I enjoyed the peacefulness of that time alone, and I used the time to experiment with some different shots. As beautiful as a sunset can be, at some point you can only take so many photos of the sky, the sand, and the water. I tried to find objects to include in the foreground to add interest to the shot: trees, driftwood, birds, people, seaweed, sticks, seagrass...if it was on the beach, I tried to incorporate it.
Some things worked better than others. Those damn birds just wouldn't walk into the right part of the frame and, when I finally set up a shot, they flew away before I could take it.
I decided that inanimate objects were much easier subjects. Getting the shot I wanted as the grasses blew in the wind was challenging enough.
I deleted all the blurry photos of birds and the boring photos of seaweed. These were my favorites of those that remained.
The sky was beautiful that night. I didn't do anything to enhance the colors in these images. I darkened the blacks just a smidge to make the silhouetted plants really stand out. Otherwise, these are straight out of camera.
Looking at these shots makes me feel calm and peaceful, which is ironic because most of vacation was not that way at all. I've changed the desktop on my computer to the first photo. Maybe if I gaze at it from across the kitchen when my kids are driving me nuts, I will hear the waves lapping, feel the wind blowing, and smell the salt air. Every little bit helps in the everyday.