A High Contrasty Day

It’s not unusual to run into high contrast days at the beach particularly this time of the year when the skies are often crystal clear, devoid of clouds and the sun is absolutely brilliant.   The beach in this case is on the Bogue Banks of North Carolina just south of the Core Banks which is south of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and of course the widely known and visited Outer Banks.   The Bogue Banks is home to a handful of beach towns and on the extreme eastern end,  Fort Macon State Park and beach which is where I took these shots.

    I fooled around with the exposure for this incredibly bright scene on the wide beach just below Fort Macon  for a few minutes but quickly decided my only recourse was a number 8 Neutral Density filter. It reduced the light by  three stops and permitted the exposure above.    Later, a bit further west on the beach closer to the town of Atlantic Beach (the Bogue Banks Runs just about due East-West) ,  I came upon this scene  which if anything was even brighter. The intense sun and the dark blue sky created a retina frying contrast.  I quickly decided to shoot it in monochrome.

I also shot this with Kodak Tri-X 400 Black and White Film using my trusty Nikon F-100.  It’ll be interesting to compare the film shot with the full frame digital version above.   Had I a choice, I would have postponed my drive down to the coast on Saturday as soon as I saw the radar and forecast at 4 oclock that morning.   Clear skies at the beach do not make for memorable shots.  But waiting for clouds was not an option.     As it turned out, the neutral density filter saved the day.   Got to get back to work sifting through the fruits of my labor.  Have a great Sunday evening and thanks for the look.  And, If you’re a Veteran, Thank you!

One thought on “A High Contrasty Day

  1. I enjoyed reading your blog and studying your shots. Both shots have such a different feel….and both are powerful samples of good beach photography…Well done and I love that flare…nice…Don’t you just love the ocean….

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