As the birding nesting season starts to wind down, I’ve been enjoying playing with my wide-angle lens for landscape shots. My friends often visit the beaches at Washington Oaks State Park on the way to the Least Tern colony, and I decided to stop there on my last off-Friday. It’s painful getting out of bed early enough to be in St. Augustine 30 minutes before sunrise! Although as soon as I step out of the car and have the camera in my hand, I forget what time it is. The pre-dawn colors can be spectacular.
I like it when there are some clouds in the sky for beach sunrise shots, to add interest to the upper portion of the image. I’d been hoping for some clouds on this particular morning, but I didn’t get my wish. The sky was perfectly clear, almost like a winter morning. I loved the coquina rocks on the beach in the foreground, so I placed my tripod low to emphasize those. I also played with slow shutter speeds to smooth the waves moving over the rocks. I really liked this next image, taken just as the sun began to peek out over the horizon.
As the sun rose higher in the sky, I pulled out my other camera body and my 70-200mm lens to take some shots of the waves with the sun behind them. I liked all the water droplets in this image.
What a beautiful morning! Now I see why my friends keep returning to this beach. The coquina rocks are smooth and pretty, not as jagged as the rocks at the Shell Beach. Next time I want some clouds in the sky! :)
Want to learn more about nature photography at Marineland Beach?
Check out my Marineland Beach page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
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