Random Comments from a Simple Sunrise Shoot

by | Nov 30, 2019 | Stories & Expeditions | 0 comments

There aren't any beaches in West Virginia, so while traveling around in Virginia earlier this month, I did what I could to make the coast my destination a time or two.

I didn't have a particularly enormous amount of time to spend just taking pictures, seeing I was on a regular business trip, but sunrises and sunsets generally do happen off-hours. So for one sunrise, I happened to find myself with some other budding photographers at a place called Bethel Beach. A super simple place, not much to see, but quite peaceful and remote enough.

We got there in good time for sunrise. Framing up my first shot, I though the empty horizon was quite compelling despite there being no particular subject. I guess it's quite unusual to have emptiness as a subject. But it just felt like there was something about framing nothing that turned it into something. I don't know. Maybe I'm the only one that feels that way about this shot, but I thought it was kinda interesting

It wasn't long before the sun arrived, though.

And it wasn't long before I realized I needed to tweak my composition.

The sunrise itself turned out to be a little more interesting than normal despite there not being much of a cloud show. There was this soft and airy character about it. There was like mist or something rising off the water in the distance, an occurrence I don't think I'd ever observed over the ocean.

I pulled out the telephoto to see what I could do with the odd mistiness. Which do you like better, the sun composed on the left or on the right?

I think I kinda like the one composed on the right. Maybe it's because my eye is used to reading from left to right, so it naturally starts on the left side but is attracted to the elements on the right side, so makes my eye travel through the photo more. With the sun on the left, it's like my eye goes over there and looks at the sun and then doesn't have any need to explore the rest of the scene so I feel like I might as well scroll on to the next photo. What do you think?

And here's another random thought. Take a look at what early morning sunlight does to faces! Though I love shooting at golden hour, people pictures are usually best done before the sun gets too close to the horizon. 🙂

As the sun came up, I decided I wanted to do something with the subterranean grassy stuff that was visible along the water's edge. I found a shapely curve, set up the tripod, snapped a photo . . .

. . . and realized that the rock or whatever that contributed to the existence of the shapely curve also supplied the proper geography for lofty splashes.

I wish I had used a faster shutter speed than 1/350sec.

Not all splashes know that salt water is bad for camera equipment. 🙂

Before heading out, I took this other random photo. I don't know exactly how I'd ever use it, but how could I walk away from something that caught my eye without taking a picture of it? Probably a blog post is as far as it will ever get. 

And those are my random comments from that simple sunrise shoot!

I suppose I should probably be getting back to work now.

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