The Beach at Daybreak

Thanks to the alarm on my phone, I was able to get out of bed before sunrise on Saturday. I never use an electronic alarm at home, I have two canine alarms.

Neptune was just as lovely in the morning light as I thought he would be. I’d figured the sky would make a nice backdrop for him.

Neptune at Daybreak

I took several shots, naturally. The one below would be my favorite if it weren’t for the playground equipment in the lower left-hand corner. If you want a closer look, just click on any of these images and a bigger version will open.

Neptune from Another Angle

As for the sunrise, I captured a bunch of sunrise images, too. Not every frame I captured is worthy of sharing.

None of my followers come to mind when I say this… people who routinely share every single frame they capture make me crazy.

Cloudy Morning

It was quite cloudy that morning (Saturday, November 7). Clouds can be good and bad. Too many, and the sunlight is obscured. I like some clouds because I think it makes the sky more interesting.

Sunrise, Straight Out of Camera (SOC)

I don’t always edit (aka PhotoShop) my pics beyond re-sizing before posting. With sunrises/sunsets over water or some other flat horizon, I usually have to. Because no matter how hard I try, I can almost never get the horizon level enough.

I mention editing, because it’s easy to make a good picture look better with image editing software, as shown below, using the same image as shown above, adjusted for light.

Sunrise, Adjusted for Light

Sometimes, I’ll adjust for composition, too. Below is the same image again, cropped so the sun is in the right third of the frame and the reflection of the sun on the water is in the lower right-hand quadrant.

Same Image, Cropped

Why am I telling you this? So you’ll understand that when I say an image is straight out of camera or SOC, it means I think I and my camera have captured it perfectly. That’s not an easy feat.

SOC with Slanted Horizon

The horizon isn’t horribly slanted, but it’s slanted enough that I notice.

Same Image with Horizon Leveled

Leveling makes a difference, doesn’t it? (Sorry if I have just cursed you with the needing to have a level-horizon thing.)

There’s a lot to think about when trying to get a good picture — composition, light, focus, level horizon, etc. — and leveling the horizon is the one I forget and/or fail at most often.

Captured with the Point and Shoot (SOC)


My Favorite Capture of the Morning (SOC)


My Third-favorite Capture (SOC with leveled horizon)


Another Nice Shot (SOC)

When using an automatic camera, the point at which you focus will determine the amount of light captured in your shot.

My Second-favorite (SOC)

The wider focus in the above shot made the camera let in just enough light to capture the foreground detail, but still leave some blue in the sky.

Now, that is a sunrise! (SOC)

In the images immediately above and below this paragraph, zooming in/focusing on the brightness of the sun meant the camera let less light in, which is why everything else is darker.

Loving all the colors. (SOC)

Achieving just the right balance takes practice and experimentation, too. The angle of the light is also important.

SOC with Leveled Horizon

That shot would have been nicer with a slightly darker sky, but then you wouldn’t have been able to see my footprints in the sand. I can use PhotoShop to darken the sky a bit if I want.

All of the images shared thus far were captured on my point-and-shoot, i.e., automatic, camera. It has a variety of manual options, but I have yet to learn how to use them. I can be a lazy photographer at times.

The next few images were captured with my digital SLR camera (interchangeable lenses, easier-to-use manual settings, manual focus, etc.).

This could be a tad darker, I think. But it’s still a decent image.


Sasquatch Tracks


SLR Capture (SOC)

Playing with the light settings and using manual focus let me capture those wispy little clouds in front of the dark, background clouds.

My Favorite SLR Capture (SOC)

In the SOC version, you can’t really see the sun’s rays like you can (subtly) in the below version, which I adjusted slightly for light.

My Favorite SLR Capture (after light adjustment)

Not surprisingly to me, I captured more shots worth sharing with the point-and-shoot than I did with the SLR. I’m out of practice. It takes thought to get the right light settings on that thing, and I am very rusty.

All of the pics would have been better had I thought about using the tripod. I did say I can be a lazy photographer…

I could’ve stayed longer to watch as the sky continued to change and capture more images, but I knew I’d gotten a few good ones. AND I had things to do.

It’s hard to pic a favorite, isn’t it?

Those fish make me smile.

Next up, some fun images captured in and around Virginia Beach.

5 Replies to “The Beach at Daybreak”

  1. Yep, hard to pick a favorite but the ones where you can see the disc look pretty cool. I don’t mess around with pictures very much except when taking them. I like to try and capture them carefully paying close attention to what is in focus and the exposure. I don’t use the dslr very much any more…

  2. Ok, maybe we are not so similar 😉

    I take pics with my phone, and never have considered whether the horizon is level. Duh. I think we still have a point and shoot camera, but I have no idea where it might be and we haven’t used it since we got the Android phones that take such awesome (or at least we thought so haha!) pics.

    I love the 1st shot with Neptune in front of the darker clouds. He looks more ominous that way. And my fav sunrise shot is the one that you captioned “Now that is a sunrise”! 😀

    Your photos are always good, and I did not realize that you put so much thought and effort into making them so. You are skilled!

    1. Thanks, Lynne. Camera phones can take pretty awesome pics, but the light has to be just right and its hard to manipulate focus like I like to do sometimes. I appreciate your visit and feedback. 🙂

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