Author Archives: Ed Erkes

Using Auto Exposure Lock

When I first started in photography, I used aperture priority mode pretty much all the time. Later I learned the advantages of using manual exposure mode in certain situations. However, I still felt more comfortable using aperture priority mode and preferred using it when possible. Eventually I devised a method of using Auto Exposure Lock as a substitute for manual exposure mode. I wrote an article on the technique in 2011 that was published in  Nikonians eZine, Number 51.  The article reviews the merits of automatic and manual exposure modes, then describes in detail how I use the Auto Exposure Lock Method as a substitute for manual exposure. If you photograph wildlife, sports or any other type of action photography, using Auto Exposure Lock has one big advantage over manual exposure. I’ve revised the article, adding more images and clarifying some points, and published it on this website. To view the article click  here.

Posted in Photography Technique, Uncategorized

Lake Mattamuskeet NWR


I spent last Saturday and Sunday at Lake Mattamuskeet NWR.  Lake Mattamuskeet is about 45 minutes east of Pungo lake (in Pocosin Lakes NWR). I first went to Pungo Lake but there were few photographic opportunities there, so I headed over to Lake Mattamuskeet. I didn’t have much luck with wildlife there either, but did get a couple of nice scenic shots. Above is a night shot of the old Lake Mattamuskeet Lodge/Pump Station. Below are two sunset shots on Lake Mattamuskeet, and an afternoon image of the Lake Mattamuskeet Lodge. The second sunset image is a composite of four images. I used a flashlight to light paint the different trees and dock in several shots and combined them in Photoshop. No light painting was done with the night image of Lake Mattamuskeet Lodge. Continue reading »

Posted in Locations Tagged , , |

Pocosin Lakes NWR


I went to the Pungo unit of Pocosin Lakes NWR in eastern North Carolina on Saturday. Had initially planned to take my one-man camper and stay overnight at a nearby campground, but the weather forecast for Sunday was not very favorable. So I decided to make it a day trip instead and awoke at 3:00 am to take the 2 1/2 hour drive to the refuge. A number of years ago, I would make several trips each January and February, but I hadn’t been in several years due to increasing restrictions on access. Continue reading »

Posted in Locations Tagged , , , |

Watching Wood Ducks



Over the last two and a half years I’ve spent more than 260 hours observing and photographing the wood ducks on my pond.  On at least 110 different days, spread across all four seasons, I’ve hiked down to my pond for the sole purpose of watching and photographing wood ducks. And I still look forward to each opportunity to spend time with them. It may be hard for many to understand why I am so drawn to them and it is not particularly easy for me to explain. Those that have a love for nature and the outdoors will find it easier. First, the ducks themselves are such beautiful, fascinating creatures with so many interesting behaviors. Second, the wood ducks are close by. We’re neighbors, sharing the same land. I’ve always been keenly interested in the nature around me; much less so in the natural world of more distant areas. That is probably the reason I have never had any desire to go on a photo safari to Africa or some other distant region. Third, and possibly most importantly, time spent in nature can have a calming, refreshing effect on the heart and soul. Stress melts away, the cluttered mind clears. Life slows down for a while. Continue reading »

Posted in Nature, Wood Ducks Tagged , |



Welcome to the first post on my website. It is taking a little time to figure out the workings of WordPress, so please be patient with me. I’ll be adding more images to the galleries and begin posting articles in the near future.

I just returned from the annual Western NC Foto Fest held in Montreat, NC. While I did enjoy the nature photography presentations, I was much more excited about the opportunities to do a little photography in the area. I spent one morning photographing the elk at Cataloochee Cove, about an hour and a half away in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. On another morning I tried to capture a sunrise image at Pounding Mill Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but was shut out by clouds and fog. I also spent one morning and evening photographing the mandarin drakes at Lake Susan in Montreat. I was able to get some decent images of elk, but the best images I obtained were of the mandarin drakes. Two of my favorites are shared with you here. Continue reading »

Posted in Nature, Wood Ducks