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Lesson 1: Concentrate, but not TOO hard…

January 17th, 2009 · No Comments

I had an interesting time photographing Marbled Godwits just outside Charleston, SC yesterday.  I photograph on ocean beaches usually only a couple times per year so that little time brings keeping an eye on time more important than we’re used to in Michigan.  Why is the time so important?  TIDES!

My time was interesting because to get closer to the Marbled Godwits, I had to treck out to a large sandbar.  It was a bit tricky, however, because you couldn’t just walk straight out.  One had to follow a meandering course to get to a better area for photographing.  I knew low tide had passed an hour ago so that meant the high tide would be coming in.  I reached a good spot to set up and get low for photographing.  I stayed there for quite some time hoping the shorebirds would become accustomed to my presence and make their way closer to me.  That did happen, to an extent, but I realized after about 30 minutes the path I walked out was already vanished.  This meant I had to find another way back.  Lucky for me, there were still ways of getting in so I marked my way and figured I had another 15 minutes or so of photographing and then I’d have to quit.

The lighting was amazing early in the morning so it was hard to leave but I had to make the sound decision to get up and head back.  It was lucky I did.  I crossed the last dryish area to return and within minutes, it was gobbled up with water.  I had a good idea of the tides but my lack of experience with tides was evident.  It seemed as if the tide was coming in slowly but all of a sudden, it rushed in.  The water came in spirts.

Bottom line is when photographing and dealing with ocean tides, one needs to be very careful and have a good idea of times and what they’re doing.  In the summer, this isn’t so important.  Getting wet is no big deal.  This trip, however, the average temps have been around 30 this week so getting wet with a long hike back to the car can be dangerous.

Please visit to view photography much like what is seen here.  Check back soon for new posts.  Happy photographing!


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