A few yards from the asphalt are sea oats, sand dunes and half-buried wood-and-wire fences.
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But in these late hours, nothing is visible.
During the day, soft clouds burn pink above the water and, in certain spots, wild mustangs graze on sea grass.
This narrow band of sand known as the Outer Banks is a place of serenity and natural beauty — the kind of setting that beckons artists and photographers.
But not in the darkness. Not unless you’re Bruce Wilder.
Having dabbled in photography since he was a child, the Keedysville resident often has a vision of the image he hopes to creates.
In this case, he decided to do a little light painting -— not with an easel and brush, but by using a photographic technique that involves casting light on and around subjects in the dark during a time exposure.
The result was an image that captured Best Photograph By a Washington County Photographer at the 80th annual Cumberland Valley Photographic Salon.
Wilder’s photograph, along with other juried entries, will be on view Saturday, Jan. 26, through Sunday, April 14, at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in Hagerstown.
An opening reception and awards ceremony will be from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, at the museum.
Judging for the juried competition took place in December, with juror Regina DeLuise narrowing down the winners from 421 entries. DeLuise is the chairwoman of photography at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.
In conjunction with the Cumberland Valley Photographic Salon, an exhibit of DeLuise’s work will be on view in the Baer Gallery Saturday, Jan. 26, through Sunday, April 14.
Wilder said he has been participating in the salon since 1986 and took second prize for a pictorial in 1988.
“I had many more images accepted through the years, but in 2005 I took Best of Show, plus second and third in figure studies,” he said. “That was a big year for me.”
Now, he can add Best Photograph By a Washington County Photographer to his salon wins.
Wilder said he doesn’t know what caught the juror’s eye this year, “but I can say I had a real good feeling about this image right after I saw it on the LCD (liquid crystal display) screen of my camera.”
The photograph was taken in September during a visit to the Outer Banks, he said.
“I passed there a few times during the day, saw the sea oats on the dune and got the vision for the light painting,” he said. “I went back after dark; (this) was my fourth try.”