Posted by: kerryl29 | May 31, 2022

The Story Behind the Image: Calm Before the Storm

A few years ago, I spent the tail end of a week-long trip to south Florida in Jupiter, about 90 minutes north of Miami. The first five days or so of the trip had been spent south of Miami, photographing in the Everglades, Big Cypress Preserve and in the Keys. But I’d wanted to do a bit of seaside photography and it was suggested to me that I check out an area known as Blowing Rocks, a Nature Conservancy property on Jupiter Island. Unlike almost every other part of the southeast Florida coast, the location, including its interesting, weather-worn beach rocks, has been preserved from development.

I only had one full day, plus an evening and a morning, in Jupiter, and I spent the first night I was there scouting the location. What I discovered is that access to the preserve itself is difficult to achieve (mostly because parking in the area is almost non-existent), but only a mile or so south lies a county park, with ample parking. The county park–Coral Cove Park, by name–has some of the same large beach rocks that give Blowing Rocks Preserve its name. There aren’t nearly as many of them, but in a way, that’s preferable as its much easier to isolate individual rocks on the beach at Coral Cove.

Because Jupiter Island is on the Atlantic side of Florida (i.e. the east side), Blowing Rocks and Coral Cove make for better sunrise than sunset locations. This didn’t stop me from visiting the area at both times of day. My first sunrise at Coral Cove turned out to be spectacular. The sky turned pink, purple, orange and yellow, in various places at various times, and those colors were reflected in the calmer areas of the water, between the waves and in the wet sand left exposed by receding waves.

Sunrise, Coral Cove Park, Palm Beach County, Florida
Sunrise, Coral Cove Park, Palm Beach County, Florida
Sunrise, Coral Cove Park, Palm Beach County, Florida

The following morning was to be the last possible photo op of the trip. I had an early afternoon flight out of Miami, which left me enough time to photograph sunrise and then make the drive to the airport. The only problem was that there was a forecast for heavy rain that morning; it wasn’t even clear that there would be a sunrise. Was it worth heading down to the beach? I decided to chance it.

What I ended up with was a dramatic setting, with ominous clouds and active surf creating a scene every bit as impactful and unique as what I’d seen the previous morning. That second morning produced conditions that I felt worked much better when rendered in black and white.

Stormy Morning Black & White, Coral Cove Park, Palm Beach County, Florida
Stormy Morning Black & White, Coral Cove Park, Palm Beach County, Florida
Stormy Morning Black & White, Coral Cove Park, Palm Beach County, Florida
Stormy Morning Black & White, Coral Cove Park, Palm Beach County, Florida

The storm held off until I was about halfway back to Miami, when it opened up and poured, in one of the most blinding rainstorms I’ve ever experienced.

But my two morning sessions on the beach, separated by 24 hours, were an excellent reminder of just how much the character and mood of a location can change dramatically in a very short period of time.


Responses

  1. Kerry,
    Very nice example of adapting to what you find on location and making the most of what Mother Nature chooses to deliver! Color shots are beautiful but I especially like the brooding b&w images.
    Steve

    • Thanks very much, Steve!

  2. Exceptional…every image (experienced) is a moment captured

    • Thanks very much!

  3. Exceptional! Every moment seized is worthy.🕊

  4. The ominous sky on the second day made the scene far more dramatic than the previous day with the lovely sunrise. Definitely a good lesson in trusting your instincts.


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