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Down in the outer banks, nc - anywhere good to shoot?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by wgilles, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. wgilles


    Apr 25, 2008
    I'm down in the Outer Banks in NC for a week and was wondering if anyone knew of any interesting sites to take some pictures (of anything...landscapes, birds, etc). Just looking for something to do

    I am at Southern Shores, which is closer to Kitty Hawk I believe.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 8, 2008
  2. Oh, I wish I were there with you.
    I grew up near the OB and miss it dearly.
    (live 1400 miles away now)

    Lots of shore birds, just take a long walk down the beach.
    Sunrise and sunsets can be spectacular.
    Sea oats and sand fences can make good images.
    Certain things washed up on the beach can make interesting.
    And of course the landscapes of beach and waves.

    If the wind is blowing, be very careful with your camera.
    Sand is not good for cameras. Keep it in a ziplock bag.
    Sand will enter inside regular camera bags easy.

    Oh, watch out for those large flys that have green heads!

    Where abouts are you?
    Have fun!
  3. kwork


    Jun 8, 2006
    Sunrises, sunsets, shrimp boats, lighthouses, piers, sand dunes, wild horses, sea turtles hatching.

    Or just kick off your shoes and enjoy the sun and waves.
    If you haven't rented a bicycle, I'd recommend one. it's a great way to see the area.
  4. Toby D

    Toby D

    Mar 7, 2006
    Also the little burgs have plenty of color. Kitty Hawk Memorial. Its one of my favorite places, just that "beach culture" is so foreign to my Midwesterness. Still, I would love a chance to get used to it.

    There are some National Seashores, that if you can get to them would be superb opportunities and the NC ferry system is something else and great for large sea bird fly-bys.


  5. Trish5


    Mar 31, 2005
    Look for the wild horses running on the beach!

  6. You're in one of the best birding spots on the east coast, however you are pretty limited by your available focal length.

    On the flip side, you are also in one of the most lighthouse dense regions, too. Depending on where you are on the OB, there should be choices to your north and south. You usually don't have to drive over half an hour to reach at least one.

    Previously having relatives on the OB (Nags Head), I have spent LOTS of time there shooting. I primarily concentrated on birds, though.

    I can see you getting a lot of use out of your 50mm shooting sea grass, beachscapes, etc. 18mm on your zoom (or in that range, anyway) would be useful if you wanted to get up close to some of the lighthouses. The shrimp/fishing boat idea was a good one, too. Check around the marina in Manteo, and sunrise/sunset at the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center.

    Also, kite boarding has become a popular sport on the OB. That's a really colorful action sport that has no limit for photographic interest...

    You're best bird photo op (based on your available glass) is going to be along the beach if you have a 4WD. The two most popular access points are up near Ocrakoke (sp?) and down near Pea Island. The access road near Pea Island is across the road from the Oregon Inlet marina. Lots of good gulls here, and decent shorebirds, but that area is more tide sensitive. Make sure you know when high tide is because people do get stranded out there on occasion.

    If you're bored, I recommend trying to get on one of the charter boats for a trip out to the gulf for marlin. A good day out there can not only get you really good oprtunities for tuna, mahi (bull-nosed dolphin - fish), and marlin, but also one of the best areas in the southeast for pelagic bird species. You're so close to the actual Gulf Stream, there are lots of birds flying around out there that just shouldn't be there from all over the world. If at all interested, you NEED to familiarize yourself with the species. Since the birds get relatively close to the fishing boats, they give you lots of chances for decent photos.

    I haven't been in a few years, but if still open, there is a decent photo blind at the south impoundment on Pea Island. They can give you directions at the refuge office. Mosquitos here are the WORST I have even encountered anywhere. Their size, numbers, and tenacity are a force to be reckoned with. These are the sort of mosquitos that you feel hit you when they land. The kind with green fur on their backs - I kid you not! Three words - Skin-So-Soft. Just make sure you don't get any on you camera equipment or binoculars. It doesn't play well with plastics or rubber...

    Oh yeah, as Trish just suggested, there are wild horses up in Ocrakoke. They are pretty skittish, so focal length is your friend - as is a 4WD..

    EDIT - please substitute Currituck for all my mistaken references to Ocrakoke! I guess its been too long since I've been there - that, and my premature senility!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 8, 2008
  7. agile_one


    May 20, 2008
    Sarasota, FL
    Take the ferry over to Ocracoke Island, and drive the length of the island to Ocracoke itself. Very touristy, but also a photegenic village with lots of harbor and water scenes.
  8. Oh I had lots of fun taking pictures in the outer banks.

    Lots of wildlife everywhere. I got some wonderful bird and egret pictures at sunset behind the Whale House Club near the Currituck lighthouse. And you have to see the wild horses up the beach in Corolla.

    The Wright Brothers National Memorial is worth a look. And of course the lighthouses are all very well known and great to photograph: Currituck, Bodie and Cape Hatteras. I never made it all the way down to Ocracoke though.

    You can see all of the ones I took here
  9. Cleo68


    Jul 7, 2008
    Bedford, MA
    Man, I feel I'm living so close, yet so far from a hidden gem! I'd love to get over there. We recently moved down to Cary, NC and are a few hours west of the OB. Before I knew what it meant, I kept seeing car stickers that said "OBX" and I thought it meant obnoxious. Doh!
  10. I 2nd the Avon Skin-so-Soft. It helps repel the green heads also.
  11. One more thing...if you are the partying type, avoid any locals invite to party
    with them (including a girls invite). Some of my friends had a bad experience.
    It put one in the hospital for a month.

    Some of the locals don't care too much for visitors.
  12. wgilles


    Apr 25, 2008
    Yeah, I've been cursed at already just crossing the beach. I'm here on a family reunion so not too much partying outside of our house, but everyone goes to the beach everyday so I will be just adventuring around, thanks for the advice everyone.
  13. Jockey Ridge is a great place to take pics of the hang gliders...esp at sunset. Just be warned that the sand 'chiggers'? (ankle biters) come out in full force after sunset...so wear shoes, not open sandals.

    Nice lighthouse up in Corolla, at the northern end. (note that's not pronounced like the Toyota)
  14. Cleo68


    Jul 7, 2008
    Bedford, MA
    Ummmm.... what's up with that? I take it since I'm from the central part of NC, I'd get cursed out too? I'm not used to that behavior. Everyone over here has been exceptionally nice and welcoming. Most of us here are from up north. No offense, but if you live on the coast, don't you EXPECT visitors? It's not like you own the whole friggin OCEAN. :Angry:
  15. Actually, while I certainly don't condone this sort of behavior, a little bavkground info might help explain. The people who are FROM the OB are decendents of fishermen. These are very modest people who did NOT want tourism from the begining. The roads there weren't even paved until the late seventies. In the past 30 years, hotels sprang up everywhere, and houses torn down to make room for more hotels. Hotels and houses are now being torn down to make room for condos and 8000 square ft vacation homes. In one generation, the OB has essentially lost its ability to accomodate its residents. People who live there can no lnger afford the taxes, yet they are still burdened with substandard schools and infrastructure. Its gone from the quintessential vacation beach spot to a tourist nightmare. The residents have definitely developed a love/hate relationship with tourists.

    Again, there's no excuse for bad behavior, but that whole area has become very over exploited and improperly developed. Just my .02
  16. Cleo68


    Jul 7, 2008
    Bedford, MA
    Yes. Same thing that happened in PA after 9/11. Everyone from NYC moved to NJ and everyone from NJ moved to PA. Then PA started hating everybody. I don't get it. If you don't like it, either move out, or blame the politicians who let it happen... not the innocent people who have moved to "your" town. Perhaps it makes more sense to embrace them and get them on your side.
  17. Well said. There are many angry at the politicians and then angry at the visitors. There is also the surfer bunch who are very territorial.
  18. AEDigman


    Jan 23, 2007
    West Virginia
    I'm on the Outer Banks this week as well...just shot sunrise photos from both on and below the Nags Head Fishing pier...haven't unloaded them from the card yet....Some of my most favorite shots are from the dunes at Jockey's Ridge at sunset...

    Happy Shooting!
  19. wgilles


    Apr 25, 2008
    Well, my understanding of the way things like this work is that the people who often make decisions for the towns and stuff are usually from the town and are voted into office from the same people. I think it's unfair to assume that the only reason hotels sprang up are the tourists. My family has had lake houses in Lake Gaston, NC for years and I've been down there as much as I've been in NJ and I've seen all kinds of new stuff spring up because of tourists, but it doesn't bother the locals because we decided to build the stuff. There are certain things that the locals didn't want built and it didn't happen... Sounds to me like they let it happen in the OB and now are kicking themselves in the butt and taking it out on the people that visit.
  20. This coming weekend for me...

    I will be at Atlantic Beach this weekend until Tuesday..
    I plan on visiting Cape Lookout while I am there.

    Really looking forward to it!
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