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Did you say Pee Dee River?


I’m always seeking good photographic opportunities near home. Close locations quickly become regularly visited sites that don’t require extensive planning or travel time.

Some local spots I’ve found thought my own explorations, others via the Internet and a few have been learned of from photographer friends.

Paul Lester recently ‘shared’ a location for which I did a daytime reconnaissance visit to last Friday. I normally visit new sites during the full light of day to get the lay of the land as well as general directions for sunrise and sunset. More specific visits targeted at certain times of the day or season can then be easily planned later.

Fridays’ site was along the Pee Dee River in central North Carolina just below the Tuckertown Reservoir Dam. It’s a good spot for water, fog and abundant egret/heron shots. I’ll be certain to bring a longer lens for my next visit as the river is wide and most of the heron and egrets like to keep to the other side.

It’s a short hike from the parking area down to the river. Paul had also mentioned that during the summer months mosquitoes are abundant. There were no problems on that front visiting at this time of year.


At first there was a little light fog hanging over the water (second photo) but a soft breeze quickly dispersed it.

This location seems to be a very popular local fishing spot. I was surprised and highly disappointed to see the amount of trash accumulated along the banks of the river. There were even dozens of small empty propane cylinders abandoned on the shore. Who knows what’s been tossed into the water.

I would think anyone who enjoys getting out in nature and fishing would want to keep the river and land clean. Obviously not, It was sad and disgusting. Man may be the only species of animal that thinks nothing of figuratively “shitting” in his own “bed.”

Even with the trash, I’m adding this to my list of local spots to shoot.

Next visit I may bring some trash bags and spend a little time picking up trash along the banks. :-)

6 Comments on Did you say Pee Dee River?

  1. Very nice photos. I grew up on the Pee Dee River, in upstate SC.

  2. Well, Earl. I’m glad that you got a chance to see it! I’ve only been there a couple of times, and have not done it justice. It was in my plans to get there this fall, but being out of town kind of puts a damper on things, unfortunately.

    You are right about the trash. It is shameful. You could bring a Hefty Steel Sack and not make a dent. You’d think that grown-ups would be able to clean up after themselves.

    I’m looking forward getting together for a shoot. Too bad about our rain-out.

  3. Oh yeah, and I meant to say, this is certainly a job for the 200-500mm, a tripod, and a DX body! Those Heron’s like to stay, far, far, away on the other side. If you are lucky and patient, you’ll probably see an eagle or two as well!

  4. @Paul: I’m thinking a tripod, the 200-500mm, a 1.4 extender and a DX body…I’m going for the twinkle in their eyes! ;-)

    Oh…and plenty of light. :-)

  5. A recent comment was made asking if the second photo in this post would have looked better if I’d observed the rule of thirds with the dividing line between the dam and the water…giving 2/3’s of the photo to the water or to the dam.

    That did go into my considerations. However, the rule of thirds is simply a guideline not a hard and fast law.

    Also, just out of frame below the water is an ugly river bank with trash and just above the dam is an ugly metal crane they use to raise and lower the gates, so I was somewhat limited in what I could do.

    Sometimes a photo is composed as much by what’s not seen as what is. :-)

    I also thought that the harsh even pattern of the concrete dam and the soft foggy water gave a nice balance to the piece.

    Oh, I deleted the comment that asked this questions because there were multiple links in it to what appeared to be a commercial link site. The comment was entered by a human but it’s purpose appeared to be for spam. That’s a no-no on this site. ;-)

  6. @Kent: Thanks and it’s good to see you back online…hope you’ll stay a while.

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