Someone once said something quite profound about 'best-laid plans' and after planning an early morning sunrise shoot for the weekend, it suddenly rang true. The Friday had been one of those beautiful Winter's days where it was sunny, yet with a definite chill in the air to keep you on your toes! After checking my weather apps, Saturday look good around sunrise and when a couple friends asked if I would be up for an early morning shoot, the answer was a resounding 'Yes'.
We planned on meeting on top of the Grand Central car park to get a shot looking back across New Street Stations spectacular roof, beyond the Rotunda and out towards where the sun would rise from. We agreed to meet at 7.30am and I got there for about 7.25, a good 40 minutes before sunrise. I started grabbing some images to capture the warm oranges and purples in the morning sky but couldn't help notice the big band of cloud across the horizon- a photographer's nightmare!
By 7.35am when Fraser, Jon and Martin met me on the top floor, the sky had lost all of it's colour and had been covered by a thick blanket of low cloud - it had literally changed that quickly! What had been intended as a nice glorious sunrise had now become a dull, grey washout. However, determined not to waste our early start, we planned on walking along the canals to Gas Street Basin in the hope of capturing some atmospheric images.
One of the biggest challenges with photography is the weather, learning to adapt to different situations is essential and we could easily have called it all off and gone for a fry-up, which was a mighty tempting idea indeed. When we reached Gas Street Basin, it was well worth our perseverance. The mist added a new layer of interest, by obscuring many of the buildings in the distance and adding emphasis to the things in the foreground.
Another added bonus to shooting at that time of day is how quiet it is, with the occasional jogger or dog-walking breaking the silence as they come by. The absence of people makes for a nice image but finding a solitary figure emerging from the mist makes for a very nice image indeed. We made our way around past the ICC, Barclay Card Arena and round to the Birmingham Canal Old Line. It always amazes me how a few minutes walking can seemingly transport you out of the City Centre and into a typical 'rural' image, if you look beyond the maisonettes and concrete walls that line the edges of the canal.
We made our way back through the ICC, passed the library and spent a few minutes capturing images by the 'Paradise' development. A solitary man in a hat made for a great street image as he crossed the path behind the Paradise development and must have felt like a celebrity as we all rushed to take his picture, shutters firing away. Breakfast was calling though so we decided to head back towards Grand Central and grab some food on the way.
There was just time for one final shot and probably my favourite from the day as we passed Victoria Square and saw Victoria herself standing proud with the Council House shrouded in fog behind her. The image looks very nostalgic and if it were not for the crane in the background, it looks like it could have been taken a hundred years ago. As we devoured our breakfast we flicked through our cameras and were generally pretty pleased with the outcome. It just goes to show that a little perseverence can often pay off.