Bulls Island, South Carolina, USA by John Foehl

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Picture Story

Bulls Island, SC is one of the storied boneyard beaches on the US east coast. It is a barrier island nestled in the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge accessible only by boat. I've wanted to visit the island since we moved to South Carolina but it requires very early departure. Left our house at 3:30 am to make the drive to the ferry and then once there we were transported across the island to the boneyard for sunrise. Waiting to load the ferry the skies were crystal clear with some light fog so expectations were high for a spectacular sunrise. Then Mother Nature said not so fast and by the time we reached the beach the horizon was enveloped in cloud cover. But as primarily a B&W photographer I'm fine when nature throws a curve ball. So instead of a stunning sunrise image I captured "Essence of Solitude" this ethereal tree.

I needed to work fast because the tidal change on the island is significant and the tide was coming in. Composed the image and focused at f/2.8 since it was still rather dark, then stopped down to f/13 added a polarizing filter and captured 4 stills before the tide started to impact my tripod. Final image is a single capture edited in Photoshop and Silver Efex Pro.

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