Sidney Lanier Bridge and morning fog

This is another shot of the Sidney Lanier Bridge on the Brunswick River. This river is the outlet to the Saint Simons Sound just outside of Brunswick, Georgia. I spent the morning on the beach at Jekyll Island and then headed over to the North Bank of the river adjacent to the bridge. The location where I shot the image used to be a ship manufacturing port during WWII, where they built “Liberty” Cargo ships. You can see in the image that there are concrete ramp beams that dive down into the river. This is where actual “Liberty Ships” were built and launched during the 1940’s. During the recent rise of the real estate market, a real estate developer tagged the location as “Liberty Harbor” and was constructing a waterfront neighborhood at this location. The model home was finished and the real estate market crashed – sending Liberty Harbor to the history books along with the shipyard. The model home still stands right behind where I was located in the shadow of the bridge, but it beginning to deteriorate and has been plagued with vandalism as well.
On this morning, I had a good amount of seasonal fog rolling through the tidal waters obscuring the bridge for a long period of time. I spent a good hour at this location watching the fog pass through allowing me to capture different images of bridge and river. I waited long enough for the fog to begin to break but was still diffusing the rising sun enough for the picture to work. Hope you enjoy…

Sidney Lanier Bridge and fog - Brunswick, Georgia © Rob Loughrey

The details…

Do you ever go somewhere and take some pictures and then look at them later and say to yourself – this really doesn’t do it justice? I’m not afraid to admit it. Photography is a means to help people experience what you did when you picked up your camera and decided to capture an image. It has taken me years to get to a point where I feel I can convey the experience of being there in my photography. One thing that helps me is to stop for a minute and look around at the scene. Take it all in and look for the details that moved you in the first place. Capture the small things that surround you. It is all part of the experience. These 3 images were all taken within a short distance of one another. The first – I was on a hill driving down a farm road, looking toward the sun. I used a wide angle lens and captured the vast expanse of the farm land. Second image, I zoomed in a bit and focused on the fog and the way the sunrise was lighting it up. I drove a little further down the road along the fields where the fog was rolling through and looked at the details. The fence, the field and trees bring it all together for me. When you are out taking images, pay attention to the details & capture them. Hopefully it will help you grown in your craft as well.




Fall – my favorite season

I’m sure I am not alone in this, but I have to say that Fall or Autumn – which ever you term you choose – is my favorite of all seasons. For me  fall is one of the most intense times to view the landscape. For those of you who haven’t heard this before – I am color deficient or Red/Green Color Blind as some people would like to say. Keeping this in mind, I can only imagine what the trees look like to everyone else – since I know I am looking at it from a different perspective. There have been times when I look at the sky morning or evening twilight and ask someone what color the see. Often times, they tell me it is a beautiful pink or purple. Unfortunately it is normally grey to me at those times, fading into a blue or orange. I don’t do well with pink and I really don’t see purple at all. Even so, fall has a great deal to offer in the color spectrum for any of us. The sunrise and sunset times are perfect for me while I driving to work each morning. I can drop off my son at school and stop off to snap a few sunrise shots in the morning and still make it to work on time. For a 6 week period between mid September and the end of October, the weather changing also comes with matching temp and dew points. This usually means fog in the low lying fields or over water. Here are is a shot of one of my favorite haunts in Anne Arundel County. Shot as the sun was cresting over the trees, lighting the fog like a scene out of a movie. The winding road into the sunrise just really grabbed my attention. Mornings like this are why I love going out and capturing images and spending time in this amazing world. More to follow…
Daybreak at MD Sunrise Farms © Rob Loughrey

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

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


Every photo has a story…

While stationed in Edzell, I became the base photographer working out of my normal job. That is a different story in itself that I wont go into here. The sunrises and sunsets in Scotland were often spectacular. The cloud cover in the UK almost never goes away, but it doesn’t wrap around the entire globe, so at some point when the sun is rising or setting, there is a gap for the sunlight to break through and bounce

Sunrise - RAF Edzell Scotland © Rob Loughrey

While stationed in Edzell, I became the base photographer working out of my normal job. That is a different story in itself that I wont go into here. The sunrises and sunsets in Scotland were often spectacular. The cloud cover in the UK almost never goes away, but it doesn’t wrap around the entire globe, so at some point when the sun is rising or setting, Continue reading “Every photo has a story…”

Foggy spring morning

Visiting one of my favorite locations on the way to work. I left a little early to make sure I had enough time to catch the clouds before dawn.
The air was very still, I could hear the snow geese taking flight. The low clouds were really lighting up from the rising sun. The scene only lasted for about 5 min before it was gone.

Great morning to be out – I’m glad I didn’t miss it.


Fire clouds and fog - Gambrills, MD © Rob Loughrey

Wednesday Panoramic

Picking up right where we left off from yesterday’s post – the sun was really lighting up a small section of the clouds while the fog lifted on the farm. I was looking all around at the clouds moving by and the sky opening up. After I shot the tight image of the barn, I quickly changed to a 24mm tilt shift lens, which I often use for Panoramic’s. I adjust the lens to shift horizontally and line it up for the shot. I usually place my focal point to the left or right using the rule of thirds. I then adjust my exposure and shift the lens horizontally across the scene. After I get the shots, I bring them into Photoshop and merge them into a Panoramic. This process has become so simple in Photoshop it is almost criminal. After I merge the 3 images together, I make my typical post-processing adjustments. Mainly taking care of the image sensor and dust spots, contrast and some saturation adjustments. After a short period – I am able to export the final image. I was pretty lucky to capture this with changing the lens and getting it lined up for a pano with how rapidly the light changed. Hope you enjoy…
Sunrise Panoramic - Naval Academy Dairy Farm, Gambrills, MD © Rob Loughrey

Tuesday inspiration

A quick sunrise shot from one of my favorite haunts, the Naval Academy Dairy Farm. I took this shot on a recent morning on my way into work (big surprise). During a period of the fall and winter the sunrise is happening after I drop off my son at school. Making it very convenient for me to steal 15 minutes of my day grabbing a few exposures. I shot this exposure with my 80-200mm zoom. Then quickly changed lenses to capture  a panoramic exposure of the field, barn and sunrise as well. I will post that image later in the week. Hope you enjoy…
Dairy Farm Sunrise, Gambrills, MD © Rob Loughrey