Monochrome Memorial Day Monday

I especially enjoy the “unveiling” experience when switch a composition from color to black and white. Shapes, textures, lines, patterns and their supporting monochrome tonalities are elevated to a higher-level, often embellishing, or presenting a totally new composition. That was mostly the experience with this series of compositions from a recent visit to my local farmer’s market.

Portulaca Flower Composition
Portulaca Flower Composition

In the image above, I started with a sepia tone look, but quickly found a bit of subtle color was needed to bring alive the red Portulaca flowers. For those who follow my blog, this is one of my common monochrome workflows, which usually ends with a vintage Kodachrome slide film emulation with Alien Skin’s Exposure X3.

Coleus Plant Composition 2
Coleus Plant Composition 2

The Coleus composition above was a noteworthy because of the intense experimentation with red, orange, yellow and green luminosity value combinations. With some patience you can usually enhance patterns and extend the tonal range. This image had the “fattest” histogram of them all.

Juniper Detail Composition
Juniper Detail Composition
Arabis Flower Composition
Arabis Flower Composition
Coleus Plant Composition 1
Coleus Plant Composition 1
Coleus Plant Composition 3
Coleus Plant Composition 3

For the best viewing experience, including really seeing the gorgeous textures in this series, click on an image to see a high resolution version. On this U.S. Memorial Day, I’d like to personally thank my fellow countrymen, and their families, who serve, or have served in our Armed Services.

Cheers!

C. S.

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Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Study, pt 2

For the image below, I patiently waiting about 30 minutes after sunset for the photocell in the lighthouse to finally turned on the lighthouse beacon. Yep, the kerosene lamp and Fresnel lens were replaced back around 1934.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Twilight Composition
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Twilight Composition

The remaining images in this post, along with most in the previous post, were captured the following day when my Scout Troop visited the Cape Hatteras National Seashore park. Because I usually linger to get the best shot, they’ve learned not to wait on me.

Hatteras Lighthouse Spiral Staircase 2
Hatteras Lighthouse Spiral Staircase 2

Because of high winds, I was only able to lean outside the door to the lighthouse balcony. If you look at the image below, along the right side of the horizon line, you can see the breakers along the leading edge of the Diamond Shoals mentioned in the previous post. For a better view of this image, or any other image in this post, click to see a high resolution version.

Hatteras Lighthouse Balcony View - Color
Hatteras Lighthouse Balcony View – Color
Hatteras Lighthouse Window Composition 3
Hatteras Lighthouse Window Composition 3

The steel and wood groin shown below, was a last ditch effort to save the lighthouse. Sand is captured on the updrift side, in this case on the left side, at the expense of lost sand deposits on the right (downdrift) side. No that the Hatteras Lighthouse has been moved further away from the seashore, I wonder if this groin will be removed, or left to deteriorate over time.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Groin Composition 1
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Groin Composition 1
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Groin Composition 2
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Groin Composition 2

Thank you for stopping by today. If you liked these images, be sure to checkout the previous Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Study post.

Cheers,

C. S.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Study, pt 1

At 210 ft tall, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest brick lighthouse in the United States, and second tallest in the world. Just off the cape, the warmer Gulf Stream collides with the colder Labrador Current creating shifting sandbars and powerful ocean storms. The resulting Diamond Shoals and surrounding areas have claimed over 5000 ships and countless lives.

Hatteras Lighthouse Sandscape
Hatteras Lighthouse Sandscape

Since 1871, in it’s second incarnation, the lighthouse has helped mariners navigate around these treacherous waters. By the 1990s however, the encroaching sea was just 15 feet, (4.6 m) from the lighthouse foundation. In 1999, the structure was moved 2,990 ft (880 m) and is now 1,500 ft, (460 m) from the current shoreline.

Hatteras Double Keepers' Quarters Composition
Hatteras Double Keepers’ Quarters Composition

During my exploration and study of the lighthouse interior, I sent members of my Scout party ahead with direction not to wait on me. I intended to use two legs of my tripod along with the wall or railing to squeeze out a few additional stops of depth of field. Unfortunately, tripods are not allowed inside the lighthouse. Keeping my ISO between 800 and 1200, I was able to get satisfactory captures with my Tamron 15mm-30mm wide angle at f2.8.

Hatteras Lighthouse Spiral Staircase 1
Hatteras Lighthouse Spiral Staircase 1
Hatteras Lighthouse Window Composition 1
Hatteras Lighthouse Window Composition 1
Hatteras Lighthouse Window Composition 2
Hatteras Lighthouse Window Composition 2

I have several additional compositions from Cape Hatteras to share in my next post. Click on an image to see the high resolution versions of this iconic structure. Have a great week!

Cheers,

C. S.

Yellow Thistle Shop of Horrors

When I first encountered these Yellow thistle plants near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, I was immediately reminded of the “Audrey II”, the alien man-eating plant from The Little Shop of Horrors movie.  The plant is a contradiction of exotic beauty and menacing horror. 

Yellow Thistle Monochrome 1
Yellow Thistle Monochrome 1 – Thistle Landscape

Interestingly, the Yellow Thistle’s genus- species name is Cirsium horridulum.  In several states, Cirsium are considered noxious weeds, while others states have designated it as an endangered or threatened species.

Yellow Thistle Color 1
Yellow Thistle Color 1 – Looking at You

In my state of North Carolina, the thistle is relatively common in the coastal plains and is know to initially flourish were the ground has recently been disturbed.  Over time, the thistle gives way to other plants who establish themselves with permanence.  I found evidence of this with numerous thistles thriving along the 2,900 foot strip of land where in 1999, the lighthouse was moved inland away from the encroaching sea.

Yellow Thistle Monochrome 2
Yellow Thistle Monochrome 2 – Alien Encounter
Yellow Thistle Color 2
Yellow Thistle Color 2 – Audrey II

Thanks for “sticking” around for this post! To best appreciate the prickly detail in these thistles, click on an image to view the high resolution version.

Cheers,

C. S.

Monochrome Monday: Oregon Inlet Life Saving Station

Known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic, the treacherous Diamond Shoals just of the coast of Hatteras Island, North Carolina, have claimed over 5,000 ships and untold lives since record keeping began in the 1526, In response to public outcry after two tragic ship wrecks in 1878, the US Treasury Department  finally funded a series of Live Saving Stations along the North Carolina Outer Banks. The new Oregon Inlet Life Saving Station was built on the South Point in 1988 to replace the deteriorating previous North Point station built in 1898.

Oregon Inlet Life Saving Station 1
Oregon Inlet Life Saving Station 1
Oregon Inlet Station Abstract
Oregon Inlet Station Abstract
Oregon Inlet Trail 1
Oregon Inlet Trail 1
Oregon Inlet Trail 2
Oregon Inlet Trail 2

Thank you for stopping by! For the best viewing experience, click to see a high resolution version of each composition.

Cheers,

C. S.

Outer Banks, NC, Oregon Inlet Saltwater Fly Fishing

South of Nags Head, North Carolina, the Herbert C Bonner Bridge crosses over the Oregon Inlet to connect the Northern Outer Banks to Hatteras Island. The Oregon Inlet is known as on of the best saltwater fly fishing spots in the Outer Banks.

Oregon Inlet Saltwater Fly Fishing 2
Oregon Inlet Saltwater Fly Fishing 2
Oregon Inlet Saltwater Fly Fishing 1
Oregon Inlet Saltwater Fly Fishing 1

For the best viewing experience, click to see the high resolution version.

Cheers,

C. S.