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Aug 06, 2019
I'd heard a lot about Edisto Island, and especially with the proximity of Botany Bay I'd been looking forward to going there on a photo trip for some time, and last week we had the opportunity. Edisto is an island that is pretty much free of commercialization, so you'll find nicely kept, family-filled beaches that aren't overly crowded even in the middle of summer.
As much as I love the beach, my main purpose of going there, other than to visit with friends, was to check out the photo ops! We were lucky enough to stay at a house right on the beach, so within minutes of arrival, the photo ops started. In the form of Pelicans. Hundreds of them. It seemed we were on the Peilcan flightpath! While there were individuals that flew by, the spectacle was really the long lines of them winding their way above our rooftop. When I say hundreds of them, I mean literally hundreds! One of the Pelican conga lines we stopped counting at 117, and they were still coming. Not all at once, but in a graceful, gliding long line.
While not really a pretty bird, I found beauty in their flight and the ease with which they used the thermals to fly by the house, or to skim the wave tops.
Of course, a few people have asked how I get such sharp, well-exposed images of birds in flight. Well, a lot of it is to do with the settings I use on my camera, but knowing which settings has come with a LOT of practice over very many years of photographing birds. For these photos where the birds are against the sky I use continuous auto focus with all the AF sensors active. If there were a cluttered background, I'd use a more effective AF selection....which one??? Ah, well, for that you'd have to join me on one of my tour workshops. I also choose the right metering option, and know when to override the meter so I don't get bird silhouettes.
Those of you that have been on tour workshops with me know that when I'm shooting I'm very active at adjusting camera settings as I shoot, and now I've set up custom buttons and I'm getting used to it, my new Nikon Z6 is becoming my go-to camera.
A trip to Edisto is not complete without a visit to Botany Bay! Having seen the photos from other photographers it's been on my list for a very long time, and while we couldn't get there for a sunrise shoot on this trip, it was still a worthwhile visit to see the carcasses of tress that have succumbed to the tides.
Lastly, I couldn't miss the opportunity to take a few milky way photos from the deck of the house. I'm by no means an expert in this type of photography, but practicing is really fun, and while I wasn't able to do any light-painting there due to active turtle nests, there was plenty of light from the houses along the beach to illuminate the dunes.
Click here to purchase photos from my collection www.colinhocking.photography
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