Off-Season Tips for Amateur Photographers on Ocracoke

  • GET CLOSE to your subject. Fill the frame with a person, building, or scene. A speck of a seagull or catch-of-the-day becomes much more interesting when you fill your viewfinder with it.
  • Concentrate on early morning and late afternoon shots when the light is best. Avoid the harsh, uninteresting, overhead light of midday.
  • Avoid shooting toward the sun (unless, of course, you're shooting a sunrise or sunset). Most subjects between you and the sun will likely end up as silhouettes. Try the harbor before sunset to catch returning boats.
  • Divide your composition into thirds rather than halves both vertically and horizontally. Move the horizon line either 1/3 from the top or 1/3 from the bottom and don't allow a tree or other object to cut your picture in half. Try moving your subject off-center for a more interesting composition.
  • Look for unusual subject matter or backgrounds. Boat docks, dunes, island shops, marshes, or maritime forests all spell B-E-A-C-H.
  • Shoot an interesting detail up close ... fishing nets drying in the sun, an interesting nautical feature, or a bicycle basket filled with shells.
  • Pick your subject (notice the word "subject" is singular). How many vacation photos have you seen where tiny people are posed in front of a giant attraction? Viewers want to see the expressions on faces in portraits. And, if you're taking photos of attractions there's no need to pose people in the foreground . . . viewers will trust that you were actually there.
  • Try unposed shots. While it's great to get everyone together for a group photo where everyone looks at the camera and says "cheese," it's also interesting to get some candid shots when they're not aware that the camera is operating.
  • Avoid high-speed films. While film of 400-800 speed will allow you to take photos in low light, it will produce grainy results. Try working with 100-200 speed if most of your shots will be taken outdoors.
  • Take your camera everywhere. If you don't have the camera, you won't get the shot!
  • Did we say GET CLOSE?

or click HERE to visit Ocracoke Cottages