St. Augustine, Florida – A Break in the Clouds (HDR)

When in Florida a few weeks back I had a Saturday AM to do anything the day before the race.  I had always wanted to visit St. Augustine.  There are a few historical sights there to see and visit.  From Orlando it was about a 75 minute drive to get there.  My goal was to get a beach shot with the sun rising.   Time was important, so I left at 5:23 AM and arrived at St. Augustine Beach at 6:36 AM…20 minutes before the sunrise!  Whew!   With all the cold weather we have been having in the US…it was amazing to me that on Feb 13th this AM it was only 37 degrees in Florida!!   Yikes!!!

When I drove up to the beach I got out and and checked out the scene.  About 1/2 mile away I saw this pier in the distance!  Bonus!  I jumped in and drove to it…just a fishing pier with a parking lot.  I sat in the car for a few minutes…at the beach there probably was a 15-20 mile wind….subtract that with 37 degrees = freezing my &$#@* off!!  …in Florida???  What luck!   So about 10 minutes before sunrise I started taking many HDR’s.  The sky was perfect, but I was worried the sun would not be able to pop through the clouds.

The around 7:15 AMish…the sun rose…and magically the clouds somewhat broke!  I had my opportunity!  I was taking 5 exposures, moving a few feet and taking more and more HDRs!   I could see that the sun was pumping out the flares…wonderful!!  …I knew time was short.    What was also great… the waves were large!  Probably 5-10 feet and breaking all over!!  Coming in strong at a 45 degree angle!  The sun disappeared in 10 minutes and I did as well in 20 minutes.  My hands were frozen!!  All worth it!!!  The fun of photography!!   I’ll post another shot from St. Augustine next week.

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 24.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/22
  • Gear:  Tripod, Cable release
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Color Efex Pro, Viveza