Halo Effect

Earlier in the week, I actually had a break from running tours and workshops and made my way to Folly Beach to get some early morning shooting in with a close friend. We had it scheduled for a few days and the conditions looked promising. After hitting snooze on my phone's alarm a couple of times, I awoke to check my usual sources and the local radar to find a few small storms along the coast. A perfect scenario was brewing.

The Folly Pier is iconic to the Lowcountry and has been photographed a gajillion times. But, I had yet to shoot it and walk away with a unique capture. It looked like this may be my opportunity. From the side of the pier, I wanted to capture the movement of the waves as they swept back into the sea, along with the pounding waves rushing in. They were short of what they were when Irma came to town, but definitely held their own. The glow appearing in the distance had me rushing with anticipation. The cloud coverage was heavy and I knew the show wouldn't last long.

The attempt did not disappoint.  I had packed my Nikon D810 along with my new Tokina AT-X 17-35MM F/4 PRO FX.  I was eager to try this new lens out.  What a perfect way to break her in. I had gone to battle with my Nikon 14-24 mm many times and the necessity of adapters for filter use had just worn me out. When the opportunity presented itself to have a quality wide angle lens, giving me the option to use both circular and drop-in filters, I jumped on it.  It is clearly one of the sharper lenses I've ever used. I'm super stoked to add this lens to the arsenal. I look forward to many new opportunities. 

Saying Goodbye To An Old Friend


It was just 3 months ago that we stepped out onto the beach at Botany Bay after 8 months of it being inaccessible.  Tears welled up in our eyes and it was like coming home, especially when we saw that the beloved tree of all photographers stood strong and proud in the water.  He was a beacon of hope, that no matter what storms may come in life, though the shifting sand around us scatter, there was strength in the decay.

We breathed a sigh of relief when we knew Irma was diverting to the west side of Florida and Charleston would be spared from being hit head-on by a CAT 4/5 hurricane.  This morning as we picked up the fallen limbs and debris from our home, our phones individually buzzed and we received a note from our friend and pilot that we work with, Hayden Ervin with Holy City Helicopters that he was going to fly over Botany Bay.   We waited and within an hour video from his flight was posted on Facebook.   Keith and I sat watching on repeat and pausing it making sure what we saw was correct:  Our old friend who had once stood so proud is now down in the water.  

For all the folks who loved that tree, it's a profound loss.  Even now, until we can see it with our own eyes the reality of it being gone is dim.  

Perhaps this post is only for photographers.  Few people might be able to relate with the sadness over a tree.  For those of us who have breathed in the salty sea air, and watched the sunrise come up behind him, we know him as an icon.   We've had the privilege of hosting and guiding folks from all over the country who planned their trip to see this beloved tree.  

So from our hearts, to that sweet old tree, thank you for what you meant to all of us.  A symbol of strength, resilience, and faith.  You'll be dearly missed.

Image courtesy of Hayden Ervin with Holy City Helicopters

Image courtesy of Hayden Ervin with Holy City Helicopters

Image courtesy of Hayden Ervin with Holy City Helicopters

Image courtesy of Hayden Ervin with Holy City Helicopters