A Winter’s Dawn Photographing Carrabelle Beach in Carrabelle, Florida

I traveled down to Carrabelle Beach in Carrabelle, Florida to spend the day with my best friend and her family and planned to arrive before dawn to set up on the beach for sunrise landscape photography before meeting her at Hog Wild Bar B-Q in Carrabelle, Florida. The weather was not cooperating. Several rain showers pelted the car on the way down and I swear there were snow flurries outside Tallahassee, Florida but I pulled into a parking space at the beach earlier than planned and waited.

I sat huddled under two blankets in the car at Carrabelle Beach waiting for sunrise as occasional gusts of wind rocked the car. Perfect!! You note the sarcasm right? It was flippin’ cold! I had left the cameras in the car trunk knowing a warm camera lens will fog on a cold beach and wanted to avoid the camera lens fog that was such a problem on St. George Island, Florida a couple of weeks before. The camera batteries however were nice and warm inside my jacket pocket to conserve their charge. Still worried about lens fog I set up on the beach early to cool the cameras and huddled with the wind at my back to shelter the cameras from wind blown sand, watched the light and waited for dawn. It didn’t take long.

An early morning black and white image of Carrabelle Beach in Carrabelle, Florida

The sky was still quite dark when I made my first exposure with a camera shutter speed of ninety seconds. As I waited with the shutter open I wondered at how bright the white sand looked in the dim morning light. The slow shutter speed blurred the ocean waves and made them appear to blend with the beach but the cloud covered sunrise didn’t bring a lot of color to the image which made black and white an obvious choice in processing the image.

An old stump looms large in the foreground of a beach image with more stumps in the background on Carrabelle Beach

One of my true objectives of photography on Carrabelle Beach was the tree stumps at the west end of the beach which have been there for I have no idea how long but the colors and textures were awesome and I thought they would make some great subjects for beach pictures. I used one in the foreground nice and close to bring your eye in and lead down the beach to other stumps in the distance. Very pretty. I love the texture and bleached color of the wood.

driftwood lies in the foreground on Carrabelle Beach Carrbelle Florida

I’ve taken a real liking to placing stuff in the foreground to draw the viewer’s eye into the picture and this piece of driftwood worked nicely. The sunrise was also beginning to add some color in the clouds. I just make the best of what I have to make an image happen.

Pink tinted clouds over a stump filled beach at Carrabelle Beach in Carrabelle, Florida

Those old stumps are great for beach landscapes or portrait photography and I wanted a decent wide angle to show them off. A little color in the clouds made an appearance and was nice too.

Sand dunes on Carrabelle Beach in Carrabelle, Florida. The beach stretches into the distance under a cloudy sunrise.

As the sky grew lighter and the sun added color to the sky I stepped back toward the sand dunes for a shot of the beach with young plants to add some color to the foreground and contrasting lines of sand and grass that lead down the beach. By this time the wind had calmed a bit. Wind blowing the plants can make blur in the picture and I try to avoid that. Sharper is better for a good foreground.

A cloud filled dawn sky reflects in the watery sand on Carrabelle Beach in Carrabelle, Florida

The sky darkened a bit and the clouds moved quickly across the sky as the sun, blanketed by clouds, rose higher and cast it’s color in the sky and reflections in the sand. The beach was growing pretty as the sun colored the water and sky.

Dawn clouds and sunlight reflect in the sand on Carrabelle Beach in Carrabelle, Florida

Small rocks and a stump fill the foreground and sand leads away down the beach under a cloudy sky on Carrabelle Beach.

You guessed it! Foreground interest again with the rocks in the sand and stumps. I was really glad to see color appear in the sky. Dark clouds have a strong mood but it’s so dark and foreboding. The orange and pink helped the morning sky out a lot.

Clouds reflect in the sand with silvery ocean in the background of this black and white image from Carrabelle Beach in Carrabelle, Florida

See? Dark and foreboding but with the reflections and bright line in the sky, nice silvery ocean too, this is one of my favorites from the trip and black and white suits the image nicely.

Driftwood lies among reflections in the sand on Carrbelle Beach, Carrabelle, Florida as a shaft of sunlight descends through the clouds in the distance.

Lining up a shot with this driftwood in the foreground and reflections in the sand I stopped and noticed a surprise from nature as a shaft of sunlight appeared through the clouds and lit the water on the sand. Shafts of light were also starting to appear in the distance as I watched the scene unfold. Amazingly beautiful and it changes from one second to the next.

Beach facilities and picnic tables under palm trees on Carrabelle Beach

Keeping with the idea of travel photography I captured this view of the parking lot next to Highway 98 (see the shafts of light in the background?) showing the covered picnic tables of which there are several near the bathroom and shower building. Right next to the beach. Very convenient.

It was a good trip and I can’t wait to go back especially in warmer weather. I spent the rest of the day with Renda and her family and enjoyed a great steak at Hog Wild Bar B-Q thanks to Ken, Mrs. Linda and the staff. Next time though I have to try some of that barbecue. It was cooking in the smoker late in the day and smelled awesome. The next time you are in Carrabelle, Florida grab a plate of delicious seafood, steak or barbecue (just to name a few) and head down to the picnic tables at Carrabelle Beach. Sounds like a plan to me. Thanks for reading and check back for the next post or subscribe and receive email notifications when there is a new post!

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Hog Wild Bar B-Q

Carrabelle Beach Carrabelle, Florida

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