Photo Of The Day: The Weeds of Spring.

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A Sunrise shot from the Top of  what we call the High Field here.  Nikon D600/ 18-35mm lens.

On a lark, I hopped in my RAV 4 and took a quick ride to the beach.  The beach in this case being Emerald Isle.  I usually avoid it like the plague from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor day for obvious reasons but for a not so obvious reason, I went anyway.  My bad.  Emerald Isle…and I’m speaking of the entire island, not just the town of Emerald Isle on the western end (The island is situated pretty much East West on the Bogue Banks)  is not exactly a friendly place for day trippers.  Public parking at public beach access points is scarce. Excluding the Fort Macon State Park, there are maybe 270 spots for the rest of the island. The great majority are on the western end but the truth is, if you’re not renting a cottage or own one, it’s a tough ticket to find a place for your wheels. I’ve had far better luck at the Fort Macon State Park on the extreme eastern end of the Island near Atlantic Beach. Another option is to head to Beaufort near Morehead City and catch the ferry over to Shackelford Banks or to Harkers Island.  No cars. You walk but who minds that if you can find a place to park.

Thanks for the read. See you next time.

Photo of The Day: Kitty Hawk Sunset

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Well I think this is Kitty Hawk.  They don’t post the town limits on the beaches.  Whatever, its close enough. Of course the sun is setting on the Currituck Sound. This is the sky on the beach. I have a shot of just the ocean with the pink hues on the waves. I must look for it but you can get the idea from this how spectacular the sky was.  Another with the trusty Nikon D600.  I’ve had nary an oil splatter since the camera went back to Nikon for the installation of a new shutter mechanism.  Don’t think I have had to clean the senor either since I got it back from Nikon.

I am finally on the rebound from shall I say the “digestive distress”  I have been under since an antibiotic taken in advance of some dental work wreaked havoc with my lower tract. Bad demons.

Thanks for the look in.  More coming. See you next time in most of this same space.

Photo Of The Day: Driftwood

Blogged May 10, 2015

Along the coast of the Currituck Sound near Duck, North Carolina on the Outer Banks.

Not much shooting of late.  I had the misfortune of eating some of the Blue Bell Ice Cream that was recalled because of possible Listeria contamination.  I had all the symptoms so I had to go through a bevy of tests including  a CT Scan,  a blood test and a fecal test.  All came back negative.  Turns out the symptoms were triggered by an antibiotic I took before dental surgery.  It killed off a lot of the good bacteria in my gut.  A probiotic  got me re-regulated so to speak.  Live and Learn.

Thanks for the look and have a great week.

Photo Of The Day: First Glimpse

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The sun peeks over the ocean at Kitty Hawk on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Its been something of a false spring here in Eastern North Carolina of late.  Very chilly temperatures in the mornings and not a great deal of warmup as the day progresses.  I made the mistake of overdoing it on one of the rare warm days, yanking a muscle in my upper left arm while clearing brush so its been heating pad city for me for the past several days.  When you’re 70 it takes a little longer to reset.  Better days ahead I hope.  Thanks for the look and have a good week everybody.

Photo Of The Day: Pride of Mobile

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From Wilmington to Raleigh and beyond, Azaleas are at or near their prime across North Carolina right now.  Driving across the state, one gets the impression that every homestead has some sort of azalea blooming somewhere on their property.  Driving down east, I passed an old abandoned tenant house on its last legs and there in the front yard, pink azalea blooms were peeking through the weeds.

About the shot.  The azalea mavens tell me these scarlet red blooms are on an old variety called “Pride of Mobile” that dates from the late 60’s.  “It exudes southern charm”, they said and who am I to argue.  As I have said before, the main problem with this time of the year in North Carolina, aside from the seemingly constant rain, is the wind.  It never stops particularly here on the coast.  As soon as I arrived, I dialed in Shutter Priority on my trusty Nikon D7100.  Of course the camera is already obsolete – Nikon, as usual, is already  out with the D7200 which is a tad faster with a few other bells and whistles but with only just over 18 thousand snaps on the D7100’s  shutter which is rated at 150,000,  its hard to justify trading up.

As for the shot, I made four versions all with varying light. This one with soft, warm light, seemed to fit the azalea maven’s “Southern Charm” description.  Here are the particulars: 170 mm, shutter speed:1/250, enough to stall the wind, f/5.6 gave me the background blur I was looking for. ISO at 400,  Auto White Balance.  The 7100 excels at Auto White Balance I think.  Matrix metering. The camera rates at 24 mp so this shot yielded a nice large print for the azalea mavens who were very pleased.

The warmer weather has me juiced up for a day trip to the coast before the tourists clog up the beach road.  Either the Outer Banks or more likely, the Bogue Banks, Emerald Isle etc,  which is a bit closer.  I must have 10 thousand beach and coast shots but what can you do.  It’s an itch that has to be scratched. Watch this space!  Thanks for the look and have a great weekend.

Photo Of The Day: Dogwoods In The Wild

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I spent the better part of a day in a section of the farm I call Dogwood Dell.  About a dozen wild Dogwoods thrive there under towering Lob Lolly Pines feeding on the acid earth which is also home to ancient Azaleas and Camellias.  The late afternoon sun finds its way into the Dell and I’ve found that late afternoon is the best time for shooting.  This view was taken into the sun using a Nikon D800E camera with a 24-120 mm f/4 lens which pretty much lives on the camera.  I think it a good marriage.  I usually take several shots of scenes like this running through different ranges of ISO.   On this one, I settled on an ISO of 400. I found the soft light on the fragile blooms and the warmer light in the bokeh rather pleasing.  I put this shot on my Fine Art America site (click on John Harding Art Prints in the upper right)  and immediately got several dozen hits and one sale of a rather large print so it was a day well spent.  Have a great Sunday everybody and thanks for the look.