Monochrome Monday: Oak Island Farwell

As the fall air turns cooler here in the Southeastern US, I’m posting this last batch of monochrome compositions from my visit last summer to Oak Island, North Carolina.

Ocean Crest Fishing Pier Sunset Composition 3
Ocean Crest Fishing Pier Sunset Composition 3
Oak Island Pelican Patrol 2
Oak Island Pelican Patrol 2
Oak Island Lighthouse Boardwalk
Oak Island Lighthouse Boardwalk
Oak Island Lighthouse Late Afternoon 1
Oak Island Lighthouse Late Afternoon 1
Pelican Dive 1
Pelican Dive 1

Cheers,

C. S.

Monochrome Monday: Hilton Head Island, pt 2

My next set of photos from my recent visit to Hilton Head Island.

Cat and Dogs on Bass Head Beach
Cat and Dogs on Bass Head Beach
Shipyard Dr Pond Composition 1
Shipyard Dr. Pond Composition 1
Water Bird Congregation on Hilton Head Island
Waterbird Congregation on Hilton Head Island
South Beach Marina Fog Composition 1

For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view a high resolution version.

Cheers!

C, S,

Monochrome Monday: Hilton Head Island

Last week my wife and I joined some friends for several days on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. This was my first visit to the island. I expected a commercially overdeveloped landscape, like many other popular beach destinations in North & South Carolina. To my surprise, local ordinances have subdued commercialization and preserved much of the island’s natural beauty.

Palmetto Tree and Beach Composition 1
Palmetto Tree and Beach Composition 1

When visiting a new location, I always take an interest in understanding the local history, culture and biodiversity. As my youngest son attends the University of South Carolina, I knew the SC was known as the Palmetto State. Before my trip, I would have identified the two trees below as two separate species. They are actually both Palmettos (Sabal Palm) trees. Palmettos loose their weaved “boot” barking once they mature.

Two Palmettos Composition
Two Palmettos Composition
Calibogue Sound Fog Composition 2
Calibogue Sound Fog Composition 2

The numerous stately live oaks, imbued with Spanish moss and reconstruction ferns, contribute to the island’s natural charm. The weather was overcast most of the week, but I’ve found such weather quite an opportunity for photography.

Live Oak and Spanish Moss Composition 1
Live Oak and Spanish Moss Composition 1
Calibogue Sound Fog Composition 3
Calibogue Sound Fog Composition 3
Live Oak and Reconstruction Fern Detail 1
Live Oak and Reconstruction Fern Detail 1

Thank you for visiting and please stay safe! For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view a high resolution version.

Cheers,

C. S.

Indian Blanket Flower Compositions

Growing up, I recall avoiding the Blanket Flower (Gaillardia pulchella) as I walked to and from the Carolina’s various beaches.  The dried, spiked seed-heads were almost as painful as the dreaded sandspur when stepped on with bare feet!  But now, I more appreciate their beauty and genetic diversity.  I’m considering planting them near my water garden.

Indian Blanket Flower Composition 2
Indian Blanket Flower Composition 2

These specimens are from my recent vacation to Ocean Isle Beach.  I decided to try a monochrome version of the the first composition above.  I brought down the luminosity of oranges and reds to get an acceptable range of tonality mostly on the left flower, from the petal’s red base, out to the yellow tip.  I also lowered the luminosity of the greens to give the flowers a little more prominence.  I actually like this version as much as the color.

Indian Blanket Flower Composition 2 Monochrome
Indian Blanket Flower Composition 2 Monochrome

Indian Blanket Flower Composition 3
Indian Blanket Flower Composition 3

Indian Blanket Flower Composition 1
Indian Blanket Flower Composition 1

These images are best experienced by clicking on the image to view a high resolution version from my portfolio site.  Especially seeing the small spider on the left flower in the first two, and the bumble bee in the last.

Cheers!

C. S.

Dramatic Seascapes from Ocean Isle Beach Part 1, 2 pics

The east end of Ocean Isle Beach remains undeveloped and retains much of the characteristics of a southeastern US barrier island.  This seascape is forever changing, and each time I visit, there is some new to discover .  Below is a view of a tidal pool looking from the Intracostal Waterway side of the island back towards the seaward side.

Ocean Isle Beach Tide Pool Composition
Ocean Isle Beach Tide Pool Composition

 

Below is a sunrise view looking east towards Holden Beach, another North Carolina barrier island.

East Ocean Isle Beach Sunrise
East Ocean Isle Beach Sunrise

Thanks for taking time to view this post.  For the best viewing experience, click on an image to see a high resolution version from my portfolio site.

Cheers,

C. S.

Calabash!

Sum Day Shrimper Bow View
Sum Day Shrimper Bow View

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 Boat Netting 1
Shrimp Boat Netting 1

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.

Dock Ruin in the Marsh
Dock Ruin in the Marsh

Modern Roof Abstract
Modern Roof Abstract

Click on any image to see a higher resolution image from my portfolio site.  I’d also love to hear your feedback, please leave a comment.

Grayson Highlands, Virginia, Part I

My Scouts love to backpack in and around Grayson Highlands State Park, VA.  The location is part of the Mount Rogers National Recreational Area and the Jefferson National Forest.  Each time we backpack, I always bring my camera. On the trail, I’m always at the back of line taking pictures, or running ahead to catch our Scout Troop navigating the beautiful terrain.

Hemlock & Birch Tree Composition
Hemlock & Birch Tree Composition

Scientists tell us this area was considered an alpine forest during the last ice age. As the ice retreated, the alpine forest retreated to higher ground. A mix of evergreen firs, spruce and hemlocks mixed with Chestnut, Locust trees and mountain brush once covered the area. As a result of the great loss of the American Chestnut in the early 1900s, loggers came into the area to retrieve the dead trees for it valuable lumber. The impact of this event along with the well-drained rocky soil, weather, spruce-fir & hemlock loss to pests, acid rain, and wild ponies all contribute to this unique biome. The terrain is absolutely stunning, especially in the fall, offering a tremendous opportunity for beautiful natural photography.

The first photo, Hemlock & Birch Tree Composition, was taken just after sunrise in the early Fall.  It features a dead hemlock on the left with a live birch in front, on the right.  Only the green, and a slight amount of yellow, were left to highlight the lichen and add visual interest.  As usual, I processed the image with a Panatomic-X filter in Exposure 7 to add old school grain, contrast and character.

Ghost on the Ridgeline
Ghost on the Ridgeline

One of our most popular backpacking trail routes is along the Appalachian Trail (AT), briefly cutting through the top of the park before looping northward out of the park along the western edge of Wilburn Ridge. The next image, Ghost on the RIdgeline, was taken along the AT on the western approach to Wilburn Ridge.  It represents one of my favorite shots from Grayson Highlands.  This dead, lichen covered hemlock appears as a ghost haunting the ridgeline along the dense, dark brush lining the rocky trail.  The smaller image in this post appears a little darker than the normal preview on my portfolio site.  Click on the image name to see a larger view from my site.

Locust Tree Composition
Locust Tree Composition

On a visit last September, I took Locust Tree Composition inside the park looking back at the western side of Wilburn Ridge.  At some level, this image reminds me of a stain-glass window.  Locust trees are to be respected, especially when you’re trying to tie your camping hammock between two of them after sunset!

I plan to have more images from Grayson Highlands next week.  I hope you enjoy.