Beautiful Carolina – Sunrise Photoshoot

Pier - Part IV - Sunrise

I woke up at 5:30 with the sun rising at 6:30. I grabbed my bag and tripod and started to walk down the beach as the horizon started to lighten. I probably should have gone out a little earlier, but I rushed down the beach and got there in time.

I had picked a fantastic day to go out. There were wisps of clouds, and I knew they would pick up the color nicely. I started shooting as light started to appear on the horizon. I was a little far from the pier and slowly moved closer as I took pictures. I was loving the fact that I was getting sunset on the left side of the frame, and still had stars on the right.

Pier - Part III - Sunrise
Pier – Part III – Sunrise


After a few shots I noticed I was getting to much pier and not enough sky. I ran back down the beach to get my favorite shot (Main Article Picture). I was using a Graduated Neutral Density filter which help balance the sky with the beach. The sky was fantastic, so I kept shooting at different focal lengths and angles.

Pier - Part IV - Sunrise
Pier – Part IV – Sunrise

When I review the pictures, the foreground really doesn’t have anywhere close to the focus I would have liked. I don’t have the ability to do Hyperfocal distance (I’ll write up about it later) on my kit lens since it doesn’t have a way of telling me how far I am focusing. I sort of guessed, but as you can see, the results really aren’t great. It is a beautiful image, I just wish it was more in focus in the foreground.

I was pretty happy with my tripod. It really allowed me to take the camera close to the ground, giving me better angles than I was able to achieve with my old one. This seems to be a big part of improving my composition. The usual eye level shots are great, but not for all images.

I moved to the other side of the pier, trying to get some more good pictures. Once the sun came up, it really gave a great blue cast over everything it was a great soft light that led to this picture.

Pier - Part V - After Sunrise
Pier – Part V – After Sunrise


All in all it was a great shoot, and probably one of my favorites. It was nice and relaxing and the weather was perfect. It was truly a successful shoot.

A Few Comments from the Shoot:

  • Make sure the foreground is in focus.
  • Sunrise has much more brilliant color than sunset, at least in this shoot.
  • Use your tripod to bring the camera down close to the ground to get new angles.
  • Earlier the better. Give yourself time to set up.
  • Sun is great through-out the sunrise.
  • Stay around a little afterwards.
Under the Pier - Long Exposure
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