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A shipwreck you can get to

November 02, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

We arrived at Hatteras Island in the middle of some nasty weather systems. There was a supermoon expected and the tides were already high. I set out to catch the moon but my patience REALLY needs some work. The moon showed up after I gave up and returned to the rental house.  But I did see the high tides and almost got wet as it surged between the dunes. I also got a glimpse of something on the beach in the surf. 

First Glimpse of the G A Hohler

Next morning I tried to catch a sunrise there with middling success but the thing in the surf was a little clearer and it looked like it could have been a boat at one time.

Later that morning and on subsequent days I got to examine the wreck more closely. Apparently it's what's left of the 4 masted schooner G A Kohler out of Baltimore that ran aground in a hurricane a little south of Salvo in August 1933.  Story


It seems the Kohler was sold to a local for $150 and it sat in the surf for about 10 years while the Hatterasmen picked it apart for salvage. Some buildings on the island were made from the planking of the schooner. 

In 1943  they set fire to the hulk to recover the ships iron fittings, for the war effort, I suppose. Burned to the water line the wreck was covered with sand , preserving it, and now goes through periodic uncoverings and recoverings caused by the vagaries of the Hatteras weather. 

This much was uncovered in Oct 2015. I hope it gets covered again soon to preserve it. 

See more of these and other pictures from Hatteras and environs at: http://www.billpiperphotos.com/salvo1015


A Day at the Masters

April 08, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

My brother and my two sons and I were lucky enough to get the Monday's practice rounds at augusta National this year. It's a seven hour drive each way and an all day walk in between. I'm just now recovering and instead of only slightly interested in this years "tune-ament"  I'm  kind of  excited, since now I'll have been near where I'll see all the shots made. 

Have some mobility issues so I couldn't get to any tight shots and apparently was more interested in the venue than the golfers. Next time I'll get the eyes over the sand trap shot, I hope.

Unbelievable venue, they treat you like you're a guest, the food is cheap and plentiful and I defy anyone to have a bad time there.  Building a gallery: Masters 2015   click on that link and come visit

Got a picture of Rory getting ready to warm up.

 This what the crowds looked like at about 8:30

And this is what Amen Corner looked like:

Brother and kids getting excited on the first fairway:

Autumn on the Blue Ridge Parkway

October 24, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Last Sunday I took a long overdue trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway to try to capture some fall colors. It was crowded but not as bad as I had worried that it would be. I'm not sure if I was a little early or a little late. There seemed to be no reds. I spotted this red tree out of the corner of my eye and had to drive a few miles and double back to get it. As I was coming up to the off road another car with a lady and two young girls,  apparently doing senior portraits, pulled in and took advantage of the autumn scene. They were backlit and the photographer didn't seem to be doing anything to help that. Oh well. 

The light in general was harsh as I managed to get there at the middle of the day. But backlighting seemed to make the autumn colors glow a little.

At the highest elevation that I visited there were few leaves. Around milepost 35 it seemed like I was lower down in the valley and the color picked up spectacularly.  Unfortunately there were few opportunities to pull of the increasingly busy road. I would have liked to get inside the woods and catch the sun shining in on the yellows.  But I got a few decent views and even one with people. 

All in all it was a nice, pleasant drive and I got some scouting done for next year. Check out my gallery at HERE 

Thanks, as always for looking. 



The Battle of New Market Heights -- a re-enactment

September 30, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

So I guess I have a blog. They re-enacted the Battle of New Market Heights last weekend in Henrico county Va.  I have wanted for some time to take photographs of a re-enactment and the close proximity was impossible to resist. Henrico and its partners did a wonderful job.

I was at first worried about the awful contrasty light. But we persevered. It was fun to be able to take pictures of people who wanted their picture taken. 


The 150th anniversary of the battle was yesterday. It's notable for showing the world that Negro troops could acquit themselves bravely in battle. Of the 18 Medals of honor awarded to black troops in this war, 14 were awarded in this battle. There aren't many black re-enactors and my one chance to capture one on film Saturday looks like I dropped the camera. So much for historical accuracy.  I was able to capture one "civilian". 

The re-enactors are actors and they were performing the entire time. I was careful not to capture any tourists in my shots but by later in the day that was impossible. 

The action scenes were fun as well. Much like shooting a sporting event. And, of course no do-overs. 

Visit my Battle of New Market Heights Gallery to see all of the photos from that day. 

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