Morning on the Beach

I woke up early the next couple of days trying to find another magical beach sunrise, but the clouds were really not cooperating. Wednesday morning the sky was clear and Thursday morning there were some thick clouds on the horizon.

My plan on this morning was long exposures to smooth the waves with a sunrise in the background, but before the sun made it out of the clouds these pictures turned out very cool and gray. Once the sun made it above the clouds it began to cast a long reflection across the sea and I was able to get some nice warm photos. Below is a 3 second exposure to blur out the waves near the shore and highlighting the long sun reflection. The sun also warms up the near-ground sand.

Long Exposure of a Beach Sunrise
Long Exposure of a Beach Sunrise

The above photo was taken at 16mm focal length with an ND filter. When shooting this wide with an ND filter you generally get quite a bit of vignette in the result and you can see plenty of it in the above image. I dialed it back a little in Lightroom but I generally don’t mind it.

Another problem is glass fogging. As you might imagine there is very high humidity along the beach and it was a very warm morning. My filters defogged in a few minutes of breeze as they have very little thermal mass, but the lens was a different story. I waited, and waited for the lens to heat up a bit in the breeze but finally just got out some lens wipes and cleaned the front and rear elements. Sometimes I get up a little early and go sit in my car with the heater on and blow hot air on the camera and lenses before I go out.

As you can see, the beach is mostly deserted at sunrise as all the vacationers have some strange notion about sleeping in. This means better photo opportunities for me. Along one of the paths to the beach there are these nice yellow flowers in full bloom among the dunes. I had looked at them for a few days and decided that they needed the early morning sunlight. So, after my long-exposures I went back to this path at the foot of the boardwalk and took some photos and the early morning light did work well.

Morning Light on Flowers at the Beach
Morning Light on Flowers at the Beach

The above shot is taken at 35mm focal length and the below was taken at 26mm. I was trying to decide which one I like better. The 35mm shot has a bit more beach and ocean, but the wider shot shows more of the flowers and path leading to the beach. I kind of like the wider shot. What do you think?

Morning Light on Flowers at the Beach
Morning Light on Flowers at the Beach

One thing that you don’t see in these photos is the large ugly sign proclaiming that any items left on the beach overnight will be discarded. This sign was right in the middle of the path as you get to the beach and cut across the sand water and horizon. So, I took about 10 minutes of careful work in Photoshop to remove this from each photo.

I hope the photo makes you want to take off your flip-flops and walk barefoot in the soft sand down to the beach to enjoy some morning solitude with the gulf breeze.


Thanks for reading.

39 thoughts on “Morning on the Beach

  1. Beautiful pictures, but you can’t go wrong when photographing a beach! Glad you got the sign out of the pictures.
    I may not be a morning person but at the beach I definitely am! Too much beauty to see, and I love the solitude.
    Yes, I want to take my flip flops off and feel the warm sand between my toes now! Nice of you to get a photograph of my friend. Hope you fed him too. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks

      If you feed seagulls, you get dozens of seagulls buzzing around over your head pooping. On the ferry, you can’t feed the seagulls except off the back of the boat.

      I saw a lot of porpoises just off shore, but they are hard to photography.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome, thanks for sharing the beach with those of us who were stuck at home. Thats your cue…for pity. LOL!

        Oh my seagull friends love me, have not been pooped on yet! They have swarmed around me. My poor friend goes crazy when I “call” the seagulls over to us when we are on the beach. She dared me once to hold a piece of food above my head for them. She should know better than to dare me.

        That would have been cool if you could have got a close up of a porpoise. They are fun to watch.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I was on vacation to the west end of Galveston Island. I rented a condo for the week and it wasn’t very crowded at the beach and I was far enough out of the city to avoid most people.

      I got to get up in the early morning and go shoot photos and be pretty much the only one around.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah, that was a big concern for me. I drove a path that avoided Houston and Harris county, which is the biggest hot-spot in Texas. And I chose a place far outside of urban Galveston that I knew would have much fewer people that the city beaches. On the beach, there were few enough people during the day that we kept well away from anyone. It worked pretty well. The worst part was the day I had to go to the grocery store.

          Liked by 2 people

            1. You had to have got some brownie points with your daughters by going to the beach, right?
              But. I know the feeling! In fact my daughter wasn’t real happy with me this morning, but thats all the “wonderful” part of being a parent!

              Liked by 1 person

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