Thursday, July 22, 2010

Photo Tours July- Sam Tutterow & Peter McDonald

Sam & Pete joined me for a photo tour on and around the Chechessee River in Beaufort. We had a great morning with many keeper images here are a few of theirs---Eric

Dawn in the creek @ Spring Island

White Ibis in flight
Great Blue Heron

Brown Pelican in formation

Eric---I had a great time with you the other morning.  I'm sending through several of my favorites. One of the things I came to appreciate over the course of the morning was the value you added from your detailed understanding of the tides and creek layout, and the likely behavior of our animal subjects.  You were always positioning us with great lighting, and it made for some wonderful shots. 
Thank you.---Sam Tutterow


White Ibis

Oyster Catcher in flight

Brown Pelican in flight

 Eric--- Thanks again for a wonderful photo outing last week. I am sending along the best of my shots. There is very little post-production other than some cropping in here -- a testament to your ability to position the boat for optimal shooting. I was very pleased to get a few decent Osprey shots and of course the pod of Pelicans was the highlight of the day -- but I think my favorite single photo is the Oystercatcher in flight. The orange eye and beak contrast so well with the green grass. The exposure stats are: F5.6, 1/125th, ISO 100, shot with a Pentax K20D -- it captured the motion well without losing too much crispness around the bird's face and body. ----Peter

Photo Tours June- George Flanagan

George joined me for a couple of trips and came away with some really nice images landscapes, images of  wading birds and dolphin 
we had a very nice morning following a group on dolphin and witnessed them strand feeding several times

 The egret and heron taking advantage of all the beached fish : )

waiting for the dolphin to beach themselves again

staying with the dolphin as they moved up the creek

Tri-color Heron in rookery @ Ibis Pond
Snowy Egret feeding in tandem

immature cormorant

Great Blue Heron waiting for dolphin to "Strand Feed"

Salt marsh scenic in small creek off the May River, Beaufort County

 Eric,  Once again thank you for yesterdays trip, it was very exciting.  Please find a few photographs from our 2nd trip from last week, your comments are most welcome. I appreciate very much your energy and passion for both the art and the craft of photography and your willingness to share with others.  I look forward to joining you again next year on a few more trips in HHI area.  Please keep me informed re workshops etc.--George


Photo Tours June-Beth & Keith Miller

I am so honored that you want to include some of my pictures on your blog! We had a "landscape picture"  perfect day on the salt marsh with Eric Horan. 

I knew that my unsophisticated "point and shoot" camera equipment was not up to speed for what I wanted to capture on this trip, but I was still thrilled with some of the shots that I got. Eric is great company and a wonderfully skilled guide, slipping us in and out of the tidal creeks and positioning us so that the lighting was just right for great shots of each scene.  I am already shopping for a really good digital camera to take on our trip with Eric next May.  Beth


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

July 2010 "Photo of the Month"

Photo of the Month - Painted Bunting  
Lowcountry Calendar - July/ 2010
By Eric Horan

This male Painted Bunting is the photo of the month for July. I captured it on a summer visit to Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge.  Pinckney is nearly 67% salt marsh and tidal creeks.  It also has maritime forests, old farm fields and freshwater ponds.  From the parking lot is a short walk to Ibis Pond, a freshwater impoundment that hosts a wading bird rookery of resident and winter migratory waterfowl along with a wide variety of songbirds.

 At Ibis Pond I noticed several Painted Buntings coming in and out of the grasses.  I made my approach very slowly, stopping every few feet or so to shoot before moving closer. I was able to get quite close with this method and it helped that the birds were so intent on feeding.  

 The male Painted Bunting is one of the most colorful North American songbirds.  The female is beautiful too but more monochromatic - mostly green but splashes of blue plumage all over.   Painted Buntings migrate to the southeastern coastal region in the spring for nesting.  They will stay in our area until late summer then head to southern Florida and the Caribbean for the winter.   They are on the Audubon Watch List, which means the species is either declining or rare.  To learn more about the Audubon Important Bird Areas program and how you can help, visit

Photo tip: Dressing in earth tones, moving slowly and being quiet will increase your chances of getting close to these and other birds. By working slowly, shooting some and then moving in a little bit at a time, you allow the birds a chance to get used to your presence at each distance. Also, knowing where to go and when, will help you determine the appropriate equipment to bring. For the Painted Bunting, you’ll need a long lens (300mm to 600mm) so that you can maintain a comfort zone between yourself and the birds.  For this picture I carried a tripod-mounted 500mm lens.