This is something I have not done in years! Back in my clubbing days I would go out dancing until the wee hours of the morning, go to Fannie's on Market Street for breakfast and then head out to the beach to watch the sun come up. After that I'd go home and sleep all day until my 4 o'clock shift and then I'd do it all over again. Back in my younger days it was no big deal but now I'd fall on my face if I were to try that!
The drive out to Folly at 5am was very serene. There was no traffic and it was a nice 79 degrees out. Once I passed James Island I put my windows down and opened my sun roof and breathed in the salty air which is one of my favorite smells on Earth.
Since there was no traffic I got to Folly fairly quick and found a spot right in front of the entrance to the Folly Beach pier. It was pretty deserted except for a couple of people unpacking fishing gear near me. I grabbed my camera and tripod and walked down to the beach to the right of the pier. It was still dark out so I took a couple of shots of the pier and its lights.
At this point there was one other photographer and a couple of other people on the beach. I took several shots of the pier and then decided to move to the other side since I saw the sun starting to rise on the horizon.
I have shot the sun rise once before but never when the sun was as big and bold as it was Saturday morning. I'm still getting used to shooting in manual and because the light changes with every inch of the sun rising I constantly have to change the setting. It's literally a race against the sun!
When the sun finally started coming up I found it hard to shoot. I kept wanting to put the camera down and gaze at the scene before me. It was so beautiful, quiet and peaceful. Exactly what I needed at that moment.
A couple more people were on the beach enjoying the view and I took advantage of the strangers being a part of my photos.
There was this family on the beach who were sitting in the sand before the sun was rising but then stood to watch. As soon as they stepped into my frame I kept shooting. I could see how the dark silhouettes stood in contrast to the orange sky. I knew I was going to fall in love with these pictures!
After the spectacular part of the sun rise was over I walked over to the family and asked if they were from South Carolina. They said no. I asked where they were from and they said Ohio. I laughed on the inside because EVERYONE here is from Ohio these days! I told them that I used to live in Dayton and found out they were from Xenia, which isn't too far away.
I told them that I wasn't a weirdo, or anything, but I had taken some really cool shots of them while the sun was rising. I told them I'd be happy to send them to them if they'd like me to. I gave them my email address and went along my way. They looked very skeptical at me. I'm sure they aren't used to complete strangers approaching them and offering photos that they took of them. We aren't called the friendliest city for nothing!
I hung out for a bit more taking photos until I broke my $2 flip flops. I've had those dang things for two years! I suppose I did get my money's worth.
It started getting hot so I decided to head home. My jeans were wet and sandy from the warm surf. I grabbed my broken flip-flops and headed to the car. The streets that were so quiet an hour and a half ago were now busy with beach-goers.
I wanted to stop a million times on the way home because the sun was so golden on the green grass in the marsh along Folly Road. I decided to save that for another day because at this point my wet pants were becoming a bit uncomfortable.
When I got home I did a quick edit of my photos and posted them on Flickr. It was time for a nap.
This morning I received an email from Ciera, the girl on the beach from Ohio that I gave my email address to. I sent her all the photos I took of her family and hoped they liked them as much as I did.
How could I stay in a bad mood when I had a morning like that?