Ghosts of the Past

Ghosts of the Past

The remains of a pier stand in the surf of Carolina Beach, North Carolina.

On a recent family vacation to the Carolina coast, we were met with miserable conditions almost the entire week. Well, miserable conditions for those normally associated with a fun week at the beach, but, as they say, bad weather makes for good photography. And I tried to take advantage of the weather as much as I could.

Not far from the house we were renting were the remains of two ocean piers. I believe they might both have been damaged to outright destroyed by Hurricane Fran in 1996. The picture above, which I have titled “Ghosts of the Past” is all that remains of an ocean pier just a bit north of Kure Beach Pier. These posts and what appear to be cement pilings in the surf are all that remain.

For this image, I used a 2-stop soft graduated neutral density filter to bring the sky brightness down to equal the surf and combined that with a 6-stop neutral density filter to permit a long exposure. The 2-minute exposure was enough to blur the waves into the smooth reflective surface seen here. ISO 100 and f/22 using the Fuji GFX 50S and the Fuji 23mm f/4 lens.

The long exposure also served to blur out any evidence of the few folks who walked in front of the camera and the early-morning surfer who drifted in and out of the frame during the time the shutter was open.

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