Hatteras Island, North Carolina, USA by June Jarkey

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There is something special about the blue hour with the transition from day to night or night to day. Last year, I was staying on Hatteras Island along the Outer Banks of North Carolina and I decided to take advantage of this time of the day for photography. This particular evening, I was hoping for some dramatic clouds and a colorful sky at sunset but the clouds did not materialize. Instead, there was a beautiful sunset and blue hour.

I looked for a simple scene that would capture the quietness and peacefulness of the fading light and vastness of the ocean and I decided to photograph this pier. I used a tripod which was definitely needed for the 10 second exposure. I played around with different compositions where I included more of the pier and gazebo but I liked this image the best with its simple lines and emphasis on the water and sky. Due to the approaching darkness, the exposure was long enough to smooth out most of the movement of the water which I felt helped increase the mood of the photo. The original image was slightly under exposed, so in post-production I increased the exposure to bring out more detail in the water and brighten the sky.

Most of Hatteras Island is part of Cape Hatteras National Seashore which is a popular location for various recreational activities including fishing, surfing and quiet beaches. It has numerous photography opportunities including sand dunes, docks, beaches, sea birds, and lighthouses. It’s a great place to visit and photograph.

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