I can’t tell you how many times in my life I have had an opportunity, both planned and spontaneous, to get up in the middle of the night and dash out for some sort of awesome photo opportunity. You might want to go back to sleep. It is hard to say set an alarm for 2:00 am and then actually get up when it goes off. The bed is so cozy, that dream I was having was so good. The will needed to ignore all of that and pack up and head out into the cold night is tremendous My advice is always get up. This week is a number of examples of why you always always always get up.
This particular photo was an example of the spontaneous and unplanned variety. Way back in 2005 I was woken at some ungodly hour by thunder and lighting. For those that are born and raised here on the west coast of Canada, you probably have no idea what I am talking about as in the years that I have lived here in Vancouver I have heard thunder a grand total of 4 times (and one of those might have actually been a train or something) But in Alberta we get thunderstorms and while they are probably fairly tame from say northern Ontario standards they hold their own. So it was 3:00 am in the middle of June and I was lying awake looking out the window at the world ending lighting, thunder, and rain outside and as any rational sane photographer would do I jumped up, grabbed my gear and fired on out down the street to the Alberta Legislature. It was there under the cover of an overhead walkway that I proceeded to take 3.5 second exposure after exposure after exposure in the vague hopes that could by chance really capture a lighting strike in the photo. I Stayed there snapping photos till the storm passed and the sun came up with actually no idea what I had captured. I hadn’t looked (AKA Chimped) at what I had captured for fear that while I was looking I would miss a shot with lighting. It was 3.5 seconds to take the exposure and then 3.5-5 seconds to run the in camera noise reduction and write the file to the card (camera’s were slow back then) I could take around 8 photos a minute all the while lighting and thunder were happening all around me. It was a crazy experience that I would repeat a number of times in my life, and it always happens because I got up :)