This morning I drove to Asbury Park Beach in New Jersey to shoot a sunrise timelapse. I woke up at 4AM to make it for the 6 AM sunrise. I love waking up early to see a sunrise its a perfect way to get your day started. I had scoped out a spot online where there a pier angled towards the sun.
When I got there the fog was pretty bad, even so driving towards the beach. The forecast for the day was clear and sunny so I was optimistic it would clear up as the sun started to show itself. And I was right!
Shooting a sunrise is a little bit difficult in my opinion, even more so a beach sunrise. I still struggle with determining the ideal shutter speed for a beach with the right interval. The long intervals make the waves looks way to fast. A slow shutter speed is ideal however it’s difficult to achieve a slow shutter speed once the sun comes up without a filter.
For this shot, I was going to try to ramp ISO and aperture while keeping shutter speed constant once I got to 1/1.3 seconds. I wanted to target around 1 seconds for my shutter speed. My first shots were at f/10, ISO 640, 6 seconds with my 28 mm f/2.8 prime lens. The 6 second shutter speed below really softens the water and waves.
I first started changing the shutter speed. The shutter speeds change real quick in a sunrise shot! I ended up going to 1/1.3 seconds with the same f/10 and ISO 640. Once I had to change my exposure again then I changed the ISO down slowly until ISO 100. Once the sun started peaking through the fog it was an amazing sight!
I continued adjusting my aperture until f/22 with ISO 100 and shutter speed 1/1.3 seconds. After that, I had to change my shutter speed to 1/30 seconds at the end of the video.
I think a better shot might have been tighter on the sun which would have fewer issues with waves but its tough to predict how the sun will rise.
I also had a bit of problem with condensation on my lens randomly in the middle of the video. My lens filter fogged up pretty much when the sun started to peak through. I was able to resolve it right away with a cloth only after a few shots. But its a good lesson learned to make sure your equipment is ok as temperature might change.
Overall this video turned out pretty nice! I think I like a 1-2 second exposure instead and will try that next time at a beach. A composition that avoids all the waves might also be preferred. I might want to try my variable ND filter too so that I can keep a constant shutter speed! I need more practice with these beach shots for sure.
Thanks for reading!