Category Archives: photography

Morris Island Lighthouse

What was once a beacon to ships out to sea now juts out of the Atlantic Ocean as a reminder of days gone by.

The Morris Island Lighthouse, a defunct lighthouse just north of Folly Beach on Morris Island at the entrance of the Charleston Harbor, stands just a few hundred feet off the coast. Its light never shines, but it remains a beloved historical site for both locals and vacationers.

The 161 foot lighthouse tower was completed in 1876 for $149, 993. A Fresnel lens powered by lard oil shone light out over the water to guide ships safely to shore. Although the sole function of the lighthouse was to provide safer navigation for ships and vessels, the lighthouse itself was frequently at risk.
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During its run as a working lighthouse, it was partially destroyed by a cyclone in 1885. In 1886, an earthquake shook the lens of the main light out of position and cracked the tower. Though these incidents provided blows to the lighthouse, nothing threatened the structure as much as the rapidly encroaching water.

In 1876 the lighthouse stood 1,200 feet from the coast, but when jetties were created in 1889 to protect shipping lanes, natural erosion was intensified and the ocean crept closer and closer. By 1938, the erosion was so great that the lighthouse became automated. Less than 30 years later in 1962 the lighthouse was too close to the shore and state officials ordered it to close.

The Morris Island Lighthouse was replaced by Charleston Light on the north side of nearby Sullivan’s Island. Now the lighthouse is preserved by the State of South Carolina and is under a 99-year contract with Save the Light, Inc. to preserve the historical structure through stabilization, erosion, and restoration. Save the Light also hosts events to raise funds for the preservation of the relic. Currently, a cement barrier is being constructed to help further preserve the tower.

Also posted in Charleston, Folly Beach, lighthouse, Morris Island Lighthouse Tagged , , , , |

Golden Eagle

A few months ago I was able to spend some time with my eldest daughter in Statesboro, GA. She is faculty at Georgia Southern University. The University has a Center for Wildlife Education where (among other things) they provide a home for injured birds that would not be able to survive in the wild. When I visited they had a beautiful Golden Eagle. This gorgeous bird caused me to do a little research and here is what I found.

Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle

This powerful eagle is North America’s largest bird of prey and the national bird of Mexico. These birds are dark brown, with lighter golden-brown plumage on their heads and necks. They are extremely swift, and can dive upon their quarry at speeds of more than 150 miles (241 kilometers) per hour.

Golden eagles use their speed and sharp talons to snatch up rabbits, marmots, and ground squirrels. They also eat carrion, reptiles, birds, fish, and smaller fare such as large insects. They have even been known to attack full grown deer. Ranchers once killed many of these birds for fear that they would prey on their livestock, but studies showed that the animal’s impact was minimal. Today, golden eagles are protected by law.

Golden eagle pairs maintain territories that may be as large as 60 square miles (155 square kilometers). They are monogamous and may remain with their mate for several years or possibly for life. Golden eagles nest in high places including cliffs, trees, or human structures such as telephone poles. They build huge nests to which they may return for several breeding years. Females lay from one to four eggs, and both parents incubate them for 40 to 45 days. Typically, one or two young survive to fledge in about three months.

These majestic birds range from Mexico through much of western North America as far north as Alaska; they also appear in the east but are uncommon. Golden eagles are also found in Asia, northern Africa, and Europe.

Some golden eagles migrate, but others do not—depending on the conditions of their geographic location. Alaskan and Canadian eagles typically fly south in the fall, for example, while birds that live in the western continental U.S. tend to remain in their ranges year-round.

Also posted in Birds of Prey, Eagle, outdoor Tagged , , , |

A Trip to Ripley’s Aquarium

This morning I decided to make a visit to the aquarium up in Myrtle Beach. The times I had been there before were during tourist season and of course the place was packed with little munchkins everywhere. Now I like little munchkins as much as the next person, but for getting photographs in an aquarium it is a lot easier with not too many people around.

Here are a few images from todays visit.

Bronze Frog

Bronze Frog

Pair of eels

Pair of eels

Jelly Fish

Jelly Fish

Lion Fish

Lion Fish

Parrot Fish

Parrot Fish

Parrot Fish

Parrot Fish

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Taking Better Photos

Here’s a nice post from Petapixel on taking better photos.

40 Tips to Taking Better Photos

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American White Ibis

One of the most numerous wading birds in Florida, and common elsewhere in the southeast. Highly sociable at all seasons, roosting and feeding in flocks, nesting in large colonies. When groups wade through shallows, probing with their long bills, other wading birds such as egrets may follow them to catch prey stirred up by the ibises.

Florida population much lower than historical levels, and has continued to decline in recent decades. Total range in United States has increased somewhat, with northward spread on Atlantic Coast. Vulnerable to loss of feeding and nesting habitat.

Around their colonies, ibises eat crabs and crayfish, which in turn devour quantities of fish eggs. By keeping down the numbers of crayfish, the birds help increase fish populations.
The main conservation concerns for white ibis are hunting and habitat loss. Birds and eggs are hunted for food. When the colony is disturbed by hunting, adults will leave their nests and the young may die.
When feeding, White Ibis often give a soft, grunting croo, croo, croo as they forage. They may fly up to 15 miles a day in search of food.
A group of ibises has many collective nouns, including a “congregation”, “stand”, and “wedge” of ibises.

American White Ibis

American White Ibis

#ibis #bird #carolina #shorebird #murrellsinlet #southcarolina

Also posted in bird, murrells inlet, outdoor, South Carolina

Clone With Your Feet?

Yes, that is a strange sounding title! But when you understand that it was said by my friend Bryan Peterson, well, then you start to understand. Bryan has posted a new photo tutorial and I wanted to share it with all of you. It’s short but to the point and very worthwhile.

Click here to see the video!

New Time Lapse Video

OK, so it’s about time I tried another Time Lapse. The other day I went to our local public boat ramp. I was pretty sure it would be busy because the “spots” are running and just about everybody with anything closely resembling a boat was trying to get in on the action. I was right, the place was a beehive of activity. Made for a good time lapse ‘tho!  Take a look!

What is a Photo Collage?

A photo collage is a collection of pictures that are put together to make a single picture. The traditional art involved cutting pictures into pleasing shapes or trimming out specific images for placement, but digital photo manipulation opens many new possibilities, including blending images to make a seamlessly realistic picture.
A traditional collage is assembled from photos cut and pasted onto a background and often embellished with things like ribbons or trinkets. Digital collages can be assembled by hand using any basic image program or automatically assembled by a collage program. One of the most interesting modern collage types involves using hundreds of tiny, uniformly shaped pictures arranged by color to create a single striking image when viewed from a distance.
To make a memorable collage, the pictures used should be related in some way and, taken together, tell a story. Family history collages are common, depicting the various stages of a family as the children grow. Anything memorable or special might be used as the subject of a collage. To be interesting, pictures should be chosen for maximum impact and the overall effect should reflect personality and evoke a mood.
The theme of a collage is personal and pays homage to something memorable. When considering the theme of a collage, think about the overall message.
Here are some collages I have done over the years, each one can be “clicked” for a larger view.

 

From a New Mexico trip.

From a New Mexico trip.

From a Bermuda trip

From a Bermuda trip

A mix of florals, and one frog.

A mix of florals, and one frog.

From a Caribbean cruise

From a Caribbean cruise

A different type of collage featuring a water lily.

A different type of collage featuring a water lily.

A mix from New Mexico

A mix from New Mexico

Also posted in art and entertainment, Fun Stuff, lighthouse, outdoor, travel

The Egret and The Eel

This morning along the causeway at Huntington Beach State Park was dark and stormy. I had gone over to check out the wildlife action. Approaching storms kept action to a minimum. This afternoon after the storms moved on I went back. When I first got there, there was a Great Egret patiently watching for a late lunch. All of a sudden the Egret struck and came up with an Eel. Nice Catch! Well Mr. Eel was not going to go down the hatch so easily. It was a struggle. In fact at one point Mr. Eel had himself wrapped around the Egrets bill! But the Egret was determined and eventually had his lunch!

Egret-and-Eel-web Egret-and-Eel-2-web Egret-no-Eel-web

Also posted in bird, causeway, huntington beach, outdoor

Twirls

Twirling is on fire, especially if you’re a member of the Photoshop and Lightroom group on Facebook. Hundreds upon hundreds of images have been shared on social media this week featuring the techniques that create a Twirl.  Some will say that this technology has always been there and that it’s not new.  While this may be true, the trend worthiness of it certainly is, as most had never heard of it or knew how to create one.  They are addictive and super easy to do. The possibilities are limitless.

Step by Step Instructions on How To Twirl in Photoshop

1.) Open any image in Photoshop

2.) With your background layer selected, go to Filter – Pixelate – Mezzotint. Make sure your mode is set to “Medium Lines.” Press OK.

3.) With your background layer still selected, go to Filter – Blur – Radial Blur.  Amount (100) – Blur Method (zoom) – Quality (best). Press OK.

4.) Repeat step 3 as many times as you like.  I usually like to run it about 3 times.

5.) Duplicate your background layer.  Keyboard shortcut CTRL/CMD J. This will create a duplicate layer called “Layer 1″ right above your background layer.

6.) Select your background layer.  Then go to Filter – Distort – Twirl.  In the Angle number box, you want to put in a positive value number.  Let’s put in 80 for now.  Press OK. You can always try different ones the more you experiment.

7.) Select Layer 1 above your background layer.  Then go to Filter – Distort – Twirl.  In the Angle number box, you want to put in a negative value number this time.  Let’s put in -80 for now.

8.) With Layer 1 selected, we want to change the blending mode of this layer. In your layers palette, right above Layer 1, you will see the word “normal.” Click on that and it will expand a variety of choices.  Depending on the colors and exposure in your image, will depend on which blending mode works best here. Click through the various options until you find the one you like the best on your image. I like Darken, Multiply, Lighten, Exclusion and Difference modes for Twirl art. But choose what works best for you.

9.) Flatten your image. You can stop here or work on it some more.

10.) To see more advanced tips on taking what you’ve just created to the next level, watch the video directly above this step-by-step guide. Have fun!

Here are some Twirls created using the step by step methods shown above as well as some more advanced techniques. Click on any image for larger view!

 

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Also posted in abstract, art and entertainment, Digital Art