A Night Under a Pier

Here’s a shot I made last week the night before my Night Photography on the Outer Banks Photo Tour began. I was shooting under one of the older piers while it was open for business.

Fishing Pier at Night on Outer Banks

An Outer Banks fishing pier at night. Mars is low on the horizon to the left. Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens, f/11, 20 seconds, ISO 1600.

There are two important points to be taken from that. First, since I was shooting while the pier was open, the lights from the pier cast light onto the beach underneath. Second, because it is an older pier, its deck is lined with wood planks that are not tight together. This causes the light to filter through, creating interesting graphic shadows.

Yet another advantage of older piers is that they usually have wooden poles for support, instead of metal or concrete. I much prefer the look of wood posts in night photos, especially if I’m light painting them with my flashlights.

When I shoot piers at dawn, I usually have to light paint the underside of the pier, as well as the sand and water. However, in this case, additional light painting wasn’t necessary. The lights along the pier filtered through the deck planks, providing plenty of light. And to my delight, the lights had yellow bulbs, casting beautiful warm light.

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2 Responses to “A Night Under a Pier”

  1. mayberryrf Says:

    Lovely image. Might look cool in BW, too.

  2. Kevin Adams Says:

    Thanks! One of the photo tour participants did make shots in B&W. They looked good, but to me the draw of this scene is the warm light filtering through the deck and contrasting with the blue sky. But then, as we saw with the waterfalls, my vision for B&W is not as refined as yours.

    Have to say, though, I MUCH prefer the old B&W Andy Griffith Shows!

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