Low Country Scouting Report
Retirement beckons. A year ago this month, my wife Janet and I travelled to the Low Country of South Carolina in pursuit of a neighborhood for our next home. We're looking at an area in the town of Beaufort, about 40 minutes from Hilton Head.
This was our first visit to that part of the country and I was immediately taken with the marshlands, both for their landscape beauty and for the abundance of birds. So, when we went down for a repeat visit earlier this month, I took a bit of photo gear. I didn't feel like lugging my 200-500 mm lens with me, so took my D-300 along for the crop factor. 70-200 + 1.7x teleconverter +1.5 crop factor yielded 510 mm - not too bad for birding. I also had my D-800 for wider shots - just in case (and, yes, this gear is getting heavy as I get older, even without the 200-500).
I had about 40 shooting minutes one morning to capture what I will call "scouting images", photos that are not ready for prime time, but which would help me understand the opportunities and challenges awaiting me down south when I can spend more time. The Google map below will give perspective on where I shot. If you go to @32.4204623,-80.7851013,1178m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x88fc0c599a9b5113:0xf29d41851b31bcf6!8m2!3d32.4315813!4d-80.6698286" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Google Maps, you can zoom in and around to get a better feel of the area.
D800, 110 mm, minimal crop, Map 1
Ibises, D800, 340mm (effective w/teleconvertor), cropped from 36 MP to 10 MP, Map 2
Ibis, D800, 340 mm, net 4.5 MP (lots of crop - 10% of original area), Map 2
Ibis, D300, 510mm (effective), cropped from 12 MP to 2 MP, Map 2
Roseate Spoonbill, D300, 510mm (effective), cropped from 12 MP to 6 MP, Map 2
Roseate Spoonbill w/Ibis, D300, 510mm (effective), cropped from 12 MP to 6 MP, Map 2
Still identifying this one, D300, 510mm (effective), cropped from 12 MP to 5 MP, Map 3
Wood Storks (not the stuff of nursery tales!), D300, 510mm (effective), cropped from 12 MP to 5 MP, Map 3
@John/Ulana: Yes, it looks to be a wonderful place for photography and retirement, and it has fortunately not been hit hard by the last 2 hurricanes, although Matthew a few years ago did some small wind damage. Knock on a big piece of wood for that...
@John: That twisted neck is something! I never did discern what it was they were eating out of all that muck, but it must have been tasty to work that hard for it.
I believe your mystery bird is a Tri-colored heron. They look a bit like a smaller blue heron with the addition of some purplish red feathers.
Nice representation of some of the wildlife in the area. The Roseate Spoonbills are not all that common in this area. Good catch!
Of the set you presented, I like the first image after the map the best. Spectacular light in that image and I suspect more could possibly be squeezed out of that raw file.
I am not qualified to comment on the rest - I have no interest in this genre and know nothing about it. I will say that #8 is a very good image, though I think it could benefit from the background having a lower luminosity.
Nice "scouting images". I have to say, the second image is very appealing. The composition is nicely balanced, the warmth of the light draws me in. If this isn't your final PP, I'd love to see the photograph once you tweak things out. This image just draws me in and beckons me to relax and enjoy the scene.