Finding the shot on an overcast day

I live for a good sunrise or sunset. Some days you get your butt out of bed, head to the beach with gear in hand, and you get to sip your coffee in front of an unbelievable display of color. Other days, you get to the beach and realize it’s overcast or the sun seems to drift through a haze of almost no color.

On these days it becomes a different kind of shoot and you adjust. The subject in my long exposure shoots is color, so when there is no color you get to be a little more creative.  You fix your camera settings and explore different shots to get the most out of your background. The images I’m sharing today are from a sunset. It had been bright all day, but by the time I got to the beach, thunder clouds were rolling in. I tested a few different backgrounds and had some fun working with the icy blue light. You take what you can get and even on the worst day — you’re still at the beach soooo, life’s pretty damn good.

You can shop all of these as prints in my shop by following this link: and I’d love to hear any experiences you’ve had with sunrise/sunset or long exposure photography!


Sometimes all you need is a well exposed shot. The long exposures didn’t allow you to see the clouds or the contrast in the ocean, so I wanted at least a few images to showcase the scene as it was. The storm clouds coming in and the rain over the ocean in the background. The entire beach was blue.


This is one of my favorties — I see it printed gigantic, at least 20×20 in a living room. For this shot I played with the white balance. Because everything was blue, it was easy to color change it all at once.

And of course — play with long exposures. I love to try different styles, some on a tripod, some hand held and exploring the different scenes that are created post processing.





It’s great when everything goes right and you get exactly the shot you planned for. But every so often, you need an unexpected day. It gets you out of your comfort zone and makes you try new things.


Long Exposure Sunrises

CURRENTLY: Cleaning the house, marinating/prepping a steak, dancing to my iPod (yes, my iPod – it holds all the goodies) and trying to write this blog post. It seems this week is all about multi-tasking and even though my head is spinning, I think I enjoy it a little.

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I wanted to share a little about a new series I’m working on. I decided it was time start taking advantage of living at the beach and combine this beautiful backdrop with my love of long exposure photography. So, I’ve been waking up before dawn and racing my butt to the beach to get some long exposures of the sunrise.

I’m still playing around between still shots and some hand-held panning, but here are a couple examples from my first sunrise shoot. It was getting bright quick, so the exposures aren’t very long, but I just got a new ND filter to try out on my next shoot!

I’d love any feedback – do you prefer the bright colors or muted? Still shots or hand-held? I have a lot to learn, but you gotta start somewhere, right?


Long exposure, still shot of Oceanic Pier at Wrightsville Beach, NC.


Long exposure, hand-held pano of Wrightsville Beach, NC.


Long exposure, still shot of Wrightsville Beach Sunrise.


Hand-held pano of Wrightsville Beach waves.