I got an opportunity to do something I love this semester. Observing, learning, creating, travelling (as much as COVID restrictions allow anyways). I met new people, listened to their stories, and discovered so much more of the Outer Banks than I would have on my own. Why did I have access to these experiences? Well, I photographed them, as a photojournalism intern with the Coastal Studies Institute’s (CSI’s) outreach department. I worked with John McCord, the outreach director, and tag-teamed a lot of my projects with another intern, Lauren Colonair. She wrote stories, I took photos for them. Lauren and I got to go on road trips, talk to researchers at CSI, and have access to an incredible amount of camera and recording equipment. Our two final projects, videos on the 2020 Outer Banks Field Site (OBXFS) and the capstone research project, are available on the CSI YouTube channel.
I also worked on projects individually. The Coastal Landscape Initiative (CLI) is a program that promotes use of native plants in landscaping on the Outer Banks. Native plants are more environmentally friendly as they are already adapted to the environment and require less pesticides and care. CSI has beautifully landscaped gardens filled with native plants.
Many days, I would go around sunrise to photograph the flowers, insects, and plants. I enjoyed working on this project because I love spending time outside and observing nature. I can now identify a lot of the plants I see around campus and the Outer Banks. Here are a few photos I made:
My favorite part of my internship were the two personal photo projects I completed on wildlife and water. I got to work on these on my own time; they forced me to leave my room and explore the Outer Banks and stretch my creativity. I would work on these projects whenever I needed a break from class or capstone work. Usually around sunrise or sunset I would go find a new place to check out, and spend some time observing and practicing my patience before taking photos. I spent a lot of time trying to represent my subjects in unique ways.
My internship was a great experience. It helped improve my photography and videography skills and taught me more about what I want for my future. The semester is coming to a close, but everything I learned from my internship and classes will follow me. I’m grateful for this opportunity and that I got to do something I love. Sending a huge thank you to everyone at CSI who helped make the 2020 OBX Field Site a great experience.
– Heidi Hannoush, Class of 2023