Are you a lark or an owl? I’m a night owl and as such have rarely seen the dawn but I’d heard it was very pretty. I decided this was something that needed addressing so set my alarm clock for 4am one summer evening, determined to rise at the crack of dawn and get down to the sea front to greet the day. I couldn’t have chosen a better morning as far as the light and weather was concerned. My partner was with me, and knowing a lot more about photography and geography than me, he led me to the best position at the right time. We’d parked the car and walked along the promenade from Frinton towards Walton on the Naze. I was so excited but concerned we would not reach the pier in time for daybreak. Steve was not at all worried. As always, he was totally in control. He’d done the research and knew exactly what time the sun would peep up to see us and knew exactly how long it would take to reach the best vantage point. As we walked, we met parts of the promenade that jutted out towards the sea blocking the pier from view, I ran at these moments, keen to get past the obstruction, just in case Steve was wrong. He wasn’t. At last, the pier came clear into view, and there was nothing to bar the way for a great photo. It was still way off in the distance though and I wanted to be closer. There was still time, my heart was beating as the sky became brighter. Then, just as we arrived at the planned destination, there was a burst of light. We both captured many pictures as the sun rose, the light breaking through the legs of the pier. I was overjoyed. I’d achieved a small ambition. I couldn’t wait to get home and paint. I didn’t recreate this image for quite a few months though; not until I had inwardly digested the magnitude of the scene and decided how to reproduce it the best I could. This was meant to be a practise piece in watercolour. I don’t know if I’ll ever do the oil painting I had in mind but that is my next quest.