Usually you won’t find the words peaceful and Miami Beach in the same sentence, especially during spring break. The truth is, it’s probably not the best beach for landscape photography, but it’s the only beach that is relatively close to where I live, so I thought I’d give it a try. To my surprise, it was actually pretty quite at sunrise. That’s why this is my favorite time of the day for photography, not many people are out there at this time.
I arrived one hour before sunrise to have enough time to explore the location. And I started looking for compositions as soon as there was a little light to work with. This area is the only one in the beach that has some rocks, that are probably not naturally occurring, but either way, I thought I could use them for my composition since it was also low tide.
I struggled with my tripod for almost half hour moving from one rock to another trying to make it work but I couldn’t find any pleasing composition using the rocks, so I decided to go with something simpler. There weren’t really any amazing colors or drama in the sky, but the ambience light from that glow just before sunrise was really gorgeous. My next plan was to capture the receding waves in the foreground to get a nice texture in the water. So I placed my tripod as low as possible and used a remote shutter release to shoot many many frames. Also, as the sun started to rise, I took some shots exposing for the sky so I could combine them later.
The resulting image is a manual HDR exposure blend of two images. I ended up with nearly 50 photos of the foreground but the one you see here was the clear winner.
Here are the camera settings:
Foreground: f/11, 1/6 seconds, ISO 100 @11 mm
Sky: f/11, 1/15 seconds, ISO 100 @11 mm