I am not a morning person.

So it’s with a small amount of masochism that I start my new photo project, tentatively titled 30 Days of Dawn.

The mission is to wake before the sun and go into the world and harvest a picture. For a month. Largely without coffee.

I like the idea of starting my day by being creative. And I like that I have a limited amount of time to accomplish this, because dawn is fleeting.

On Thursday, it was dark at 6:45 a.m., but nearly completely light by 6:58. I was shocked to see how many people actually arrive at work at 7 a.m.

I was not going to work Thursday, because it was my first day of work furlough, a cost-saving measure imposed by my newspaper to hopefully avoid more layoffs.

It was an appropriate day to start a new assignment. Working for myself.

1.15.09 — Salinas, Calif.

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