while you were sleeping


In all seasons, the beauty of the day is in the early morning. At that time, generally, a solemn stillness holds, and a perfect calm prevails…” (Auckland, the Capital of New Zealand – Swainson, William, Smith Elder, 1853)

My husband and I had the privilege of living in Israel for one year. Israel has two main seasons: a long dry season, and a short wet season. During the dry season the days are fairly much the same – cloudless blue skies and brilliant sunshine. After the first few weeks of watching the same sky, day after day, I began to realise how much I missed the ever-changing sky-canvas that we see in Auckland, New Zealand.

Auckland is situated on an isthmus (narrow strip) of land – the narrowest region of New Zealand – sandwiched between the turbulent Tasman Sea and the vast Pacific Ocean. Thanks to it’s location, Auckland experiences “4 seasons in one day” throughout most of the year. Though bemoaned by some, this changing weather can gift us some extraordinary skies…if we take the time to look up.

During my morning walk, my dog and I skirt the edges of a large sports park, over which the sun rises to greet us as we pass by. For a long time I have looked forward to that precise moment when we walk past the two-storey houses, into open space, and we first glimpse the majestic expanse of the eastern Auckland sky. Invariably we are treated to an amazing array of colours, clouds and heavenly drama. I decided to capture that moment and share it with you.

Beginning on 1 September 2013, I will be taking one photo of our Auckland sky, every day during Spring. 91 sunrises. 91 glorious, changing skies.

Most of us are aware and appreciative of sunsets, but how many of us are awake and observant of a sunrise? How many of us know how beautiful and inspirational a sunrise can be? To all late-risers, this will be my gift to you.

FOOTNOTE: All of the photos were taken with an iPhone 4S, and not one has been retouched – not even a little bit – they are all pure beauty!
Photo Essay Updates

4 October 2013: I learned a little bit about the movement of the sun this week. I learned that the sun will rise exactly East and set exactly West on only two days of the year: March 21 and September 21. After September 21, the sun rises a little South of True East, which would explain why my sunrise moved…a lot…and out of picture! To compensate I have moved my vantage point – my photographic interpretation of “chasing the sun”.


3 thoughts on “while you were sleeping

  1. Syndicate it out to local paper online supplying them with one shot a day they can use. Attach your name and line of business and story. Marketing potential. The sky’s the limit!

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Sarah Ritchie
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while you were sleeping

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Finalist, Estuary Art Awards 2011
Exhibitor, The Original Art Sale 2011


© Sarah Ritchie 2014

Please do not use copies of my original artwork for profit, however you are welcome to share my artwork images as much as you like!

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