Galveston Sunrise

The Texas landscape really is quite something to behold, but many of the more cynical residents of Houston would scoff at the notion that such beauty could be found in Coastal Texas, or that a weekend away on the Upper Texas coast could be so fulfilling. An early morning escape to photograph the Galveston Historic Pleasure Pier at sunrise, followed by a day in the pool enjoying the last of the Texas heat of the Fall was so deeply satisfying that I have endeavored to make it a habit.

As an experience, photographing the Galveston Pleasure Pier at sunrise is extremely rewarding. There’s something to be said about getting back to your hotel before breakfast, with a memory card full of great shots, and the satisfaction of having spent an hour or two in taking in the quiet and serene atmosphere of a Gulf of Mexico sunrise.

To the details, though. During October, the sun will rise over the horizon directly behind the Ferris wheel, when viewed from the first two rock groynes on the Galveston Seawall. It’s the perfect chance to capture the early morning rays of the sun engulfing and breaking through the structure.

I had several different ways to shoot this structure, but most of them were predicated on ensuring that the motion of the waves was not lost in the image. This necessarily ruled out, for the most part, the use of HDR bracketed images. On each occasion, the waves were being driven by tropical activities at some point further east along the Gulf of Mexico coast. This meant that the rolling waves played an important role in providing an interesting foreground for the images. I used several different techniques in post processing of these images, including the use of matte effects to ensure that the silhouetted structures really pop out in the images.


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