Tag Archives: Outer Banks

Photographing the North Carolina Outer Banks with the Pentax 645Z

In early May, before the mosquitoes, heat, crowds and tropical storms descended on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, I packed my gear and headed to the coast. My longtime friend and colleague from Illinois, Ron Basinger, joined me for the week. Ron’s an excellent photographer and has an outstanding gallery of lighthouse images on PBase. The North Carolina Outer Banks is one of my favorite travel destinations. It’s a photographer’s paradise, with wildlife, eye-popping sunrises and sunsets, lighthouses, beach scenes, and harbors to fill several days of shooting. The seafood ain’t bad either!

For this trip, instead of packing my Sony α7RII, I decided to go medium format and took a recently acquired Pentax 645Z. The 645Z is a digital medium format camera based on the Pentax 645D body and incorporating a 50MP Sony sensor. The camera body form factor is basically a “D”, chunky and relatively heavy. There are a few modern Pentax 645 lenses designed specifically for digital and for the higher resolution sensor. However, I’ve found that some of the legacy Pentax lenses perform quite well. My go-to lens for this trip was the Pentax FA 645 45-85mm f/4.5 zoom, an autofocus zoom covering approximately the 35mm-70mm range in 35mm film terms. A good copy of that lens, when stopped down, produces sharp images corner to corner. And with a 50MP camera, there’s considerable latitude for cropping if the corners or edges are soft.
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Fotomoto Artist of the Day

I was featured on the Fotomoto website as Artist of the Day on April 26, with my photo of the Currituck Beach Lighthouse. I am in the process of converting all of my galleries to use Fotomoto as the order fulfillment service in the next few weeks. The Outer Banks gallery is the first (and the prototype) to be converted.

From the Fotomoto site:

“Fotomoto is an e-commerce system that gives independent photographers and web publishers the power to sell their work on their own site, using a simple toolbar with a “click to buy” button.
We don’t claim to be the “leading” e-commerce system for website owners, nor are we on the “bleeding edge” of “Web 3.0″ technology. And we’re certainly not trying to “start a technical revolution”. We just think it makes more sense to bring the technology to the place your art is, not the other way around. Isn’t that simple? We love making things simple, and we are working hard to do that.
So, it’s not rocket science — it’s not even science. Fotomoto is just a system for online sales that anyone can use…even us! Witness the self-installed Fotomoto Toolbar live on our homepage, on the photos of our Featured Artists.”

The photograph was taken inside the lighthouse, looking up at the stairway, winding to the top of the light.


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Fall 2008 – Mountains to Coast

I just returned from a photo trip to the Great Smoky Mountains and the NC Outer Banks. My old friend, Ron Basinger from Illinois, joined me for the trip. Fall colors were peaking or just past their peak in Tennessee when we arrived, and we had several good days of shooting in Cades Cove, Tremont, along the Little River and on the Roaring Fork Trail.


When we drove back to North Carolina, hoping to catch the colors along the Blue Ridge Parkway, colors were well beyond peak and many trees had lost their leaves. Not to be skunked, we drove to the Outer Banks and shot there for a couple of days, enjoying the late season solitude, with few tourists and little traffic.


Images from the trip are included in the Smoky Mountains and Outer Banks galleries.

Ron has a gallery of photos from the trip on pBase.

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