Waking up in the early morning hours is always difficult for John. Working late at the small Italian restaurant, he never gets to bed before 2am. Between the mix of customers and the constant yelling of his boss, he never seems to be able to just come home and knock out. Instead the adrenaline from the evening keeps him watching movies, playing video games and drinking til 4am. If only his ambition to become a photographer didn’t get in the way of his sleep pattern, but he needs to get up early if he wants the perfect shots that grace the morning air.
The cars are already clogging the roads as a flock of birds begin their morning cackle in this California suburb. Slamming the alarm clock with his fist, John’s bleary eyes glance at the clock, wishing it was later, but knowing that it is way too early. 7am is a late wake up call for the professionals of this Santa Barbara locale, who have the hour long drive into Los Angeles to contend with.
Going through the motions of his morning routine, John clicks on the television to provide some background news or is it just noise? He hears one of the heads telling him to watch out for an accident and another that it is the anniversary of some and other date. Whichever it is, he finishes getting ready and jogs through the parking lot to his car, he can’t be late again or he will never hear the end of it.
Pulling up to the park, he sees the disapproving looks of his fellow photographers, but he doesn’t care. He isn’t here for them really, he is at the park at 7:45 in the morning because he loves the fall. Not like a celebrity falls from on high after the latest drug addiction or adultery spree. This is the fall that occurs in nature once a year and so many miss in their busy lives.
Walking a path, he leaves the others and strays into a small clearing. The light from the morning sunrise begins to shine through the leaves and surrounds him. Hitting the foliage, the light creates a collage of reds, oranges, yellows and a tinge of green remaining from summer. It is here with the smell of the earth and the knowledge of the change to come, that John takes the picture that will propel both his ability and his insight to the future ahead.