In the Field: Outer Banks of North Carolina

May 07, 2022

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) standing on the shore on a peaceful spring morning at Nags Head on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Last weekend, I attended a Photography Meetup on the Outer Banks of North Carolina with other nature photographers. Ten of us nature photographers came together from various places from across the United States. Fortunately, this was just a 3 hour road trip for me as the location was close to home. I had a fantastic time meeting other nature photographers and spending the weekend photographing on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Outer Banks of North Carolina is a very familiar place for me as I spent twenty years living in and photographing the area. So, it was nice to be back in the area to do some shooting over this long weekend.

About the Outer Banks of North Carolina

The Outer Banks are barrier islands off the Atlantic coast of the state of North Carolina, separating the Atlantic Ocean from the mainland. The natural beauty of the fragile islands and the pristine beaches make this location a special place to photograph whether it is seascapes, landscapes, lighthouses, birds or wildlife. There are so many different opportunities for photography whether you are a nature photographer or a wildlife photographer.

Sunrise on the Outer Banks

Being a barrier Island off the Atlantic coast provides miles of good opportunities for sunrise photography. On our first sunrise, we gathered at Jeanette’s Pier in Nags Head. Of course, I was looking for shorebirds at the beach as photographing shorebirds is a passion of mine. This particular morning I found a pair of willets and a small group of about a dozen sanderlings on the beach at sunrise. Unfortunately, the sanderlings flew off before I could get a chance to photograph them. However, I was able to capture some images of the willet(s).

Sunrise with a pair of willets on the beach on a spring morning in Nags Head on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Sunrise with a pair of willets on the beach on a spring morning in Nags Head on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. With this image, I looked to frame the willets in my composition of the sunrise as well as having motion in the water. My settings were 1.6 sec, f/22 at ISO 100. I was lucky that the willets were standing still to allow me capture this long exposure. For this image, I used my wide angle lens, Canon EF17-40mm f/4L USM, Canon Mount Adapter EF- EOS R wit Canon RP mirrorless camera.
Fisherman fishing off the Avalon Fishing Pier at sunrise on a spring morning on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Fisherman fishing off the Avalon Fishing Pier at sunrise on a spring morning on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I used my Singh Ray Sunset SS Filter for this shot. My camera settings were 1/25 sec, f/22 at ISO 100. My camera and lens (Canon RP mirrorless camera, Canon Mount Adapter EF- EOS R and Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD) were mounted on my tripod low to the ground. I used my wireless shutter release.

Daybreak at the Avalon Fishing Pier on a spring morning on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Daybreak at the Avalon Fishing Pier on a spring morning on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. As I was leaving the beach, I turned back to look and noticed the potential of this scene. With my camera and Tamron 18-400mm lens mounted on my tripod, using the zoom lens, I framed the composition that I wanted. My camera settings were 1/20 sec, f/22 at ISO 100 and with exposure compensation on -1/3.

Bodie Island Lighthouse

We attempted a sunset a Bodie Island Lighthouse on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. However, the skies did not cooperate on this evening. At Bodie Island Lighthouse, we walked out on the boardwalk through the marshes to shoot back at the lighthouse. While on the boardwalk, we saw and photographed several species of wildlife including an adult nutria with a baby nutria, sora and clapper rail.

Bodie Island Lighthouse on a spring late evening on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Bodie Island Lighthouse on a spring late evening on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. For this image, my camera and lens were mounted on my tripod low to the ground. I used my Canon RP mirrorless camera, Canon Mount Adapter EF- EOS R and Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD with wireless shutter release. My settings were 1/8 sec, f/22, ISO 100 with +1 exposure compensation.

In conclusion, this Photography Meetup on the Outer Banks of North Carolina was a fun and exciting in-the-field experience. I truly enjoyed meeting all the nature photographers that attended this meetup. I recommend if you have an opportunity to attend a Photography Meetup to do so. Not only is it a great opportunity to network but also to meet new friends and have lots of fun shooting with other photographers.

Thank you for reading my Field Notes Blog, and I hope you will share this post with others.

Let’s protect our wildlife and nature!

All the very best,

Lori

Copyright © 2022 Lori A Cash

4 replies to “In the Field: Outer Banks of North Carolina

  1. Great post & pics! Sounds like a wonderful trip. Fun to see the nutria! Never know what you will see in nature 🙂

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