Emerald Coast

Last summer I visited the Emerald Coast of the Florida panhandle.  Get outside the bigger cities and you can find some small quaint beach towns that are quiet, have fantastic pure soft white sand and clear green water.  You can also find some state parks and forests where you can even get a few landscape images in.  All in all not a bad destination if you are going to the beach.

When I am there, I make it a habit to get up and out early and watch sunrise everyday.  The place is quiet and empty then and the waves have usually cleaned the beach of footprints.  Or maybe I go to one of the parks and walk around for the usually foggy sunrises photographing the trees and lakes.

Visiting here is never a true photography vacation but being a photographer I still bring some gear.  The last few years that means my Sony NEX6 kit and a small Sirui 025x tripod.  This is a small kit I have written about before and you can see more on in my Google+ Photography Gear Collection.  

The NEX6 is just barely bigger than a point and shoot with a small lens eq of 24-75mm.  To that I add the small Samyang 8mm f/2.8 fisheye for a great little kit the easily all fits in a small waistpack.  It is no problem to add that to my luggage even when I am just doing a carry-on.  The capability it gives me with a 16mp APS-C sized sensor is great.  The landscapes are good and when I switch to the Samyang fisheye, I have an incredibly sharp and wide view that is perfect for the night sky.

This year, I spent time on the beach setting up images of sunrise and blurring the waves in the morning twilight.

I photographed from the parks and along the lakes in the area watching sunrises and occasionally a sunset.

I even went out a few hours before sunup to see about photographing the Milky Way and was able to just get in a couple of images before the stars began to fade.

Florida is not the destination I normally pick but by getting out early and having a small camera kit, I can photograph it with great results even when I am not photographing.


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