The 4am Project ( www.4amproject.org ) celebrated its second year in 2010 by inspiring over 1100 photographers and counting to wake up at 4am and take a photo of the world around them. A lot of the folks taking shots this year had participated in last year's shoot, but quite a few were brand new explorers.
Leading up to Sunday's early morning shoot I found that I had a really hard time explaining to people what it was I was doing, and an even harder time explaining why. I couldn't really come up with a great reason, other than I wanted to take part in a project that brought people together from around the world to share their love of photography and capturing everyday life.
Last year I took the easy way out and just woke up, stuck my lens out the window, and took a shot of the streetlight outside of my house that was wrapped in fog. You can see last year's shot here: 4am 2009
This year I knew I needed to step out of the house and find an interesting location to take photos, but the problem I had was finding a place nearby that would have some activity going on at 4am so that it wasn't just a static scene I was shooting. After thinking it over for a few days I decided I'd ask if I could take photos at Marty's Donut Land - a fixture in downtown Ipswich, MA that usually does the bulk of its baking between midnight and around 5am.
I called up, and after some back and forth (and explaining again why I was getting up at 4am) I finally got permission to take some photos. I packed my gear the night before, including 4 rolls of Ilford 3200 speed film, and set my alarm for 3:20am. It felt like I had just fallen asleep before the alarm went off.
I tossed on my clothes, grabbed my gear and hopped in the car. When I rolled up to Marty's there was a tow truck parked out front and a pair of guys smoking and drinking coffee. I had no idea there would be anyone but the bakers there at 4am. I said hello and then went inside, dropping my stuff off on a stool near the window.
I went around back to the kitchen and said hello to Walter and Ellie - the two bakers there for the night preparing the next days donuts. They were expecting me, and told me I could shoot wherever and whatever I wanted, so I immediately dove in.
I ended up with 19 images that I really liked, so far anyway; I still have a roll of 120 to develop. It's a mix of stuff from my digital camera and the Canon 35mm I have which was loaded with the other rolls of Delta 3200. The remaining roll was shot on the Yashica Mat.
So, here you have it - Marty's at 4am, and this weeks photos for the 52 weeks project. Killing two birds with one donut:
image made with bighugelabs mosaic maker