Photography is very much an individual piece of business. For many of us who are drawn to it, we each mine our own little niche. For me it is the beach in the off season. The solace of isolation it offers brings me peace that no other place does. When I plan a visit, fortunately a rather short drive for me. I feel the vertigo of anticipation even though I have visited thousands of times over my 72 years.
There are usually a few fellow travelers out and about when I am, all no doubt lured by the perfume of the slightly salty air that shows all who visit the same affection but who, I suspect, are primarily charmed by the solace that allows us to get reacquainted with ourselves. The constant rhythm of the ocean, the soft rush of the wind and, of course, the constantly changing dance of the sky, all combine to reawaken one’s spirits. As we age, I think we tend to start piling more and more of life into a box of sameness. Our senses dull and more of the world becomes mundane, ordinary. It’s a very slippery slope and one which photography helps me avoid. See you next time.
It was my last chance to shoot some pictures on a vacant beach and my back had finally decided to cooperate, agreeing to get itself back in sync. I was on the beach road by 4AM and on the point at Lands End within a hour. My timing could not have been better. The tidal flats were laid out in front of me as the dawn reached its zenith. I got low, stretched out the screen on the D800E allowing me the live view you see above. The fellow dawn watchers far up the beach were a bonus. They gave the scene scale.
The forecast had been partly sunny meaning a few clouds and that is exactly how it was. A perfect morning for shooting a sunrise scene. I used my usual formula” Spot Metering taking the exposure reading away from the sun and locking the exposure, iso 400, manual exposure, and an aperture of f/16. I took three shots. This one utilized a # 6 graduated neutral density filter shade the glaring sun while leaving the ocean and beach in natural light. I don’t use this filter much but it was the right choice for this situation. Certainly worth having one in your bag.
In addition to the D800E, I was carrying my D750 fitted with a 70-300mm Nikkor lens. If you have two DSLR’s, I suggest fitting one with the requisite wide angle and a telephoto on the second. You never know what will come up without warning like the council of shore birds further up the beach which decided to head south. I grabbed the 750 and caught them in the southeast sky. complimenting that marvelous pink cloud that looked like the famous Nike Swoosh (trademark). In all that morning, I grabbed more than 140 keepers. I’ll share more with you over the coming weeks and leave the beach to the refugees from the North who need more Vitamin D than I. Have a great holiday weekend everybody.
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.
The Sea Oats on the Barrier Dunes bend South as near gale force winds buffet the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
After multiple attempts to get the light on the ocean where I wanted it, I finally came close to what I had visualized. Of course, if you’re like me, you’re never satisfied and so you keep going back time and again for the perfect shot. I’m not sure I can do any better than this. But, I’ll keep trying.
Particulars: Nikon D750 Camera, 24-120 f/4 lens. Shot with manual exposure, f/8 at 1/640, center weight metering, auto white balance, focal length 65mm. No filters. I used a Slik tripod for the shot.
My thanks to those who stop by for a look. I appreciate your taking the time. See you next time if not before.
The walkway to the Gazebo at Duck, destroyed by Hurricane Irene more than five years ago, is back in business, though this was as far as I could get given the rather formidable chain blocking access. I suspect the owners now rent it out. The walkway connects to the Duck Boardwalk which runs along the coast of Currituck Sound for perhaps a mile or so. The late afternoon sun coupled with the perspective made for a rather interesting shot with a wide angle lens. So what has been a roosting place for Seagulls is now ready for humans, but as with most things now, it’s pay to play. Nikon D800E Camera. 18-35 mm lens. Thanks for the look and have a great week ahead
I’ve always been convinced that Autumn and Winter are the best seasons for grabbing a dynamic sunrise or sunset shot along the coast. I’m no weather guru but it just seems the cooler temperatures seem to generate more clouds which, when struck, by the light of the rising sun, make for a spectacular scene. This is the moment of Sunrise along the Outer Banks of North Carolina somewhere between Kitty Hawk and Southern Shores. No filters. Nikon D800E Camera with an 18mm lens. ISO 400, Manual exposure, center weight metering, f/9, 1/320th of a second. Thanks for your visit and have a great week ahead.
These have been tough times in Eastern North Carolina. Hurricane Matthew has brought more than a week of misery. First, there was the storm surge, the rain, and now the floods. We had been very lucky here since 2011 when Hurricane Irene came calling. Matthew changed all that. It was the storm that wouldn’t leave. For us, it was the rain. None of us here on the farm had ever experienced anything like it. We had well over a foot of rain here between last Friday and Sunday morning. None of us were surprised at news the Neuse River through nearby Kinston would flood. What surprised us was word that it would top the record flooding triggered by Hurricane Floyd in 1999. It did. The river topped out just short of 30 feet. All of the bridges into the city were shut down cutting off access to the city. The main east west highway through the area, US 70 was shut down for miles. The flooding reach as far west as Raleigh. Interstate 95 was flooded out in several areas. The rivers are cresting now and flood levels will slowly recede but in so doing, all that water is making its way into the sounds along the coast triggering more flooding. Things will eventually get better . The beautiful sunrises have already returned along the North Carolina coast but the effects of Hurricane Matthew will be with us for years to come. Have a good week ahead everybody and be safe.