Florida Sunrise

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Florida Sunrise
Florida Sunrise – © Copyright 2012 by William Beem

Florida Sunrise [pinit]

I am a few weeks away from going back to my favorite place to watch a Florida sunrise. Sanibel/Captiva is one of those places where you can just give in to relaxation.  The most adventurous sport on the island is searching the beach for seashells. Even that sounds like too much work for me.  Besides, what the hell am I going to do with those damn seashells once I find them? I have a simple rule about nature.  If it’s outside of my home, I leave it alone.  I have no desire for trophies of my adventures – outside of my photographs.  Oh, the other part of my rule of nature is that I get to kill anything that ventures into my home uninvited.  Cockroaches beware! That said, I was nice enough to trap the opossum that  found his way inside a few years ago.

None of that has anything to do with a Florida sunrise, though. I’m of the opinion that the best place to see a Florida sunrise is at the beach.  First, the beaches are generally deserted at sunrise. People tend to party at the beach into the wee hours, so they’re not really coherent to see a Florida sunrise over the ocean.

Second, there’s less waiting involved for a Florida sunrise compared to a Florida sunset. You show up early for a sunset and you have to wait for the sun to sink down. It starts slow and gets better.  Naturally, a Florida sunrise starts off great and gradually gets worse.  It’s much easier to leave when you know that the show is over.  There’s always hope for something better with a sunset, so you spend more time waiting it out.  Not so with a Florida sunrise.  Once you know the light sucks, it’s OK to leave and have breakfast somewhere.

Finally, I just seem to like the clouds with a Florida sunrise better. They have height, but they’re also wispier (if that’s actually a word). We have some pretty thick, heavy clouds during sunset in Florida this time of year.  It’s often raining in the late afternoon.  Mornings are pretty easy going, though.  Which, come to think of it, is one more advantage of shooting a Florida sunrise.  The rush-hour traffic hasn’t really gotten in the way yet. That’s not much of a problem on the island, though. It’s just me and a couple of pelicans out there.

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One Comment

  1. Beautiful sunrise image — love the way the pink clouds seem to suggest a question mark.

    It is true, of course, that one reason sunrise is a great time to shoot — substantially fewer people about to get into a shot — is also the reason it can be so hard to make yourself get out and shoot at that time. Few people, including photographers, really want to get up so early. I’ve got an opportunity here that I’m trying to shoot, and I need to do it soon if it is going to happen. The old capitol building here in Tallahassee recently underwent an exterior rehab in which work crews stripped many decades of oxidation off the copper cladding on the dome. I have never seen the dome looking copper-colored in my 44-year lifetime, and once it gets oxidized again, I may not ever see it that color again. The building faces east, and I realized that it might make a great image to photograph the building with sunrise light hitting the dome. But family demands a lot of my time on weekends, and it is a 30-mile drive one way from home to downtown Tallahassee. The building is just a few blocks from where I work. The obvious solution would be to come in extra early, get my shots, and go to work from there. But I’m so terribly hot-natured, it would mean I’d be going to work absolutely drenched in sweat. I might just have to inflict this on my co-workers for a day, though — I have no idea how long it will be before the dome looks essentially as it did prior to the restoration. Not sure I want to bet on waiting two or three months for substantially cooler weather.

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