It pays to visit the same place a couple of times. It might be because the light didn't play ball on your first visit, or it was pouring rain when you arrived. It also pays to visit the same place in different seasons. You see, the sun rises and sets in a different place everyday. So, the difference between shooting in summer and winter can be quite dramatic due to just the location of the rising or setting sun.
And, so it was the case when I visited Nudgee Beach a couple of weeks ago. The two previous occasions that I had visited this location was in the winter months, when the sun rises a lot further to the north. Now after visiting in the summer, I would say that the winter months definitely have an advantage just because of the position of the sun.
Now, it wasn't the best of conditions, with plenty of heavy cloud around, but I had gone back to bed after the 3am wake up call the morning before, so I bit the bullet and headed off anyway.
What surprised me on my arrival, was that I had been beaten to the location by another photographer! A first time for everything!
I set up my two tripods and cameras in the best positions I could find allowing for the position of the rising sun and the couple of mangroves that I wanted to be the main focal point of my compositions. I also set my GoPro up to grab a little time lapse sequence of sunrise.
There wasn't a whole lot happening, so I took one of my cameras off the tripod and wandered around a little while the setting moon was still casting a bit of light. I found a couple of big blue jelly fish, but the one thing that really caught my eye was the ripples and patterns in the sand peeking out from the perfectly still water. It was amazing just how much light that the moon was casting on tho the scene.
Finally, a little bit of colour did manage to make the clouds light up a little, and I was joined by a couple of horses and their trainers going for a run along the sand flats and having a swim.
I got talking to one of the trainers on his way back in, and he said the four words that no photographer ever wants to hear, "Should've been here yesterday!" Yesterday was the day I went back to bed! He went on to tell me that it was looking pretty average with lots of cloud, right until sunrise, when the sun snuck through a gap and the sky lit up for a few brief minutes. Lesson learnt on that one....
As I was packing up my gear, I noticed a pair of old frames half buried in the mud. I pulled them out and give them a bit of a clean off. They were covered in barnacles and had obviously been there for some time. I found myself a conveniently located broken off branch and set the glasses up for a couple of shots. It's amazing what you find just laying around the place.
Due to it being a bit of a lack lustre sunrise, I decided to 'go to town' on the processing of my hero image of the morning, which is something that I don't usually do. Yes, I definitely edit my images using LightRoom and Photoshop, but I generally try to keep them as natural as possible. The image below shows my workflow, from the original image 'straight out of camera', to the file edited in LightRoom through to the completed image from Photoshop.