N 35°56’24.93″ W 78°34’39.74″ Google Earth location
I’ve been half-heartedly trying to recreate this image for a couple years now, and finally managed it this past World Turtle Day – mostly because, this time, I’d loaded the original into my smutphone and could do direct comparisons while on site. The location given is within a few meters, because it slipped my mind to plot it exactly with the same smutphone and the aerial views I am now working from are too obscured by trees. But the image that I was duplicating, more or less, is this one:
Carefully comparing the two will reveal that I did not get exactly the right angle, but the details are close enough to show that I finally had the right spot – I’d done several different frames nearby on previous visits but never quite got the match; turns out I needed to be a tad further downriver. Despite the copyright tag, this image actually dates from July 2000 – I had scanned a bunch of slides for the then-new website but hadn’t noted date stamps, so the tag represents the first use online. Clearly, things were growing a bit more exuberantly in this image, but the slide film also did a much better job with the colors.
I was also working from a tripod for the latter, earlier image – the one from 2000 that appears second on the page, I mean – but handheld and counting on the stabilized lens for the former, latter image. Confused yet? Good. I wasn’t planning to do this shot at all, but recalled it while there and plotted it successfully. Not long afterward, my intestines said, Guess what we need to be doing soon?, and since there’s only one thing that’s ever on their mind, I was forced to hike to the facilities a few hundred meters away.
This whole region was a regular haunt when I lived in Raleigh, and many of my first slides are from here when I switched over on the advice from professional photographers. Somewhere nearby is the lock-screw from my old tripod, too, lost while on an excursion. My first professional publications were images and subjects gathered about 20 meters away. It’s a great area to check out, so if you’re nearby, go! But mind the poison ivy…