When planning my trip, I was unsure about the Outer Banks. On one hand I thought there would be many photographic opportunities. On the other hand, I now live near the ocean. I thought that the Outer Banks might be redundant, offering the same sort of opportunities that I have at my new home. There’s not much point to travelling when you can just take the same type of photos at home. After three days, I had my answer. While still ocean and sandy beaches, the Outer Banks have some marvelous opportunities that are quite different from South Carolina. I never felt like I was duplicating my efforts. For the last bit of time in North Carolina, I decided to focus my efforts on landscapes and left my wildlife lenses inside the car.
One piece of advice everyone tells you about photography is to photograph at sunrise and sunset. That is when the light can be low and soft enough to illuminate the subtle texture of the dunes. But clouds quickly rolled over the sky and the light was no longer giving shadows to the texture. There are plenty of ways to show texture and shape in sand. With the soft mellow light, you need to resort to something else. Sand isn’t all the same color nor the same size. The wind will act differently on the different sizes of sand, creating patterns of color which outline the texture that is in the sand. Clumps of vegetation will push aside the wind as well as adding shape. These elements are working together here to give these dunes shape, depth, and texture.
The sun came back out from the clouds, but by this time the light was a bit harsh. In such cases, concentrating on detail can be fruitful. There were some amazing light and dark ripples in the sand. When I found the footprints of a mouse breaking the yin and yang of these ripples, it was just the kind of thing I had been hoping for.
Always changing, the clouds gathered again. This time, the sun shone through over the point. Storms and changing weather often offer the best light, and it can be good at any time of day.
I have a mental list of somewhere around… 1000 or so photographs that I’m dying to make. These are photographs that I’m always looking for an opportunity for, but haven’t yet gone out of my way to hunt down. One of these photos is the surf pushing up onto a gorgeous shell. I couldn’t find the right the shell on the beach, nor the right situation, but there were some shells. It was enough that I couldn’t resist 🙂
After leaving Cape Hatteras for the final time, it was time to head north. Storm clouds brewed once more and I pulled the car over the side of the road for one last photograph from the Outer Banks. It was going to be many hours before we arrive at our next stop.