I live about 20 minutes south from the Cocoa Beach Pier and I have been going there every morning for two weeks for sunrise, which never disappointed me. That day I got there a little later than usual. The sun was already above the horizon and I thought It would be a flop but then I realized that the tide was very high and the wind was creeping up so much that bigger and bigger waves started crashing onto the pillars. The combination of forces created a thick mist of water and salt all over the place that could be seen naked eye, it was beautiful. What better than long exposure to capture such phenomenon… I waited for a guy working for the pier to set the umbrellas and then I composed my shot. Knowing that it would be a high contrast photo, I made sure to separate objects as much as I could adding more depth to the composition.
I pulled my tripod down deep in the sand in case a wave would try to sweep it off and destroy everything, set my camera, canon 5D mark III, with my ts-e 17mm and a 1.4x extender and made some fine adjustments on the focus and framing. Finally, I put my filters on (Formatt Hitech Firecrest 10+6 nd) and covered the whole thing with a black t-shirt for any light leakage, the sun was already up high and very harsh, and the trick worked perfectly.
The final result gave me an exposure of 356 seconds at f8, iso 100.