Turning Short Trips into Photographic Adventures

 gp Grace Wedding Photos (2 of 2)


Recently I have been doing a lot of traveling, but only a few days here and a few days there. While time is invariably limited, I’m always interested in photographing if possible. The problem is if it’s new country for me, I end up spending most of my time figuring out logistics: the best location, perspective and most advantageous lighting. Last week while visiting South Carolina’s coast I was intrigued by the long stretches of beaches and even more interesting, the delta ‘low country’ landscape interlaced with miles of inland waterways as the coast gradually transitions west to higher ground. 

My cousin lives in the Beaufort area, just west of Hilton Head, and she suggested that to get some ideas I call Eric Horan, a wildlife photographer who specializes in the low country. As it turned out, Eric also provides safari tours for those interested in seeing low country wildlife. Two days later I met up with him and his 20′ open boat, at first light, at a launch several miles east of Beaufort. For the next three hours, we wandered amongst a mélange of shore birds, porpoises, and shrimp fishing boats that were followed constantly by hungry birds in picturesque low country…

gp Grace Wedding Photos (1 of 2)I was most excited by getting to spend time with one of my favorite birds, the pelican, though from a very different perspective. 7-8 years ago, while photographing from the San Francisco cliffs just outside the Golden Gate Bridge, I became enthralled with the Brown Pelicans soaring high in groups of three to twelve, before diving down and skimming just above the waves scooping up schools of fish… Here in South Carolina low country, I got to photograph the pelicans as they flew very close, clamoring just above us.

Even though this excursion was not inexpensive, it saved me days I didn’t have searching out ideal photographic locations. As an added bonus, Eric could identify the vast variety of birds and explain their habits and patterns. And now that I am thinking of such solutions, if I had had another couple of days, I would have searched out a small plane pilot to provide me another very interesting perspective of South Carolina’s low country.

I learned a valuable lesson from this excursion: a little preparation and the right guide saves hours or even days of location scouting. And now every trip, no matter its length can become a photographic adventure!


  1. I love the words which accompany the pictures! So happy to have taken a few extra minutes this morning to look and look and look and ……..my eyes are all squinched from drawing a dry grassy field from New Zealand…..so can’t see this screen too well…yes, this is a break!

    Have a great Holiday and keep sending these great pictures! I have heard that the low country is beautiful and you now confirmed it!

    All my love, Carol

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