Thursday, October 1, 2020

An Incredible Beach Sunrise

Ocean Grove Sunrise

I finally got out for a sunrise and what a sunrise it was!
Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game. - Babe Ruth⁠
I've always liked this quote - Babe knew a lot about striking out but it didn't keep him from being one of the all-time greats and setting records that took decades (and drugs?) to break. ⁠I chose this quote because I almost stayed home on the morning I made these images. I woke up early but wasn't convinced that the conditions were going to be overly favorable, it would have been easy to go back to bed. I chose to go anyway and was treated to one of the best sunrise photo sessions that I have had in a very long time.⁠

I arrived rather late - about 6:10 AM for a 6:37 AM sunrise but I am quite familiar with the location and already had a composition in mind so I really need the extra time to scout. I was walking down to the water when I noticed a photographer with a tripod set up at the end of the pier; I asked if I was going to be in his way and he assured me I would not. It seemed to be that he was only interested in the horizon but it didn't matter, he was gone about 10 minutes later.

I set up with the remains of the jetty as my foreground, grabbed a few images and then a fisherman looked at me, decided he wanted to get in the picture and stood right in the middle of my composition. DAMN! I had to move.... All was not lost, though. I moved to the other side of the pier, got Ralph in the frame and squeezed off a few. I guess I should thank Mr. Fisherman but not today. The fishing must not have been very good because a few minutes after making me move, he went back to where he was - as did I.

This was right about the time that the sun started peeking over the horizon. This was also when the waves were getting a bit larger, more frequent and reaching me. I got so engrossed in the scene playing out in front of me that I did not notice the encroaching water. That is, until it washed over my feet and lower third of my tripod! Yes, I ended up getting wet to about four (4) or five (5) inches above my ankles and the first two sections of my tripod – it wasn’t fully extended. The soaking repeated a few times but after the first there was really no reason to move; actually, the exact opposite was true. I was in the perfect location this morning.

As the sun was moving higher on the horizon, I adjusted my composition to get in tighter on the rocks and crashing waves while still getting some of the Golden Hour color. I was so engrossed in what was happening I failed to see the low-battery warning light flashing. A quick look in my bag for my back-up battery yielded nothing. I never put it back in my bag after charging it! Having a spare battery is a great thing – leaving it on your dresser isn’t……. A few minutes later everything went dark, the battery was dead.

It’s just as well. I was losing the light; my feet were soaked, and I had to get back to the house to work. That is the one silver-lining to this pandemic – I now work from home full-time and so getting ready for work is simply sitting at the computer and logging in. It also gave me an opportunity to upload my images to see what I got. A few quick edits and then sharing with some friends for initial feedback. Their reactions confirmed my excitement and I spent much of my lunchtime refining the images. It wasn’t until this second editing session that I noticed the little blue float and rope tangled up in the rocks. It appears in a few images, but I would like to have been a bit more deliberate and purposely include it in a few compositions. Fortunately, it is still there, and I can go back whenever I want. Perhaps the next time I will go for a sunset and get that wonderful golden glow on the face of the rocks!

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed the images.

    Technical information:
  • Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i (crop sensor - 1.6 factor)
  • Lens: Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
  • Tripod: MeFOTO Roadtrip Classic
  • All images - ISO 100
  • All focal lengths are as-recorded - the full-frame equivalent would be the value shown times 1.6.
  • Focus was done manually. The camera was in "aperture-priority" and all images are at f/8.0. The shutter was tripped with a wired remote.

If you enjoyed this post, please do me a small favor and share it with others. You will find buttons for many of the popular social media platforms at the bottom of this post. Thank you!


  1. Great stuff as usual, Joe. Good tech info as well.

    1. Thank you, Dave! I think one of the changes I am going to make is the inclusion of the tech data at the end of the post.


Thank you for commenting!