I’m Glad I Woke Up On Monday

In Photography by Matt K20 Comments

I’m by far not the first person to use or benefit from the quote from Wayne Gretzky, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. But I thought I’d share a photo from the other day, and a little motivational kick-in-the-butt, in case any one needs it (I know I do from time to time).

Last month I got my new Sony A7Riii, but I didn’t get much of a chance to use it. It was right before the holidays. I had a new course coming out, a few trips to go on, and time just got away from me. Now, I had been out on a couple of shoots with it, but nothing very inspiring. That was until Monday earlier this week.

I couldn’t sleep and woke up around 5:30am. I thought about going to shoot, but the bed was still pretty comfy. I looked at my weather app, and it showed a layer of clouds covering most of Florida. But there looked like some breaks here and there. Honestly, for me, that’s prime shooting weather. For a lot of my landscapes (especially coastal photos), I’m not looking for clear skies. I want clouds – and a lot of ’em! (but not too much so that the sun doesn’t even show through)

Anyway, I decided to get up and go shoot in Safety Harbor, FL at the pier. I pulled up, and sat there for a while and it was just gray and blah. It wasn’t sunrise yet, but it was well in to twilight time and nothing was happening. So I sat there toying around on my phone. Then I looked up and saw a hint of red in the sky. It wasn’t a lot, but enough to get me out of the car on a chilly Florida morning (of which I was not dressed for of course) and start shooting.

I set my camera up near some rocks and it was nice. But far from inspiring. So I stopped shooting and just enjoyed the scenery for a few minutes. And then, about 10 minutes later, this happened…
(click to see it larger).

(Sony A7RIII, Sony 16-35 GM lens, f/16, 1/3 sec, ISO 400… oh… and A LOT of luck!)

The sky was totally blazing with reds. Something I don’t see often. Now, anyone that knows me knows I’m not shy when it comes to post processing. I shamelessly love oversaturated colors and I have no problems pushing my photos to a far-from-real state. But, this morning… I got home, nudged about 3 sliders and I was done (well, I did do a little content-aware healing in Photoshop too).

Anyway, as I mentioned up above. That quote is used and over-used in so many cases. But for any of you in a rut or just in need of some inspiration to get out there and shoot, hopefully this gives you a little kick in the pants to do it šŸ™‚

Have a good one!


  1. Anvilcloud

    Darn Americans. šŸ˜‰ Lose the ‘s’. It’s Gretzky.

    But you are forgiven due to the quality of the photo.

    1. Author
      Matt K

      Ha! Thanks. Funny thing is that I actually looked it up when I wrote this – and the site where I looked it up must have had it misspelled šŸ™‚

  2. J Mauler

    I think he did spell it right, at least my post shows :Gretzky
    “Iā€™m by far not the first person to use or benefit from the quote from Wayne Gretzky”.

    1. Author
      Matt K

      It was corrected after his comment. Funny thing is that I actually looked it up when I wrote this and the site where I looked it up must have had it misspelled šŸ™‚

  3. J Mauler

    By the way Matt, nice shot, there’s nothing like being at a sunrise or sunset and watching the sky explode in color!

  4. Jenny

    What a Fab photo Matt!
    Well worth the effort.
    Right time, place & weather, who needs over processing a shot!
    Could be a cue for challenging all those insomniac photographers

  5. Michael Miller

    Regarding your G Tech RAID, is it a twin 8TB or a twin 4TB (two 8’s or two 4’s)?
    Also, is it fast enough to be your working drive, that is to process video, PS, or LR files, while the catalog is inside your main computer?

    1. Author
      Matt K

      Hi. I believe it’s 8 TB total because I don’t use the raid thingee in it. I guess it would get cut down to 4 if I did but I’m not that techie. I just put photos on it and yes it’s plenty fast since it’s thunderbolt and my catalog is on the main computer HD.

  6. Jim Graham

    What a terrific Shot!!! And you’ve got to be there, ready to shoot—as we all know, scenes like this disappear almost as quickly as they show up. Thanks for sharing it, Matt, and inspiring us people in a rut to get our butts up and going in the morning.

  7. Jim Sherry

    As a septuagenarian, and dedicated “hard light” photographer, that image is only available to me in my dreams. That said, it is nothing short of spectacular and kudos to you, Matt, for making the extreme effort to overcome your circadian rhythm and challenging weather to capture it.

  8. Ron

    Wonderful shot. I was in the same shoes last month with my new A7Riii. I was on the west shore of Lake Tahoe at sundown and choosing to hang out with the family and enjoy a glass of wine or run out and catch what might be a decent sunset.

    By the way, just transitioning from Canon to Sony, do you know of a good resource particularly in setting up the menus?

  9. Christopher T. Murphy

    It is not just the wonderful clouds and sunrise that makes this the nice photo that it is, it is the placement of the rocks as leading lines and your overall composition. Many times the sky is wonderful but the foreground cannot be helped- literally! I had a nice sunset here last night in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, but only suburbia as the foreground. I underexposed by.7 of a stop to accentuate the colors in the clouds, but there was nothing I could do to redeem the neighborhood I was standing in at the time.

    I have been to Safety Harbor and photographed near where you were, and was thankful to have the nice foreground for the sunrise I was working then. Happiest of New Years to you and yours, and keep up the great work!

  10. MichaelJT

    I’m thinking you used a tripod since the shutter speed is 1/3 sec. Instead of the longer shutter speed, could you have pumped up the ISO and dropped the shutter speed to a hand held speed? Or do you think the noise from the higher ISO would have detracted from the shot?

    1. Author
      Matt K

      Hi. I definitely used a tripod and use one for almost 100% of my sunrise/sunset shots. I could have increased the ISO, but I figure I have a tripod so why not use it. I’ve invested in the gear to get me tack sharp photos so I might as well get tack sharp photos šŸ™‚

  11. Jeffrey Weeks

    Great photo Matt and thanks for sharing it with us. It is definitely worth getting up early to get great sunrise photos. I only wish that I had better foreground to add to the sunrise photos. It looks like you’ve got a great camera. Are you using Sony lenses or other manufacturer’s lenses?

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