I’ve just finished up processing my photos from our Southwest road trip and from our recent visit to Hilton Head Island, SC. Just in time for our next adventure – we shove off again on Saturday! This will be our annual “Friends and Family Tour” as Kathy likes to call it. Other than our kids, most of what remains of our families is in Ohio or will be there for the Fourth of July. I’ve got a childhood friend who lives in western Pennsylvania, and we have friends in Wisconsin. 😉 So off we go!
I mentioned earlier that I only got up early on two mornings at the beach, but I chose them well. I’ve been going to Hilton Head long enough to know when the tides and times coincide to provide the pools I love to use as foreground. An added bonus is when the clouds cooperate too, as they did for me on both occasions. Sweet!
I found it interesting that, even though the conditions were virtually identical both mornings, the overall color cast was radically different – red the first morning and blue the second. I did minimal (for me) processing on this photos and the colors are pretty faithful albeit a bit more saturated than what I saw. I’m sure the difference in color is due to some sort of atmospherical anomaly, but I only know that it made for some purdy pitchers.
Mornings are a lovely time on the beach. I could go out there without a camera, sit on one of the storage boxes the lifeguards use and watch the morning unfold. When the sunrise is early – around 6:15 – like it was in May and June, there are very few people out – just me, a few birds and sometimes a few dolphins. Most of the people are walking, so even if they walk through my frame, a slow shutter speed makes them blurry and sometimes invisible. There was one guy with a dog that had a light on its collar which was kind of annoying, but he thankfully stayed out of my view!
Whenever we travel, one of the dilemmas I consistently face is what and how much camera gear to take with me. Usually I default to my three zoom lenses because they are convenient and cover just about any common focal length without a lot of lens changes. On most occasions I’ll toss my prime lenses into the mix with the best of intentions, but either because I’m lazy or I just want to have the most flexibility, the primes often don’t come out of the bag.
I love my Fuji prime lenses for several reasons. First and probably most important, they give me excellent results – sharp when I want sharp and good bokeh when I want bokeh. They are lightweight and small, so it isn’t hard to carry 2-3 along in a small bag or fanny pack.
But I’ve said for years that the more lenses I have with me the more likely I’ve got the “wrong” one on the camera. So I make a point to putting one lens on the camera and go out and “see” with that one lens. It’s especially useful with my prime lenses, because it really forces me to think about composition and framing, to “zoom with my feet” in order to establish what is in and out of the frame or to give me the relationship I want between near and far objects.
For our recent trip to the beach, I reversed my usual methodology and put the prime lenses into my “every day bag” and put the zoom lenses into my “just in case bag” (I use two bags because I like having a smaller, lighter bag to take on day trips and when walking around and don’t want to carry all my stuff at once). I never took the zoom lenses out, opting instead for using only my prime lenses. To be fair I didn’t shoot a lot (for me) with less than 400 photos over a 2 week period. Most of the time I went out with just one lens on the camera, although at sunrise I went out with all four of my prime lenses, and actually used all of them depending on what I was shooting.
We’re home now for a few weeks, resting up for our next adventure. I’m seriously considering leaving the zoom lenses at home this time, opting for a smaller, lighter kit and keeping things rather simple. We’ll see if I actually have the nerve to do it. I’m betting I will!
When I awoke this morning at 4:50am I knew I was in for another morning on the beach. Sucks, don’t it? 😉 I was greeted by some distant lightning that I wasn’t able to capture adequately, but did get a few more pools reflecting the morning light. A little different from yesterday, but that’s why we go more than once! No promises for tomorrow, but I do have a streak going now. 🙂
Today marks the third anniversary of our retirement. I think we’ve spent our time well and look forward to many more years. We celebrated last night at one of our favorite local restaurants and look forward to a few more days on the beach.
We’ve been at the beach for a week but I hadn’t managed to drag my sorry self out of bed for sunrise – until this morning. I was well rewarded. I’m kind of picky about when I’m willing to get up – tides, weather and sunrise time play a role. I looked at the weather forecast before heading to bed last night and decided it would likely be a good chance for photos. We’ve got some clouds rolling in today with a chance of thunderstorms this afternoon and overnight. Tomorrow might be a good morning too, we’ll have to see if I can motivate myself two mornings in a row. 😉
Believe it or not, this is just the top 2-4 inches of drift fencing that is 3-ish feet high. I guess the fence is doing its job. No, I can’t stay away from these fences – must be some kind of addiction. 😉
I like to photograph the moon on the night before the “full” moon because there is still enough light in the sky, and on the foreground if you have a foreground, to illuminate the landscape and provide some detail. Sometimes, like Tuesday night, the rising moon is actually more full than it will be on Wednesday night. Of course the part that gets all the press is the so-called “Supermoon.” (because now we have to name everything) which “officially” happened this morning, but the moon wasn’t visible here at that time.
According to The Photographer’s Ephemeris, the moon was at 99.65% at moonrise last night and will be at 99.49% at moonrise tonight. What does that get you? Add a couple of bucks and it gets you a cup of coffee.
Photographing the moon rising over the ocean can be kind of boring and usually works better with an interesting foreground. We have some nice trees in front of our rental condo here in Hilton Head, SC. So I was able to have my camera on the balcony while we were having dinner, and managed to take a few shots between bites and sips. 😉
Anyone who has traveled I-95 up or down the east coast has seen them. Endless billboards, counting down the miles to Pedro’s Place – South Of The Border at the NC/SC line. Sayings that these days might trouble the Easily Offended, but meant and usually taken in good fun.
YOU NEVER SAUSAGE A PLACE!
(YOU’RE ALWAYS A WEINER AT PEDRO’S!)
Growing up in western Pennsylvania, my family vacationed in the mountains of North Carolina, where my dad was from. On the one occasion I can remember when we went to the Outer Banks, we drove across North Carolina to the coast. I don’t remember how we got back, but we never went that far south.
Kathy’s family, on the other hand, made an annual summer vacation trek to Florida from Ohio. Back in the 60s, there was no I-77, or at least it didn’t go as far as it does now, so the preferred route was the PA Turnpike to somewhere in eastern PA, probably Breezewood, then over to I-95 to Florida.
So imagine, riding down I-95, July in North Carolina, 3 kids in the back seat of a Volkswagen Somethingorother with no air conditioning, Day 2 of a 3-day adventure, tired, hungry and bored. Those signs looked like an oasis to a person dying of thirst in the desert. The closer they got, coming from either direction, the higher the hopes. Seeing the signs for miles and miles, until as the border approached, the Sombrero-topped observation tower and the 100+ foot tall Pedro statue loomed on the horizon. Three kids silently willing dad to take the exit. But he drives on by, hopes dashed for another year.
So on our trip out to Bolivia, NC this past week, Kathy realized a lifelong dream – I took her to South Of The Border! 🙂 And it was about what we expected. We had an average lunch served by an enthusiastic but largely ineffective waitress, prepared by what I imagined to be a single moody cook, preparing each meal in the order in which it was received. The interior of The Sombrero Room Restaurant, while clean and cozy, looked like it might have been salvaged from a former Chi-Chi’s. We didn’t go into any of the shops, but they looked to be filled with the kinds of things we call “mommy-can-I-gets,” to tempt gullible kids (and their parents) into leaving some of their money behind for Pedro’s safekeeping.
The place evidently attracts a crowd during peak tourism season – it’s been in business and growing steadily for 70 years. There is something for everyone – a gas station, truck stop, motel, two restaurants, a convenience store (actually two), a campground and more shops than I can count. Not to mention the observation tower and 100 foot Pedro! But on this grey chilly Thursday in March there appeared to be more employees than guests. It’s certainly attractive – clean and colorful and large enough to make it impossible to miss and almost as impossible to ignore. I’m sure many strong-willed dads continue to resist the pull of the place, but many more likely succumb to the wishes and requests of their passengers.
I’ve always had a thing for boat bows, especially reflections of bows in the water. Shelter Cove Marina is of course full of boat bows. Other boat parts, too! Here are a few from our evening there that I found notable.
Spent some time walking around the harbor at Shelter Cove this evening. An opportunity presented itself…others as well but this is one. The processing is perhaps a bit heavy but it seems to be none the worse for it. 😉