How Did it Go

So based on the previous post you may know that I went to the beach this morning to shoot the sunrise with Dad’s camera. How did it go? Did I learn anything new?

Last night I checked the weather forecast for Hampton Beach, NH on It said the skies would be clear and the sunrise would be at 5:13am. The first part of that was accurate. The second part… not so much. The Dark Skies app said that sunrise in Methuen would be at 5:13. I wonder if somehow the app got confused and gave me local sunrise time instead of the time for the location I was viewing?

I got out of bed at 4:20 or so, which was 20 minutes later than I planned. I got dressed quick, grabbed my stuff, forgot the bottle of gatorade I put in the fridge last night, and hit the road. Waze was telling me I should get there with a few minutes to spare. It was almost right. There’s a draw bridge just before you enter the Hampton Beach area and the bridge went up just as I was getting to it. That plus the inaccurate sunrise time did it. I was late. The sun was breaking the horizon at about 9:10 or so, and I didn’t get down to the beach until a minute or so later.

It was also high tide, and my usual spot was both under water and crowded with people. In the post Covid world, a crowd of people is three. At least it is to me. I boogied down to the next beach entrance and had a nice spot all to myself. I took a few pics and then attempted some long exposure fun.

The most the camera can do is one second, but it also has a bulb mode where the shutter will stay open as long as you hold the shutter release down. Unfortunately for me, actually holding the thing down means the image will be shaky because my hands will be shaky. That’s why I bought a cheap little shutter release cable. You screw it onto the button on the camera, and then you can control the shutter without actually touching the camera. It also locks itself so you can push it, let go, wait for as long as you need, then release it.

I made one super dumb ass goof in this process. I tried three long exposures. About 30 seconds, about 15 seconds, and a ridiculous three minutes. Unfortunately, with the sound of the ocean a few feet away, the sound of the cable triggering sounds pretty similar to the camera triggering so after the first shot I didn’t notice that I forgot to advance the film. Same thing happened after the second shot. I only noticed the third time because I took the camera off the tripod and tried to use it normally. Sooooo I set it up again (after moving back a few feet, the tide was getting close to me) and did it right.

I finished the roll with some shots of the waves and the sun hitting the wet sand. I will be completely shocked if anything I did today looks decent, but I finished a roll of 24 and unloaded the camera without any problems, and setup a new roll (Kodak ColorPlus 200, 36 exposures) and I am ready for whatever is next. Probably pictures of the cat.

I think I am done with film projects for a while now. I’ve shot three rolls successfully, including the one that was in the camera when I took possession of it, and I haven’t seen a single image yet. Two rolls were dropped off at CVS and the third just went into the desk drawer that I use for photography stuff. This whole lack of instant feedback thing is actually stressing me out a little. If I had a digital camera with me today I’d already be posting the results. Now? Who the hell knows if I’ll ever get anything useable back?

Film man… film.