Morning light 4


It is 7:30 am and I have already dropped the children off at school. It may seem early, but here in the tropics the sun rises earlier and the city has woken up for a long time. Besides, school starts earlier here. When I drive the kids to school, there are already many young people waiting at the bus stops. I have an appointment with the doc at 9:00 am so I have a little time to kill before going. I had already gone to make pictures in Saint-Denis after coming out of a night shift at 7:00 am, but it has been a while since I went to hang out in the streets so early. That morning, I don’t have much time in front of me. Barely an hour, but it is more than enough.

The atmosphere is really different. We feel that there is already activity in the streets with deliveries, trucks, but all the metal curtains of the stores are still down. We meet children who are rushing to go to school and people who are going to work. The streets are not crowded at this time of day, but it is still crowded. I went to take pictures near the small market. The trucks come to deliver the fresh fruits and vegetables and not very far from people set up their small stalls to sell their goods. The morning light is really interesting because it is grazing and offers nice play of light and shadows.

I’m not used to this kind of light because very often I take pictures between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. It’s clearly not the best time of the day, but I don’t really have a choice. My routine is dictated by the rythm of the children and also by the time I allow myself to go to do some workout during the week. I have found a certain routine here in Reunion for some time. A typical day when I’m not working breaks down as follows:

  • 7:15 am: I drop the children off at school
  • 7:30 am: Sports session
  • 9:30 am: I go home to take care of the house a bit or I go shopping
  • 2:00 p.m .: I go down to park in Saint-Denis to take an hour of photography
  • 3:30 p.m .: I pick up my kids at the end of school

I rarely spend more time in the streets like I did in Aix-en-Provence. It’s too hot, and between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., the city is dead. Almost all the stores are closing … Next week my schedule will allow me to enjoy this beautiful morning light again. It is from a new angle that I discover Saint-Denis. I have to get used to playing with light more to capture this special atmosphere at the start of the day in a photo.

All the photographs were made with the Ricoh GR

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4 thoughts on “Morning light

  • John Harper

    Mornings are my absolute favourite part of the day and yet I rarely photograph unless I’m away somewhere. The light, as you say, is beautiful, a totally different feel to everything. As a child I lived in a town centre. The hustle and bustle as the town prepared for the coming day and of course that light and the sounds, memories flood back if I’m ever out at that time. I can feel it in your photos. Looks like a pretty busy diary you have there Jeff…😉

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      Don’t mock me! My diary is like someone who retired… True. But some other days I kind of work!
      I like this simple routine. For sure, I ‘m not into some burnout…
      The light on the morning is pure magic. The city is slowly waking up. The population is different than later in the day. The atmosphere is more peaceful and the shadows are a thrill to the eyes. I need to visit now all the places I know so well in the morning to confront them to the morning light

  • John Wilson

    Such terrific captures! Love the attitude of msn with newspaper. To me the added benefit is how calm it is in the morning.

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      Light helps a lot! And as you said, it’s calm in the morning, more peaceful. People are just setting up their goods to sell. And it’s not as hot as during the day! I like this atmosphere. It’s like being on stage before the audience arrive.