Archive for the ‘Atlantic Beach’ Tag

Air Brakes!   4 comments

A seagull flies into the sunset, quite close to a sharp Spanish Dagger plant

Air Brakes!


So much to do… so much to do.  So many fun photography projects, so many good people.

I like being this busy. Creating new images and taking a fresh look at past scenes ‘gets the creative juices flowing.’ I think that’s an apt expression, because whenever I engage creative potential, it feels like flowing with a river, steering in one direction and then another, not always knowing how things will turn out. On those occasions where other priorities take precedence or the ideas dry up, it feels like stepping out of the river onto dry land.

I decided to take a short break from rust, grunge, and old farm equipment, even if just for the day. The image above was taken last spring in Atlantic Beach, NC. I was reminded of that encounter with Charles DeGull as he’s likely to be used in an exciting new project in New England. More on that as information becomes available.

It’s a privilege to be able to trade brackets with a number of talented people. These collaboration projects are always fun, as we get to play around with brackets from venues that we might not normally be able to shoot. It’s always interesting to see how six people can have a completely different interpretation of exactly the same scene, applying their personal style in unique ways.  There are several projects currently underway:

The latest round of a six-way collaboration that we call “HDR Swap” has been published on Brian Matiash’s blog site, titled “A Seemingly Safe Exit.” Brian provided a juicy set of brackets, taken in a dingy parking garage. As he says, “you can never go wrong with gross, wet pavement in a dank and empty parking garage.” The contributors for this round were Brian, Bob Lussier, Jim Denham, Jacques Gudé, Mark Garbowski, and myself.

Coming soon will be another round from the same group. Keep an eye on Mark Garbowski’s blog site toward the end of the week.

Also within about a week, we can look forward to another drop from James Brandon, as the “Grunge Collaboration” goes into its third round with James’ brackets from Niles City. Other contributors are James, Jim Denham, Jerry Denham, Chris Nitz, and Jesse Pafundi.

Thanks for stopping by! Please take a moment to visit my friends’ sites. You’ll find some incredible photography and insights there if you do.


Posted January 25, 2011 by Rob Hanson Photography in collaboration

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“Determination”   3 comments

A surfer plies hurricane swell during Hurricane Earl, near Oceanana Pier, Atlantic Beach, North Carolina


A surfer plies the storm swell from Hurricane Earl, off the Oceanana Pier in Atlantic Beach, on the Crystal Coast in North Carolina.

This is an HDR image, although there clearly isn’t a great deal of dynamic range available. It was processed with both Photomatix Pro 4 beta — available to all — and another beta HDR program that is not yet released.

If I have one issue these days, it’s choosing between the various HDR programs available, and which to apply to a given image. All of the programs are really strong, and each has its own distinct capability or style. Each also has its not so great points, so sometimes you have to find one with a nice balance.  Other times, you can process an image with different HDR programs, and then combine the results using layers and masks in Photoshop.

Such is the case here. I really liked what Photomatix Pro 4 beta did with the textures and definition in the water, but, as expected, it didn’t treat the surfer (i.e., skin tones) quite as well. Even the tonemapping of the water needed just a little something.  I could have also taken a pass with HDR Expose from Unified Color, or better yet, their new 32 Float plug-in for Photoshop, but I’m testing another new HDR product, so I decided to try that one.

Choosing between various presets available, I found one that came close to the look I wanted, and I then adjusted the sliders to balance definition, color, and contrast, with an eye to ‘keeping it real.’  Perfect.  Combining the Photomatix results with the second pass results allowed me to a) patch in the surfer the way I wanted, and b) blend the two environments — water, foam, wave — to good effect.

This multiple pass approach certainly takes a lot of time — more time than I’d prefer to spend. But I think that as time goes on, one can develop an eye for a specific image and immediately know which program would do the best job at rendering for the artist’s desired result.

And yet, that’s just one aspect of post-processing.  Now… which filters to apply? 8)

Although it makes one want to do a 365 project of nothing but SOOC shots, it’s nice to sit back and look at the final product while thinking, “That’s cool… I hope others enjoy this.”

I hope you do.


Still Standing   1 comment

Image of Hurricane Earl at Oceana Pier in Atlantic Beach, NC. Large swells engulf the pier.

Oceanana Pier made it through the night.

Hurricane Earl passed by Atlantic Beach, NC, on September 2nd, 2010.  This was taken shortly after the owners of Oceanana Pier closed off access to the pier, for good reason. The crowd of spectators that had been gathered at the end of the pier to watch the waves and surfers quickly reconvened on the beach. When you’re standing so close to these powerful waves, it seems that you just can’t stop watching, and you’re sure that next wave will be even bigger and more badass than the last.

Oceanana Pier is one of the last remaining fishing piers on Emerald Isle.  Whereas there were once a good number of piers all along Emerald Isle, relentless hurricanes and even more relentless real estate development have caused the removal of all but three — Oceanana, the Sheraton Pier, and the Bogue Inlet Pier. In addition to being great places to fish, the piers also create nice wave breaks for surfers. Now that so many piers have been removed, it’s causing large crowds of surfers as they bunch up to take advantage of the few good remaining surf spots.

You can see a live-feed cam of this pier by clicking here

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