I was down in the surf this morning trying to do some justice to a beautiful Nags Head sunrise. There was a stiff breeze making it unpleasantly cold. Eventually I backed away from the surf line to concentrate on the dunes, which were, thanks to wind and rain, repristinated—most of the tire-tracks effaced. Come have a look.

Figure 1: first thing. Tripod in the wet sand, longish exposure. The rule of a wide-angle lens is to get something in the foreground. I didn’t do that because I was focusing (heh) on just getting the exposure right. ISO 100 plus low light meant long exposures and thus somewhat fuzzy waves. I do like the shloggs of foam as the waves recede.

Figure 1. Nags Head sunrise. Photo: author.

Figure 2: I turned the camera to portrait mode but got so much sky I cropped down to a square. Venus is a minuscule dot near mid-frame.

Figure 2. Nags Head sunrise with Venus. Photo: author.

Figure 3: Up from the surf line looking more closely now at the dunes and the pier in the distance. I loved the pink band in the sky and the lights on the pier. The middle ground was like 5 feet away but was interesting for its driftwood and fence posts. The ripples were wonderful, and the lack of footprints, too.

Figure 3. Nags Head sunrise. Photo: author.

Figure 4: Looking at that piece of driftwood from a distance of maybe two feet. Here I did a split-tone edit with golden yellow in the shadows and red in the highlights. I added no red; but I brought out the existing pinkish reds.

Figure 4. Nags Head sunrise with driftwood. Photo: author.

Figure 5: This is a different photograph from the one in figure 4. The focus is sharper in the foreground, and I emphasized the blues because they brought out the granularity of the sand. This edit, in combination with the pink tones of dawn, gives a pleasant but unnatural violet cast to the light.

Figure 5. Nags Head sunrise with driftwood II. Photo: author.

Nikon D3400; Nikkor 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens. All exposures were on the order of 1 second.

Published by gsb03632

A college professor living in Scranton, PA

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