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During a recent trip to South Carolina, I had an opportunity to visit Hunting Island State park which is also known as the "Boneyard" because of the numerous downed trees along the beach. Hurricanes have hammered the area over the years uprooting trees and changing the look of the coastline.
During high tide, these trees become partially submerged and provide endless composition options for photographers seeking a unique photo opportunity. Even the 3/4 mile hike to the beach is rewarding. It's like taking a walk through "Jurassic Park".
My friends and I arrived at the beach around 4:00 am to shoot the Milky Way and decided to stick around until sunrise. We were rewarded with fantastic light and colors at pre-dawn. After shooting plenty of wide-angle shots, I changed gears and grabbed my long lens to isolate some of the trees further out from the shore.
I really wanted to accent the softness of the light and create a calming scene so I used my Formatt Hitech Firecrest ND 3.0 Filter to capture a long exposure. The results are stunning.
I very much enjoyed my visit to the beach that morning even though the pesky little no-see-ums kept me busy swatting them! It was a fight to stay focused long enough to capture what was I was after that morning, but I stuck it out and was fortunate to witness a glorious sunrise.
If you have an opportunity to visit Hunting Island State Park, you definitely don't want to pass it up. If you make the effort to get to the beach in time to see the sunrise, you will not be disappointed! Be sure to allow enough time to explore the beach and the surrounding wetlands where you can see many varieties of animal and plant life.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor