Jekyll Island #2

Another shot from my visit to Jekyll Island. We stopped off at this pier that is on St. Simons Sound looking west. There were porpoises or dolphins that were in the area fishing, a nice breeze and a gorgeous sunset. A great place to watch the end of the day. Nikon D800, 16mm/F4 lens, Singh Ray 3 stop ND grad filter, Manfrotto Tripod, Really Right Stuff Ball Head.
Sunset - St. Simons Sound, Jekyll Island, GA © Rob Loughrey

Jekyll Island Georgia

During a recent vacation in Florida, we stopped in Georgia to visit with some family. One of the evenings, we visited Jekyll Island State Park on the Atlantic coast. Jekyll Island is a small piece of land just outside of Brunswick which has much to offer. I did a quick view of the island on Google Earth to see what Photography opportunities there could be on the beach. I typically look for piers, rocks, lighthouses …etc. I saw on the ocean side of the island, there are quite a few trees that were part of the beach landscape.  After bringing it up with My wife’s cousin Angie she replied that they refer to it as driftwood beach. I would imagine that years ago, the island’s footprint was propably much larger and these trees were not growing out on the beach as it shows in the aerial image. We arrived on the island just as the sunset was approaching and made the short walk from a parking area out to the beach. Talk about an amazing view! The tide was high during our visit and was quite rough as well. We weren’t able to venture out onto the beach because. Why? Well, there wasn’t one with the high tide. The waves were crashing in right up to the small patch of woods.  I spent about 30-45 minutes capturing different compositions. I got down low and composed my shot with an old stump in the foreground. Several times during the shot, I had to retreat from the crashing waves to keep from loosing my camera and tripod. It was well worth the effort and I came away with a few images that I was happy with. Nikon D800, 16-35mm lens, Manfrotto tripod, Singh Ray Gold n Blue Polarizer.
Driftwood beach, Jekyll Island State Park, GA © Rob Loughrey

Favorite Places…

One of my favorite places to visit nearby is Great Falls National Park, just outside of Washington D.C. It is a stretch of the Potomac river that has some class 4 rapids and great scenery. You can visit the park from either the Maryland side or the Virginia side of the river. I have visited both sides of the park and they each have great views. The Maryland side has quite a long walk from the parking lot to the edge of the river. It is all the same level, walking on a boardwalk the entire length. The Virginia side is a much shorter walk from the parking lot and has a great view as well. Depending on what you are trying to capture in your photograph, will depend on what side of the river you visit. For me the VA side is great at Sunrise. The park doesn’t open until 5:30 am, so getting on location for the sunrise during the summer will make it difficult, since the sunrise is happening around that time. I prefer to go in the fall or spring when I can get there at park opening and get out to a spot to shoot while it is just twilight. If you do this, you will need a flashlight to find your way depending on where you setup. For this shot, I ventured out on some of the rocks North of the visitor viewing area. I will warn you, this is something that will get you fined if the Park Police catch you. Going beyond the signs that warn you of the potential hazards of venturing out onto the rocks is what the fine is for. I was not aware that you can get fined but was given a warning by one of the Park Rangers.  Why? It is to protect us from ourselves. It is extremely dangerous to climb out on the rocks on the rivers edge. If you slip and fall into the river, you will die, no questions. With that said – on this occasion, we had been in a drought for several months and the river was relatively low in comparison to normal times. I was able to get to an area near the edge without risking my life and get a couple of shots as the sun was getting ready to rise over the trees. Nikon D200, 12-24mm lens, Singh Ray LB Color Combo Polarizer. Hope you enjoy…

Potomac River Sunrise - Great Falls National Park, VA © Rob Loughrey

Around home…

I am a big fan of finding locations nearby your home that work for your style of photography. I scout out areas myself and often get suggestions of places to check out from friends. This location was suggested by a friend of mine who takes morning walks in the area. The Piney Orchard Nature Preserve is a 100 acre nature preserve that includes woodlands, wetlands, grassy fields, freshwater ponds and 5 miles of walking trails. The trails vary in length but are mostly from .02 – .07 miles long. You can find maps on-line and at the preserve that can help you decide which trails to take. The preserve is located on the southern end of the Piney Orchard Community of Odenton in Anne Arundel County. There is public parking to access the trails off of Riverscape Road. Trails include bike paths and walking trails. During mid June, the Lotus’ bloom each morning for about 2-3 weeks. If you haven’t seen this, I highly recommend checking it out. There are hundreds of lotuses in Duck Cove Pond at the nature preserve, making it quite a site when they all open up at once. Here are a couple of shots from one of my recent mornings. All shots taken with my Nikon D800, Manfrotto tripod, Really Right Stuff Ball Head and Singh Ray LB Color Combo Polarizing Filter.

Daybreak - Piney Orchard Nature Preserve © Rob Loughrey


Lotus flowers, Piney Orchard Nature Preserve © Rob Loughrey


Coastal Sunset

A sunset shot from ta trip to the Outer Banks, NC. I found this pier by searching google earth and The Photographers Ephemeris software. I have posted previously about what a valuable tool this software is. It allowed me to see that the sun would set directly down the middle of this dock while I was there. I also took some time to hop off of the pier down into the marsh to get a few shots. Something I don’t recommend unless you have some good bug spray or you are visiting in the winter time when the bugs are sparse. Looking forward to the next visit – I have already scouted out a few places to get some photos. Hope you enjoy…

Sunset over Pamlico Sound, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, NC. © Rob Loughrey

Pax River at night

During a trip to see family during the spring, I was out trying to get shots of the Panstars comet that was passing through our galaxy. I wasn’t able to go somewhere like the mountains of West Virginia to get away from the light pollution around here, so I had to make the best of it. I searched the internet for information on how to locate the comet and used a set of binoculars. For the life of me, I couldn’t find the darn thing. I had to mark it up to too much light pollution because I did see other photographers in the midwest were able to get some great shots of it.
I didn’t want the night to be a total loss, so I took some images of the boat dock at Granny & Poppy’s house. I used a 24mm tilt shift lens and shifted the lens left to right to capture 3 images that I used Photoshop to create a panoramic image with. The process is pretty simple once you know what to do. Photoshop does all of the heavy lifting with stitching the frames together. I made some minor adjustments after that and exported the image. As you can see, I was able to catch a few stars in the upper portion of the image, but not many. Need to spend some time away from the light pollution. Nikon D800, 24mm PC lens, Manfrotto Tripod, Really Right Stuff Ball Head.

Hope you enjoy…

Patuxent River under the stars © Rob Loughrey

Gebera Daisy Shot

A quick shot from a couple months ago of some daisies in our yard. We regularly purchase Gerbera Daisies for the garden. I take advantage of having them in the pots for awhile before they get transferred to one of our flower beds. The good thing about them being in a pot is that I can put the flowers onto a table or on top of my bbq grille and get a unique angle on the flowers than what you are used to seeing. I am able to spin them around, put them in front of different backgrounds to give different looks to the images. I shot this with a telephoto lens 180mm at a relatively wide aperture to make sure the background was out of focus enough so that it didn’t distract. I believe I used F/5.6 to maintain a little bit of depth of field of the flower I was focusing on. Otherwise the image is more or less as it was shot with a little tonal adjustments and sharpening. For anyone out there with digital cameras other than the Nikon D800E (which I don’t have) you need to sharpen the images before printing through some type of software. If you don’t, the image will look too soft. Most camera manufacturers have a screen in front of the sensor that produces this lack of sharpness. This was shot with my Nikon D800, Tamron 180mm macro lens, Manfrotto Tripod & Really Right Stuff Ball Head.
Hope you enjoy…


Spring Gerbera Daisy - Anne Arundel County, MD © Rob Loughrey