Before my last visit to the Least Tern colony, I stopped at Marineland Beach to photograph the Independence Day sunrise. I’ve really enjoyed the sunrises there this year. You’d think it would get old photographing at the same place so often, but like my sunset project, each morning is unique. This one started out with a pale light on the horizon, wispy clouds in the sky (great sunrise potential), and a remarkably smooth and pristine beach. No seaweed, branches, or anything, just pure sand packed smoothly as far as I could see. It was so pretty.
As often happens, some of the best color was about thirty minutes before sunrise. The sun’s approach lit the clouds with beautiful pink and yellow tinges. The glow of the sky was wonderful – Nature’s own fireworks, just perfect for Independence Day!
Rich got me a ten-stop neutral density filter a while back, and I’ve had mixed success with it so far. On this particular morning, after the bright pink colors faded, I had about fifteen minutes till sunrise. So I pulled out my filter and phone (to calculate long exposure times) and played. My first attempt was all black. This was my second attempt, which captured the sun as it peeked up over the horizon.
When Rich gave me the filter, he asked me what it was. I said, “it’s a black filter.” Rich picked up a nearby camera lens cap and said, “so is this!” I think of this conversation and chuckle every time I use the filter.
This was my final image of the morning. The clouds were so pretty over the rocks. What a great start to Independence Day!
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!
Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!