Tag Archives: photos

Starfish on the Beach

Sometimes it’s fun to visit the local gift shops, select an object and use that as a prop for a photo session. This evening I decided to spend a little time photographing a starfish on the beach. I hope you enjoy the results.

Starfish on the beach.


Natural props, such as whelk shells or starfish, can be fun photographic subjects.

Starfish and whelk shell on the beach.

outer banks photos

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A Handsome Dark Stallion on the Tidal Flats

I made a trip to the Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve yesterday evening. My goal, as it often is, was to photograph a few of the horses in the golden evening light. I found one of my favorite wild horses out on the tidal flats and spent a bit of time photographing him. Below are some of the resulting images.

Wild Horse on the North Carolina coast

Wild Stallion on the tidal flats.

Wild horse photography.

Eastern North Carolina provides a setting for wild horse photography found nowhere else.

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Time the tides right and catch the wild horses out on the tidal flats at the Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve and you have the perfect opportunity to include some reflections in your composition. This location really is perfect for this technique and the visual rewards are high, or at least are in my opinion. Below are a few examples from a recent trip.

If you like what you see and you have the time this coming weekend, I do have a couple of spots open in my Wild Horses of the Crystal Coast workshop. This is one of the wonderful locations we’ll be visiting during the workshop. I’d love to have you join me on this, the last scheduled workshop of the summer.

Reflection can be a strong compositional tool.

This is the perfect location to make photos of wild horses that include reflection. Wild Horse of North Carolina's Crystal Coast

Wild horses are such beautiful animals.

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Sea Shells

I had fun playing with autumn leaves on a light box project. So much fun, in fact, that I decided to try it with some sea shells. While the leaves lay fairly flat on the light box surface, the shells are anything but flat. The addition of depth and the amazing textures found on shells made the project both a bit more challenging as well as a tad more enjoyable. Below are a couple iamges from the shoot.

Sea shells on a light table, an interesting photographic project. Sea shells and light.

Sea shells on a light table.

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Book Review: “The Great Smoky Mountains, Behind the Lens”

I just completed reading Richard Bernabe’s ebook, “The Great Smoky Mountains, Behind the Lens.” Richard is a South Carolina based photographer and a fellow member of the Carolinas Nature Photographers Association. His book presents twenty of his favorite photos from the Great Smoky Mountains and builds a chapter around each telling of his challenges, thought processes and memories involoved in the making of each. The book is well written and enjoyable, the photos lovely with the stories ranging from amusing to inspiring. If you’re a nature & wildlife photographer you’re bound to be able to relate to the wonderful stories told in the book. On the other hand if you’re someone that enjoys viewing nature photos but isn’t a photographer you may be fascinated to learn of some of efforts and hardships involved in making these kinds of images. To check it out visit Richard’s website: http://www.richardbernabe.com/behind_the_lens_smokies.htm.

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Wild Horses of the Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve

Here’s a few shots from an early autumn morning visit to the reserve. All of these wild horse photos were taken from the cockpit of my kayak.

Wild horse on the Carolina Coast. The Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve has a small herd of wild horses.

Silhouette of a wild horse at sunrise. North Carolina wild mustang.

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Gulls: Easily Overlooked by Photographers

When you first visit or move to a coastal location you’re fascinated by these ever present birds. You see them everywhere and you’re awed by their grace in flight and willingness to beg for left-overs. However, if you’re a “native,” or after you’ve lived along the coast for a while, they become virtually invisible. Always present… always begging… not so affectionately referred to as “sky rats” by the locals. It’s easy to overlook them when you’re a nature photographer living on the coast. But the truth be told they’re not particularly ugly. They are graceful in flight. And lets face it, the sight of a gull truely does scream ocean, beach, water! Besides, the tourists love them too. Below are a few shots of a common sight around the Crystal Coast, Laughing Gulls. They are in their winter plummage.

A Laughing Gull sits on an oyster reef.

It's easy for photographers to overlook the lowly seagull.

A Laughing Gull flies above the Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve.

Laughing Gull in flight.

A seagull soars above the Crystal Coast.

Flying seagull.

Laughing Gull flies over Back Sound near Beaufort, NC.

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Camera Simulator: A Great Learning Tool.

I came across a link to this neat online photography educational tool while visiting the Carolinas Nature Photography Association’s member forums. If you’re somewhat new to photography or are used to point and shoot cameras rather than the Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras that the pros use this is a wonderful learning tool. By adjusting camera mode (aperature priority, shutter priority or manual modes)and/or adjusting the various settings then clicking with your mouse you can see how your selections affect the final photo. It’s a great tool for learing the relationships between shutter speed, aperature, and ISO. You can even choose to “use a tripod” and see how that affects the image. I’d highly recommend this for novice photographers, use in photography classes and for anyone struggling with these relationships. The best part, it’s free! Visit the Camera Simulator here.

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Negative Space as a Compositional Tool in Wild Horse Photography

As nature photographers we’re usually scrambling to fill the frame with as much of the animal we’re shooting as possible. But Negative space… leaving the animal somewhat small in the frame… can be a powerful compositional tool. With a subject like the wild horses it’s important to include some environment in most of their photos. Without the environmental cues, afterall, does a wild horse really look that different than a domestic one? While I certainly enjoy a nice, close-up and intimate look at wildlife, I also enjoy these more environmental presentations. Take a look and see what you think.

Negative space can be a strong compositional tool. Without environmental elements how can a viewer tell a wild horse from a domestic one.

Big skies and open spaces just scream wild places. Never underestimate the power of negative space in designing a photograph.

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I’m Not a Bug Guy

I’m not a bug guy so when I tell you the images below are of a Long Tailed Skipper keep that in mind. I could easily have the identification totally wrong. Also, since bugs aren’t my thing, I wouldn’t offer these as great examples of what macro photos of butterfiles and moths should look like. They’re what I like… some soft focus areas, aka selective focus. I suspect that “bug guys” would want a more documentary shot with the entire, or at least most of the animal in focus. I didn’t shoot these to illustrate textbooks or encyclopedias. I shot them to please myself.

When you think about it that’s exactly what photographers should be doing… expressing themselves. The exception, of course, is when creating a commissioned work or while on assignment. Also, those striving to sell their works as fine art or for editorial uses do need to keep in mind what sells. But even then, you have to stretch your artisitc legs from time to time and make images that make you happy. If it isn’t fun… if you can’t express your vision, what’s the point?

I give you a Long Tailed Skipper (maybe) as photographed by a non-bug guy:

I'm not a but bug guy but I do find them interesting.

Long Tailed Skipper

This may not be the correct way to photograph a Long Tailed Skipper but I like it.

Selective focus is something I enjoy on macro photos.

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