Day 3 of Exploring the South: Edisto Island, Botany Bay Beach

Edisto Botany Bay Beach

The door swung open has I reached in to grab my backpack. It was a little heavier than usual but it was carrying my camera and two lenses, the typical setup for my outdoor explorations. The spring humidity finally kicked in which meant the nats and mosquitos were going to be annoying me all day, I figured I should probably spray on some bug repellant just in case. I closed the door to the Jeep and began walking down the trail. I was headed to Botany Bay Beach, part of Edisto Island. I saw a few pictures on the internet of the place and decided it was a good place to explore on the last day of my southern excursion. The temperature fulfilled the spring promised beauty for which the south is known for, it was definitely a good change of pace from the colder temperatures of the winter.

I arrived fairly late in the afternoon because earlier that morning I visited the Flowertown Festival. Although I didn’t get much other than the pictures of the Azaleas, it was fun to be surround by the excited of the festival after so many years. The closer I got to the coast, the more people I found packing up and hiking back to the parking lot. I didn’t understand it. One thing that never seizes to amaze me is how 99% of the people (probably an exaggeration, but still a lot) seem to always pack up and call it a day just before the sun begins to shine it’s warm rich colors of the evening sunset. When that happens its the absolute best time of the entire day. Everything is washed with remarkable golden tones which always renders incredible images. For the most part, early morning and late evening is when almost all landscapes are taken. Why? Because the quality of light is so ravishing. During the mid-afternoon, the sun is high in the sky and creates very harsh direct light that is extremely hard to photograph in. However, the evening light creates soft, balanced light which is warm and colorful. Today was a perfect example of that and thus stands as my argument that there is no substitution for good light.

As my thoughts wandered off I continued down the coast looking for interesting things. One of those included the rotten trees submerged with water around the base. I have yet to learn how exactly these trees manage to survive the crashing waves of the ocean but somehow they do. I spent about another hour on the beach relaxing as I listened ocean’s natural music and the sand blowing through the trees. I believe that Botany Beach is a relatively unfamiliar place, well its not exactly a swimmer friendly beach and most certainly not an exotic resort. But to those of us looking for a quiet place to enjoy, I highly recommend exploring the area, plus its free, apart from the gas.

This weekend trip has been a refreshing time for me. It has allowed me to process through some ideas and come up with a few new ones that will benefit you guys as clients. Some of those I will be announcing in the upcoming weeks, but right now I’m still working out the details. I’m excited for future of STUDIO 1250 and the potential we have together.

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More information about the Island:

Day 2 of Exploring the South: Green Pond

spanish moss oak trees green pong south carolina

The story actually begins just as the sun began to fall low in the sky, the air was calm and all I could hear was the sound of silence. It wasn’t until I escaped the busy highways and crowded streets that I found myself in this quite place, secluded away from the chaos of traffic lights and shopping centers…

I started the morning by honestly having no clue where I was going or where I would end up. I grabbed breakfast and headed down the road. I traveled south on the Savannah Highway, making only a few random stops along the way. One of those included an old gas station, it looked like a small house with a Texaco fuel pump in the front yard. Traveling on, I passed road signs guiding visitors to a particular boat landing, the name sparked my curiosity so I decided to follow. After 20 minutes of driving through backcountry roads, I realized that was yet to see another sign, perhaps this was the locals way of keeping out of towners away. Oh well, I got to see scenes of oak trees and open fields which is exactly what I was looking for, it was worth the detour. After finding my way back to civilization in the town of Yemassee, I made a quick stop by McDonald’s for a delicious $1 sweet tea and continued further south toward Hilton Head.

I pulled off the highway a few more times but by then the sun was at it’s highest point in the sky. The light was horrific because the sun was incredibly bright, washing out all the color of the scene, I wasn’t getting anything photo worthy. However, it was perfectly ok because I was enjoying the outdoors and the drive. The closer I got to Hilton Head, the more frustrated I became. Traffic was unbearable, hundreds of cars bumper to bumper, stopping at every traffic light in sight. Finally, I decided this was to much and I did not want to deal with this today. I turned around and headed north toward Beaufort. My next stop was Hunting Island. Hunting Island is a state park and runs the entire eastern side of the island (3 miles). One of the island’s important roles is it’s popular nesting ground for the endangered Loggerhead turtle along with many other wildlife. I particularly love this place because its an unpopulated area of beach with beautiful scenery. I highly recommend going out there for the afternoon.

On the way back I took one last detour, Wiggins Road. Yet another randomly picked place but this was most certainly a good choice. This stretch of back road was completely abandoned, not one car passed by me. For a moment, I thought I was back in Arizona on my road trip where I won’t see anyone for miles and mile. Down this road I saw a beautiful house in the distance surrounded by huge Oak trees and tall grass. It was at this time that sun had begun it’s decent from the sky. The light washed everything with a stunning warm orange tone, perfect for the spring atmosphere and for photographs. By this time I’m loving every bit of what I’m seeing. Only a mile down the road I passed an amazing Dogwood tree in full bloom (I think its a Dogwood, either that or a Cherry Blossom). And as you can see, the sun was illuminating it perfectly. When I saw it I immediately pulled off and started shooting. This is what it’s all about and this is what I like to call “Chasing Daylight.” The exciting part was that I didn’t know what would be further down the road. As I drove up to the next location, I knew I found an amazing spot. A small bridge covering a stream, beautiful Spanish moss covered Oak trees blowing in the wind, and a clear view of the setting sun.

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It’s amazing how much we miss when we stay within the confinements of the city or our homes. Who would have know this place existed? Not me. Not without getting out here an exploring the area we live in. You’d be surprised what you can find when you start looking for it.

(It’s always nice to have a little music as the sun goes down, hence the presence of the guitar).

Day 1 of Exploring the South: Sullivan’s Island

I’ve been spending to much time indoors recently. It was time to mix it up a bit and enjoy the refreshing sunshine. I came up with this small plan to spend the entire weekend aimlessly running around, seeking out new places to photograph. The first spot on my list was to simply to head down to Sullivans Island. Now I know what you’re thinking, not much of an exotic location but it’s one of my favorite places around Charleston. I remember spending lots of time out here during high school. A group of my friends and I would get together on a Friday evening, grab dinner and head to the beach for a late night stroll down the coast. I always remember our friend Karen tugging her guitar out there, I’m very glad she did. After walking, we would lay there in the sand to watch the stars twinkle above us. Karen strummed the guitar and sang our favorite tunes, her voice in harmony with the waves crashing against the shore. The atmosphere of the night created an unforgettable moment that I still cherish today. Since moving back to Charleston, coming back to this spot creates this feeling of happiness inside of me. Probably has something to do with me dreaming of coming back for so long (about 4 years), now that I’m finally here its like a dream come true. I’ve been replaying those memories in my head and it’s almost hard to fathom that I am actually here.

I can always find peace coming out here to the beach. Hence why it was my first stop.

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Paddling through Cypress Gardens

Cypress Gardens

Birds chirping from above, the black swampy water still as glass, baby turtles and alligators bathing in the sun, and a paddle boat to enjoy it all. I stroked my paddle through the water, gracefully moving the boat deeper through the swamp. James and Rachel sitting behind me, each of us content with the peacefulness that surrounded us. As I sat there in the boat, I was once again reminded about the importance of nature and how it refreshes our souls. It’s sad that we often forget this when we are constantly surrounded by sidewalks, roadways, and buildings. I encourage you to spend more time doing other activities besides always being locked up inside everyday. Get out there, explore things you’ve never seen before, do things you’ve never done before. Even if it is taking a walk in the park or watching the sunset on the beach. It changes you inside, it brings a peace that our minds need, especially at the pace we live our daily lives. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

Here is a glimpse of what we experienced at Cypress Gardens.

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Hello World! Happy Birthday to Little Baby Boy, Easton Bordner!

Today Mike and Baillie gave birth to beautiful little Easton. He was born on February 13th, 2011 at 5:52pm, weighing 7lbs 3.5 ounces and 18 inches long. Although he put momma through 14 hours of labor, both him and Baillie came out perfectly fine and healthy. You can see the nervous tension as Mike and Baillie’s families waited anxiously outside the door. Their parents struggled with hearing Baillie going through so much pain, but as soon as we heard the glorious sound of a baby cry, the air cleared and tears of joy began to flow. I was very fortunate to have once again been apart of such a life changing experience with Mike and Baillie. I photographed Mike and Baillie’s Wedding back in 2009 and I was so excited to be a part of this day, the pictures will last forever. Congratulations to both of your guys, I can’t wait to watch your family grow.

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