Having been born in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, I have since traveled the world and have seen and photographed thousands of places and events. I did a majority of this travel with the Unites States Military and I am rapidly approaching my retirement date (this year!); planning now to once again travel the world but at a much reduced pace! This time I will be taking the time to smell the roses, taste the coffee, savor the food, and spend extra time to properly photograph the beauty in life. And do all of it THIS time, with the amazing woman who has stood by me through thick and thin, sickness and health, good times and bad for my entire 28 years of military life! Recently, we took our first road trip to begin this journey of photography and companionship to the beautiful and peaceful Edisto Island of South Carolina and spent the day photographing a location there called “the Boneyard”.
The night prior to this excursion, we had stayed in the Historic and beautful city of Charleston. Living the dream in the Mariott Downtown, we had spent the day enjoying the beautful artwork, photography, and delicious food at the Hotel…and yes, the bar was also delightful! Much more on that later, just wanted to make sure everyone reading this appreciates the fact the my indulgence of spirits was properly noted to preface the blunder about to happen! Leaving Charleston and heading South to Edisto Island was much more pleasant with the freshly crafted and brewed cup of Starbucks Bold (EXTRA large cup, still not sure what they call that size..Vente’ maybe?), driving along and going over my checklist..hey, thats what us military types do…checklists..; let’s see..GPS on and navagating, full tank of fuel, snacks, bottled water, coffee, camera, lenses, tripod, memory cards, coffee, back pack, towel, cell phone, coffee, spare batteries, aspirin, first aid kit, coffee, wallet, wife, car keys, coffee…yep, got everything! Ready for the day! The day was one of those blue bird sun filled cloudless days with a slight breeze and unseasonably warm..about 72 degrees (gorgeous weather for January!) The drive is about 45 minutes according to the GPS and about an hour actual drive time but the drive is very scenic. Huge Oak trees lining the roads, endlessly long strands of thick moss hanging from every branch, old weathered barns, grand southern mansions nestled at the ends of long tree lined drive ways. Slowly we encounter the marshes with thier old plank wood snaking out into the open water.
Once we arrived at the Boneyard, we found out it is actually about a half a mile walk from the parking area to the beach and then another half a mile north to the area I was hoping to photograph. Good thing I got my checklist and we had plenty of water and snacks. So ready to spend the time walking on the beach on this most gorgeous of days with my wife and my camera. Passing through the marsh area and trees we quickly arrived on the beach. We were pleasantly surprised at how quiet and peaceful is was, the sounds of the surf was so relaxing, we were the only people on the beach for hours. So far, the images were coming out perfect and my excitement grew as the sun was beginning to set and that long awaited “golden hour” was rapidly approaching. The colors of the evening were starting to glow in the most beautiful reds, yellows, pinks and blues…I unpacked my tripod and began setting up for some long exposure shots. Fresh flash card, wide angle lens, fresh batteries, tripod set up low and ready for camera attachment. That my friends, is when I discovered a flaw in my plan….that I had lugged my camera and tripod over a mile, the perfect light was here, but..I had no way to attach the camera to the tripod! I had left that little piece…the thingy that screws into the camera body and attaches the camera to the tripod…was not here. I had left it in my main camera bag back in the motel. Now, all of my time spent reading other photographers blogs, tips, and tricks was about to be tested! I did the best I could with a towel and my backpack, and the dead tree trunks to steady the camera for exposures of 2 to 25 seconds. Hard lesson learned, but now I NEVER put the tripod away without that little piece attached back to it, and I always check that it is there before leaving for a shoot! Yes ladies, my wife was amazing and always there to remind of my flawed checklist. She was very concerned on our way back to the car…she kept asking me if I needed any help with carrying my 22 pounds of dead, worthless, tripod metal on our mile walk back to the car. I love her so much!
I want to thank all of you for taking the time to read this first ever blog of mine. I know some of you will need some pain relief either through aspirin or some other pharmocology, maybe even some alcoholic beverage, but I thank you just the same! My next entry will feature a couple of wonderful places to eat and visit in the Charleston South Carolina area with much more information on directions, times, menues, prices, etc.. But this, my first blog, is mainly just to get out here and start living life in retirement. So I do hope you enjoyed some of the content and I invite all of you to visit my website at www.stanshillingburg.com to se that I really do know a little about photography and I do have images of this truly beautiful place on Edisto Island for your veiwing pleasure, some are even available for purchase. To go straight to this gallery you can click here: http://www.stanshillingburg.com/Photography/Web-Gallery/19738692_wjMpPM#!i=1668742537&k=BbbLV6V
Thanks again! and get out there! Enjoy Life!
for more information on Edisto Island and what it has to offer, go here: http://www.edistobeach.com/