Dueling Umbrellas at Cocoa Beach, Florida

During our recent visit to Cocoa Beach, Florida, as part of our 2017 Disney Cruise trip, we did not think we were going to be able to put out our beach umbrellas, due to the rain and the wind. But in the early afternoon, things cleared up enough that the sun did come out, which meant that our umbrellas came out as well.

Dueling Umbrellas at Cocoa Beach, Florida

This time around, we had two umbrellas, thanks to a bad memory. I thought that our umbrella had reached the end of its life last year, and so Jaylin and I gave Laura a new umbrella for Mother’s Day. As it turns out, that was a few years ago that our umbrella died, and we had already replaced it. Oh well, now we have two.

Two umbrellas actually work better for our family of three, because they give us more shade to spread out in, rather than all three of us trying to fit in the ever-moving shade of one umbrella. Not that family togetherness is a bad thing, but it can get a little tight underneath the umbrella sometimes.

This time, we had lots more room and lots more shade, which was a definite plus. No complaints at all, of course, about having more room. Carrying two umbrellas really was not much different than carrying one umbrella, because they do not weigh all that much. No more worrying about if your feet are out in the sun and possibly getting burned, too.

If I were an umbrella salesman, I would probably point out that the umbrella on the left lets through less sunlight than the one on the right, cutting down even more your chances of a sunburn if you are under the umbrella. And the left umbrella is also larger than the right umbrella. So you know you want to drive home the left umbrella today, right? But actually, both umbrellas are just fine for us. I don’t think I could pick a favorite.

And no, the poles do not really curve like that. That curving is just one of the side effects of a fisheye lens. It is worth a little curving to be able to get so much into one photo.

Dueling Umbrellas at Cocoa Beach, Florida

Because it was still a bit breezy outside, we kept the umbrellas closed when we were not using them, as we seen several umbrellas blow away or flip up in wind that doesn’t seem all that heavy. We have even had to go chase our umbrella once or twice, although now we have better luck with getting it firmly planted in the sand. Turning upward is still a possibility, however, so sometimes it is best to safeguard against that. In this photo, Jaylin sits under one umbrella, while the other one is folded down. Because we had not brought a cooler with us, we did not have to worry as much about keeping some shade there. So while someone was there to watch the umbrella, it was fine to have it open, but then we closed both of them when we were all out in the water.

Also, you can see that this photo was taken around low tide, because the water is waaaaaay out there. It looks a little farther out than it actually is, thanks to the way the fisheye lens bends things around, but you still had to walk a good way to get to the edge of the water. When we had arrived, the water was almost up to where we put down our stuff and eventually set up our umbrellas, so the tide had definitely gone out. Pretty cool to see the tide in action as we are there during the day.

This photo also shows that the threat of rain appears to have kept a good many people away from the beach that day, because usually the area has many more people in the middle of the day. No complaints at all about a little extra elbow room. So while some people had stayed away for this day, we were glad that we went on out, because we ended up having a really fun day, staying out there for almost six hours. The rain did eventually come and drive us away, but we were out there much longer than we had expected, so it was all good.

Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the field to everyone. – Zechariah 10:1

About the photos:

Even though it was a rather sunny day, the camera did not quite pick it up, especially in the first photo. This was probably mainly due to the bright clouds in the center of the frame throwing off the camera’s exposure meter. It made for a quite dull original image. Fortunately, a little bit of processing of the original Raw file gave much more color and life to the final photo. Just one more reminder of the power of photo processing. Here is a before-and-after comparison:

Dueling Umbrellas at Cocoa Beach - before and after

Photo: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Rokinon 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens
Date: June 6, 2017
Location: Cocoa Beach, Florida

You can buy prints of these photos and other images from this site at the Burnsland Photos gallery. Look for the green Buy Photos button. Downloads for commercial license are also available.

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