The sun rising through the morning clouds along the mangroves at Bahia Honda Key, near Key West, Florida.

Bahia Honda Key is one of the several hundred keys along the Florida Keys.  A key is just another name for an island.  The keys are largely ancient exposed coral reefs (most notably the southern section of the Florida Keys) that extend from Miami and sweep down across the bottom of Florida and end out a Dry Torguas Keys, out to the west.  Key West, perhaps the most famous key, is only 90 miles as the crow flies to Cuba.

Bahia Honda Key is between Big Pine Key and Marathon Key, at the southern end of the famous 7 mile bridge. Bahia Honda Key is a state park, and as such, is fairly undeveloped with the exception of some docks and associated buildings near the south western end of the island. 

The north side of the key, as is true of most of the keys, are replete with groves of mangroves, and are the feeding ground for Manatees, the 'mermaids' of old. There are some mangroves along the southern edge of the key, but not as plentiful as the northern more protected side.

I was staying at a hotel (a retro 70's hotel) on Big Pine Key, and decided to drive north to Bahia Honda Key to see if I could catch a sunrise. And on this particular morning I caught one of the more spectacular sunrises during my time in the Florida Keys. The cloud bank to the east provided a great foil for the rising sun, as the light from the sun burst through the clouds and the light lit the top edges of the clouds. I love the way that the clouds lit up with the rising sun behind. The mangrove in the foreground provides some visual interest, and I composed this shot with the sun rising between the lobes of the mangrove as a way to emphasize the rising sun.

Photographer's Notes

This was a hard photograph to take as the scene was not a well balanced scene. The foreground was significantly underexposed to be able to get the clouds properly exposed. This photograph took a significant amount of processing in Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop, as well as using Luminar 2017 for some extra processing. I filled the sun with a more pleasing yellow tone versus the pure white that was captured. I also added some warmth to the shot as was fitting for a sunrise shot.

I shot this photograph using my Canon 5D mark II with my Canon Ef 24-105mm f/4 L lens with a focal length of 24mm.  The exposure settings were f/11 at 1/15 second shutter speed and ISO of 100.

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Back in 1982, my Air Force roommate was in desperate need of some cash, and he had a camera. And I was in the market for a camera as I had TDY (Temporary Duty) orders for Cyprus and was looking for a good camera to take with me. So over some beers and some negotiations with my roommate (and a few hundred dollars later), I found that I had become the owner of a brand spanking new Canon AE-1 camera with an assortment of lens, including a Canon 50mm, a 35mm lens, as well as a telephoto lens.

Fast forward to today, and I am now an owner of a Canon 5D Mark II (looking to upgrade, but can't decide on my next camera) and a bunch of Canon glass and I am primarily a landscape and travel photographer. Yea, that means that I get up before the sun rises and am out after the sun sets. Makes for interesting times!

Thank you for joining me on this photographic journey and hope to hear from you!


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