamerica Pyramid shrouded in a delicate cloud of vapor. I won't be able to tell until later tonight when I get my camera home how this batch of pictures turned out, but hopefully one or two made the hilly climbs worthwhile.
I'll be back in Chinatown again at lunchtime to finish my photos for my daily allowance, jostled by crowds of both tourists and residents, and I know I'll be drawn into some favorite shops and maybe even treat myself to a little dim sum, but I'll be back again for the mornings, when I'm all alone.