Tag Archives: Beach

Not Only Wild Horses

While the focus of last weekend was on photographing wild horses other opportunities did present themselves. For example, while waiting on the boat to pick us up we had several interesting shorebirds stroll past. Below is one of my shots taken on Shackleford Banks while waiting for a ride.


Wild Horse photography workshops often present opportunities to photograph interesting shorebirds as well.



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Posted in Avian Photography, Nature Photography, Uncategorized, Wildlife Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , |

Sometimes Life Gets in the Way

It seems a bit of a cliche but it’s true, sometimes life gets in the way. Several weeks ago I made a change in part time employment. I happened to time it just as my new employer experienced a shortage of employees. Because of that timing my “part-time” job has been occupying me 6 and 7 days a week! That doesn’t exactly leave a lot of time for getting out a shooting. Plus, when I do get out it doesn’t leave a lot of time for post processing the resulting images. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. In these challenging times having work is a really good thing. As things ease up a little I’ll be working up some of the photos I have in queue waiting to be processed as well as getting back out and making new imagery. Below is a shot from a few weeks ago. Hope you enjoy it.

A small peep strolls along Bird Shoal on North Carolina's Crystal Coast.

Posted in Avian Photography, Nature Photography, Wildlife Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , |

Seagulls in Flight

To those of us making our homes along the coast gulls are a very common sight. You see them almost everywhere. To many they’re little more than pests. Locals call them names like “Sky Rats,” indicating their disdain for them. Yet there is something graceful about their flight. They glide gracefully with seemingly little effort. Here are a couple shots of a Ring Billed gull in flight.

A Ring Billed Gull soars above North Carolina's Crystal coast.

Flying high, a Ring Bill Gull.

Posted in Avian Photography, Nature Photography, Wildlife Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , |


These little birds are in a state of constant motion. It’s really quite entertaining to watch them dart in and out of the surf as they search for food. Sanderlings are always a hit with beach goers. Here’s a couple shots from yesterday morning.

A Sanderling darts in and out of the surf in search for a meal.

Sanderlings are a popular little bird with the tourists.

Posted in Avian Photography, Nature Photography, Wildlife Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , |

Atlantic Beach Sunrise

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.

A December sunrise as viewed from Atlantic Beach, North Carolina.

Fishing piers are a vanishing piece of Americana.

Beneath Oceana Pier, Atlantic Beach, NC.

Fishing piers were once a common sight along the US East Coast.

A partly cloudy day adds character to any sunrise or sunset photo.

The sun rises over the North Carolina coast.

Oceana fishing pier at sunrise.

Atlantic Beach North Carolina sunrise.

Posted in Landscape Photography Also tagged , , , , |

Horses on the Tidal Flats: Kayak Based Photography

There are two things I really enjoy doing; kayaking and photographing wild horses. When I combine the two it’s almost nirvana. This morning I made it to the flats enough ahead of the incoming tide to find a few horse still feeding on the flats. There was enough water to get around in the kayak, as long as you picked your routes carefully. Here are a few shots from this morning.

A wild horse feeds on the tidal flats along North Carolina's Crystal Coast.

Wild horse with White Ibis.

Wild mustang along the Carolina coast.

A wild horse feeds on the tidal flats.

Posted in Banker Horses, Nature Photography, Wildlife Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |

Short Billed Dowitchers

It’s much easiser to approach shore birds from the water than from on land. They’re much more tolerant of a man in a kayak than one on foot. Wednesday morning’s exceptionally high-tide allowed me to approach Bird Shoal in a way that let me put the sun behind me without having to leave the kayak and the water. This allowed me to get nice and close to several Short Billed Dowitchers. The key to making good photographs of small birds is getting close… to “fill the frame with the subject” as they say. The second key is to be approximately between your subject and the sun. Obviously the conditions Wednesday morning were just right to make that all possible.

Short Billed Dowitcher on Bird Shoals, North Carolina's Crystal Coast. A kayak allows a photographer to get closer to nervous shorebirds than is possible from land.

A Short Billed Dowitcher stretches his bill.

The Carolina Coast is home to a nyriad of wonderful shorebirds.

Posted in Avian Photography, General Photography, Natural History in the Carolinas, Nature Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Birds in Flight

While visiting Bird Shoal recently I made several shots of birds flying over and landing on the shoal. Birds fly so what better activity is there to photograph them doing?

A White Ibis flies over Bird Shoal along North Carolina's Crystal Coast.

A White Ibis comes in for a landing along North Carolina's coast.

A Black Skimmer flies above the Carolina coast.

A Black Skimmer flying along above the Outer Banks.

Posted in Avian Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

Black Skimmers in Flight

Most of us that photograph birds are a little bit jealous of these creatures. Unlike us they are not bound to the ground but have the ability to soar, seemingly effortlessly, through the air. (Of course they may be jealous of us and our opposable thumbs but that’s another story.) Because of our fascination of these flying creatures it’s only natural to want to photograph them in flight.

When photographing birds in flight is my goal I set my camera in manual mode, meter the sky and then adjust to overexpose by 1/3 to 2/3 of a stop. It’s a formula that works. In the case of the shots included in this post I was stalking and shotoing seated birds, but was more than willing to take arial shots when the opportunity presented its self. In this case I was shooting in AV (aperature priority for the Nikon crowd) but, unlike what I ususally do for static subjects, I had the focus in AI Servo mode to track moving targets. In this case I I have exposure composition dialed in for a +1/3 exposure. It’s not as accurate as the manual method, but works nice when off-hand shooting both static and flying birds.

The images below were shot Wednesday morning on Bird Shoal in the Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve. There was a wide varitey of birds on the shoal but I was really focusing on the Black Skimmers. I find them a fascinating bird. I hope you enjoy the images.

A Black Skimmer glides a few feet above the sand on Bird Shoal along North Carolina's Crystal Coast.

A Black Skimmer soars above Back Sound along North Carolina's Crystal Coast.

Posted in Avian Photography, Nature Photography, Photo Tip Also tagged , , , , , , , |

Semipalmated Plover on the Beaches of the Crystal Coast

The semipalmated Plover is a small bird somewhat resembling a Killdeer. Eating insects, worms and crustaceans, these birds seach for food along beaches and on tidal flats. These photos were made near Beaufort Inlet in late June, 2010.

The Semipalmated Plover resembles a small Killdeer, though it only has one neck ring.

These small shore birds nest on opne beaches and tidal flats in Canada and Alaska.

A low camera angle and slow, careful approach is key to making compelling photos of small shorebirds.

Posted in Wildlife Photography Also tagged , |