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?