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Updated: Jan 29

I tried for months to find clear skies on the Outer Banks on a night that I would actually be able to make the trip out. To reach Cape Hatteras for me requires a six hour drive and an overnight stay. In late May things finally came together so I loaded up and my youngest son and I headed out.

Despite a clear forecast, when we finally got on 12 South I noticed clouds that were just offshore and thunderstorms farther out to sea. We setup our tent at Cape Point Campground and I tried to walk through the dunes out to the beach. Unfortunately the area was closed for bird nesting so I went with Plan B, driving over to Ramp 43.

There were way more people on the beach than I would have liked but since the sky was still partially obscured it didn't bother me all that much. I pulled out my gear and we walked down to the ocean. I shot some time-lapse and tried to get a few compositions but those clouds just kept covering the Core.

After an hour I decided to move up to Old Lighthouse Beach to try and get away from the clouds. It also made me uncomfortable that the beach at Ramp 43 was so dark I wasn't really able to keep track of where my son was(he now wears a chemlight when he's out with me). I moved my camera as close to the water as I could and fired off one more long set of images.

My patience had paid off. With those last few shots I captured this extraordinary image that has a dark sea, wind blown clouds, front part of the Dark Horse Nebula, a large part of the Rift and a couple of active thunderstorms offshore. Moments like these are what keeps me wandering around in the darkness searching for light.

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