3 Photos I Took Just Seconds After Getting Out of Bed

Most photographers will tell you about the need to carefully set up a photo or to wait in a particular spot until the conditions are just right. Sometimes, however, a photo just happens. In a few cases, the photo is just waiting for you when you get out of bed. Here are three photos I took immediately after getting out of bed. I wish I could say I planned it, but in every case it was just dumb luck.

Photo 1: Benidorm, Spain

The Story

I was in Benidorm, Spain as a guest of the Valencia Tourist Board. They had me staying at the Hotel Villa Venecia where they had a room called the “blogger suite” (I’m not joking) over looking the Mediterranean Sea. I had set up my camera on my tripod in the evening for sunset and took photos of the Benidorm beach. When I went to bed I left the window open and left my camera on my tripod.

At some point in the evening I had to get up to go to the bathroom and I noticed the moon framed perfectly in the window over the water. The clouds were such that it gave the moon a surreal quality. I clicked the shutter several times and went back to bed.

Photo 2: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

The Story

I was on the inaugural voyage of Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth, taking just a short hop from Acapulco to Los Angeles. I knew the next morning we’d be arriving in Cabo San Lucas but I had no idea what time and having never been there before, I didn’t know what to expect. My internal clock hadn’t adjusted to Pacific time yet, so I woke up rather early and stepped out on the balcony to see where we were. This was what I saw when I opened the curtains.

I grabbed my camera that was sitting in my camera bag next to the window and immediately starting taking photos to capture the sunrise colors I saw at Land’s End. I sat there taking photos for about 15 minutes until the color started to change as the sun rose higher and eventually got breakfast.

Photo 3: Bryson City, North Carolina

The Story

This March I was in the Great Smoky Mountains staying in a rental house outside of Bryson City, North Carolina. The house was located up on a hill over looking the town. I had spent a previous night in the house and other than a nice view of the town, I didn’t see anything special.

My last morning I woke up to see why the Great Smoky Mountains got their name: the clouds were hanging over the hills like smoke. This is the photo I really wanted to get while I was in the Smokies!

The lesson I got from these photos was to always have your camera at the ready. You never know when you are going to wake up to a great photo!

15 thoughts on “3 Photos I Took Just Seconds After Getting Out of Bed”

  1. lovely shots… I am glad to visit your article. Whenever I visit Sherbrooke , Montreal of Quebec I usually stay in hotel le president, it’s my favorite hotel.

    i like your article…

  2. Great shots. I find that I often get my best shots at that hour. The light is usually great and clearer than sunsets. Love it!

  3. Wow! What a wonderful sight to wake up to. These photos are breathtaking.

  4. I love the photos! And I completely agree with you. The two best photos I ever took – the Eiffel Tower and Wailua Falls in Kauai – were just point at the object and click. And the photos turned out great. It definitely helps to have the equipment to take great photos but sometimes being in the right place at the right time is enough.

    After seeing these photos, maybe I should just wake up and take a photo to see how it turns out :)

  5. I’ve heard a few photographers say that they take their best photos first thing in the morning (something to do with the light or some stuff I didn’t understand…). So it’s a great tip, Gary, to always have the camera ready to go!

  6. Great shots. If only I could get my eyes to photos focus when I first get out of bed. Maybe that is not important, since the camera can auto-focus :-)

  7. All of the big trips I made, specially with groups, I’m always the one who stays up late taking photos or the first one to wake up to take photos…. or both :)

    Apart from that, I always carry my backpack close to me, so I can take out my DSLR and shoot. That’s why I love the backpacks with side access, I don’t evend need to take them out of my back to shoot something… :)

  8. These are lovely shots, almost enough to make me want to try to wake up early during my next travels to see what there is to see!

  9. I just got one in Queenstown, New Zealand yesterday. I noticed a small crack on my wall where the curtain was pulled back letting light in was pink. I rushed right outside!

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