May 30, 2016

Holiday Weekend

Filed under: beach,Outer Banks,Piers — j0jgvm89bj @ 4:48 pm

This morning my rain gauge showed 2 ½ inches of overnight rainfall. Despite that, with Memorial Day here, we’ve officially begun our high season for tourism. The rain from Tropical Depression Bonnie, will likely continue off and on over the next few days. Today is a washout, but yesterday was gorgeous with pleasant ocean breezes. We peddled bikes to the Rodanthe Pier to check things out before the downpour.

EastOut on the pier, folks were enjoying the sunny sea breeze.

South                                 Looking south, it didn’t look like a typical Memorial Day Weekend.

North                                 With rain in the forecast, beach goers weren’t packed in as they’d normally be.

EndThe end of the pier isn’t out nearly as far as it used to be. It’s been destroyed continuously by storms and rebuilt multiple times.

WestIn the Summer, there’s nothing like hanging out at the pier. Many of the same people return year after year, building memories along the way.

NWI noticed the dramatic sky shaping up, courtesy of Tropical Depression Bonnie. The clouds are always beautiful, yet at the same time so ominous.

December 7, 2015

Chasing Rainbows

Filed under: beach,Outer Banks,Weather — j0jgvm89bj @ 5:30 pm

Chasing a rainbow implies unattainable or delusional objectives. When you see a rainbow, you can’t walk up to it and touch it. Physically it’s always out of reach. They’re elusive. Yet they’re one of the most beautiful natural phenomenon on earth.

They can reveal themselves unexpectedly and last only moments. I’ve tried shooting them countless times. By the time I see them and react, they’ve peaked, and faded away.

This past Thanksgiving Day was an exception. My 92 year old mother was in town with two of my sisters and other family members. To be with them was a special gift. As Denise and I were driving to Avon to join them for dinner, we noticed some faint colors  beginning to appear to the east along the beach.


Ramp 25 was the nearest beach access and I walked over to start shooting different vantage points. It just kept filling in, getting deeper and deeper.


Through the viewfinder, I saw too much to take in at once.


By the time I worked my way down to the surf, the sun was getting lower with colors peaking.

Unexpected, it was truly a gift!

December 21, 2014


Filed under: beach,Birds,Outer Banks — j0jgvm89bj @ 2:42 pm

I’ve always loved taking pictures of things without being tied to restrictive parameters or deadlines. So over the years, I’ve given myself “assignments” to shoot particular things almost exclusively on the Outer Banks. I’ll hunt for waterfowl, landscapes or even people just for the satisfaction of getting a good shot.

Several weeks ago I decided to look for pelicans, and there was a lot of activity on Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge near Oregon Inlet. I have pelican shots both in film and digital formats, but felt a need to improve on what I already had.

The main thing was to put myself in a location and react. It’s simple. I had an image or two in mind, but the unexpected always happens. I shot 3 different sessions, as elements seemed to come together at once, wind and light as key components.

beachscape I had a beautiful environment in which to work.

frenzy There was a huge feeding frenzy one afternoon with cormorants, gulls and a few pelicans.

dive For those with skills, the ocean provided.

wave One day swells from an offshore storm made a nice backdrop.


Most of the flocks seemed to come in groups of three.

three pelicans

bridge As I was leaving, a landscape scene impressed me.


Then I was inspired by a beautiful tree someone had lovingly decorated.

Merry Christmas Everyone!


November 25, 2014


Filed under: beach,Birds,Outer Banks,Sea — j0jgvm89bj @ 1:21 pm

The beach is a dynamic place, and has many faces. Like the seasons, it’s ever changing. The warm Gulf Stream meanders in and out, and even influences our weather.

A sure sign of the Gulf Stream is the presence of seaweed washed up on the beach. Sargassum is a free floating seaweed that drifts in island-like masses and goes with the current. It is an important habitat for various forms of marine life while at sea. It provides food and protection for juvenile fish and invertebrates.

When it washes up on the beach, it attracts birds and other creatures that feed around it.

close upbirdsDuring Summer and Fall, sargassum can drift up in huge rafts.seaweedEventually it dries and decomposes. I’ve used it in my garden after it’s rinsed and composted.marrymeLast month while on a beach walk, I noticed another use for sargassum. verticle                                                        I don’t know who the author of this message was, but considering the effort, I hope the answer was an emphatic “YES”.


September 16, 2014

Vintage Surf

Filed under: beach,black & white photography,history,People,surfing — j0jgvm89bj @ 6:48 pm

It’s been a year since my lifelong friend, Robin, passed away, so I’ve been contemplating our relationship and good times. It’s hard to believe it’s over and done. We all have opportunities to love and enjoy life, and Robin certainly did. What a gift!

His worldly possessions have been dispersed as he wanted. Among the items he left me was a fairly large collection of photographs. He was many things, hunter-gatherer, prolific reader, jack of all trades and surfer. Most people don’t realize the amount of photography he produced.

I spent last winter going over thousands of photos he made since his early teens. Many of those images were inconsequential personal memories, but there are many that have merit.

northside Taken from the north jetty.

Of particular interest to me are Robin’s photographs contained in an album from his early days surfing at Indian River Inlet in Delaware. I didn’t know him then, but it’s about the time I learned to surf a 9’6” Bing there. It was a good wave and a good place for a young surfer to make friends and integrate into a new lifestyle.

These old Polaroid photographs taken in 1967 and ’68 are one-of-a-kind originals.

longboards I think Robin is on the far right, the others are unidentified.

surfari I don’t know where this Polaroid was taken, but it looks typical of rural Delaware.            A 19 year old Robin stands between two unidentified friends while changing a flat tire.

gemini 1 A few years later, surfboards got a lot smaller. Robin took this snapshot of his team mates from Gemini Surf Shop out of Rehoboth Beach, perhaps about 1970. Dave Isaacs, Gary Revel, Jeff Ammons, Bryant Clark, Brent Clark, Skip Savage, Karl Gude and one unidentified. Who knows who he is?

When most people take a picture, they don’t realize they’re making a historical record. As a photographer, I didn’t intend the pictures I took many years ago become history. But in retrospect, I see a lot of value in old photographs, the older the better. If I had it to do all over again, I would opt to do much more shooting of people or things that I routinely took for granted.