Under The Sea

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
― Albert Einstein

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There is a world of magic and wonder, just below the waves. A world worth and in desperate need of protecting. In the US and around the globe, groups are working hard to save these special places and the creatures that inhabit them. To learn more about what you can do to protect the seas please visit: www.surfrider.org

Curious about these images? They were captured with a high resolution infrared resolving camera. If would like to purchase these or similar images please visit my online shop, here.

Life Is A Carousel…

Life can be crazy. Life can be overwhelming. Everyday we try to juggle this and handle that. I heard someone say the other day that they felt like a hamster on a wheel running and running and always circling back to where they started. Hamster on a wheel, no way.

Life is like a circus, like a carnival. Full of vivid colors, squeals of joy mixed with trepidation, and feverous excitement that fills the air like static.  The pure and simple joy of spinning around and around on a majestic vibrant carousel, who’s characters have stood witness to the children we all once were and will embrace our children’s children as old friends some day. Life is just like a carousel, and   I could spin forever…

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These images and are available for purchase in my Etsy shop, please click here to visit. Follow along on Facebook, like Rebelle Photography here.

Southern Gothic: Beaufort’s Old Burying Ground

This is going to sound strange. I love graveyards. If you’re cocking your head to the side as you read this, your suspicions aren’t misplaced. I can’t explain it, its such an odd attraction, especially for someone who in general is a fan of the chipper, sunshinyer side of life.

They have a magic about them, rich in history, steeped in mystery. I always find myself wondering why people avoid them. And avoid them they do! Try it on for size sometime, mention to a complete stranger how you love to stalk around cemeteries, and take in the view and I can guarantee you their view of you will be a slight bit skewed. If you take a moment to think about it its really not all that odd. Graveyards after all are not built for the dead but rather as a place for the living- to visit, to commune, to contemplate.

Odd as it may seem. Graveyards are cool. Southern graveyards in particular hold a special sort of charm. The Old Burying Ground in Beaufort, NC is no exception. The final resting place of privateers, sailors, and even children. History is in no short supply. Famous to infamous, this small cemetery boasts big stories of lives well lived and lost. 13

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Love these images? Keep up with me on Facebook, by liking the page here.  To purchase these images and more visit my Etsy shop, visit here.

Snow Day

I love snow. Especially when its fresh. There is a quiet that falls over the world when it snows. People stay in, the critters hide away, and once it all settles everything is clean and new. Snow has a magic all its own. treeline branchingout bench copy winterwhite winterjay       brighwhite Love these images? Stay in touch, like me on Facebook here.  To purchase these images and more, visit my Etsy shop here.

Southern Latitudes: Dry Tortugas National Park

No shoes, no shirt, no problem…

Yesterday was dreary, miserable and frigid. It was as if winter was trying to remind us that its not quite through with us yet. All those chilly drafts wafting through the studio had me wishing for warmer climates, salty air, a sunny beach and clear blue water.

Almost 70 miles West of Key West hidden among one of the largest Maritime preserves in the world, is just the beach I’m dreaming of. Dry Tortugas National Park, is arguably one of the most remote and most beautiful parks in the US.  Accessibly only by boat or seaplane, just getting to the park is an adventure. tortugas_1

Spend the day snorkeling the reef and exploring the ocean front fortress of Ft. Jefferson. If you’ve ever imagined an island paradise, it probably looked an awful lot like this.Jefferson_1

While a day on the island is satisfying, spend a few nights and you’ll never want to leave.  Camping on the island is limited and primitive, but offers its own set of rewards. At the end of each day, when the boats board up, and the seaplanes depart intrepid travelers have a rare and unique opportunity, a National Park all to themselves.  Without the interference of artificial light, stars over the water shine bright, and the ocean glows with the life light of bioluminescence. Its a once in a lifetime experience you will want to repeat time and time again.

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The “Dry” Tortugas are aptly named for their lack of fresh water. Travelers who plan on spending a night are responsible for their own supplies of potable water and any other supplies they may need. Know before you go…get all the details you need by visiting the park’s website here.

Shop for theses images and more at the Rebelphoto shop, here.

 

Well Equipped

I hear it a lot – a lot, “if I had a better camera, I could take better pictures”.  A better picture, whats that? Does it astound, does it impress, does it amaze? I never understood that, what are these elusive, “better pictures” the world is hunting for?

For most people a photo is a trip. A trip back in time to a moment, a place, a person, long gone or  too faraway to be tangible. Short of decapitating some poor unknowing soul or turning an image completely on its head- I don’t believe in bad pictures. Even the iconic photos in family albums around the world of the headless grandmother aren’t bad. They speak- and after all isn’t that the point of a photo? To speak to those days of the past, to the people who lived  and laughed in them? Even the “worst” photo has a story to tell, and that in and of itself is redemption. Check out this hilarious compilation from Buzz Feed, looking at these shots, you can’t tell me they don’t tell a story!bad

But I digress- lets talk about that camera. That camera if you could just replace- you just know you’d be the next Ansel Adams traipsing through the wilderness, saving trees and hugging mountains. Or perhaps you’re more of a Leibovitz, photographer to the stars, capturer of soulfulness. Sorry, sad news alert, I’m here to burst your bubble. No. Just no. No you won’t.

cameraThere are a thousand cameras out there, and I will be the first to admit some are amazing! But in the end, when the photo goes on the wall or in the album, its not the camera that made the image, its you. Its you who see, you who feels, and you who bleeds that all into one moment punctuated with a simple click.

By now, you’re thinking, “Uh-huh, sure” easy for me to say right? Me trotting around with my fancy Cannon camera. I promise you, I speak the truth. A few weeks back over the winter holiday I had a disaster. While traveling with family, in the midst of chaos and fun my camera took a 3ft tumble on to asphalt.  I am close to certain my heart stopped for a few moments. Needless to say, goodbye camera, goodbye job, “Hello, welcome to Mcdonalds, may I take your order”! Crisis, not adverted. My precious companion would no longer shoot or flash, all it could manage was a metallic grinding to remind me of its recent assault. Fixable, yes- when I needed it, no. What to do, what to do?

Creativity, has always been a strength of mine. I don’t mean creativity in the traditional sense I can’t Mcgiver my way out things, but I can think out of the box. What to do when my precious camera wouldn’t work? Find another. And so I did, sitting around gathering dust in my family home was the most generic looking Nikon you could ever imagine. Go to any store that sells cameras and you can pick one up for yourself. My camera elitism shrouded me in doubt, but reluctant as I may have been, I picked it up and proceeded.

A week later, back at home piling through pictures on my laptop, my damaged camera restored to its original health,  an odd thing happened- the pictures from that dusty original generation DSLR came to life before me. To my surprise, they were crisp, clean, and beautiful. I was so dumbfounded, I found myself second guessing, double checking.

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Pretty fantastic huh?

And then I thought about it. Why be so surprised? This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve done this. This wouldn’t be the first time anyone had done this. Ever hear of a thing called an iPhone? Every year IPP hosts a iPhone photo contest, the images that come out of it will astound you. You can check out the 2014 winners here.  Believe it or not these two images below, both were taken with my iphone. To date, they are some of my top selling photos.

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The camera, is only half the equation, less than half really. The photographer makes the shot. So go, make images, surpirse yourself, and use what you have. A good camera is important, but feeling through the moment, makes it matter!

 

Got any great camera phone images? Share them here, I’d love to see them!

The Crystal Coast: Old Baldy

Old Baldy. The title of this post might be a teensy bit misleading, if you think I’m referring to some aged long lost relative under certain circumstances you might be right. In this case though, not.

 

closesignBuilt in 1817, the Bald Head Island Lighthouse affectionately known as “Old Baldy” has been standing guard over the mouth of the Cape Fear River for over 187 years. lightin bw

When you step off the ferry on to Bald Head Island it is hard to imagine the beautifully manicured and maintained resort island could be home to the oldest lighthouse in North Carolina. Originally known as Smith Island ( after a wealthy Charleston merchant), this gorgeous little barrier island as long been a destination for Native Americans, fishermen, explorers and pirates. The most famous among them being the infamous Stede Bonnet.  Now days, Bald Head Island is more vacationer’s paradise than pirate’s playground; but none the less once you know the history of this tiny little island it is easy to see all of it’s uniquely hidden secrets.

stairwaytoheaven_1Old Baldy despite it’s age was not the first light to stand on the island. The original light, completed in 1795 on the island’s South West point. Erosion quickly threatened the site and after only a few short years the light was torn down, and the new and still standing Old Baldy was given life. Constructed from soft red bricks, many of which were salvaged from the original light station. In it’s time as a working light station Old Baldy required constant upkeep from the elements; the 110 ft tower was once completely white. When the light was decommissioned in 1935, it was left to ruin. On occasion the caring good citizen would “patch” the old tower’s stucco and add small bits of white here and there, thus giving “Old Baldy” the patchwork look it now enjoys today. In 1988 the historic light was relit, but does not serve as a navigational aide.

darkdoorwayToday Old Baldy stands watch over the island as a reminder of it’s rich history, and those who have come and gone before. Some say the old light is haunted. Numerous reports of ghost sightings are reported every year. And although during my visit I didn’t encounter anything other worldly, it is easy to imagine lost souls wandering the grounds of this beautiful place.

With so much history, beauty, and vibrance. Bald Head Island, is a place that must be seen to be believed. A short ferry ride from South Port, NC will get you to this “car free” island paradise. Stay a day, stay a week. Either way go. You won’t regret it.

brick2_1For more information about the Bald Head Island Lighthouse visit click here.