Views of Catawba Falls from the side of the cascades in the middle of the falls.
Catawba Falls from side, near Old Fort, NC (15″x23″)
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″)
I recently took a trip to the Topsail Beach, a barrier island along the North Carolina coast. The first morning, I brought along my camera to explore the differences in focus and texture in the clouds, water, and sand using various exposure times.
Topsail Island Clouds (short exposure: 1/80s), Topsail Island, North Carolina (12″x21″)
Topsail Island Clouds (long exposure: 2 minutes), Topsail Island, North Carolina (12″x21″)
Topsail Island Clouds (long exposure: 4 minutes), Topsail Island, North Carolina (12″x21″)
Color version of the falls upstream from Mortimer Campground (black and white last week). I go back and forth about which I like more. There’s a bit more depth in the color I think.
Falls above Mortimer Campground (Color), near Collettsville, NC (15″x15″)
In late May I took a weekend trip out to western North Carolina just south of Grandfather Mountain. We stayed in Mortimer Campground for several nights- a lovely location where you can hear the stream flowing by as you fall asleep. We hiked up the trail that follows the stream out of camp and came across a few sets of beautiful falls. Here is one of my favorite images from the hike- this week the black and white version, next week the color version.
Falls above Mortimer Campground (B&W), near Collettsville, NC (15″x15″)
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″)
Debris and structures cast shadows across the dunes on Hatteras Island. Second half 6-part photo series:
Dune and Shadows (B&W, #4), Hatteras, North Carolina (15″x22″)
Dune and Shadows (B&W, #5), Hatteras, North Carolina (15″x22″)
Dune and Shadows (B&W, #6), Hatteras, North Carolina (15″x22″)
Debris and structures cast shadows across the dunes on Hatteras Island. 6-part photo series, first 3 posted here:
Dune and Shadows (B&W, #1-3), Hatteras, North Carolina (15″x22″)
Lens of light between darkening clouds – ~300 second exposure time to make this image of the moving clouds and water as the light faded.
Lens of Light over Sound between Dark Clouds (B&W), Hatteras Island near Avon, North Carolina (12″x22″)
I stopped near Kite Point between Avon and Buxton on Hatteras Island to make a few images of some pretty fantastic light reflecting off the Sound north/west of the barrier islands – I particularly liked the small structure out on the Sound in the center of the photograph along the horizon line. I shot this at ~1 second exposure time- wish I’d gone for ~30 seconds to really flatten out the water, but the light was changing so quickly that I didn’t have a change to get my filters out and set up properly in time.
Sunset over Sound near Kite Point (#1, Color), Hatteras Island, North Carolina (14″x22″)
121-second exposure of passing clouds at sunset at a set of stairs over the dunes on Hatteras Island. I included one version in black and white, another in color, to emphasize different elements in the scene.
Stairs on Hatteras Island at Sunset (B&W), Hatteras Island, NC (12″x21″)
Stairs on Hatteras Island at Sunset (Color), Hatteras Island, NC (12″x21″)
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″)
Late in 2020, I went out for a bike ride between a series of chilly rain showers. While passing through a low-lying area, I noticed the fog hugging the ground in a flooded forest along Mud Creek. Hope you get a sense for the atmosphere that evening.
Fog and Flooded Forest, outside 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″)