Lake Mattamuskeet is a shallow, water-filled basin near the coast of North Carolina. It is a pilgrimage site of Outer Banks photographers, and of especial interest is a small ‘island’ of cypress trees that rises in a thin line parallel to a road that bisects the lake (figure 1). There is a viewpoint off the road giving a good perspective on the island.

Figure 1. Lake Mattamuskeet, NC 94 with offshore island. Apple Maps.

A stunning, foggy image of this island reflected in calm waters won photographer Eve Turek a gold medal in the World Photographic Cup in 2014. Her image, which can be found here, is merely the best of a fairly extensive series that can be found in Outer Banks galleries, some derivative of Turek’s work, others exploiting sunrise colors.

Figure 2. Lake Mattamuskeet island. Lake Mattamuskeet, N.C. Photo: author.

We made the pilgrimage on our last full day in North Carolina. It was midday, the atmosphere was limited to a few cumulus clouds, and the water was riffled by a persistent breeze. Still, I took a number of shots, and the best way to counter the dullness of the scene was to engage a ‘mystical glow’ with Luminar AI (figure 2). These are slider settings that blur the scene, partly through the Orton effect, which superimposes out of focus images onto an in-focus one. The largest cloud in my image shows the Orton effect most clearly with its seeming halo. The result in my edited image is slightly otherworldly. I’ve also tried to set off the colors of the trees (mostly turned by later November) against the strong blues of lake and sky.

Nikon Z 7ii with Nikkor Z 24-200 mm f/4-6.3 lens.

Figure 2. 4 mm, f/8, ISO 64, 1/320 s.

Image cleaned up with DxO, edited with Luminar AI.

Published by gsb03632

A college professor living in Scranton, PA

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