So many photographers have photographed at Botany Bay that seeing images from there is becoming quite common. But I couldn’t wait to visit and see it for myself.
Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Preserve and Wildlife Management Area is located on about 4600 acres of land on the South Carolina coast, very close to Edisto Beach. The area was once 2 separate plantations: Bleak Hall and Sea Cloud and they were known for growing long staple Sea Island cotton during the 1800’s.
In June, I met other photographers at the shore of Botany Bay to catch the day’s first rays of sun. On that morning there were some clouds and the sunlight cast a pinkish-orange hue to the surface of the water. Stunning! The branches of the trees looked eery, bare and stark against the sky.
To smooth out the water, I put my shutter speed very slow, and I used a polarizing filter to block out some of the intense light from the sun. And of course I used a tripod so that I could get sharp focus now that the the shutter was slowed. It would have been a good idea to bracket my exposures so that I could make a blended image since the image has wide differences in exposure (see previous blog #85 for more on blending images). The side with the sun required a different aperture setting than the cool side of the image on the right.
Once the sun rose higher in the sky and the tides went out, pools of water were left under the trees making it possible to shoot reflections.
The beach is eroding, and the trees that are left look like “skeletons”, their bare branches become bleached and weathered from the sun and wind. The trees are Live Oaks and because their wood is very hard and dense, they are slow to rot so the trees remain for decades.
As the sun climbed in the sky, it was time to move on. Stay tuned for my next blog on Botany Bay Sunflowers.