(Un)godly Lights over Gellért Hill

There is a category of ideas which look excellent both before the event itself, like a hopeful promise yet to be fulfilled that will surely feel just right when it finally comes to pass and in retrospect, when all the wrinkles and annoyances are smoothed over by the candyfloss hues of remembrance. This category of ideas also tends to feel quite miserable when they are actually happening, i.e. the October morning when fighting an Indian summer head cold I decided to go Gellért hill to catch the sunrise, something which had been an ill defined plan of mine for some time now.

The circumstances seemed perfect, the morning unseasonably warm, the timing of the sunrise a seemingly comfortable 7 AM. Getting up before six, on a Sunday, does seem somewhat counter-intuitive though, adding to the general exasperation of my body’s (flawless) internal clock raging, from October to March, against having to go about life in the dark. It was also a perfectly clear morning, in that there was not one cloud in the sky, which is of course unfortunate when you want to take scenic sunrise shots. I then discovered, slightly shivering and among many mild sniffles, that from the first reasonable shooting spot, right next to the cross, the sun lifts above the horizon behind the only tall building in sight. This had not escaped the minor army of fellow sunrise hunters, so at the next reasonable shooting spot the sun was obscured by men with tripods. A common trait of such men with tripods is that they are by now completely oblivious of what it was like to take pictures when you had a limited number of frames at you disposal, which meant you actually needed to make an effort to compose right the first time around.

Thus, amid the incessant click-clack of cameras and lenses engaged in 50+ similar takes of a branch covered with flaming leaves set against the rising sun, I continued my sniffling pursuit of the summit. By the time we got there (the blog’s industrious co-photographer had shockingly agreed to subject himself to the torture of such an early awakening), the sun had risen well into the sky, and we concluded that the morning was not that clear after all. Or more precisely, the air of the morning was so filled with smog that some more distant corners of the city took on a decidedly Beijing-like feel- I have never been to Beijing, mind you, but as per the footage I’ve seen online I have decided to label it the nec plus ultra of modern pollution. Such air might not have been what the doctor would have prescribed for my cold (had I even seen a doctor about it, but why would I do that, when there’s googling yourself into definite pneumonia instead), but sacrifices must be made for art, and the results can be glanced at below

Should you feel inclined to peruse some more Gellért hill material, here is another autumnal one, and some spring for a change


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