Sunrise Skimmers with sandstone texture

/, Black Skimmers, Florida, Fort De Soto County Park, Pinellas County/Sunrise Skimmers with sandstone texture

Sunrise Skimmers with sandstone textureSunrise Skimmers with sandstone texture – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/500, ISO 1000, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 80mm, natural light, texture added in post processing

On September 12, 2008 Hurricane Ike churned up the Gulf of Mexico along the west coast of Florida and I ventured out to Fort De Soto well before dawn to photograph. I took this Black Skimmer image before the sun rose and there was noise in it but I loved the comp and the general feeling I felt while looking at it so I decided to add some “photo art” effects by using a sandstone texture on the sky and water and left the birds as they were. I don’t usually add filters to my images but I did like how this turned out and still left that pre-dawn feeling to it.

Sunrise SkimmersSunrise Skimmers – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/500, ISO 1000, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 80mm, natural light

This shows the image with some noise reduction to the sky and water otherwise this was post processed the same as the textured version but minus the texture filter. Looking at them side by side now; years later, I am not sure which version I like best.

Both versions of this frame of the sunrise Black Skimmers bring back memories from the morning I created this photo of them in their pre-dawn flight. I enjoyed the sea breeze, the birds, the sand under my feet and the sound of the crashing waves.



  1. Lois Bryan August 17, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Both are so beautiful, Mia … since I’m a texture-user myself, I love the first one … it has the look of a fine art painting!!!

  2. Elephant's Child August 13, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    I love them both – with a slight preference for the second.

  3. Jolanta August 13, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Beautiful picture! Looks like oil painting!

  4. Utahbooklover August 13, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Both images have the feeling of a wonderful painting of birds by the seashore, however I prefer the second one. It’s been too long since I was there.

  5. Patty Chadwick August 13, 2014 at 8:06 am

    I love flock pictures, so of course find this one very pleasing…I can’t really choose one over the other. One image that I’ve often seen, and wished I had the equipment and talent to capture, is a mob of white gulls, backlit,mafaist a blue sky…the sun coming through their white wings…I ‘ve thought about painting such. A scene, but would want to have photo reference on hand. I like the semi-silhouette effect of your shots.

  6. John Randall August 13, 2014 at 7:27 am

    Terrific image Mia! Love the atmosphere of the morning sky and the sandstone texture reminds me of the surface of watercolor paper.

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