I left the house this evening with plans to do some light painting with one of my favorite cypress trees as my subject. I hiked in to the location, settled on an angle and composition and settled in to wait for darkness to fall. Of course I took a few shots while waiting on night fall. As I waited I noticed clouds moving in from the distance… and a somewhat ominous thunderhead. Again, I naturally took a few shots. Suddenly the wind picked up and I could see rain falling in the distance. Not too surprisingly I scrubbed the plans for the light painting and scurried back to the safety of my vehicle. I’ll give the light painting project another try some evening in the near future. For now here are a couple shots of the cypress tree.
Category Archives: Landscape Photography
I made a visit to a pine savanna in the Croatan National Forest. A couple weeks prior to my visit there had been a control burn in the area. It was interesting to see the lush green of new growth springing up from the charred, burnt ground. There’s a special shade to the green of new grasses and ferns… bright… vivid. The grasses, herbs, trees and carnivorous plants of the savanna are dependent upon fire. Without fire shurbs would take over the forest floor. Trees not usually found on the savanna would invade, closing the canopy and robbing the forest floor of life giving sunlight. Even the seeds of the Long Leaf Pine are dependent upon fire to help them start new life. Like the fabled Phoenix these plants rise up from the ashes of the burnt forest floor. The following are a few of my photos from the morning.
A couple of days ago I posted some photos from a sunrise over Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. In the text included with that post I mentioned a bias that tended to discourage me from shooting sunrise and sunset scenes. However, that’s not to say I never do. Here’s a sunrise photo image from last month. This image was made from my kayak and shows the sunrising over the Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve as seen from Deep Creek.
To be honest I don’t shoot many sunrises or sunsets. I suppose I have a bit of a bad attitude about them. Somwhere along the line I read something about those types of shots being some of the most cliched in the business. Something over-done like images of iconic locations like El Capitan, Old Faithful or Mount Rushmore. Even so I’ve had an Atlantic Beach sunrise shoot on my project board for a few months. I’ve been waiting for a day when everything would come together.
I wanted to include a fishing pier in a few of the shots and frankly, fishing piers are becomning rare pieces of Americana. Not so many years ago there were three of them along Atlantic Beach within walking distance of each other. Today only one or those remains and it is missing some off the end, a victim of Hurricane Irene. I honestly don’t know if it’s been open since the hurricane or if they have plans to repair it. It seemed that if I was going to do the shoot I had in mind I needed to do it soon!
A check of the weather forecast for this morning sounded perfectly. It was going to be overly cold and the forecast called for partly cloudy skies. Clouds help to add texture and interest to a sunrise photo. Plus timing is really convenient in the winter. The official sunrise time would be 7:10 making it possible to arrive an hour or so early without dragging myself out of bed too outrageously early. Below are a few of the images from the session. I think it was worth the effort.
Usually when I visit the Cape Lookout National Seashore it’s to observe and photograph the Mustangs living on Shackleford Banks. The other morning, however, I visited Core Banks instead to get a few photographs of the lighthouse. With my 500mm lens still out for repair I’m somewhat limited when it comes to wildlife & nature photography. As such it seemed like a good time to add few images of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse to my portfolio.
While visiting Shackleford Banks last week I found these two horses taking it easy in the morning. With the Cape Lookout lighthouse in the background I thought it made a nice scene. I suspect the shot would look nice as a note card so I’m having a small batch made to see if it works. Below is a peek at what it will look like.
I frequently see landscape photos of wood areas that are absolutely beautiful. However, when I’ve tried to make these kinds of images I’ve always struggled to satisfy myself with the results. I’ve tried and tried, experimented, studied and examined the work of others and felt like I’d finally started to get a handle on making these images. So this morning I went out the a pine savanna area in the Croatan National Forest to try my hand at making a quality landscape… or is that forestscape… image.
When I got home from my morning photo expedition I decided to check out some of my favorite blogs before working on post processing. Oddly enough one of the posts was about something the author referred to as “3D rule of thirds.” He aptly explained exactly what I had struggled to figure out for myself. Be sure to check it out at Quick Tip: The 3-D Rule of Thirds.