Jekyll Island Cool Toned

Following up from my previous post on Jekyll Island, the tide came in and the sun came up. There was a heavy fog rolling through the area, blocking out the sun but providing some great light. I decided to process this image with a duo tone look to give it a different feel. Overcast conditions are a double edged sword. It is great for taking images of flowers because everything is so evenly lit. There are very little harsh shadows to deal with. The other side of it is because the sun is diffused so much, it tends to make images of greater expanse very flat and uninteresting. I knew this while out shooting that morning and envisioned processing them as black and white or a toned images. On this particular image, I made it a cooler tone to give it a different feel. I positioned myself so that the sun was almost directly behind the tree. After composing, I took several bracketed images to ensure I had a good exposure. Processed in Lightroom ® and Nik Color Efex Pro ®. Hope you enjoy…

Driftwood beach - Jekyll Island State Park, GA © Rob Loughrey

Sidney Lanier Bridge and morning fog

This is another shot of the Sidney Lanier Bridge on the Brunswick River. This river is the outlet to the Saint Simons Sound just outside of Brunswick, Georgia. I spent the morning on the beach at Jekyll Island and then headed over to the North Bank of the river adjacent to the bridge. The location where I shot the image used to be a ship manufacturing port during WWII, where they built “Liberty” Cargo ships. You can see in the image that there are concrete ramp beams that dive down into the river. This is where actual “Liberty Ships” were built and launched during the 1940’s. During the recent rise of the real estate market, a real estate developer tagged the location as “Liberty Harbor” and was constructing a waterfront neighborhood at this location. The model home was finished and the real estate market crashed – sending Liberty Harbor to the history books along with the shipyard. The model home still stands right behind where I was located in the shadow of the bridge, but it beginning to deteriorate and has been plagued with vandalism as well.
On this morning, I had a good amount of seasonal fog rolling through the tidal waters obscuring the bridge for a long period of time. I spent a good hour at this location watching the fog pass through allowing me to capture different images of bridge and river. I waited long enough for the fog to begin to break but was still diffusing the rising sun enough for the picture to work. Hope you enjoy…

Sidney Lanier Bridge and fog - Brunswick, Georgia © Rob Loughrey

Seascape Photography

I really enjoy going to the beach before the sun is up. At an hour or more before sunrise, it is usually empty and peaceful. The surf is slowly breaking with the breeze blowing as you stand at the edge of the ocean. It is amazing to think that out in front of you lies endless miles of water. It makes you feel so minimal in the grand scheme of things on our earth. I usually try to check google earth prior to visiting a beach to see if there are any interesting features. Just a sandy beach can be interesting, but I try to find other elements to include as well. Rocks, a pier or jetty – something to give the beach some character.
Jekyll Island State Park is one such beach. There is a stretch of beach on this island that has ancient trees that were once part of the island. As years have passed and the island slowly erodes, the trees have ended up out in the surf during high tide. While the tide is low, you can easily access the beach and walk among these trees. Some of them have been toppled over from hurricanes in recent past, totally uprooted from the ground, but still lining the beach.

For this shot, I arrived 90 min before the sun was up and was able to scout out a few locations. The tide was very low, but starting to come in. Some fishing ships were leaving for the morning, as can be scene on the horizon. I set my white balance to tungsten to give the image a cold feeling.  This is the first of several images I took while on the beach that morning.

Hope you enjoy…

Twilight at Driftwood Beach - Jekyll Island State Park, GA © Rob Loughrey

Using ND Filters

Recently I was asked about how I achieve the ethereal look to my images of seascapes or waterfalls so I decide to post some information about it. Almost always I prefer this look over having a stopped action shot of the waves crashing in. I tend to use two different methods to create these images. It is very dependent on the ambient light at the location. A tripod is a must for this type of photography. You will also need a cable release. Either a wireless or wired connection. Your camera will also need to operate in bulb mode. This is where you lock open your shutter for as long as you like. Consult your owners manual to confirm that you have a bulb mode on your camera. I will normally take a meter reading from the sky, about midway between the horizon and directly overhead. This gives me my initial meter reading to start from. I adjust my aperture and/or ISO on the camera to give me a 20 sec exposure to start. I snap a 20 sec exposure and review it on my cameras LCD display. I make adjustments as needed to get the proper exposure. After I review the image, I decide if I need a much longer exposure or not. Sometimes I shoot images at 2 and 4 minutes using a 5 or 10 stop ND filter. This really makes the clouds blur and gives a real ghostly feel to the water. Another technique if you have access to Photoshop software is to take 8-15 20 or 30 second shots of the exact same scene, and then stack them together in Photoshop as one file. If you would like more info on how to do this, drop me an email and I will be happy to elaborate. These shots are from a recent trip to Jekyll Island. A 2 minute exposure with a Singh-Ray 5 stop ND filter and Singh-Ray 2 stop Grad ND. I took both a portrait and landscape mode image.
Driftwood Beach at twilight - Jekyll Island State Park, GA © Rob Loughrey


Driftwood Beach at twilight - Jekyll Island State Park, GA © Rob Loughrey


Jekyll Island #2

Another shot from my visit to Jekyll Island. We stopped off at this pier that is on St. Simons Sound looking west. There were porpoises or dolphins that were in the area fishing, a nice breeze and a gorgeous sunset. A great place to watch the end of the day. Nikon D800, 16mm/F4 lens, Singh Ray 3 stop ND grad filter, Manfrotto Tripod, Really Right Stuff Ball Head.
Sunset - St. Simons Sound, Jekyll Island, GA © Rob Loughrey

Jekyll Island Georgia

During a recent vacation in Florida, we stopped in Georgia to visit with some family. One of the evenings, we visited Jekyll Island State Park on the Atlantic coast. Jekyll Island is a small piece of land just outside of Brunswick which has much to offer. I did a quick view of the island on Google Earth to see what Photography opportunities there could be on the beach. I typically look for piers, rocks, lighthouses …etc. I saw on the ocean side of the island, there are quite a few trees that were part of the beach landscape.  After bringing it up with My wife’s cousin Angie she replied that they refer to it as driftwood beach. I would imagine that years ago, the island’s footprint was propably much larger and these trees were not growing out on the beach as it shows in the aerial image. We arrived on the island just as the sunset was approaching and made the short walk from a parking area out to the beach. Talk about an amazing view! The tide was high during our visit and was quite rough as well. We weren’t able to venture out onto the beach because. Why? Well, there wasn’t one with the high tide. The waves were crashing in right up to the small patch of woods.  I spent about 30-45 minutes capturing different compositions. I got down low and composed my shot with an old stump in the foreground. Several times during the shot, I had to retreat from the crashing waves to keep from loosing my camera and tripod. It was well worth the effort and I came away with a few images that I was happy with. Nikon D800, 16-35mm lens, Manfrotto tripod, Singh Ray Gold n Blue Polarizer.
Driftwood beach, Jekyll Island State Park, GA © Rob Loughrey