If you have a second (or third I suppose) camera take it! That is lesson learned #4. There is volumes of subjects to photograph on the beach at sunrise. As the sun hits the horizon birds begin to feed, couples appear to take strolls across your horizon, pelicans begin to transit up and down the beach in packs of eight or ten. Perhaps the largest subject is the effect of the sun on objects within a 360 degree radius of where you are standing. All of these factors lend themselves to needing more that one camera.
I found myself each morning following the following procedure. When it was still dark each morning, I would set the dslr up on the tripod and start to bracket long exposure shots of the horizon. As the sky lightened up and the sun gradually came over the horizon, I reached for the Canon g9 and replaced it on the tripod and started to take wide angle shots of the rising sun over the horizon. I learned the first morning that the wide angle worked well and gave the “look” I was trying to capture. Then I set the dslr to aperture priority and started shooting the various scenes happening around the beach. This provided images I liked along with images I would have missed if I had only had one camera with me.
This photo above was taken on my second morning on the beach. I was tired and cranky this morning. In many ways this shot is an afterthought and probably wont make the gallery, but it does prove the point that having a second camera produces images you normally wouldn’t get otherwise. So here is my Canon Rebel xti looking at the Canon g9.