31 August 2014

Sometimes a Trip Doesn't Pan Out - Searching for My Shot in the Outer Banks


"You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it."
~ Robin Williams

Currituck Beach Lighthouse, ©2014 Terrell Neasley
I usually like to be on some sort of excursion or at least gone from home on my birthday month, which has for more than 40 years, always occurred in August. That was a mild attempt at a humorous opening. I give it a 4 out of 10. Anyway, this month was no different. Instead of leaving the country, I decided to follow up on a friend's suggestion, (thanks, Susan!) and spend a little more than 3 weeks on the East Coast in the Outer Banks just off the coast of North Carolina. I figured it would be cool to get some lighthouse shots, shoot a model, and just explore a little.

Whalehead in historic Corolla, ©2014 Terrell Neasley


Hurricane Bertha had other plans, as it were. The incessant rain kept me at bay for quite a number of days. I had hoped to get some dramatic skies, but such was not my fortune. The skies were simply cloudy, grey, featureless, and bleak. Not stormy, just rainy. But as soon as the weather broke, I headed out to the north end of The Outer Banks, near Currituck to see what I could get. Not knowing what to expect, I found out that getting a uniqueness of shot was REALLY hard to come by. I still wanted to give it a try and just see what I could come away with.. Its almost like trying to get a unique shot of the Statue of Liberty. You never know til you go. And it was still worth seeing and experiencing, nonetheless. I waited til the end of the day when most tourist were done and tried my best. I did this with three other lighthouses and only missed Cape Lookout, the southernmost lighthouse in the Outer Banks. That was mainly because I camped out on the Atlantic side of Shackleford Banks, right near Cape Lookout. I stayed up all night. By morning, catching a ferry back to the mainland and then another ferry to Cape Lookout was no longer on my list of priorities. Between Currituck, Bodie, Hatteras, and Ocracoke Lighthouses...I was good to go.

Art Model, Covenant ©2014 Terrell Neasley
Things won't always go as planned and some excursions won't be as successful as others. Right now, I've gone through my shots and edited what I thought were the best ones. I came away with 18 edits. And you know what? I'm cool with that. Surprised? Sure. But I understand that this is the game sometimes. I always chalk it up to the cost of doing business. I'm a photographer. I tried something and it wasn't as epic as I had hoped or thought it would be. Sometimes its Mother Nature. Sometimes, its misfortunes on the road that are out of your control. I had one experience that put a really bad taste in my mouth and I let it get to me, but in the end, if you can't understand that stuff like that will occasionally happen, then you may want to try a new line of work. I spent a lot of money on this trip. But you know what, its still worth it. Now I know. I know what to expect if I want to do this again.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, ©2014 Terrell Neasley
Some places I know I'll likely return to. Chances are, I'll still get Cape Lookout. Just not today. There are other spots that I now know aren't as cracked up to be as I initially thought. The lessons I take away from this trip is that you can't let other people or bad experiences dissuade you from finding your shot or fulfilling your visions/goals/ambitions of what that might be. I met some great people along the way. I got to see how other people live out that way and it is entirely different from my own. From the food they eat, to the way they talk, it was experiencing a new culture in my own country. And while getting good shots is a priority when I travel, its the experiencing of new cultures that is the reason I do it. So in that, my mission was fulfilled. Maybe that's why Star Trek is on of my favorite shows"...to seek out new life and new civilizations...To boldly go where no one has gone before"!

Wild Horses at Shackleford Banks, ©2014 Terrell Neasley
What's next? Well, I've had a major project that was supposed to happen after Christmas, but now I'm a little uncertain of it. So I'm still thinking South America, namely the Northern and Pacific coastlines and Bolivia. I'd really love to accompany one of my mentors, Dave Rudin on one of his Icelandic adventures next summer and then go back during the off-season again for another project. That's the goal anyways.

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