selfaware soup

Esther Weidauer

Catching the Sunrise

Putting in the work by getting up early


I’m usually not a morning person, and even if I have to get up early for something, I rarely spend the very early morning hours outside. Those hours however have some pretty good light when the weather is right.

So today I set my alarm for 04:00, had breakfast while it was still night, and headed out at 05:00, about an hour before sunrise. I took the subway to Hermannplatz and Mehringdamm, two places that are difficult to find empty. This early in the morning is probably the only chance of getting some shots of them without humans all over the place.

I then proceeded to walk to the Tempelhof airport building and the airfield where I arrived just in time for sunrise.

All shot on an E-M10 mk3 with a 17mm/1.8 prime lens.

I also experiments a bit with creating more moody color shifts compared to the rather clean images that come out of a modern digital camera. It certainly makes color photography more fun for me.

I’ve always been hesitant to do more noticeable color grading in photos because … nonsense reasons … something something “not real”, etc. As if anything captured by any camera is “real”.

As a result my color photos were often flat and disappointing compared to how I saw the scene with my own eyes. This time I went at it with less restraint and I think the results are much closer to what I experiences on location, even if it’s maybe not “accurate” or whatever. And it’s a very fun process with tons of ways to do it.

I changed my approach from using tools like curves, histograms and HSL shifts to mostly gradient maps and that’s just a much more intuitive way of thinking about it.

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