19 November, 2010

Waking up Gaudi

5am!? Really!?

Aside from Composition, another extremely important element to photography is good lighting. When I scouted this location the previous afternoon, not only was the lighting flat, but I found it crawling with people. This same shot would have had at least 300 people in frame. Seriously.

Fact: Sunrise and Sunset produce the most desirable lighting effects.
Another Fact: There are way less people around during sunrise than sunset.
An unfortunate Fact: Waking up early sucks. Big time.

No matter how well I mentally fortify myself the night before, my brain always looks for excuses not to get out of bed at 5am. It’s in this AM twilight that I ask myself, “why am I doing this again?” In this case as I was drawing open the window shades, checking the weather, I was secretly wishing for rain.

Ultimately, and always reluctantly, I drag myself out of bed and trudge through the streets in full zombie mode. Once I’ve had an espresso or two I’m usually fine. Before that though, It’s like night of the living dead.

Does anyone have any tips for waking up early? Any mantras or mental tricks?

About the Author

Elia Locardi is an internationally acclaimed professional travel photographer, videographer, Fujifilm Global Ambassador, writer, public speaker, and highly skilled educator who spends his life shooting some of the most beautiful locations in the world.


As featured by Professional Photographer MagazineCNet Australia,, Wacom USA, and Fstoppers, Elia has built an engaged social media following of nearly 3 million people across FacebookGoogle+TwitterInstagramYouTube, and Snapchat. Due to the years of dedication and genuine openness with his audience, he has become one of the most followed photographers in the world.


Location independent since March of 2012, he and his wife live a 100% mobile lifestyle, perpetually traveling from country to country, continuously circling the globe. Since he began traveling full-time in 2009, he has visited more than 55 countries, flown over one million miles, and collaborated with major companies, brands, countries, and tourism agencies all over the world.


Using a combination of traditional in-camera techniques, targeted times of day, and advanced post-processing methods, Elia has developed a widely recognized and highly unique style of photography that has become well known around the world. With each photograph, his goal is to share his vision so others can see the world as he does, full of color, texture, beauty, depth and emotion. Many of his photos have been used in some of the most widely circulated publications in the world including National Geographic.


Throughout the journey, he shares the Art of Photography on many different websites including his popular blog, blamethemonkey.com, teaches post-processing workshops worldwide, speaks at major international photography conventions, and is proud to be one of the founders and leaders of Dream Photo Tours.

  • Deldi

    It was totally worth getting up so early. Stunning!

  • KT

    I try to stay awake the entire night than forcing myself out of the bed for sunrise. Unfortunately, neither of those have ever worked