Monday, September 23, 2013

30-Minutes-in-Life: September 2013

St Augustine Beach, Florida, early one morning .......

30-Minutes-in-Life is a group of photographers who stop for 30 minutes on any given day during the month to take photographs.

In the life of a photographer, whose art is created in tiny fractions of a second, thirty minutes is a sustained thought. Thirty minutes, the length of a child's ballet class, a quick sauce's simmer, a commute, is long enough to witness change and short enough to be over before you know it. We offer you here our monthly results of thirty minutes of watching and waiting and recording, of rendering permanent those fractions of a second that slip past in the time it takes to watch a television show. Thirty minutes in the life.

~ Sara Kelly

Most people who know me well, know that morning is not my good time, unless it is around 1am.  I am a night owl and function really well then, but mornings I am groggy and like to sleep in whenever I can.  It takes a couple of cups of coffee to get me going.

Every year we choose take one of our vacations in St Augustine, Florida.  We are beach people and we are outdoors people, so camping is one of our pleasures.  Anastasia State Park is definitely one of our favorite places to camp.

Why? It's a great campsite that offers privacy to most sites.  Added to that it has the most incredible beach, and on a good day some really nice waves, so body boarding and boogie boarding are often an option.  Also add to that, if you are out of season, you have this huge beach and can pick your spot. 

St Augustine itself is, to my understanding, the oldest city in Florida. It is a quaint city with lots to do, places to explore, restaurants to hang out at and back streets to walk.  It is a city full of history.   

For the most part however, I have not stretched myself to rise in the morning and head to the beach.  This time around (because I have my new camera) I chose to do that, not once but every morning for 6 days.  By the end of it, I needed a vacation to catch up on my sleep. 

So each morning I dragged myself out of bed, made coffee, picked up the camera and my towel and headed off to the beach on my bike.  Mornings were typically still dark, or at least gray.   

Most mornings there were very few people on the beach and generally not too close.  These two young ladies wandered off down to the pier to wait for the sun to rise.  And posed in the waves while waiting. 

Gradually the gray was blotted with streaks of color and I prayed that with all this cloud cover that the sunrise would be something worth getting up for. The sun rays began to break through the gray and peak out of the clouds, and slowly it began to take my breath away. Mornings, such as these are rare in my life and were just a great incentive this week to rise each morning and go and celebrate the beginning of a new day. Another day to live the life that has been given to me, another day to reach out and make things right, another day to tell someone that I love them.

I was not expecting the sky to come alive with vibrant fiery color and splendors beyond my imagination.  Never before have I seen a sunrise such as this that leaves me stunned into silence.  All I can say is "Thank you Father for such an incredible show of Your glory." 

The splendor of creation there right before my very eyes.  Each minute it changed to something better than before and for a while I had difficulty even breathing it was so spectacular. 

As I sat there the words of a song by Aaron Shust came to mind:

"The God of brilliant lights
Is shining down over us
Breaking through the darkness
Covering all the earth"

Even down as far as the pier, the tendrils of the sunrise could be seen.

And then slowly the sky lessened it's color as the concentration began on the horizon.  Then in a blink of an eye the round dome of the sun pushed off the horizon and began it's climb up into the sky. Higher and higher it climbed - more spectacular with every inch it got higher.

And all of a sudden it was higher than the horizon and being caught up in the clouds.  The sea became liquid gold. The sun hidden behind the clouds, still radiated with the warmth of the coming day. 


 Just as I was thinking it was time to leave along came a parade of pelicans.

And my all time ahh moment was the sight of one of my favorite species of all - a dolphin playing in the waves. If you look carefully you will see the fin above the dark shadow.  The best part was the following day I was able to swim out into the ocean and get within 10m of them as they swam by us.  Curiosity got the better of them and they hung out for a while in the water. 

I hope that you gained some pleasure out of my photo's.  The morning was spectacular.  My desire is that I get to see a similar morning again one day, but for now I am happy with the memory of this incredibly beautiful start to my day.

“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”

~ Karl Lagerfeld

To view the other posts in the 30-minutes-in-life group click here.  I cannot wait to see what they have posted. 

You can also view the Facebook page here

To view previous posts of mine click on the links below.

July 2013
August 2013 


  1. Beautiful images! I felt like I was sitting there with you, taking in the sunrise and the changing view. Love how you captured your 30 minutes.

  2. Oh my - that sunrise is something else. I'm the same...morning's are definitely not my cup of tea, but this would be worth the early start x

  3. Wow! These are so stunning! It's amazing to me that this magnificent beauty happens everyday...and basically every day I miss it.

  4. what a glorious sunrise!!!! i just love st. augustine and your photos are stunning. as a fellow night owl, i'm impressed you got up and were able to photograph it :)

  5. what a glorious sunrise!!!! i just love st. augustine and your photos are stunning. as a fellow night owl, i'm impressed you got up and were able to photograph it :)

  6. Oh my goodness Sharleen, these are just beautiful! The colors are so lovely. I love a sunrise on the beach. It is really the only time I like to get up early!

  7. Thanks so much for your comments - I generally do the sunsets with absolute pleasure but the sunrises this vacation were all good except for 2 days. I have more sunrises in my file of photo's that I have not even looked at yet.

  8. WOW! Just wow. That sky just blossomed! What an amazing experience to witness and document! Beautiful beautiful work.

  9. Love those Sharleen! So glad that the sunrise was nothing short of spectacular for you. I love the contrast and story you portrayed so well. I'm sure it was a lovely time. xo

  10. Love those Sharleen! So glad that the sunrise was nothing short of spectacular for you. I love the contrast and story you portrayed so well. I'm sure it was a lovely time. xo

  11. Thanks Rebecka & Kristi for your comments - I cannot wait to start working on the rest of them.

  12. Thanks Vera - who would have thought that spending time at school in a darkroom and now a new camera would reignite the passion I had so many years ago - I am loving it. These ladies challenge me.

  13. Oh my gosh these are beyond beautiful! That sunrise was truly spectacular, what gorgeous colour! xxxx

  14. Thank you Sophie - I appreciate your comments.

  15. Wow! What an incredible sky! You captured the color so beautifully! Now that was worth it, wasn't it?

    I absolutely love the image of the bike on the beach!

  16. Thank you Summer - it was worth it most definitely - although I would prefer the west coast and the sunsets just because then I could sleep in. We rode our bikes to the beach at least 3 times a day.