For four years, Sophie Lefebvre Blachet has been posting a photo of the Miami sunrise every single day to her Instagram account.
“11 février /7:04/21*/61% humidité #miami #sunrise #skylovers #skyporn #clouds #sun #missyou #streetphotography #ocean #bay”
“1er janvier /7:14/23*/73% humidité #miami #sunrise #clouds #newyear #sun #streetphotography #skylovers #skyporn”
(Think of it as a good way to finally understand Celsius temperatures … and French.)
Originally from Lille, France, Blachet moved here 15 years ago to work at French Arts Associates, an organization that dedicated to the enrichment of the French and French-speaking art community in the United States.
She started posting the photos as a joke with her friends back home. They were always asking her about the weather in Miami – specifically the humidity because her friends liked to tease her about how humid Miami is. Sophie’s point was that it was sometimes more humid in Paris, where they were, than Miami.
So she started showing them, by posting a photo every day of the sunrise from her apartment with the date, hour, and weather.
“Now it’s an obsession, but I think it’s also very interesting,” she says. “It’s also about memories.”
By taking a moment to catalogue the day, it helps her remember what that day was like.
The slow temperature rise
The daily document also revealed something she didn’t expect — the slow creep of climate change.
“I can see the temperature changing slightly … [by] like one degree Celsius,” she says, “Maybe I can track it and see what’s really going on. For me I’m sure climate change is real and with politics right now, it’s changing and shifting a lot.
People love Instagram. It’s easy to see a beautiful picture in the morning, and if they want they can see other things … [like] when compared with two years ago, it’s hotter and more humid.
People are actually checking if it’s changing — so at first it was a joke with my friend in France … but it’s also now about climate change.”
‘Strong weather is better than beautiful weather’
“I live on the 54th floor of the building in the Marina Blue and you can see the clouds very well. Sometimes when the clouds are full of rain […] you feel like it’s a very big ship. But then it’s surprising because underneath the bay is blue, and there’s a ray of from the sun. It seems like everything is changing by the second, which is like the weather in Miami — it’s changing all the time.”
The clouds are impressive — they’re not really blue but more like a shade of gray. The clouds are very interesting.
I also like thunderstorms and the silent thunderstorms on the ocean which I can see very well. It’s more interesting to have clouds and a storm than just the sun. I’ve found people are more interested in strong weather than beautiful weather.”
Comparing the Miami sun with the Lille sun
“It’s much faster. What I mean is that for example one day the sun started rising at 6:47 a.m. and by 6:51, just five minutes, later the sky was full of [light]. It’s so fast — maybe because we’re so close to the equator line. And the sun here is more orange than yellow.
If compare with the north of France, it will take forever for the sun to rise, 25 minutes at least compared to five minutes in Miami. But also, you don’t see the sunrise or sunset in the north of France as much because it’s very dark and gray and usually it’s covered by clouds.”