The early bird…

One of the perks* of being a parent is getting up at oh-my-is-it-early o’clock every morning and go watch the sun rise. There is something that speaks to us as humans when we look at the night leaving space for the light of day. And there is something that speaks to us when we realise how freaking early sunrise is in Ireland in June…

We have been told that it’s not uncommon for babies to wake up very early during summer; insanely early, in fact. Sunrise around here is at about 4.30am these days, and being able to see it means that you had time to get up, get dressed, get the baby dressed, and then go out.

A little after sunrise in Portrane

Well, since I am up early in any case, I thought I might as well get something out of it; we might as well go for a walk and explore the area: we have only moved here recently anyway… In the past weeks we have been on many walks and hikes all over the coast, within a short drive. And since we are already out, I have started bringing a camera with me as a matter of course.


Now, I always have a baby strapped to my chest, so a big camera with multiple lenses is out of the question; after all I am just trying to keep the little one calm (and perhaps make him sleep a little more). For these reasons, my default choice is my Fujifilm X100T.

It’s small, it’s light, it’s battered, and it’s scratched. Severely so. I have had it for years, and I have not been kind to it, but despite everything I have thrown at it, it just refused to break down.

I admit 35mm – in 35mm equivalent – is not my favourite focal length (I usually prefer either 28mm or 50mm), but when I am out and I don’t want to think about what gear I want or might need, then 35mm is fine. Also, the fact that I am picking a camera in a half asleep state at 4am helps me in making a decision: the x100T is the camera I keep by the door. That’s a huge component of why I pick it…

We are lucky to live in an area that has a lot to offer in terms of natural beauty, and so close to the sea and multiple parks! The sea is only a couple of kilometres away, so we can just go there and have a long walk on the beach, or on the cliff path to Portrane. Everything is so calm in the morning, and quiet.

There is something oddly satisfying and soothing in watching the sun rise over the horizon, waves crashing on the beach the only sound in your ear.

In many ways I am glad that the little one started waking up so early: I don’t think I would have ever pushed myself to wake up and go out so early. I would have missed all of this.

Going for a stroll

*I am trying to convince myself.

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