In the days leading up to our 2017 Disney Cruise, we spent some time at Cocoa Beach, Florida. Apparently, that was the same time that some heavy clouds decided to spend some time there, too. Who knew that clouds like to vacation at the beach? But we did not let the clouds slow us down all that much.
As you can see in the above photo, the clouds were so unusual that they gave things an almost otherworldly appearance, especially in the morning hours as they were backlit by the rising sun. We had gotten out to the beach early to try to maximize our time there in case the rain came. The rain did eventually come, but not until later on in the afternoon. And you might not believe it by looking at those clouds, but it did almost clear up for a while around noon.
I have said several times lately that clouds make more interesting photos than clear skies, and this photo is a good illustration of that. While a clear sky might be more of what you would want for a day at the beach, that actually looks rather bland in a photo. These interesting clouds, with a little bit of sunlight filtering through and reflecting off of the waves, is much more interesting to look at. Especially if you are looking at it on your computer or phone. However, if you are there in person looking at this scene and wondering if rain is imminent, then this may not look all that great to you. But I saw the opportunity for some photos, and I was happy with what I got.
Okay, so maybe the clouds were not quite as intense as that first photo made them seem. The way the camera captured the light in that first photo (along with some slightly creative photo processing) made it look like doom and destruction were about to happen. That sight would almost make you scan the sky for the four horsemen or some other sign, but it was not quite that bad.
This second photo gives a slightly better view of how things actually were. But you can still see that there were a lot of clouds. And at that time you did not have to worry much about whether you had put on sunscreen. Yes, I know that you can still get a sunburn on a cloudy day, but not when the clouds were like they were on this morning.
Those two figures near the center of the photo are Laura and Jaylin, braving the slightly cold water to go out and have some fun. You can also see a few other people out in the water if you look closely near the edges of the photo, but there were not many at that time. Not a problem, because that just means more room for us.
You have probably read in some of the other posts from our trip about how we had quite a bit of clouds and rain to deal with. But as you can see here and in those other posts, we made the most of it. And we even enjoyed parts of it, such as these views here.
“You heavens above, rain down my righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness flourish with it; I, the Lord, have created it." - Isaiah 45:8
About the photo:
Here is a before-and-after look at the first photo from this post:
As you can see, the processing brought out the details in the clouds and the water quite a bit. For this one, I used two different exposures from the original Raw file. The first one was darker to capture the clouds and the sky, and the second one was brighter to bring out the white caps of the waves, along with the light reflecting on the water. They were masked together in Photoshop, and then I used some of the Google Nik Filters to bring out even more of the detail and enhance the contrast. Processing like that takes a little bit of time, but as you can see, it greatly improves the photo in the end.
The second photo followed much of the same work, except that for that one I just used one exposure instead of two masked together. That took a little less time, but it still turned out well.
Photo: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Rokinon 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens
Date: June 6, 2017
Location: Cocoa Beach, Florida