Where Do You Start Your Day?

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Pre-dawn Café, Paris

Pre-dawn Café, Paris

Do you walk down the block to a café in Paris every morning to watch as the city wakes up?

Most people have a morning routine. Sometimes it is dictated by family responsibilities, such as making breakfast and getting ready for school or work. Other people choose to start their day in a public place. Their routine includes reading the newspaper or talking with friends who share the same routine. It is a place to discuss events and make plans, or just tell jokes with your buddies.

Starting the day in a café must be more common in an urban setting. And it is probably more common for people who don’t have children in the home.

One of my favorite times to photograph is just before dawn and in the short time right after dawn. I am not interested in the dawn sky itself. But the dim natural light gives each feature a chance to stand on its own. The photograph is exposed for one small scene and the surrounding area is dark, which helps emphasize the main object.

Strolling the pre-dawn streets of Paris with a camera is an interesting way to start the day. The sounds, smells, and sights are different than during the busy daylight hours. You get to see café workers set up the outside terrace seating, the cleaners power-washing the sidewalks, people walking and bicycling through dark streets on their way to work or school, small store owners setting out their produce tables, and watch ancient cathedrals emerge from the black of night, all without crowds of tourists. And you can sit alone in a café sipping espresso and know that you have even beaten the morning regulars to the prime terrace table.

Photo:  1/125 s at f/2.8   You can see more Paris photos in the Photo Gallery at my website:  www.earthmapphoto.com

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