IT was 3am when I arrived at the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. Myself and another photographer made the impromptu trip, departing Toronto at 1:30am to ensure we arrived with time to set up in the best position before the sun rose. Niagara Falls is completely different in the early morning, quiet except for the falls and with the air of the small town it once was; by the late morning and early afternoon it’s full of tourists and tour buses and the whole atmosphere changes.

On this morning it was drizzling, and the air was crisp as it was mid-September. We paced around waiting for the light to arrive while trying to keep our lenses dry. We chatted to stay awake and alert and excited — and then the light began to arrive. The rain stopped. The mist that hangs over the Falls let up a bit, and what remained began catching the light. Not another soul was around. We fell completely silent, that agreed silence between photographers who are encroaching on a special image — all that was left was the enormous roar of the water and the quiet clicks of the cameras.

As the morning light finally fell on the falls, it was magic. They changed colours a dozen times over the process of the sun rising — blues, pinks, oranges, and purples all came to say hello. After I captured this image, the image I was really seeking to get, with all the pastel colours and lit-up mist and a slightly longer exposure to get the rush of the water, I broke our silence with a joyous whoop. The early rise, the drive, the chilly air — it was all worth it for this one image.