"The biggest cliche in photography is sunrise and sunset." - Catherine Opie
Well with all due respect to Catherine Opie (a US based fine art photographer), I completely disagree. I hear other photographers often roll out the "cliche" line for landscapes. Sunrise/Sunset shots ? Cliche. Long exposure misty water ? Cliche. Wanaka Tree ? Cliche.
So what ? Some photographers seem to have this underlying attitude that once something has been photographed you can't photograph it anymore. Really ? I say bollocks to that ! Photography is about your individual journey and what you want to achieve from it. The more I read photography forums and blogs, the more I think sometimes the worst thing you can do is ask other photographers for advice. There seems to be so much discouragement from other photographers and the cliche line is an often used weapon in this discourse.
I LOVE shooting sunrises. I love that no 2 sunrises are the same. I adore the soft diffused light during the pre-dawn hour and the stunning, golden light that can appear just after the sun hits the horizon. I love the quiet stillness from some locations, and the sound of the sea in others. I enjoy the fact that there's very little traffic on the roads at 0430 and the drive can be 20 minutes quicker because of it. I get lungs full of fresh air and I revel in the fact that I'm out and about before many people are even awake. It sets me up for the day ahead.
Photography is in essence an individual pursuit, and while it's fun to shoot with other people, when the light appears and the sun is getting close to the horizon, it's just you and your camera. I find those moments to be quite meditative and peaceful. So why would I stop because someone else thinks it's an overdone cliche ?
One photographer who I admire is Thomas Heaton in the UK, and he recently put out a video that really sums it up why it's great to photograph the dawn :
'Nuff said ! ;)