Surfing….through my viewfinder.
My surfing days were very short….and a LONG time ago. I have lived my who life on the coast. The Florida Gulf Coast left very little surf for the young would-be boardsmith. What it lacked in surf-ability, it made up for in photogenic beauty. Now at this more mature point in life, I live on the Atlantic Coast. I have no desire to attempt to balance my 38 year old frame on that fiberglass board anymore…..But…The hunt for the perfect coastal morning continues in a different form.
This week like many others before it, I found myself rising before the sun in search for the perfect sunrise. The beach is empty at that time of the morning. Two groups of people make that early pilgrimage across the sand on these coastal mornings. Those who ride the ocean on a board, and those who try to capture it with their lens. Much like the surfers who just beat me to the beach this day, I to was hunting for something.
Not every sunrise is a photogenic one. In fact the more overcast the better. You need clouds to capture the rays. The clearer the sky, the less likely you will have a majestic event. Unfortunately, while refreshing, most mornings last week were just the “typical” clear morning. The sun rose simply, with no fanfare.
Saturday morning however, was a different story. The wind was blowing and the clouds were mounting. The waves rolled large and barrel-like. The spray from the ocean was blowing softly across the shoreline. I could taste the salt air. I had waited all week for this. The surfers had waited for this. The suns initial appearance was hidden by a horizon full of building clouds. The surfers seemed to notice too. Some stopped for a moment and looked east. That’s when it happened. The cloudy sky coupled with that orange orb that I had hunted and waited for patiently, finally peered through the one opening in that wall of darkness. Its rays spread through and clung to everything near by. ..the surrounding clouds reflecting every color and shade of orange and pink and red.
I had waited…and hunted…and then right in front of me was the prey I had hunted…”Click!”…the surfers and I had both found what we were waiting for. We were both looking for that one magical experience, that would literally inspire our entire day. Moments later, the surfers …and the photogs head off to our jobs, schools and families. Passing the tourists and beachcombers who are just now arriving.
They seem oblivious to what they have just missed. They have no idea the parking is free that early…right up until they got here. Now they stuff the meter and drag their coolers and chairs across the sand.
Little do they know. The best part of the ride….ended 10 minutes ago.