Photography Trip Report of the Outer Banks of North Carolina

New Fine Art Pictures of Lighthouses and Sand Dunes on the Outer Banks

See Complete Outer Banks Photography Gallery


I have been to the South Carolina coast numerous time shooting in the vicinity of Charleston, but I always wanted to go the extra distance up the coast to the North Carolina Outer Banks.

Although I had a week there, it is not that much time when you have to explore and learn an area. It takes time to find good compositions that will qualify for a fine art print.

Perhaps the most iconic location in the area is the Bodie Island Lighthouse. I forget how many times I went down there in the pre-dawn darkness hoping to get good clouds behind the lighthouse for the sun rising over the ocean to light up. Persistence pays as it all came together on this morning.

"Bodie Island Sunrise" - A Limited Edition print of 100 of sunrise at the Bodie Island Lighthouse. Click on Photo to Purchase
"Bodie Island Lighthouse" - A Limited Edition print of 100 of the Bodie Island Lighthouse. Click on Photo to Purchase

Futher north on the Outer Banks is the little town of Duck, North Carolina. It is an extremely cute and inviting waterfront town with shops, restaurants and a very nice boardwalk along the Currituck Sound. It is absolutely the best place on the Outer Banks to photograph sunset with the docks extending out toward the sunset.

"Currituck Sunset" - A Limited Edition print of 100 of sunset over the Currituck Sound. Click on Photo to Purchase
"Orange and Blue" - A Limited Edition print of 100 of sunset on the Currituck Sound. Click on Photo to Purchase

Also in Duck is this amazing tree just off the boardwalk. It is simple, yet intricate with its branches. Once again, it required several visits there, but in the end, I was able to capture the photograph I was hoping for.

"The Tree at Duck" - A Limited Edition print of 100 of sunset behind a small tree in Duck, North Carolina. Click on Photo to Purchase

The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse is a small, but charming, lighthouse in Manteo, North Carolina. Manteo is also a great place to hang out in shops and restaurants. When the sun begins to set behind you, the soft light of the setting sun can light up the lighthouse and the clouds behind it beautifully.

"Roanoke View" - A Limited Edition print of 100 of sunset at Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse. Click on Photo to Purchase

Nearby to the Outer Banks is Lake Matamuskeet. The lake has a group of Cypress trees that are a short distance out into the lake. There are two times of the year where the sun will be rising behind the trees in April and October. Since I was there in April, it was a priority on the list. I do my best reviewing the forecasts to decide when to be somewhere. In this case, I got lucky and made the right choice. I was able to capture the sun rising just like I wanted to.

"Lake Matamuskeet Sunrise" - A Limited Edition print of 100 of sunrise at Lake Matamuskeet. Click on Photo to Purchase

Also in another part of Lake Matamuskeet are some pretty special Cypress trees in the water. I love photographing Cypress trees as you can see in my Cypress Trees Gallery. The early morning sun was rising off to the left behind the trees resulting in perfect front and back lighting. The calm reflective water brought it all together.

"Matamuskeet Cypress" - A Limited Edition print of 100 of sunrise color and cypress trees. Click on Photo to Purchase
"Cypress Reflections" - A Limited Edition print of 100 of cypress trees reflecting in a lake. Click on Photo to Purchase

A photography expedition to the Outer Banks would not be completed without capturing the sand dunes at sunrise. This turned out to be a little work hiking on the dunes finding the right location and composition. My mid-day time is used for this kind of exploring. I found the location I wanted and returned for several mornings to capture the scene as I had envisioned it.

"Beach Dunes" - A Limited Edition print of 100 of sunrise light on the dunes of the Outer Banks. Click on Photo to Purchase
"Dunes of the Outer Banks" - A Limited Edition print of 100 of sunrise on the dunes of the Outer Banks. Click on Photo to Purchase

It certainly feels good when you spend a week somewhere and come away with the images you were hoping for. I hope you have enjoyed these images from the Outer Banks.