Friday, August 23, 2013

Sunrise Surfers at Jacksonville Beach Pier

I have lived near the ocean almost my entire life.  It's something that I take for granted, and as such, I don't visit it nearly as much as I would like.  There's always an excuse:

  • It's too far away (about 30 min drive)
  • I'm too busy
  • It's raining
  • Antiques Roadshow is on Netflix
So every now and then I force myself to go to the beach.  I'm always glad that I did once I get there.  I usually go to the Jacksonville Beach Pier.  It's a little further out of the way than other parts of the beach for me, but it's worth the extra few minutes in the car.
  • The pier adds a nice focal point to photographs
  • There are people usually surfing nearby
  • For a dollar, you can walk out on the pier and get a different view of things
  • Parking is really close
Here are some photos from my most recent trip.

I call this one "the pier to enlightenment or I couldn't sleep and went to the beach to watch the sun rise"

These girls were really nice.  The one on the left was learning to surf.  I've always wanted to learn to surf, but never taken the time to do so.  Maybe someday...

Some tips that I learned/already knew and reinforced from photographing surfers this time were:
  • bring an umbrella with you
    • it was drizzling for a while, so it was nice to keep myself and the camera dry
    • after it was done raining, it was still nice to have something to keep the sun out of my eyes
    • it also kept me from getting sun burned, which I'm prone to do
  • bring a tripod
    • the camera can get heavy after holding it up for any period of time
    • this also allowed me to always have the camera ready to shoot an action shot
    • it leaves a hand free to hold the umbrella from the previous tip
  • be nice to people
    • I had various surfers come out of the water and talk to me about what I was shooting for and where they could see the images
    • I met a few potential clients to shoot future surfing events
    • one guy that wasn't surfing, just out for a run, stopped and talked to me for a bit, then asked where he could buy some prints of my work
  • the lighting isn't ideal for shooting surfers just after sunrise
    • I think next time, I'll try to go later in the day
  • beware of the tides
    • the tide was coming in while I was shooting, so there were a few times that I had move back
  • leave any unnecessary gear in the car or at home
    • you don't want to spend time worrying about it getting wet, sandy, stolen, etc...

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