Monthly Archives: March 2013

Great Egrets

This long-legged, S-necked white bird is found throughout the Americas and around much of the world. It is typically the largest white egret occurring anywhere in its range (only the white-colored form of the great blue heron is larger).

Great egrets are found near water, salt or fresh, and feed in wetlands, streams, ponds, tidal flats, and other areas. They snare prey by walking slowly or standing still for long periods, waiting for an animal to come within range of their long necks and blade-like bills. The deathblow is delivered with a quick thrust of the sharp bill, and the prey is swallowed whole. Fish are a dietary staple, but great egrets use similar techniques to eat amphibians, reptiles, mice, and other small animals.

These birds nest in trees, near water and gather in groups called colonies, which may include other heron or egret species. They are monogamous, and both parents incubate their three to four eggs. Young egrets are aggressive towards one another in the nest, and stronger siblings often kill their weaker kin so that not all survive to fledge in two to three weeks.

The great egret is the symbol of the National Audubon Society and represents a conservation success story. The snowy white bird’s beautiful plumage made it far too popular in 19th-century North America. Great egrets were decimated by plume hunters who supplied purveyors of the latest ladies’ fashions. Their populations plunged by some 95 percent. Today the outlook is much brighter. The birds have enjoyed legal protection over the last century, and their numbers have increased substantially.

This image was captured at Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. Enjoy!

Click on image for larger view:

 

 

Posted in art and entertainment, bird, huntington beach, murrells inlet, photography, South Carolina, state park

Garden City Beach

Garden City Beach is Horry County’s southernmost beach community. It is located seven miles south of Myrtle Beach and lies partly in Horry County and partly in Georgetown County.

Garden City Beach is an unincorporated coastal community nestled between the Atlantic Ocean on its east and the creeks and tributaries of Murrells Inlet on its west. Garden City Beach takes pride in being recognized as a family beach offering fun filled family activities such as the Sun Fun Kids Fair and Annual Christmas Tree Lighting. There is also a new 1,250 foot long creek walk for fishing, crabbing, birding, walking , and biking.

Below is a view of Garden City Beach as seen from across Murrells Inlet from Belin Memorial United Methodist Church.

Click on image for larger view:

Posted in art and entertainment, Belin, murrells inlet, Night photography, outdoor

Seacoast Artist Guild’s 10th Annual Spring Art Show & Sale

Mark your calendars NOW!  This years Spring Show of the Seacoast Artist Guild will be held at their NEW gallery located in The Market Commons.

Who is invited? YOU are! If you are reading this, no matter how you got here, then YOU are invited. I will repost this as we get closer to the date, but take just a moment NOW to reserve the date on your calendar.

See you there!

 

Posted in art and entertainment, photography, Seacoast Artists Guild

ArtFire Collection

Some of you know that I have a small shop on ArtFire. There are a good bunch of folks over there and one of the things people will do to provide exposure is to create “collections”. One of my images (a Calla Lily) was just selected for inclusion in one of these “collections”. You can see this collection below.

 

Posted in art and entertainment, artfire, photography

Georgetown Shrimpers

Yesterday I visited historic downtown Georgetown, South Carolina, to photograph some shrimpers. You know from a previous post that this is the location of the Rice Museum and its associated Prevost Gallery (where I hope to see you for Saturday’s reception).

Some long-time residents of the Lowcountry of South Carolina may state that they prefer the flavor of one species over another, but taste tests would probably show that few people can distinguish one species from another by taste alone. Some experts claim that white shrimp taste better than the other species, but the difference is subtle.

The commercial fishery in South Carolina is dominated by shrimp trawlers, which may range in length from 17 to 85 feet. The larger boats are the most recognizable and account for most of the shrimp caught in the fishery. Trawling is allowed only in the ocean, except for limited periods during fall when trawlers may work in the lower areas of Winyah and North Santee Bays. Most shrimpers work within three or four miles of the beach.

The commercial shrimp trawling fishery has three basic seasons. The first is the so-called roe shrimp season in May or June.This season is opened when management biologists determine that an adequate supply of eggs has been spawned. The roe shrimp season is usually less than a month in duration and landings are dependent upon the severity of the previous winter. Following mild winters, heads-off landings are often 400 to 600 thousand pounds. Following severe winters, landings of roe shrimp are usually less than 50 thousand pounds and often zero.

The second season is for brown shrimp. This fishery usually begins in June and ends in August, although significant quantities of brown shrimp have been landed in October when stock abundance was very high. Good years for brown shrimp have landings of 1.3 to 2.0 million pounds (heads off).

The fall white shrimp season is typically the largest except in years following severe winters. These shrimp are the offspring of the spring spawn. Landings of youngof- the-year white shrimp by the commercial fleet usually begin in August and peak in September and October. The season usually lasts through December and into January in some years.

Right now there is a break in the shrimping season, so all the shrimpers are inport awaiting resumption of the season. The import of freshwater farm shrimp has been devastating to the shrimping industry but at the moment they are inport because the law says they cannot catch shrimp.  It is a sad state of affairs, but it did provide me with a great opportunity to photograph some of these shrimpers. Below you can see some of the results of my visit.

Click on image for larger view:

Posted in Georgetown, Shrimp Boats

How to Take Beach Photos – Repeat

The following is a repeat of a an article I posted almost three years ago. With beach season quickly approaching, I thought it might be a good time to kick it back to the forefront.

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Are your holiday snaps by-the-sea often disappointing? Beach images can seem repetitive, with little more than the water’s edge and shore, or people on the beach. With a change of focus, your beach photos can be turned into unique and original images. This article highlights the most important steps to follow when taking seaside photographs.

1. Take a look at your surroundings and look for a focal point. While the seaside as a whole is beautiful to the naked eye when you’re actually on the beach, it is less interesting as a photograph because the viewer sees only a wide, open space featuring blue sky, blue sea, and yellow sand – a fairly predictable scene. To provide something on which the eye immediately comes to rest within a photograph, find a “focal point” – this is the art of focusing on something out of the ordinary to bring the beach shot to life:

  • Find the focal point of interest – a shoe, a beach umbrella, a fish and chip wrapper, your child’s toes, prints across the sand, a sandcastle, etc. Good focal points are often brightly coloured, or vary in hue from the other colours in the picture.
  • Find natural features of interest – some pebbles, rippling sand, the wave breaking at the water’s edge, palm trees, shells, seaweed, etc.
  • Find something out at sea of interest – perhaps a boat with bright sails, seals playing, or a jumping dolphin.
  • Note that anything moving across water can create interesting ripples (a bird, sea creature, boat, or wind, can all create this effect), and movement in the water will distort anything reflecting in the sea water, which can heighten interest of the photograph in good light.
2. Avoid putting the horizon in the center. Centering the horizon can give the viewer a sensation that the photo has been sliced in half, which can be disorienting, as long, unbroken horizons contain little of interest in a photo. Instead, break down the image into thirds (the “rule of thirds”), both horizontally and vertically, to create nine equal parts to your image. Keep the horizon square to the framing of your shot, in order to avoid a sloping effect.
When imagining the division of the image, focus on where the lines intersect – according to this classical rule of composition, these intersections create the optimum positions for the main subjects of your image.
3. Frame your picture. Look around you. Ask yourself what points of interest you can include in the photo. For example, are there any rocks, trees, beach houses, piers, etc., that you can use to add a natural frame to the picture? If so, use them. For example, framing a sea shot through trees can be particularly effective if you have a focal point out at sea, such as a boat.
4. Use differing levels and angles. Don’t just shoot straight on, mix the angles up a bit. Aim for something kooky, funky and interesting. Get down low to photograph children and their beach activities, stand up high to take a tree, or lie down under a pier.
5. Use colour to break up the blues and yellows of a beach scene. Blue, more blue, perhaps some yellow: beaches aren’t the most imaginative places colour-wise. This makes it important to capitalise on any splashes of colour. Vibrant colours will really stand out, and make your photo look doubly attractive.
  • For a DSLR, consider using a UV filter. This will reduce the atmospheric haze that is increased by the blueness of the sea.
  • Again for a DSLR lens, use a polarizing filter to reduce reflections and boost the contrasting shades. This can help to improve skies and ocean water by making them a darker blue.
6. Choose the best times of day to take beach photos. When the sun’s riding high it might be a nice time for sunbathing, but it’s the worst time of day for decent photos as the light is too strong and bright. The best times of day for beach photos are at the beginning and end of the day, especially around sunrise and sunset. The sun resting on the horizon looks brilliant, and it’s hard not to take a decent snap at these times. As an added bonus, you will have less people on the beach at these times of day.

 

  • Morning air is usually still and the light is quiet, delicate and diffuse until the sun rises. Early morning light changes rapidly with the sun rising, so expect your exposure times to change rapidly and to move quickly to capture the special moments.
  • Evening light often has a warm glow that provides intense gold and rose colours. Haze and shadows are common features that you can draw on as the day draws to an end.
  • Take care not to include your own shadow when taking photographs early and late in the day when the sun’s shadows are at their longest; check around the whole frame to make sure you’re not forming a part of the picture! You can easily rectify this by moving to a different position.
7. Make the most of non-sunny days. Windswept, threatening weather can create incredible, mood-infused photos at the beach. With nobody about, you can take uninterrupted views and dramatic views of dark clouds and stormy seas.
  • Mist, fogs, and haze can all work to your advantage in creating interesting features.

  • Try shooting in black and white, or flip it to black and white using a photo program such as Photoshop when you get home to cover the overcast, cloudy, sky and make things look a whole lot more atmospheric.
  • Just after a storm moves through can produce dramatic light contrasts.
8. HAVE FUN!
Posted in art and entertainment, cameras, outdoor, photography

The Rice Museum Invites YOU!

Posted in art and entertainment, bird, CNPA, photography, South Carolina

Rice Museum Exhibit

Some of my photography will be part of an exhibit at the Rice Museum in Georgetown. A reception, open to everyone, will be held on March 16th and the exhibit will be open through April 27th. Hope you can make the reception but if not try to stop during the exhibit and enjoy all the beautiful photography on exhibit.

Click on image for larger view:

Posted in art and entertainment, CNPA, photography

Bandelier National Monument

I have been “under the weather” for the past several days. Still feel like “yuk”. Would love to be outside but better get rid of this “stuff” first. So, I have been going back through some older images and re-working some. Here is one that I thought you might enjoy.

Back in October 2009 I visited my daughter, Jackie, who at the time was living in Santa Fe, NM. We went to the Bandelier National Monument and hiked along the Main Loop Trail. While there we found this petroglyph. The Ancestral Pueblo people carved petroglyphs into the soft tuff rock above many of the dwellings built along the cliffs. Although these Ancestral Pueblo peoples had migrated towards the Rio Grande by the 1550’s, there remains much evidence of their existence here.

Click image for larger view:

 

Posted in New Mexico, outdoor, photography

Scripture Art

I recently added a new gallery entitled Scripture Art. Some of you may have already seen it, but for most of you I imagine this is new. Scripture Art is simply images onto which biblical scriptures have been overlaid. An example is provided below. Take a look at the Gallery, I think you will enjoy it.  http://www.billbarberphoto.com/galleries/scripture-art/

Posted in flowers, photography, scripture art