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Sunrise at the Beach

Updated on November 23, 2014
Sunrise at Jupiter Beach
Sunrise at Jupiter Beach | Source

Join me as I Photograph the Sunrise at the Beach

Photographing the sunrise is a favorite subject for many photographers, and I am no exception. Whether you are a beginning photographer or an experienced professional the sunrise always seems to add an unique quality to a photo. I have photographed the sunrise from my home, but it seems like I am more likely to photograph this daily scene when I am on vacation. I particularly love the challenge of photographing the sun rising over a body of water.

On this page, I will share my experience of photographing the sun rising over the Atlantic ocean at Juno Beach Florida. The beach has a long pier that I thought would make an interesting subject to add depth to the sunrise photos.

I invite you to take a few minutes and experience the sunrise at Juno Beach through the eye of my camera.

photos by mbgphoto

Before the Dawn - wake up early to catch first light

We had just changed to daylight savings time the day before and I wanted to make sure I woke up early to get to the pier before the sun rose. I think I first woke up at 5:30 and decided it was way too dark, by 6:30 I decided to hop out of bed and get dressed for the drive to the pier. We arrived at the Juno Beach Pier a few minutes after 7 and I looked for a good place to set up my tripod. I wanted to be ready when the sun first rose.

I decided on a spot just south of the pier and set up my tripod. The light is great for taking photos in the predawn time and I took several photos of the pier and the waves. The waves were quite tumultuous on this day and I thought they would be great for my photos. The photo above is one of the first shots that I took. I had my camera set at A (aperature priority) with a F5.6 setting.

Sony Alpha 57 - great SLR camera

Sony's Alpha 57 is the perfect camera to get just the right shot of a beautiful sunrise. I used several of the different settings on this camera to take my sunrise photos. On some of the photos I set the camera to A (aperature priority) and then let the camera pick the best speed and ISO settings. When I wanted to be sure to catch the wave action, I set the camera on the auto setting for continuous shooting and captured the waves in 12 frames per second.

Sony Alpha SLT-A57 16.1 MP Exmor APS HD CMOS Sensor DSLR with Translucent Mirror Technology and 3D Sweep Panorama (Body Only) (OLD MODEL)
Sony Alpha SLT-A57 16.1 MP Exmor APS HD CMOS Sensor DSLR with Translucent Mirror Technology and 3D Sweep Panorama (Body Only) (OLD MODEL)

This camera is great for taking those gorgeous sunrise photos. It has a multitude of automatic and manual settings.


First Light - sun over horizon

While I was waiting I moved my camera and tripod several times trying to find just the right spot to take my photos. After I set up and took a few shots I waited eagerly for the sun to rise. Just after 7:30 am I was rewarded with this first glimpse of the sun over the horizon.

Tripod Essential for Sharp Sunrise Photos - Sunpak Tripod

When you are looking for a tripod you want one that is sturdy and one that is easy to use. My previous tripod was sturdy but it was a bit complicated to set up, particularly when I hadn't used it in a while and kept forgetting how to get the camera attached. As I looked for a new tripod, I wanted one that would hold my camera still but I knew if it was not easy to use I would tend to skip using it. On a friend's recommendation I bought the Sunpak 6600 and have been very happy with the tripod.

It was reasonably priced and fit my criteria of being sturdy and easy to use. I can pull out the tripod, adjust it and attach the camera in seconds.

I used the tripod for all of the sunrise shots at Juno Pier. I feel a tripod to be essential to getting sharp sunrise photos. At the end of this page you will see one photo where I had the camera off the tripod. I think you will agree that the photos with the tripod are much sharper.

Almost There - beautiful sunrise

In this photo you see the sun almost above the horizon. I love the way it looks like it is sitting on the ocean.

Floating above Ocean - a beautiful ball in the sky

Here the sun is above the horizon. Doesn't it look like a giant ball floating over the ocean?

Peaking above Pier - sunrise at the pier

After I took a hundred or so photos of the sun rising, I decided if I wanted to get a good shot of the sun and the pier I would need to move to the north side of the pier. I walked under the pier with my camera and tripod and found a good spot to set up on the other side. In this photo you see the sun comes through the slats on the pier.

Above the Pier - last in series

The joy of digital photography is that you can take hundreds of photos and just delete those you don't want with no extra cost involved. I took about 200 photos during my shoot at the pier and then I took my camera off the tripod and was getting ready to put it away. I took one last look at the pier and decided I wanted to take another photo, so this last photo was taken without the tripod. Although I think it is a good photo, it is not nearly as sharp as the photos above that I took using my tripod.

Products from my Photos

I enjoy creating products from my photos. Here are several that I made using my sunrise series of photos.

This notecard features three of the photos, one each on the front, inside and back of the card.

This notecard can be purchased at
This notecard can be purchased at | Source

As you can tell by this page, one of my favorite subjects in the sunrise. I never tire of finding new places to photograph this daily scene.

What is your favorite photography subject? - stop by and leave a note

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    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 3 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Your sunrise beach photos are stunning! I'm more of a sunset gal since I am still sleeping at sunrise.

    • profile image

      Ibidii 3 years ago

      Awesome photography and congratulations for your Purple star! You are so generous to have proceeds go to Squidoo Charity.

    • savenlives profile image

      savenlives 4 years ago

      Great lens!! I loved your photos! I think I love sunsets more only because I am not a morning person!! LOL.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Wow, beautiful pictures! I like both the pier pictures and the wave pictures. Gorgeous!

    • profile image

      Ruthi 4 years ago

      I often wish I were a photographer but most times I am content to view the gorgeous photos of others - in this case yours! Nothing beats the beauty of a sunrise or sunset over the water.

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 4 years ago

      My favorite time to be at the beach is sunrise or sunset. Such a beautiful time of day!

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 4 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi I enjoyed seeing the sunrise in you photos. Very lovely, thanks for sharing.

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 4 years ago from UK

      Some really great photos, I love sunsets/sunrise for both photograaphy and in my art

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 5 years ago

      What wonderful sunrise photos! As a beginner, I find photographing the sun and the moon very difficult... I can't seem to hit that magical balance where everything is reasonably exposed. Your photo of the sun just barely topping the pier is lovely.

    • absolutelycreat profile image

      absolutelycreat 5 years ago

      I like your photos. Thanks to share with us.

    • profile image

      DecoratingMom411 5 years ago

      Lovely photos! I like the photo Peaking above Pier. It's really nice. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 5 years ago

      Very nice photos...and I must say that there was some very good wave action that morning for Jupiter Beach.

    • retta719 profile image

      Loretta 5 years ago from United States

      Beautiful sunrise photos :)