Craggy Gardens Sunset

I felt this sunset from the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center deserved its own post. Setup on my tripod, over the course of 20 minutes, I shot 24, 3 stop bracketed sets, for a total of 72 images. Back during my film days, I obviously would have had to been a bit more judicious and disciplined in the number sets shot. Here I was afforded the benefit to pick the best image featuring the cloud and sun positions, and sun ray impacts streaming through the mountains into the valley.

Craggy Gardens Sunset 1
Craggy Gardens Sunset 1

Post processing includes some dehazing, a little HDR processing, and color correction. Much more to come in future posts of my wonderful visit to Craggy Gardens – so much to see! For the best viewing experience, click to see the high resolution version.

Everyone stay safe!

Cheers,

C. S.

Romare Bearden Park Cityscapes

Named after the Charlotte born African-American artist, Romare Bearden Park opened in in Uptown Charlotte  in August of 2013.   The 5.4 acre public park is located between S Church St and S Mint St.  Bearden worked in several types of media including oils, collages and cartoons across multiple styles from avant-garde, abstract expressionism, and social realism.

Romare Bearden Park Sunset 1
Romare Bearden Park Sunset 1

I approached the park at the end of my late late afternoon stroll through the northeast Uptown district, just as sunset was transitioning into twilight. This series was photographed with my Nikon D750 and Tamron 15-30mm lens, and mefoto tripod. Post processing included initial Lightroom tweaks followed by multiple Photoshop layering workflows using Aurora HDR and Alien Skin Exposure X3.

Romare Bearden Park Twilight 1
Romare Bearden Park Twilight 1
Ghosts in the Fountain at Romare Bearden Park
Ghosts in the Fountain at Romare Bearden Park

To fully appreciate these compositions, click on an image to see the high resolution version from my portfolio site.

Cheers!

C. S.

Pamlico Sound Sunset

An hour before sunset, I had attempted to photograph windsurfers and
kiteboarders just north of Buxton on the North Carolina Outer Banks. Unfortunately there was no wind, no windsurfers and no kiteboarders. Fortunately though, I arrived back at our campsite in Frisco just in time to capture these wonderful sunset compositions looking west across the Pamlico Sound.

Pamlico Sound Sunset 1
Pamlico Sound Sunset 1

The eastern side of the Outer Banks is flanked by the Atlantic Ocean, while the western side is separated from the North Carolina mainland by the vast Pamlico Sound. Extending 80 miles (129 km) long and 15 to 20 miles (32 km ) wide, the Pamlico Sound is the largest lagoon on the North American East Coast.

Pamlico Sound Sunset 2
Pamlico Sound Sunset 2
Pamlico Sound Sunset 3
Pamlico Sound Sunset 3
Pamlico Sound Sunset 3 - Touching the Sun Detail
Pamlico Sound Sunset 3 – Touching the Sun Detail

To see these sunsets in their fullest glory, click to see the high resolution version.

Cheers!

C. S.

Twilight Cool!

During our family vacation at Ocean Isle Beach last July, we made our traditional sunset visit to the local pier.  I quickly noticed a different light characteristic than what I was used to.  The light was noticeably cooler.  Later I remembered this visit was a little later than usual, the sun had just set at the horizon.

Ocean Isle Beach West Sunset 1
Ocean Isle Beach West Twilight 1

As sunset approaches the kelvin temperature of light typically drops resulting in the “golden hour” light.  But after sunset, the kelvin temperature rise back up, cooling things off.  As in sunrise, this transition point offers a great range of color temperatures. Warm yellow and orange, sun touched tonality sits just above cooler magenta and purple tonality just out of reach of the sun’s rays.

Ocean Isle Beach West Twilight 2
Ocean Isle Beach West Twilight 2

Shooting at twilight required use of a much higher ISO, this series was shot between 2000 – 3200 ISO.  Though my Nikon D750 does a nice job with higher ISO noise reduction, this series still required some noise and moire reduction processing.  After applying an Ektachrome slide film emulation the remaining noise was seamlessly blended into the film grain structure.

Ocean Isle Beach West Twilight 3
Ocean Isle Beach West Twilight 3

Below, I included a 2015 photo of the same scene taken 20 minutes earlier in the day, just before sunset.  It’s a great example of the lighting change from just before sunset, to just after – twilight time.

Ocean Isle Beach West Sunset
Ocean Isle Beach West Sunset

For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view a high resolution version.  Thanks for taking time to view my photo blog!

Cheers,

C. S.

Monochrome Monday: Clamming at Low Tide

This kind lady from Shallotte, North Carolina graciously allowed me to photograph her as she raked for clams late in the afternoon, just after low tide, on the Intracostal Waterway in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina.

Clamming at Low Tide 1
Clamming at Low Tide 1

Clamming at Low Tide 2
Clamming at Low Tide 2

Have a great day!

C. S.

S.O.S. in the “not so” United States of America

Section 176.a. of the US Flag Code: The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.

On this 2018 Fourth of July our nation is in dire distress.  Political polarization is the worst I’ve seen in my lifetime.  Many believe the current divide is only surpassed by the Civil War era.  We are conflicted not only with one another, but within ourselves.

Dire Distress!
Dire Distress!

How do we stand for what we believe in, while following the example of Christ?  I don’t know.  My Dad would remind me “we are in the Love and Forgiveness Business”.   But, even those who profess to be Christian are splintering.  One day I’m furious at all the stupid people on the other side.  The next day, my heart is broken over so many broken and lost relationships.  Guess the only thing I can do is pray on this 2018 Fourth of July, for God to heal our broken relationships, nation and world.