The sky was like a character in Joseph Heller’s classic novel “Catch 22”. It seemed to know the difference between the makings of a pretty day and one that was just plain ugly but was trapped in the middle. A front had floated across the coast during the night and at daybreak, things looked very iffy.
As I trudged westward along the dune line (a reminder that the Bogue Banks is pretty much situated East-West) the sky began to brighten and it became rather obvious that the clouds were all merging into one huge, magnificent cloud that was teasing the rooftops of the oceanfront “cottages.”
A platoon of pickup trucks with over-sized tires and front bumpers fitted with cylinders loaded with huge salt water fishing rigs, came roaring up the beach; a half dozen anglers jumped out and staked their claim on the beach by pounding their rod holders into the sand.
The big cloud began to darken to an ominous shade of indigo and I felt the first sprinkles of rain. I grabbed one of the giant sized freezer bags out of my bag and zipped up my camera and lens and headed back to my truck. By the time I was back on the beach road home, the downpour came. The day had indeed turned ugly. Thanks for the look. See you next time. .
I spent several more days in the soybean field this past week, drawn by the pre-dawn sky which provides a rather spectacular backdrop for, lets face it, a rather boring crop in the field.
The above shot was an afterthought. I was heading back to the house when I happened to turn around and saw the rising sun’s reflection on the cloud bank rolling in from the north. A reminder of the old photography tip to always turn around.
Taken early that morning from the southwest near the wetlands on the farm. The rows of soybeans take your eye straight to the pre-sunrise sky.
I don’t usually venture out on overcast days but I made an exception because of the quilted clouds which I could see from my kitchen window. I’m blessed by living near our farm fields and the beach, which I plan to return to next week. Thanks for the look. See you next time.
Time was, the crop dusters would fly in to spray the crop in order to defoliate it. Now, most growers just let nature take its course and that was the case here. The cold nights have taken care of the cotton foliage without chemicals being applied, and the cotton is ready for harvest.
Harvest time comes with its own drama. The Autumn along with the cooler temperatures ushers in spectacular cloud formations and they change quickly. These shots were all taken on the same morning within a 15 minute span. Thanks for the look and have a good week. See you next time.
One of the best lenses I ever purchased remains the Nikon 24-120 constant f/4. I picked it up at B and H Photo Video in New York in an open box sale. The lens had been used as a shelf display model. It pretty much lives on my Nikon D750 Camera. I suppose you could say it is my walk around lens. Even so, it took me a while to take advantage of what it offers. With landscapes, my practice was to frame up the wide shot, shoot it and move on. Typical for old folks like me who are set in our ways. This past weekend on the Bogue Banks of North Carolina I proved that even at 72, sometimes it pays to revisit old habits. The two shots above were taken a few seconds apart during a rapidly changing sky after a storm. The first was taken at 66mm, the second at 110mm. It really gave me two almost completely different shots. That in and off itself is probably not a tip. If there is one, I suppose it is this, don’t be reticent to change up old habits, particularly in photography. Thanks for the look and have a good week. See you next time.
A couple of pre-sunrise shots taken at Southern Shores, North Carolina. I didn’t have far to walk to the beach so when I saw the cloudy sky, I grabbed my bag and headed out. These scenes come early so if you have trouble getting out of bed, you will miss them. Be there and you’ll be rewarded with some fabulous sky colors. These two shots were taken on the same morning. A complete makeover that occurred within just a few minutes before sunrise. Both shots were handheld. The second a tad longer exposure. Both shot with a Nikon D800e camera and an 18-35 Nikkor lens. If you’re heading for a beach this spring or summer, take along an alarm clock. It’s worth the agony of getting up early. Have a good week. See you next time.
For several years running, the Christmas day sunrise has been nothing short of spectacular here, to the point of becoming an almost spiritual thing. Not This year. We were greeted this morning with an overcast sky and patches of misty rain, the result of a warm front that marched through late yesterday and overnight. But the Christmas weekend was not a total washout.. Christmas Eve morning was a keeper. With the colder air, the scene could be from October. There were just enough clouds to reflect the warm morning light. I had seen the clouds moving in over the tall lob lolly pines from my kitchen window and grabbed my camera. No filters. Nikon D750 fitted with a 24-120mm f/4 lens. Iso 400, custom white balance, though Automatic on the 750 is quite good. Manual exposure. Spot metering. 1/125th of a second at f/22 which explains the slight flare to the sun. Best wishes to all for a great holiday and a safe and prosperous 2017.