Top 5 Places for Photography in the NC Outer Banks

5 Best Places to Shoot Photos in the Outer Banks of North Carolina

The Outer Banks is a string of barrier islands in North Carolina known for their remote ocean side beaches and calm soundside waterfront areas. To narrow it down to just 5 top places was somewhat difficult with so many great locations for photography here, but the ones I have selected are all a must if you are in the OBX.

1. Bodie Island Lighthouse

Cades Cove Photo Locations Great Smoky Mountains TNLocated on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the historic Bodie Island Lighthouse is an iconic landmark that you won’t want to miss. It offers one of the best options for night photography as the lighthouse makes for a great subject during the darker hours and the Milky Way can also be seen here on a clear night. This black and white bands painted on this horizontal structure surrounded by a white picket fence is an iconic Outer Banks landmark and always provides a great subject for your coastal photography.

2. Manteo Warterfront Park

Smoky Mountains Photo Location Gatlinburg TennesseeRoanoke Marshes Lighthouse is a cottage like structure out over the water in Shallowbag Bay that is a lovely example of a working screwpile lighthouse replica with a wooden boardwalk and boating dock that provides a number of interesting vantage points when setting up your shot. Located in downtown Manteo, the waterfront park is easy to find and there is ample parking close by. You can even find a good cup of coffee and a tasty breakfast at one of the sidewalk cafes in downtown when you're finished shooting.

3. Nags Head Pier

Great Smoky Mountains Best Landscape Photography LocationsThe Nags Head Pier is a wooden fishing pier located right on the beach in the Nags Head area. At sunrise with dramatic skies a wide angle shot using your tripod will allow you to use a long exposure techniques to get the perfect wave crashing along the pier and rushing up the sandy beach. Don’t be afraid to get into the scene and get your feet wet for the best shots of the wave action! There is frequently a lot of wind in the OBX which can complicate things for many possible shot locations, but the wind isn’t an issue for this kind of shooting and can actually be an advantage stirring up larger and more active surf to provide great action in your frames.

4. Duck Boardwalk

Oconaluftee Valley Overlook Location Great Smoky Mountains National ParkThere are not many public areas in the Outer Banks on the sound side, but you will find a beautiful boardwalk in Duck that is open to the public. Looking west over the sound side allows for a perfect setup for your sunset photo. There are cypress trees in the water right off the boardwalk as well as numerous waterfowl depending on the season. As with most places, a big sunset sky or light rays over the water here will produce dramatic images. Some cloudy afternoons have been known to produce epic light shows as crepsascular rays shine down on the water.

5. Wild Horses on Corolla Beach

The wild horses of Corolla beach are found on the tidal flats and along the beachfront. You have possibilities for several types of shots with these majestic true free roaming ponies. Access to the area is only available by driving up the beach, and a 4x4 vehicle capable of driving in soft sand is necessary to make the trek. Fortunately, there are several wonderful wild horse tour guides that take you directly to the ponies. The best time to go is the evening during the golden hour, when there is still enough light for you to get a sharp picture.

I hope these tips will help you to improve your own photography. Use the links to navigate forward, backward, or go to the "Main Menu"

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Outer Banks Landscape Photography Locations
OBX North Carolina Places To Take Photos
Take Pictures of NC Beaches and Coastal Photo Locations
Outer Banks Beach Photo Location Nags Head