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@drandallblythe / D. Randall Blythe

Photos and videos by drandallblythe

"Tell me a story" Beaufort, SC. I have been chasing waves & photos & digging, digging, digging for the idea at the center of my next book down the coast of the American South. It's not just a surf trip or a photo trip or a writing trip- it's all of these things & none of them at the same time. Sometimes an physical journey can take you on a deeper trip into the interior- that's where the art sleeps, waiting to be awoken & given a voice. What I do & see, what I eat, where I stay, who I meet- these things shape me & the course of my life as a writer. For the most part I've been going where the swell & my heart takes me, but one place I knew before I ever left home that was an absolute must-stop was Beaufort, SC- I had to come & pay my respects at the grave of the beloved author Pat Conroy, one of the greatest story tellers to ever rise out of the American South (or anywhere else). I BELIEVE IN THE PRIMACY OF STORY- it has shaped human history since the advent of spoken language. Our stories are the way the rest of the world can learn to identify with us, no matter how disparate our backgrounds. Conroy was indisputably a master of story, & his work (Beach Music, The Great Santini, The Prince of Tides- all of it) has brought me so much joy over the years- I even mention his work in my own book. Sadly, he died last year before we could meet, but you can feel in his presence in the air of Beaufort- he wrote so beautifully about the Lowcountry & this town, & walking here has been like being in one of his books; a shrimp boat coming in to dock at sunset can take you into another world. "Man wonders but God decides/When to kill the Prince of Tides..." #Leica #LeicaCamera #LeicaCameraUSA #LeicaM #LeicaMP #LeicaMP240 #Summilux #Summilux50mm #LeicaCraft #🔴📷 #MyLeicaJourney #MKexplore #streetdreamsmag #RatsEyesPhotography #HoneTheAesthetic
"Into the Lowcountry" McClellanville, SC. You are now entering one of the most beautiful regions on God's green earth. A older woman from SC I met on the OBX told me to make sure to stop in McClellanville during my travels- it's a tiny & beautiful fishing town in the Lowcountry. This is the value of possessing the skill of actually being able to talk & listen to people, a skill that seems to be disappearing in this era of Google- most folks WANT to tell you about cool local stuff. Just put down the freaking phone long enough to listen. The pocket Jesus is no replacement for a chat with a local... #Leica #LeicaCamera #LeicaCameraUSA #LeicaM #LeicaMP #LeicaMP240 #Summicrom #Summicron75mm #LeicaCraft #🔴📷 #MyLeicaJourney #MKexplore #streetdreamsmag #RatsEyesPhotography #HoneTheAesthetic
"Outlaw Life" Pawleys Island, SC. Scored absolutely beautiful waist-high peelers here. Such a nice (& warm) session- I even paddled through the pier & escaped without being fined or imprisoned. What the heck- I'm an outlaw. You don't wanna get mixed up with a guy like me, Dottie. I'm a loner. A rebel, and baby, I'm just like you- I'm on the hunt. So long... #Leica #LeicaCamera #LeicaCameraUSA #LeicaM #LeicaMP #LeicaMP240 #Summilux #Summilux50mm #LeicaCraft #🔴📷 #MyLeicaJourney #MKexplore #streetdreamsmag #RatsEyesPhotography #HoneTheAesthetic
"Nights in Cash Money Crew" Rodanthe, NC. This is the house from the movie "Nights in Rodanthe", a romantic film based on a book by @nicholassparks. I freaking LOVE this movie (& all other movies based on his books, & the books themselves, as 90% of them seem to be set in coastal NC- I also love watching a good romantic comedy with my wife.) Right now some of you are probably groaning "Dood, that's AWFUL! You should be watching BRUTAL HORROR MOVIES & listening to METAL." Ummmm... NO. NO FUCKS GIVEN. I enjoy watching this flick & getting all teary & choked up & listening to sissy music afterwards. ALONE. IN MY TRUCK. WHILE VAPING. HA! In fact, at some point I will write MY OWN punk rock version of a Sparks-style book- I have studied & figured out his formulae, a WINNING formulae that has made him BAZIILLIONS OF DOLLARS. When my punk rock romance novel comes out, dudes in black tshirts with illegible fonts will be (as usual) crying on their internet posts about how lame this is, but me? Well, I'll be sleeping on a bed made of Benjamins. Everywhere I go, panties will fly through the air at me like a hurricane from all the women who love my book. And some of those metal dudes will catch themselves reading it, despite themselves. Then they will weep. All alone. Into their empty pizza box. In their Mom's basement. AND THEY WILL HATE THEMSELVES. And I will laugh & go on vacation. FORVER. I'm gonna be RIIIIIICHHHHH!!!!! Thanks @nicholassparks for paving the way! #Leica #LeicaCamera #LeicaCameraUSA #LeicaM #LeicaMP #LeicaMP240 #Summicron #Summicron75mm mm #LeicaCraft #🔴📷 #MyLeicaJourney #MKexplore #streetdreamsmag #RatsEyesPhotography #HoneTheAesthetic
"The Way It Should Be" Rodanthe, NC. I've spent several days camping in Rodanthe on this surf/writing/photography trip I am taking down the coast, & I think this beautiful little village is one of my favorite areas on the islands. The locals are cool, there's a great taco truck (right beside Stingray's Bar & Grill- the lady who owns it is so sweet!), & there's also this- Rodanthe Surf Shop. This is a REAL-DEAL old school surf shop, surfer owned & operated. I had a few nice chats with the owner, Jason, who's sitting out front in this photo. If you're passing through the OBX, stop by there to get what ya need for the beach instead of giving your money to one of those big box stores staffed by people who don't know a damn thing about the culture- I went to one of the larger stores up north earlier during the trip & the kid behind the counter asked what I was looking for- I told him gloves & he asked "Um, what for?" Uhhhhhh.... SURFING. THIS IS A SURF SHOP, isn't it? Anyway, Rodanthe has this rad little shop with an old-school vibe. I'm trying to support these types of places on this trip- independently owned local small businesses are where it's at! Stop by when you're in OBX, get yourself what ya need, & tell Jason I said wassup if he's there! #Leica #LeicaCamera #LeicaCameraUSA #LeicaM #LeicaMonochrom #Monochrom #Summilux #Summilux21mm #🔴📷 #MyLeicaJourney #MKexplore #blackandwhite #bnw_planet #bnw_life #pocket_bnw #bnw_captures #noir_shots #RatsEyesPhotography #HoneTheAesthetic
"Never Turn Your Back On The Enemy" Frisco, NC. This is the Frisco pier- it dates back to the 60's, but has fallen on hard times in recent years due to hurricanes. Piers are much loved by surfers, as sandbars form around them, enabling waves to break- they can also block the wind sometimes. Piers can also be sketchy to surf by- you have to be careful. Yesterday, a different pier bit back & I had to pay a few dues. I was dropping in way too late on a big-ass dumpy wave & it just chucked me through the air like a rag doll (my buddy said it was definitely wipe out of the month- when I came up everyone was hooting & laughing). After the wave punished me pretty good & spun me around underwater for a bit, I popped up right beside the pier- then the set waves kept on coming & the current was dragging me beneath the pier- crap! Luckily my leash didn't get wrapped around a pylon, & my board didn't hit anything, but one time I was forced to put my feet against a pylon so the rest of my body wouldn't slam into it. I took a few set waves on the head beneath the pier, then popped out the other side. It was a really high tide & a strong side shore current- I was trying to keep my feet as high on the pylon as possible to avoid barnacles, but the ball of my right foot got a few slices underneath anyways. It's not bad, just a pain in the ass in that location. The pier giveth & the pier taketh away... #Leica #LeicaCamera #LeicaCameraUSA #LeicaM #LeicaMP #LeicaMP240 #Summicron #Summicron75mm mm #LeicaCraft #🔴📷 #MyLeicaJourney #MKexplore #streetdreamsmag #RatsEyesPhotography #HoneTheAesthetic #pierpressure #surfanddestroy
"On the Importance of Worthy Role Models" (AKA "REAL MAN STUFF", PART 2- see last post for part 1 about the black surfmen of Pea Island) AVON, NC. This is what remains of the wreck of the Priscilla- she grounded 100 yards off the beach in 1899- the rusty spikes you see are iron nails that held the 643-ton ship together. Rasmus Midgett, a surfman serving at Gull Shoals Life Saving Station, was walking the beach on patrol during a hurricane on Aug. 17, 1899. At 4 AM he saw the shattered Priscilla out to sea, & heard the cries of the crew. Rasmus had a choice- go 3 hours back for help, or attempt a solo rescue. He chose to act, entering the dark water & telling 7 men to jump one at a time, pulling them through hurricane waves to the shore. 3 men to were too injured to jump, so he swam to the ship, got on board, & carried them to safety. To do this in a freaking HURRICANE was beyond brave- to do it ALONE AT NIGHT was some SUPERHUMAN stuff, saving 10 lives because he acted despite what must have been immense fear. Men & women like this STILL EXIST- they are our Fire Fighters, 1st Responders, Coast Guard folks, EMTs, Life Guards, Marine Patrol- these are the folks WORTHY of respect that the youth should look up to, NOT some asinine reality tv "star" or celebrity- today's fame-obsessed culture is WEAK- stop feeding your brain with GARBAGE. When I went back to show some friends this wreck, some LOSER had had a fire on the timbers the night before- this is real-life heroic history, & the lack of respect pissed me off. Respect history, & thank those that keep us safe today- I SALUTE Y'ALL. #Leica #LeicaCamera #LeicaCameraUSA #LeicaM #LeicaMonochrom #Monochrom #Summilux #Summilux21mm #🔴📷 #MyLeicaJourney #MKexplore #blackandwhite #bnw_planet #bnw_life #pocket_bnw #bnw_captures #noir_shots #RatsEyesPhotography #HoneTheAesthetic
"On the Importance of Worthy Role Models" (AKA "REAL MAN STUFF", PART ONE) Pea Island, NC. Wreck of the Belle of Miller Place, NY- she's been here since 2013 when the owner fell asleep while sailing- luckily no one was hurt. But had this happened right here in the late 1800's, Richard Etheridge & the men of the Pea Island Life Saving Station would have been there (the Life Saving Service was the precursor to our Coast Guard today). Etheridge was born a slave on the OBX, & fought in the Union Army during the Civil War, becoming one of the "Buffalo Soldiers." After the war, he returned home, & was appointed to run the Pea Island Life Saving Station- he was well known as one of the best watermen on the Outer Banks, but the white crew already in place refused to serve under him & deserted their posts. Someone even came back later & burned the station down, but Etheridge was not deterred. A strict disciplinarian, he trained an all-black crew (the only one in the service), & in the dark of the night DURING A HURRICANE on Oct. 11, 1896 they SWAM to the wreck of the E.S. Newman, attached a rope, & rescued all of her passengers. Conditions were too bad to take a boat out or fire a harpoon with a guideline attached, so swimming in the night was the only option the black surfmen had (I have surfed hurricane waves during the day that have had my heart in my throat- to do this at night was an INCREDIBLE feat of bravery.) No flashlights, no wetsuits, no radios for back up- just SKILL & GUTS. That's REAL MAN STUFF. There's a book about these men called "Fire on the Beach", & a documentary called "Rescue Men" (rent it on iTunes)- check it out. Feed your brain with knowledge of WORTHY role models, not reality tv/celebrity GARBAGE. #Leica #LeicaCamera #LeicaCameraUSA #LeicaM #LeicaMonochrom #Monochrom #Summilux21mm #🔴📷 #MyLeicaJourney #MKexplore #blackandwhite #bnw_planet #bnw_life #pocket_bnw #bnw_captures #noir_shots #RatsEyesPhotography #HoneTheAesthetic
"Pier Pressure" (for @petehalvorsen) Rodanthe Pier, OBX, NC. #Leica #LeicaCamera #LeicaCameraUSA #LeicaM #LeicaMP #LeicaMP240 #Summicron #Summicron75mm #🔴📷 #MyLeicaJourney #MKexplore #streetdreamsmag #RatsEyesPhotography #HoneTheAesthetic #pierpressure #obx
Since I'm the photographer, I rarely get any photos of me surfing- thanks @tannercaulkk for grabbing this snap of me going backside at Rodanthe this afternoon (it closed out on me). Swell is a bit wonky, but we're catching a few fun ones (thurs was pretty epic at KDH). Happy Urf Day, everyone. Yeeeeewwwwww! #nightmarearmy #surfanddestroy #surfersonlyparty #obx
Put some sick waves beneath my @nightmareshapes surfboard this morning. Big, peeling, good form, powerful. On the hunt... tunes by: @abottlevolcanic. #nightmarearmy #surfanddestroy #abottlevolcanic #ncobx
"Way Better Than T.V." North Carolina Aquarium, Manteo, NC. #Leica #LeicaCamera #LeicaCameraUSA #LeicaM #LeicaMonochrom #Monochrom #Summilux #Summilux21mm #🔴📷 #MyLeicaJourney #MKexplore #blackandwhite #bnw_planet #bnw_life #pocket_bnw #bnw_captures #noir_shots #RatsEyesPhotography #HoneTheAesthetic
"Cemetery Watchman" OBX, NC. Bodie (pronounced "body") Island Lighthouse. Shines a light over the Graveyard of the Atlantic... #Leica #LeicaCamera #LeicaCameraUSA #LeicaM #LeicaMP #LeicaMP240 #Summilux #Summilux21mm #LeicaCraft #🔴📷 #MyLeicaJourney #MKexplore #streetdreamsmag #RatsEyesPhotography #HoneTheAesthetic
"Flow" OBX, NC. Thank you beautiful young lady who randomly showed up at sunset to dance by the sound. #Leica #LeicaCamera #LeicaCameraUSA #LeicaM #LeicaMP #LeicaMP240 #Summicron #Summicron75mm #LeicaCraft #🔴📷 #MyLeicaJourney #MKexplore #streetdreamsmag #RatsEyesPhotography #HoneTheAesthetic
There has been a small pod of three humpback whales hunting the stretch of ocean in front of my camp for the last two days. They are displaying lunge feeding behavior- they swim below a school of fish or krill then lunge upwards with open mouths, swallowing thousands of fish at once. Humpbacks also employ a technique known as "bubble netting", where they swim below prey and blow bubbles in a spiral shape to herd & corral the fish together. This is only the second time I have seen whales in the wild before- it brings such joy to everyone on the beach to see them. When they first showed up yesterday, I grabbed my longboard and paddled out as fast as I could to visit them (wish I had my SUP with me- it's quicker). I sat in the ocean all alone, a respectful distance from where I had seen the whales breaching. After a while, a humpback breached about a hundred yards from me- this was a spiritual experience that you can't understand unless you do it yourself- this was my Easter. In this modern era, I do not understand how anyone could kill one of these gentle giants...
"Wind Striation" Corolla, NC. Wild horses roam here. #Leica #LeicaCamera #LeicaCameraUSA #LeicaM #LeicaMonochrom #Monochrom #Summilux #Summilux50mm #🔴📷 #MyLeicaJourney #MKexplore #blackandwhite #bnw_planet #bnw_life #pocket_bnw #bnw_captures #noir_shots #RatsEyesPhotography #HoneTheAesthetic
"The Riddle of Swell" RANDY: "Conan! What is best in life?" CONAN: "To crush your enemies. See them driv-" RANDY: (slaps Conan across the face with a soggy 1.5 mil glove) "WRONG! Why am I asking you anyway? You don't even exist! Now THIS is what is best in life- to wake up all alone with the morning sun and the sound of waves crashing in the ocean behind you. To make a fresh French press of black coffee & slurp it down. To grab your board & go charge peeling chest-high left handers. To pee in your wetsuit. This is REALITY, & it is good." CONAN: "But I cannot even swim." RANDY: "Your loss. Beat it, kook." #Leica #LeicaCamera #LeicaCameraUSA #LeicaM #LeicaMonochrom #Monochrom #Summilux #Summilux21mm #🔴📷 #MyLeicaJourney #MKexplore #blackandwhite #bnw_planet #bnw_life #pocket_bnw #bnw_captures #noir_shots #RatsEyesPhotography #HoneTheAesthetic
"What the tide brings" Corolla, NC. Watching this young boy crabbing beneath a bridge was quite nostalgic for me. For you inlanders who don't know about the simplest way to crab, it's this: get some string & some chicken/turkey necks. Tie the string around the bone, then throw it in the water. Eventually you'll feel a crab tugging on it- bring it up slowly to the surface of the water, & scoop the crab out of the water with a dip net (a net on a pole). Repeat process until you have enough for dinner. This kid was maybe six years old, catching his dinner. In this modern era, most people will never experience this- procuring their own food. In some very important ways, that means this child knows more about life than most adults. That's sad to me. Know where your food comes from & eat local when you can, y'all. #Leica #LeicaCamera #LeicaCameraUSA #LeicaM #LeicaMonochrom #Monochrom #135mm #apotelyt135mm #🔴📷 #MyLeicaJourney #MKexplore #blackandwhite #bnw_planet #bnw_life #pocket_bnw #bnw_captures #noir_shots #RatsEyesPhotography #HoneTheAesthetic