Sand Beach on Fire

This was without a doubt one of the most intense sunrises I have had the good fortune to witness. The sky and water literally burst with different shades of warm light and color. I would have liked to have a few more rockss in the FG, but it was high tide so that was not happening. Hopefully the water movement toward the lower right helps with the FG.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

AllC&C welcome

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

All C&C welcome

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)
Nikon D800, Nikon 17-35 @ 35 mm, f 20 @ 1.3 sec, ISO 200, cable release & tripod

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Oh wow, yes, this looks pretty intense, Ed. I am biased towards darker images. If you are not inclined to make the entire image a little darker, I’d suggest pulling down the highlights in the sky a little bit more. I think the foams on the LR corner forming fingers that point towards the island and the clouds in the BG work, but I am wishing for a more prominent foreground.


Pretty easy to see why this might be one of your most epic, witnessed (and captured) sunrises. Just beautiful colors. Honestly, I think you could be go a bit further if you wanted - but as presented, pretty gorgeous.

I’m a little torn on the foam and movement in the LR. In one way, it helps draw the viewer in and you get the sense of the incoming/outgoing surf. But then I’m torn thinking or wonderfing if it is taking away from the sea and sky. The rocks and higher contrast areas in the sea near midline are wonderful (even though you wanted more,) and so I’m wondering if a small crop from the bottom how that might work. Not all the foam, maybe half? I dunno though, it’s a minor point and certainly not a flaw.


Ed, I have shot sunrise at Sand Beach many times, but have never seen anything that even comes close to this. You were very fortunate indeed. The Creamsicle orange color is simply wonderful, it is so light and delicate. I like how you have balanced all the silhouetted elements in the image, they create a lot of eye movement. Without that island on the right, this works nowhere near as well as it does here.

I do agree with @Lon_Overacker about cropping some from the bottom to reduce the white foam area, I think half is just about right. I would also consider dodging the water near those 3 small rocks, it looks slightly dark to my taste. But these are nits, this is one gorgeous sunrise.

That is intense! (I remember a dawn photographing Mt. Hood from Trillium Lake where I was amazed at how yellowish-red my hand looked; it sounds like your dawn was similar.) I be it was magical to be there.

The comments about the LR are good. For me it’s not a bad element, in another image it would be just fine, but I agree its placement here seems to drag the eye away from focal point of the color and light at the point of the shore.

@Ed_McGuirk “Creamsicle Orange;” I like that!

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Very apt title. I like how the glow permeates the water. I like the LRC. It balances the image IMHO.