Aug 31, 2010

Lull Before the Storm

UPDATE: Looks like it will be worth a look tomorrow morning. Get up early and go surf. The big lens will be out.

Bye bye Danielle, I didn't really like you anyway. But hey she gave us waves. Now that she's sped off into the deep blue the whole Eastern United States has their eyes glued on Hurricane Earl's projected path. The Carolina's can be happy we have a high pressure system which will be sitting right over us as Earl barrels by. This high pressure system will most likely keep the Category 4 winds offshore for the Outer Banks which has the highest threat of landfall.

Like I said yesterday, stay tuned closely to the NHC for up to date information regarding the path of Earl. We've seen how storms this year can quickly change paths.

Earl's sustained winds are blowing at a steady 130mph and gusting to as much as 160mph. Keep the kids outta the water this Thursday. All I have to say is good old Folly better be able to handle what Earl is cookin up. She handled Bill let's see if she can tame Earl. Local winds are looking favorable also which will provide glassy to semi glassy conditions all day Thursday.

Did I mention Fiona and 98 L?

The tropical Atlantic has finally awaken. Once one storm fills our beaches with swell and fly's northward, two more pop up off the coast of Africa.

Getting crowded out there
Earl Fiona 98

I took a break from shooting at the beach today and decided to shoot some things around my neighborhood. I'm posting them up soon.

Little crooked and a train goes down these tracks everyday

I found this huge open field downtown (this was my first try at making a panorama. right as I finished this I saw photoshop can make one for time)
Aug 30, 2010
As Hurricane Danielle jets off into the North Atlantic she left us with some lingering swell. I took a surf this morning and it was still pretty windy but there were some fun lines to be had. As the day progressed the winds eased and the swell dropped a bit but the early evening session was still fun.

Hurricane Earl Update

Earl has become a very powerful Major CAT 4 Hurricane with sustained winds well north of 130mph. Meteorologists are tracking him very closely. Computer models are predicting he will come even closer to the Carolinas than previous estimates.

"This is a good time to remind everyone that NHC average track forecast errors are 200 to 300 miles at days 4 and 5," says a NHC forecaster. Either way it looks like the Outer Banks is going to feel some direct effects from Earl.

Get ready for some well overhead swell pumping in starting Thursday.

Earl's current intensity and path warrants everyone in the Southeast to keep an eye on him. Stay tuned to the National Hurricane Center for urgent up to date information regarding Earls path and potential watches/warnings for the East Coast.

5 STARS ALL DAY!!! Yes that is the Folly Beach Forecast

Here are the pics from this evening.

Aug 29, 2010

Big Let Down

I know its a depressing title but it's just the way I feel about the Danielle swell. The swell was there but the wind won the fight. For two days straight we've had the worst wind conditions possible for a hurricane swell. Enough of the complaints though. It really took a toll on shooting conditions. The ratio of keepers to trash was very low.

The good

For how disorganized the conditions were I was able to take some decent pictures. I wish I could keep this lens I'm renting. Each photo I take with the pro glass is so much sharper than the lens I own.


Earl is expected to become a Major Cat 4 storm and come A LOT closer to us than Danielle had. It almost looks like the NWS may have to issue a Tropical Storm/Hurricane Watch for the Outer Banks. But since he is coming closer we will only see good sized waves for about a day and half. You won't hear any complaints from me because the NE/E wind is finally forecasted to back off just in time for Earl. And I'll have the lens until Friday so you guys will be able to see the difference between junk surf pictures and glassy surf pictures.

Keepers from this AM and PM

There are so few photos not because the image quality was lacking in most of the photos; it was the quality of the waves that was lacking. Windblown surf just doesn't look good.

Well see how the surf looks tomorrow. Most likely I'll be shooting/surfing, it's my day off.

You might be asking yourself, "Who got the best of the Danielle swell if it was blowing NE the whole time?" Your answer below. Photo taken by JBones.

Long Island NY
Click Here to see more of his work

Mike C

sources: wunderground, jbones (website?)
Aug 28, 2010

She's Arrived

Thankfully I shot in cameraRAW instead of JPEG today (more editing power). It was super bright out with the sun in my face one minute and then cloud cover the next. Some are blown out; some are underexposed. Lot's of editing will have to be done to save many of the photos. Some are so blown out I'm wondering if I had some settings in my camera mixed up.

I am going out tomorrow morning to shoot very early. I work 8-3 and then I'll be out all afternoon shooting.

Here is a small sample of pictures from today.

This one shows how bright it got

There will be waves for the next week so be happy and better pics will come with better shooting conditions


Mike C.

Earlier Today Below

That NE wind is putting a damper on conditions though. Good thing is I have some pictures taken with the new lens. Currently I'm on the way to work but hopefully I'll be able to get out early and take some end of the day shots.

I'll do my best to get the photos up as quickly as possible.

No pics yet (sorry) just want to keep you guys informed. Check back later tonight.

Mike C update via cell phone
Aug 26, 2010

Time to Get Ready

***Again here is a new template. I like this one. I still need to tweak some things but bare with me I'm pretty busy today***

The one thing everyone has been talking about this week is Hurricane Danielle. I've been losing sleep trying to jockey my work schedule around the favorable tides, figuring out what equipment to rent, and when the peak swell is going to arrive. Good thing is that if I mess my schedule up and miss the opportune times to shoot it looks like I'll have a second chance to get it right with Tropical Storm Earl.

Lot's of good things to look forward to for a beach that has seen basically no surf this year.

Tropical Outlook

Danielle and Earl so cute

After being downgraded to a Tropical Storm for a brief while, Danielle has now "weathered" the unfavorable dry air and wind shear. Computer intensity models are showing she could become a Cat 3 storm soon. Her path is nearly perfect, mirroring the Eastern shoreline approximately 1000 miles off Folly Beach. Her distance from us will be perfect to groom the swell. Hopefully the forecast N/NE local winds let up earlier than expected. Nonetheless it looks like we'll be seeing the beginnings of the swell by late Saturday and have some cleaner conditions by early next week.

Tropical Storm Earl is looking good. He is expected to intensify in the next 48 hours to hurricane status. I'll give more updates on Earl when he gets closer. For now the path is looking good. Check it out below.

Recent Photos

We've actually seen some decent surf over the past couple days also, warming everyone up for the bigger stuff. I know I said yesterday I'd have the rest of the pictures of by last night but I got home super late and none of you were up that late (hopefully).

All above photos from yesterday Tuesday Aug 25th.

Camera Talk

Shots will only get better this upcoming week not only because of the waves but because of the glass I am renting. As many of you know I shoot with a Nikon D300s and a Nikon 70-300mm G lens. To everyone reading this who has no idea what I'm talking about let me put it this way. The current pairing of my camera and lens is like Jessica Biel (camera) dating the ugliest caveman looking person you know (lens).

I wanted to rent the Nikon 300mm f2.8 but it was out of stock until September 3rd. My next choice was the 400mm f2.8 (this is the lens you see photogs using on the sidelines of football games) but I was nervous that I would have to stand in the street because the focal length is so powerful. Nikon recently released a powerful zoom lens that I decided to go with. It's the Nikon 200-400mm f4 lens. The lens has received rave reviews for its versatility and quality.

The 200-400mm is in the middle

If you didn't read all of that just be happy because the picture quality is going to increase. The lens is getting here tomorrow and I have it for a week.

This lens is huge so if you see me with what looks like an anti-aircraft gun, come say hi!

Here is a great video if you aren't familiar with the size of these prime lenses

That was probably the biggest post I've ever written. Leave a comment or question if you'd like.

Mike C
Aug 25, 2010
Tide was a bit low but the waves were a lot better than I was expecting. I got some nice shots and was able to get in and ride a few myself. I'm short on time currently because I have work at 3 but here are a few shots. More to come late tonight after work.

Wish I could post an update for Danielle but I have no time. The swell forecast is looking good though. Shots will be fired next week (camera).

Barrel Sequences and More Snaps Coming Late Tonight

Earlier Today
I'll have an updated look at Danielle and some pictures up of today's waves later this afternoon. No pics yet because I'm on the way to the beach now.... updating this post via iPhone.

Good thing is I was able to get off sunday and Monday from work, have to work in the morning on Tuesday though.

Mike C.