From its humble beginnings as a gathering spot for local oyster roasts in the 1930s, Calabash has become a sought out destination by Carolina beach vacationers in search of great southern seafood. Later in the 1940s locals begin offering fresh fish soaked in evaporated milk, then breaded with cornmeal (with salt & pepper added) and finally fried up to a golden perfection. Locals couldn’t get enough, word spread and soon a local legend was born.
Shrimp boats and fishing charters bring fresh seafood daily to the row of restaurants who back right up to the docks. My usual is the seafood platter featuring fresh shrimp, flounder and crab. Yummy! While vacationing in nearby Ocean Isle in early July, I visited the area with my camera to take in the great views. In addition to images from the docks, I also found a great dock ruin in a nearby waterway, and a cool architectural abstract.
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Last June I captured this beautiful creature at Ocean Isle Beach, NC on the last night of my vacation. Typically, I’m not very found of these federally protected birds. You see, back home in High Point, they occasionally visit my koi pond looking for an easy catch. Earlier this week, I finally got around to spending time with this image — Blue Heron Silhouette.
During processing, I pushed the clarity and contrast to slightly abstract the image. Though the result was pleasing, I felt more abstraction would be better on such a visually compelling image. So the decision was made to further process the image in Alien Skin’s Snap Art software.
In the past I’ve favored the impasto oil painting effects. However, for this image I did not want the thicker paint highlight effect, which can distract from the image when a small brush size is used along with shorter brush strokes. Instead, I used a standard oil painting setting and modified the brush characteristics as mentioned above. The smaller brush size also helps maintain enough detail of the original image, without needing to over do the photo-realism setting.
I’ve included a detail of the image so the brush work and canvas texture can be seen. I was tempted several times to increase color saturation, but kept coming back to the current settings. This specific heron is welcome around my house!