Four-minute exposure of clouds above the Surf City fishing pier. I tilted the camera up, and I was using a wide-angle lens, so the edges of the pier appear to tilt towards the center of the frame (or the pier is just really old and needs repair).
Surf City Fishing Pier at Sunset (long exposure), Topsail Island, North Carolina (12″x21″)
Clouds moving over the Seaview Fishing Pier after sunset- the top image is ~2 minute exposure time, and the bottom image is ~3 minute exposure time.
Seaview Fishing Pier and Lights after Sunset (long exposure), Topsail Island, North Carolina (12″x21″)
Seaview Fishing Pier at Sunset (long exposure), Topsail Island, North Carolina (12″x21″)
30-second exposure of waves under the Surf City fishing pier. I can’t decide if I like the color version or the black and white version more- the color version seems to emphasize the mid-ground elements, whereas the black and white version draws the eye in with the patterns formed by the legs of the pier.
Under the Surf City Fishing Pier (Color), Topsail Island, North Carolina (12″x21″)
Under the Surf City Fishing Pier (B&W), Topsail Island, North Carolina (12″x21″)
After making a series of long-exposure photographs focused on the movement in the clouds and water, I decided to make a panorama that highlights the texture in the clouds and the streaks of rain over the ocean. I chose a half-second exposure time to get some blur in the water and people walking by on the beach to better emphasize the clouds and pier.
Rain Clouds over Ocean near Seaview Fishing Pier, Topsail Island, North Carolina (12″x42″)
Two-minute exposure of clouds moving in over the Seaview Fishing Pier just before sunset.
Seaview Fishing Pier before Sunset (long exposure), Topsail Island, North Carolina (12″x21″)
Two photographs I made recently from below the Seaview Fishing Pier, North Topsail Island: one is a relatively short (~1/8s) exposure, the other a longer (61s) exposure. I think I like the more minimalist look of the longer exposure to ‘flatten’ or ‘fog’ the water, which eliminates the texture in the waves and clouds and helps to emphasize the repeating pattern in the pier.
Seaview Fishing Pier and Waves (short exposure), Topsail Island, North Carolina (12″x21″)
Seaview Fishing Pier and Waves (long exposure), Topsail Island, North Carolina (12″x21″)
Even at nearly 10,000 feet elevation, the trailhead at Maroon Lake was a bit warm. Fortunately, the relatively short (~1.8 mile) hike to Crater Lake only ascends about 600 feet and is partly shaded through evergreens and aspens. The views of the mountains and gathering clouds above Crater Lake were as beautiful as usual, so the walk, despite the warmth, was worth it. I was glad I had a 15-stop ND filter to make a 4-minute exposure of the lake and the movement in the clouds around noon. I shot the photo at f/16, so I could have even made an 8-minute photograph at f/22 (wish I would have now- the clouds could use a little more blur!).
Crater Lake, Maroon Bells, and Passing Clouds (B&W, 2021), White River National Forest, CO (13″x23″)
More long-exposure photographs of clouds and bridges over the Tennessee River using a 15-stop ND filter. Here, I liked how the leading lines of the clouds and the bridges direct the eye to the right third of the image, but the boardwalk in the foreground leads the eye back to the bridge on the left.
Tennessee River, Bridges, and Clouds (Part 2), Knoxville, TN (14″x21″)
Visited Knoxville, TN for the first time a few weeks ago- it was cloudy and moderately chilly. I took a walk along the Tennessee River and used a 15-stop filter to make a few photographs of the passing clouds over the river. So much time and history has passed by this spot.
Tennessee River, Bridges, and Clouds, Knoxville, TN (14″x21″)
Buildings and railroad tracks under clouds passing at sunset in downtown Durham, NC. 80s exposure time.
Time and Self Help, Downtown Durham, NC (12″x20″)
Clouds pass over tracks through downtown Durham, NC. 121s exposure time.
Clouds over Tracks, Downtown Durham, NC (15″x15″)
Clouds mark the time passing by. Sometimes it feels slow, sometimes it feels fast. Sometimes we aren’t paying attention. Sometimes it’s all I can think about.
Clouds over White Building, Downtown Durham, NC (15″x22″)
On my way back from a short trip to the coast late last autumn, a storm blew in on the drive back. The clouds were really moving, so I pulled over on the side of a state highway to make a photograph of the sky over a blank field in front of a tree.
I unfortunately didn’t take the extra 5-10 minutes to walk around and shoot a few angles- I wish I’d moved closer and lower to the ground so the tree was bigger and extended more into the sky. Also, I mis-judged where the clouds were moving, so they lead the eye to the background on the left side of the photo- I think the center would have been better. Even after doing this photography thing for over two decades now, I still don’t get it ‘right’ or exactly the way I want most of the time, but the process is rewarding in itself.
Field, Tree, and Passing Cloud, eastern NC (14″x14″)
Shot from a stretch of quiet coastline west of the US Coast Guard station on Hatteras: long-exposure photograph of small islands and trees on the Sound side of the Outer Banks. 25-second exposure.
Trees in Shallows (Color), Hatteras Inlet, Outer Banks, NC (12″x22″)
Another angle on the Lucky Strike Tower at sunset- image made back in December, 2020. I wanted to include more of the industrial building tops in the foreground on this one. 132s exposure time.
Lucky Strike Tower at Sunset (#2), Durham, NC (13″x21″)
Another long-exposure photograph of passing clouds over the buildings around downtown Durham – I decided to go for the partially desaturated look instead of the color emphasis (previous sunset photograph) or the all black and white from a few weeks ago. 136s exposure time with an ND filter.
Parking Deck, Passing Clouds, and Lucky Strike Tower, Durham, NC (16″x16″)
A few more long-exposure photographs of passing clouds over the buildings around downtown Durham – these focus more on the architecture, patterns, and contrast between the natural (cloud streaming) and the human-made (buildings) than an earlier post that was more about light and time at sunset.
Lucky Strike and Passing Clouds, Durham, NC (16″x28″)
Windows and Passing Clouds, Durham, NC (16″x16″)
Clouds pass over Bogue Inlet where the White Oak River meets the Atlantic Ocean off the southern tip of Emerald Isle, NC.
90s exposure time, 10-stop ND B+W filter.
White Oak River meets Atlantic Ocean (B&W), near Emerald Isle, NC (12″x18″)
Playing with exposure time. Basically the same subject and composition, but one photograph is made using a 10-stop ND filter, the other with a polarizing filter, which is ~2 stops. Both images get some amount of blur in the water, but one photograph has a 30-second exposure time, the other 1/6 second. I think a split down the middle (~2 seconds) may have actually been nicer, but I didn’t do it because I didn’t have a mid-range filter!
Falls along East Fork Pigeon River (10-Stop ND Filter), Blue Ridge Parkway, NC (12″x18″)
Falls along East Fork Pigeon River (Polarizing Filter), Blue Ridge Parkway, NC (12″x18″)
More from the Bogue Inlet Pier at sunset.
Bogue Inlet Pier (#9, B&W), Emerald Isle, NC (12″x22″)
Bogue Inlet Pier and Moon, Emerald Isle, NC (15″x15″)
Clouds over Bogue Inlet Pier around sunset, shot from the other side of the pier. 121 second exposure.
Bogue Inlet Pier (#6, Color), Emerald Isle, NC (12″x22″)
Clouds over Bogue Inlet Pier around sunset. I like the color version, but the B&W is nice too. 99s exposure
Bogue Inlet Pier (#5, Color), Emerald Isle, NC (12″x22″)
Bogue Inlet Pier (#5, B&W), Emerald Isle, NC (12″x22″)
A few weeks ago, I decided to scout out the Lucky Strike tower in downtown Durham for future photographs – I didn’t plan on any shots turning out well on my first visit, but when I got on the second parking deck, I found the light and passing clouds were just right for a few ~3 minute exposures. Here’s my favorite.
Lucky Strike Tower at Sunset, Durham, NC (16″x28″)
Boardwalk over Falls Lake along the Mountains to Sea Trail outside Durham, NC.
90s exposure time, 37mm focal length
Boardwalk over Falls Lake at Sunset, outside Durham, NC (15″x22″)