When we go to the beach, we like to stay out there as long as we can, which for us can be up to 6 or 7 hours, depending on when we get there and the weather conditions of the day. And to be out there that long, you have to have some sort of protection from the sun.
Of course, the best protection would probably be a long-sleeve shirt, long pants, and a wide-brim hat, but that isn’t very beachy, is it? Sunscreen is essential, but even the best sunscreen when properly applied will not protect you all day long.
So our answer to the sun is a beach umbrella. The place where we stayed this year will actually rent you a beach umbrella and chairs, such as those you can see at the far right of this photo. But instead, we prefer to bring our own and save a little money. And we even have a little gizmo that you screw down into the sand that holds your umbrella in place, which is much better than just trying to stick the pole down in the sand. Take my word for it - unless you really know what you are doing, that won’t work.
Alternately, many people like to bring the party tents such as these that are cropped from the original photo:
Those are nice, because they provide a larger area of shade than our umbrella provides, especially when there are three of us trying to stay in its shade. But they can also be difficult to put up. Over the years, we have seen lots of people struggle to get their tents put up. It is one thing to put it up in the comfort of your own back yard, but it is entirely different when you are having to struggle to stretch the canvas over the frame while fighting the rather strong breeze coming in from the ocean. It is actually pretty entertaining to watch someone else put theirs up sometimes, although it is a little sad to see one go flying later on because they haven’t anchored the legs down well.
So our umbrella works just fine for us for several reasons. And whenever I see a really, really red person walking around at the beach, I am definitely thankful for what we have. Everyone wants a nice, sunny day when they are at the beach, but you better be prepared for all of that sun!
For the Lord God is a sun and shield. The Lord gives grace and glory; He does not withhold the good from those who live with integrity. - Psalm 84:11
About the Photo
No, our umbrella pole doesn’t really bend like that. That is just the distortion caused by the fisheye lens I used. The plus side of a fisheye lens is how much it can get into one photo. The negative side is that it causes some distortion to fit all of that in. The distortion is worth it for me. However, when I cropped the photo to get the view of the tents, I rotated the cropped version a bit to compensate for some of that distortion.
As is my custom, I did quite a bit of processing on this photo to give it just the right look. If you want to know more about that, feel free to check out Steve’s Photography Tips for some of the techniques that I use. And here is a before (on the left) and after (on the right, obviously) look at the photo, just to give you an idea of where it came from to where it ended up, processing wise. Otherwise, it came from Cocoa Beach and ended up on your screen, but you know that wasn’t what I meant.
Photo: 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 4, 2016
Location: Cocoa Beach, Florida