Ogunquit Beach, Maine Sunrise Photo Shoot
Ron Bowman, NH Landscape Photographer
I live in NH, where we only have about 20 miles of coastal shoreline, but just to the north, Maine boasts many miles of sandy beaches and rocky coastlines, offering many beautiful sunrise opportunities. On March 20th, the first day of spring, I traveled to Ogunquit, Maine to photograph the sunrise. So, why did I choose March 20th? That date was very calculated and based on the combination of a low tide at sunrise and clear weather. As it turned out, there were only a handful of days in March where sunrise occurred at the same time as low tide.
On March 20th, I left my home in central NH at 4:15am, to arrive around 6:00am at Ogunquit Beach, which gave me time to set up prior to sunrise at 6:57am. Interestingly, I left home in dense fog, which prevailed on my entire drive through NH and into southern Maine. I was very worried that my nearly 2 hour road trip was going to be a total waste of time, but fortunately, when I arrived in Ogunquit, the fog had lifted over the beach.
After arriving at 6am in Perkins Cove, I grabbed my tripod and camera bag and set a quick walking pace up Marginal Way, which overlooks the ocean. After about 10 minutes I arrived at the north end of Marginal Way and was able to walk down to Ogunquit Beach. At this time of day there were very few people on the beach, which presented me with no interruptions or distractions. I spent around 5-10 minutes searching for the perfect composition, where I could photograph the sunrise, tidal pools, the beach and rocks all in the same picture. Looking east I could see where the sunrise would come up and I set up my camera and tripod accordingly. Many photographers enjoy photographing the landscape during twilight hours, just before sunrise, as this often results in beautiful colors in the sky. Some of the most vibrant colors occur on cloudy or partly cloudy days, but March 20th turned out to be a sunny day. I took one twilight photo and several sunrise photos over the next 10 minutes. Once the sun rises to a certain point over the horizon, it changes the landscape lighting and makes it more challenging depending on what you're looking to achieve in your photos. For me, my day was finished, so I began my journey back home to post process my RAW images in Photoshop.
For those of you who own a digital camera, here is what I used to produce these sunrise photos: Nikon D5600 camera, 10-20mm lens (shot at 12mm), a variable neutral density filter, tripod, ISO 100, aperture priority setting at f25 and shutter speeds from 1/5 sec. - 2.5 seconds.
If you have any comments or questions, please send me an email: [email protected]