An HDR sunrise photograph overlooking the dunes, dune fence, ocean and sand of 13th Street in Ship Bottom, NJ.

Your day breaks

An HDR sunrise photograph overlooking the dunes, dune fence, ocean and sand of 13th Street in Ship Bottom, NJ.
Your day breaks — 14mm | f/8 | ISO 100 | 7 Bracketed Exposures

I’m not exactly a morning person so it’s not everyday I buck-up, pop the cot and go shoot a sunrise. But with a fellow photo buddy in town it’s a little easier to find the motivation.

Conditions were pretty excellent this morning, comfortable temperatures with a cool early day glow left me thinking I’m real excited to be here. I spent my initial shooting going for the obligatory up against the shoreline shot. This was decidedly meh. The jetty rock I thought would be there had not so amusingly vanished, and there was nothing passable for an interesting foreground. When my buddy Jon walked over and showed me some shots he was making on his viewfinder, I saw he was making good use of the dune fence as foreground and I decided then I was going to follow his lead.

Enter the shot before you.

The swooping cloud formation, for me, creates a most interesting effect. It has the look of a crescent moon that’s dominating the daybreak sky, pressing its weight and looming ominously. Counterbalanced by the movement and lines of the foreground dune fence it makes for a well balanced scene. Getting up early was worth it.

Related: I spent three great summers (2003–2005) manning the tools of ignorance for Ship Bottom, NJ Public Works. Three great summers of stretching dune fence. Every season we’d be replacing broken fence and even running whole sections of the stuff for blocks. Nothing like spending your days with your buddies, a couple pairs of post hole diggers, and some dune fence. It was simple labor but it always paid off going home each day having made real tangible results toward keeping our beaches clean and beautiful. Plus we got to see the sunrise each day. I miss that job.

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16 responses to “Your day breaks”

  1. James Wright Jr Avatar
    James Wright Jr

    I love the composition of this foto; very ‘geometric’, which is what my eyes mostly see…all angles have been accounted for here, everything is beautifully balanced… also, the soft cloud curves in the upper right make a perfect counterpoint to the angular fence on the lower left…great shot!

  2. Bob Avatar

    Greg, beautiful shot. You got talent. Do you mind if I post on my Facebook and blog with proper attribution?

  3. Nanette ditzel Avatar
    Nanette ditzel

    I would love to get a copy of this. Awesome

  4. Susan Avatar

    Wonderful photo, thanks for sharing. I have been a beach gal all my life. I continually search for shore photos that get to me, this is a rare winner. Keep enjoying shooting!

  5. Greg Molyneux Avatar
    Greg Molyneux

    Absolutely, Bob. Thank you for asking.

  6. Greg Molyneux Avatar
    Greg Molyneux

    Most pleased to hear this hits home, Susan.

  7. […] gotta say, it’s been a pretty solid day of shooting. It started out with this morning’s pleasantries on the beaches of Ship Bottom and ended with the deepening blue skies of a Dock Road blue hour. Since I spend so much of my time […]

  8. […] photography happened by dawn, dusk, and night. By the time the evening rolled around my friends and I were hoping to head into […]

  9. Greg Molyneux Avatar
    Greg Molyneux

    Really appreciate the insightful feedback, James.

  10. Oren Gulasa Avatar
    Oren Gulasa

    I remember those summers in Ship Bottom! Great job , Greg. Thank you for sharing the love for nature and community. I am one of your fans!

  11. Daniel Kelleher Avatar
    Daniel Kelleher

    Where can I purchase this?

  12. Paul Avatar

    Dear Greg:

    Your sunrise photo at Ship Bottom is just superb. My family and I love the NJ beaches and we have been in Middletown for over thirty years. It is possible to acquire a copy of this exquisite picture?

    Thank you.



  13. Greg Molyneux Avatar
    Greg Molyneux

    Hey Daniel, you can reach out to me at if you’d like to discuss it further.

  14. Greg Molyneux Avatar
    Greg Molyneux

    Hi Paul, thanks for the kind words! As I mentioned to Daniel in the comment above, you can reach out to me at if you’d like to discuss this further.

  15. […] Your day breaks | Taken: February 22, 2014 | Location: 13th Street, Ship Bottom, NJ […]

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