Queenstown, New Zealand at 5 am (and Shadow People for Gizmodo)

Last November 20, I found myself flying into Queenstown, New Zealand at 6 in the evening.  Having been awake for two days at that point, I promptly found the room I had booked at the X Base hostel downtown and went to sleep.  The best thing about going to sleep at that time is waking up completely refreshed at 4 am.  With no obligations for the next 5 hours, I strapped on my hiking boots, grabbed my camera and started exploring.  The lake was just a block away, so the docks were my first stop.  Around 5am, the sun started rising over the mountains to the northeast, so I tried to find a good place to take a photo of the dawn over the mountains.  I didn’t have a tripod and there wasn’t enough light to shoot handheld, so I ended up setting my camera down on the edge of the dock and plugging in my remote shutter button to take the first photo of the trip:

Queenstown

Completely unrelated, I submitted a photo to Gizmodo’s Shadow People photo challenge this past week:

Shadow Motorcycle

When I’m riding my motorcycle, I often notice myself paying more attention to my own shadow than is prudent.  I can’t help myself; between the sun, streetlights, headlights and a small dose of narcissism, my shadow is a very interesting thing to watch.  Riding along early this week thinking about the challenge and watching my shadow, it wasn’t much of a stretch to put two and two together.

To capture this shot, I used a GoPro HD set to take shots every two seconds.  The camera was handheld, and let me tell you, riding a motorcycle, watching your shadow to make sure your arm and camera are hidden, and trying to take good photos all at the same time is difficult.