Tag Archives: South Carolina Nature Photography

A Tale of Two Nights | The Ethereal Between Sky and Sea

In this area of South Carolina, on the far bottom “corner” of the map, more often than not it is the dance of light between sea and sky that result in the landscape photographs that have the most visual impact and strongest emotional connection between photographer and viewer. Actual “land” is kept at a minimum. Just a sliver of shoreline or beach or perhaps a wandering marshland. Horizons are minimal. The eye of the landscape photographer is pulled skyward, or below along a watery expanse of ocean or estuary. Sometimes rules are broken and the thin line of horizon is stretched right across the middle of the frame, in those moments when there’s a balance in the dance of light and color from above and below.

April through May along the coast of South Carolina is only matched by October through November in the quality of light for landscape photography. It has always been during those times when I find myself in the midst of sea, sky and light that literally takes my breath away. I’ll stand wide-eyed in unbelief of the beauty that I find myself within. I grapple with camera, lens and tripod while thinking “yes, this is what I’m meant to do. There’s a reason I’m here to capture this.”

Last week presented two of those experiences, on successive evenings at sunset. What was truly fascinating was the contrast between the light and scenes captured while on the water Thursday evening to the photographs of Friday at sunset. Thursday was a storm front passing overhead with shapes, shadows and filtered light that changed the color on the waves to something I’ve never seen before. On Friday calm prevailed in the sky with the hypnotic stare of an enormous full Moon rising over the Atlantic while the waves of a high tide in spring reached all the way to the forward edge of the dunes.

Grace. That’s what keeps coming to mind when I think of the experience of being present in these places and in those moments of ethereal light. Whether on the coast of South Carolina or in the Appalachian foothills of Southeastern Ohio or the high desert and mountains of New Mexico. Grace through gratitude for the opportunity to be lost within the light.

Thursday evening, April 5 2012, on Broad Creek | Hilton Head Island:


Friday evening, April 6 2012 @ Burke’s Beach | Hilton Head Island:


Gift of the Good Light | Spring Nature Photography on Hilton Head Island

Spring came early to Hilton Head Island. What normally would be considered May weather conditions has settled-in here in the Low Country of South Carolina, and with it has come some incredible light, particularly at sunrise and sunset. The gift of the good light awaits the photographer who gets up early and stays out late. The following are images I captured during the weekend of March 17 – 18, 2012 with locations that include Broad Creek, Broad Creek Marina and Burke’s Beach Park.

“A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety”. ~Ansel Adams

Deep in the Dimming of the Day | Peaceful and Primordial

I’m blessed and fortunate to have such beautiful scenes to photograph, literally right outside my backdoor. What the Carolina Low Country lacks in visually dramatic topography, such as hills and mountains, it more than makes up for it with hauntingly beautiful sunsets over the wide expanse of estuaries and tidelands. Where land meets sea there’s a primordial energy that entraps and entrances the creative soul. The experience here at sunset and dusk goes beyond the mere visual aesthetics of a well-composed landscape. The lingering light of the setting sun and the softness that follows ebbs gently from the tiniest of details of life in the marshland. From the curving shadows and faint hues of sea grass in moonlight to the weathered texture of the old wood on the dock to the toothy smile of exposed oyster beds at low tide. Life slows to an almost standstill at this time of day and to those who notice, the early evening sky becomes almost like a prayer set to light, shape and color. Just before the appearance of night’s first stars a final farewell comes in the calls of gull, heron and egret on the flight of their evening commute to rest and roost.