Emerald Coast Morning

In May, I had the opportunity to visit South Walton County, Florida and spend a few days relaxing on the Emerald Coast.  Soft white sand, clear blue-green water, and plenty of sun.  About perfect for a beach vacation.

Also pretty good ingredients for a photograph.

I would be up early and have the whole beach to myself.  I could watch the night fade into morning, hear the surf, and roam the beach looking for images.

Here are a few from a mostly clear morning where I went out to the beach with my camera and tripod to try and bring back an image.  I was there early.  The stars are just fading into the now blue night sky.  I set up my little Sony NEX6 on my tiny Sirui 025-X tripod with my Rokinon Fisheye lens.  This is a great travel kit and one that lets me pack a pretty powerful kit into a small bundle.  It is ideal for those times I am not really photographing.

Here on the beach, I wanted to capture the breadth of the sky, water, and sand.  I set the lens so the horizon was close to the middle of the frame, this gives you a very wide image with no fisheye bulge on your horizon line.  Instead you get the curved beach at your feet, so you still know its a fisheye, but it makes the view more like being there.

At first the exposures were long.  I photographed both up and down the beach, but the image I liked best was this view looking straight out into the Gulf of Mexico. Image above.

Later I moved around looking for a good foreground and found this small stream of water that was left from high tide and was draining back into the gulf.  I framed it up and grabbed this shot as the light rose in the sky. Image at the top.

I had a few shots I liked and it was not even breakfast time-what a great way to start the day.


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