The Outer Banks of North Carolina is a landscape photography paradise. I arrived at my hotel after a seven hour drive from Philadelphia excited for four days dedicated to photography. Mother nature had other plans as a huge storm languished just off the coast. The storm would batter the coastline with high winds, driving rain and significant cloud cover. My visions of vivid sunrises and sunsets on the beach were certainly dashed. I scrapped all of my detailed plans and adopted an optimistic attitude to photograph the locations I planned to see and tell the story of the conditions.
The Bodie Island lighthouse is an iconic location on the Roanoke peninsula which was first lit in October of 1872. The lighthouse stands 156 feet tall and is painted with a striking black and white pattern. The rain reduced to a light drizzle while the clouds showed signs of breaking up and allowing some blue sky to peak through. It was late morning and crowds of tourists were walking the grounds admiring the lighthouse. I knew I would have to get creative to capture a compelling photo, which told the story of the day, while avoiding interference from the crowd of tourists.
A few hundred yards away from the lighthouse is a boardwalk and large observation deck. I decided that a strong composition combined with a long exposure could make a dramatic black and white capture of the scene. I framed a composition I was happy with and set my ND filters to establish a 36 second exposure. I timed my shutter clicks between sets of tourists on the boardwalk and anxiously awaited for the exposure to finish. You don’t always have to photograph in perfect golden hour conditions to create a compelling image. Sometimes it's best to use your creativity to use the conditions you are presented with to tell the story of the scene in front of you.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor