Outer Banks Jockeys Ridge State Park – Swept Away
The Outer Banks has so many landscapes to photograph, and Jockeys Ridge State Park has plenty of potential. Located in Nags Head on the Outer Banks, Jockeys Ridge is the tallest natural sand dune in the eastern US. There was a nasty storm front moving through with 60mph winds when I shot this photograph, which revealed these awesome patterns in the deeper layers of sand that are normally covered by a thick layer of soft sand and not visible. Looks like Mother Nature’s topographical map!
I wish I’d have done a better job shooting this, but it was nearly impossible to think and function while being hammered with flying sand that filled my eyes the second I opened them. The exposure only shows the heaviest flying sand near the ground, but it was bad even at 6 foot (I shot this from about 1.5ft off the ground). While the picture doesn’t give a true sense of the amount of flying sand, these were easily the worst conditions I have ever shot under. The $175 polarizer I had on the front of my lens was pitted and completely destroyed from being sandblasted. The wind was blowing so hard that at one point it almost blew me over the edge of the steep dune directly behind me when I stood up. Three days and as many showers later, I was still picking sand out of my eyes, ears, and scalp. Great fun!
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