Dawn Full Moon Olympic Sea Stack
Overexposure brings out the rich colors in the sky before the sunrise at Second Beach on the Olympic Coast.
Beach Photography that Expands the Horizon
There is a time period before sunrise and after sunset known as the “blue hour” when the only light in the sky is the short wavelengths of the sun’s light bouncing around in the atmosphere. During the 15 minutes before or after the sun is at the horizon, the longer, warmer colored wavelengths of light fill the sky, but the 30-45 minutes on the other side of that time can make incredible beach photography art opportunities when shooting with a steady tripod.
We were backpacking on the Olympic Peninsula’s Second Beach, which afforded me the opportunity to get this very early morning shot. I woke up at 4:00am in preparation for the 5:23am sunrise. At 4:25 I was on the beach at the location I scouted out the night before. This was the very first photo I took, which is why the violet purple color is so dominant. It was very dark, and you could just see the purple glow out over the Pacific Ocean. I had to increase my ISO and shoot with a fast lens and a wide aperture to create the overexposure that brings out this color, while also stopping the motion of the waves.
From there the colors faded to grey and the sunrise that happened to my back was hidden behind the forest that lines the beach. I went back to my tent, disappointed that there were no clouds to make a colorful sunrise. Only later at home when I looked back through my photos from the trip would I realize what a winner this beach photograph really was.
Limited Edition Photography Artwork for Home
Of all my Olympic beach photography prints for sale, this may well be my most unique, and it certainly has a powerful impact as wall art for homes. The cloudless sky acts as a smooth, colorful backdrop for the detailed silhouette of the tree covered sea stack. And the wet beach reflects the scene with an artistic texture like the brushstrokes seen in other types of fine arts.