Long exposure sunrise

Here is a quick shot of the Avon Pier at dawn. I put together this pano image from 3 pictures that were 20 sec each. The ocean was crashing in, the stars will still out and the sun was starting to color the eastern sky. Incidentally, we could not see the color ourselves. When I looked at my LCD on the back of my camera, I saw how much color was present in the long exposure. There were only a few people out on the beach. It made for a great morning…

Avon Sunrise, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, NC © Rob Loughrey

Into the night sky

Continuing on from my last post, I finished up at the dock on the Pamlico Sound. I went back to the beach house and got everyone ready for a planned outing on the beach to hang out by a camp fire and do some stargazing. The sky was so clear during each night that even while walking from the beach house to the beach, we could see the Milky Way. We stayed out on the beach for awhile and little by little each of the kids and family members headed back for the night. As time went by, more and more lights were turned off reducing the light pollution. The display of stars after darkness sets in and your eyes adjust is just unbelievable. We checked the NASA website and were able to see the International Space Station cruise by, saw several satellites and many meteors with the Perseids Meteor Shower starting up towards the end of the week. It really makes you think about how small we really are in the scheme of our Solar System and Galaxy. After midnight, it was just my brother and I out there for hours.  You can check out his work at bplimagedesign.com
Here is the first photo I shot showing the Milky Way. Nikon D800, 16mm lens, 18 sec @ F4, ISO2000 & Tripod.

An abundance of stars - Cape Hatteras National Seashore, NC © Rob Loughrey

After the sunset…

A quick follow up from my previous post…
I always stay in a location for a good amount of time. To me that often means several hours of being in one location and working the scene. The light changes so much over time that it is almost like being in a new location after an hour goes by. Case in point – this photo is from the same coast line I was on during the last post while the sun set. I had walked out to the coast on the pier shown in this photo. While the sun was setting, I walked north along the marsh to a pier that was washed out except for the pilings. After the sun went down, I walked back to the pier and used it for several photos. I put on my Singh Ray Mor Slo 5 Stop ND and Gold & Blue Polarizer filters to make sure I had a good 25-30 Sec exposure. The Gold & Blue filter also help to enhance the colors. I love the long exposure look in coastal photographs. The water and clouds are blurred but your stationary elements are sharp. I think it gives the image such a different feel. In future posts, you will see how the landscape changes even more as the stars start to become visible…

Twilight - Cape Hatteras National Seashore © Rob Loughrey

Summer sunset

During a recent vacation to Hatteras Island, I went out on a few ventures during Sunrise, Sunset & a few all nighters out on the beach. The week we were there it was a new moon phase, which was great for night photography. The skies were clear nearly every night. It did make the sunsets a little less dramatic, but I made due the couple of nights I went out.
There are a number of places I have scoped out during previous trips that I like to go back to. One of the things I try to do each time is shoot a different angle or perspective of the scene. I am also a stickler to make sure that I don’t have intersecting lines if I can avoid it. What I mean by this is I try to make sure foregroud elements don’t overlap with middle ground elements, or that elements in the middle of the image don’t intersect with the horizon. To me, these are distractions. Maybe no one else notices it but I think it makes for a stronger image when you can accomplish this. At times I have to raise or lower my point of view, stand on a tree stump, climb on rocks …etc. Whatever I can do get the right angle. I take a test shot and then review the image on my camera, zoomed in and looking at each of the areas to make sure there aren’t any distractions.

This is a shot from the Pamlico Sound side as the sun was setting. Calm waters and a slight breeze, it was a great sunset.


Summer Sunset - Pamlico Sound - Cape Hatteras National Seashore, NC © Rob Loughrey

The Magic of Disney

Back in June we had a family trip to Orlando where we took the kids to Disney, Epcot, MGM …etc. The first night we arrived in town, we headed to the Magic Kingdom for the fireworks show. I have to say, it was pretty impressive for something they do every night. It wasn’t a NYC 4th of July show or anything like that, but it was a good 45 min show for the kids to enjoy. Unless Disney also owns its own Fireworks manufacturing company, they shell out a good deal of money per year to do this. I found a location off the beaten path and setup my camera with a bracket attached to one of the iron fences. Unless you have the park all to yourself, it is impossible to get to a vantage point where you are head on with the castle. Unfortunately, I had some trees blocking my view of part of the castle. I didn’t bring my tripod with me, so I made due with a clamp and Bogen magic arm and attached it to a portion of fence along the path. It worked fine for holding up my camera and keeping it steady during my 5 second exposures. Even though I wasn’t head on with the castle, I still like how the image turned out.
Hope you enjoy…


Magic Kingdom Fireworks - © Rob Loughrey