Kieran’s Favourite Dawns

Kieran Brimson - one of the longest serving members of The Day That team, shares his three favourite dawns he has taken during his time with us.

Kieran Brimson - 5th May 2020

Having photographed well over 1500 dawns during my time with The Day That I’ve been lucky to witness a multitude of differing conditions. When lockdown hit we agreed as a team to do the right thing and stay at home. This gave me a chance to pause and reflect on those epic mornings, and I decided to summarise my top 3 dawns. The results surprised everyone… 

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When we go out and photograph the sunrise, it is not just about the light and the colours.  It is also about what we as photographers can put in to those images, and what those images can give back to us. Every morning is so different and equally rewarding, based on not only what the weather is doing but also how we are feeling about the images we are taking. When we see the pictures being printed and framed, we can remember those mornings based on how we felt just as much as the day itself, and that is why I think it is easy for us to remember those individual mornings, no matter how many of them we have seen.

23rd November 2011
23rd November 2011
The first dawn I would like to share with you is the 23rd November 2011. I had started with The Day That only a month before, so I was still in training and this was one of the first mornings that I was in charge of taking the morning imagery. 
Myself, along with Chris as support, headed to Porth Kidney Beach as the conditions for this location would be perfect. I remember the morning so clearly, it started with deep  colours, a transition between red  and orange on the horizon, fading to a dark blue of the nights sky above. What makes Porth Kidney Beach such a fantastic location is the way in which the wet sand reflects what is happening in the sky, so the red and orange was reflected in the foreground. This creates an incredible double band of colour, with the coastline acting as a dividing line between the two.
As the morning progressed, everything lit up magically. Shades of orange and pink filled the sky creating a unique sight. I remember standing on the beach thinking to myself, “wow, this job is going to be fantastic, photographing these beautiful sunrises everyday.” What I did not realise at the time, is that this dawn I was witnessing was a once in a lifetime sunrise, and all the hundreds of sunrises I have witnessed since, do not match the perfection of this one!
Tuesday 29th January 2013
29th January 2013
The second dawn I would like to share with you is the 29th January 2013. Unlike my first entry, this was a cold, stormy winters morning, with heavy rain and strong winds. We are used to stormy weather here in Cornwall, but for the most part these conditions hit the West and the south coast. Locations such as Land’s End and Porthleven often get battered by crashing waves. Over in St Ives, many times you would not even know a storm is happening. It is a very sheltered location which makes it the perfect place for us to take smooth tranquil images all year round. 
This morning however was very different. Porthgwidden, the location I chose for the dawn photographs this day, had the biggest waves I had ever seen at this location. They came crashing onto the beach at almost head height and swept across the sand with unrelenting pace. It was such a thrilling sight, and it really pumps you up with adrenaline to get out there and get what you can.
Due to the amount of rain the visibility across the coast was low, and I had to do my best to keep the lens dry and rain droplets came in horizontally across the sea. This low visibility meant that I had to concentrate on capturing the waves, with a slow exposure time you can capture really stunning patterns of the seas movement that really demonstrates the power of the waves whilst keeping the images beautiful.  Every single click of the camera shutter provided me with even more stunning imagery that looked even more dramatic than the last. I left the beach that day very wet, but a bounce in my step!
11th December 2019
The third and final dawn I would like to share with you as one of my favourite dawns I have photographed is the 11th December 2019. Cornwall, much like the rest of the UK, has weather that can change in an instant. To access Porth Kidney Beach, you have to park quite far away and walk down. From the time I left my car to getting on the beach, the weather had gone from promising to torrential rain. In all my years of photographing, rarely had it rained this hard for this long. 
Porth Kidney is not an ideal place to be in these conditions, there is no shelter on this beach and the wind and rain has a habit of whipping around the coast and hitting you hard on this open beach. Having made my decision to be here however, I embraced the challenge laid out in front of me. To try and overcome this unexpected challenge, to still provide photographs that are worthy to commemorate your special day, provides me with a real thrill and it keeps me on my toes, and I was kept on my toes this morning, let me tell you!
I remained composed and used all my knowledge to overcome this challenge, and that gives me a real sense of pride when I look at the images that have been purchased and printed since this day.  Knowing how difficult it was on the day and seeing that customers love these photographs as much as I do, gives me a real connection to those who buy from us.
Thank you so much for supporting us, it really does mean so much to us that we can do this job, to go out and photograph the sunrise at 3am to provide stunning photographs to celebrate your special day. It gives us the energy to keep going, so thank you!

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