The Outer Banks of North Carolina provide not only wonderful beach vacations but also great history lessons to learn, including the story of accidental photographer extraordinaire, John T Daniels.
My family has made many trips to the North Carolina Outer Banks over the past few years. I love the beaches and my father loves the rich history the coast has to offer, from the mysterious story of Roanoke Island, to the Wright brothers.
At the Wright Brothers National Memorial Park at Kitty Hawk, Orville and Wilbur made their 1st spectacular airplane flights. Here, park guides give tours and explain the tribulations and successes of these two great pioneers. They started out as bicycle repairmen but on the desolate, windy dunes, they made history.
The Rangers telling the Wright brothers’ adventures always include another story – the story behind this iconic photograph.
John T Daniels, a worker at the Kill Devil Hills life saving station, had never used a camera before. Upon seeing Orville fly into the air, Daniels nearly forgot to squeeze the bulb and he was unsure if he succeeded in taking the photograph. It was not until the brothers returned home to Ohio that they developed the plate and the groundbreaking image was revealed.
Upon the dunes, watching the brothers fly was the only time Daniels would operate a camera during his lifetime. Yet it is an incredibly recognizable and important photograph.
Kill Devil Hills has sand dunes like mountains! It’s a mini Sahara. Kitty Hawk Kites across from the National Park Area offers hang gliding classes. I soared through the air, if only for thirty seconds, but it was awesome. Sadly, that roll of film was all over exposed. But I did get some great shots on some tungsten cross processed film of all the sand.
Bodie Island provides kayak tours and crabbing. You just have to watch out for the little buggers pinchers!
July 2008 was an earlier trip to this favorite strip of costal land. That time was my first experiment with double exposures. The images are still some of my favorite photographs I have taken.
Enjoy the Outer Banks!