I realized this morning that today is the date of our retirement 2 years ago…time flies when you’re having fun! It’s amazing to realize that it has been two years. We’ve been very glad that we over-reached a bit on our travel through the first 21 or so months, since we’ve been making up for it the last few months.
The photo is from 2006, recently processed in Lightroom using more “modern” tools.
A technique that I love to use at the beach is motion blur. This can take the form of long shutter speeds on a tripod, or panning the camera along the scene or with a moving wave. It can convey a feeling of motion, simplify a busy scene or just look “pretty.” It doesn’t work just anywhere, and I’ve become pretty good about knowing when to use it.
I hadn’t tried using motion blur much this trip until I was reminded of it in a recent Instagram post by William Neill. Bill originally inspired me to try using motion blur years ago, and his work continues to inspire me.
Last night while we waited to see if the moonrise would be visible, I tried using a slow shutter speed on the water, the sky and even some sea oats blowing in the wind. A few of them came out OK, so I thought I would share.
As a general rule, I have gravitated away from trying to chase sunsets per se, as more often than not I end up waiting around for something that doesn’t happen. I do enjoy spending time on a beach that faces away from the sunset, as the soft light on the water is often conducive to the motion blur photos I have become so fond of.
Back in early November, Kathy & I visited Belhaven, NC. One of our frequent destinations, we often use the location as a jumping off point for trips around the eastern part of the state, looking for fishing boats, old barns or sometimes waterfowl.
For some reason though, I often find it worth my time to be “out” for sunset in Belhaven. Something there just causes the conditions to be good for great color. The downside is that there is not a lot of variety for foregrounds. There are a few docks, but they are all on private property and I tend to respect that. I do have a nice sunrise place where I have gotten permission from the owner to use her place when I am in town, and that has proven to be a good spot.
The great thing about sunset in Belhaven is that the bed & breakfast we stay at is on Water Street, so it’s easy to head out the door, grab my gear from the car and head across the street to the waterfront. For the last several years I have used the back yard of an unoccupied house as my staging area, and that is the place I have taken most of my sunset photos in Belhaven.
During our recent visit I found out that this house was recently sold. I met the new owner, and he seems like a real nice guy, but I’m not sure I will be able to keep using his yard for my photos. The next time I go there I’m planning to take him a couple of prints as a goodwill gesture, and hopefully he’ll grant me a perpetual pass to use his place. We’ll just have to see.
So what’s the deal with these posts? I assume that they are leftover from a long-abandoned dock, and eventually someone is either going to build a new dock or just pull out these posts. Something about them calls my name, and every time I go there I end up shooting at least a few frames of them. They make interesting subject matter, to me at least.
I hope you enjoy this selection of sunset photos from Belhaven, North Carolina!
This month’s photo was my second choice for last month’s wallpaper, and I liked it so much I decided to run it for May. Plus there is an added bonus of getting to tease my friend Kevin W. who made the mistake of telling me that he was homesick for the NC mountains and that my photos made him more so. Come on back, Kevin!
Amazingly, this photo was taken just 4 1/2 minutes after the photo I used for last month’s calendar. Looking west from Waterrock Knob, out over Cherokee and the Oconoluftee River toward the crest of the Smokies, this is one of my favorite views. Not as famous (or as crowded) as some other sunset spots, I like it because I can practically shoot out of my car, and there are facilities nearby!
In the months and years after I took this photo, the view started to get overgrown with trees and brush. Until the Park Service recently cleared some of the overgrowth, it had gotten to the point that there were very few vantage points for a good sunset view. I’ve been back a few times recently, but the conditions haven’t been cooperative. But it’s a place I return to often, and one day I’ll get my next Waterrock Knob sunset. Maybe soon!
I know I’ve been a little quiet lately, but I’ve got some non-photographic backlog to get through and I’ll be back. That’s a promise!