Nightly Night Photo – Outer Banks Fishing Pier

I love photographing from beneath ocean piers, but it’s hard finding a good one. You need one where the beach has a long gentle slope to the water. If the slope is too steep, it’s just about impossible to shoot long exposures without getting pounded by the waves, even at low tide. Plus, with a gentle slope, you can get a really cool effect by light painting the retreating waves and sand in the foreground.

Outer Banks Fishing Pier
Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24 lens, f/4, 15 seconds, ISO 800

You also need the right kind of pier, preferably with wood poles. Concrete just doesn’t have any character. And the poles need to be spaced properly so they don’t create a lot of busyness in the image. Finally, the underside of the pier needs to be clear of distractions. Unfortunately, many piers have ugly wiring and plastic piping running under them.

Very few of the piers along the North Carolina coast meet all the criteria, but this one on the Outer Banks is perfect. I shot this image during morning twilight when the moon and Venus were low on the horizon. A flood light on the pier house behind me is helping to illuminate part of the scene, but to get the lighting just the way I wanted, I light painted the pier and water in the foreground using an LED flashlight with a gel filter attached. I used a GelGrip filter holder with a Rosco Urban Vapor gel filter.

This pier is one we’ll visit during the Full Moon Night Photography on the Outer Banks photo tour that I’ll be leading in November. I still have a few spaces remaining if you’d like to join us.

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One Response to “Nightly Night Photo – Outer Banks Fishing Pier”

  1. CayosCochinos Says:

    I love your creation, you have such an amazing eye for this kind of thing. keep them coming, i truly enjoy your talent!!! Excellent Job i really enjoyed reading your post thanks for sharing. Cayos Cochinos

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