Tips for shooting at Driftwood Beach

Tips for shooting at Driftwood Beach.
I just returned from 5 days on Jekyll Island while attending and presenting at the Annual Expo for the Georgia Nature Photographers Association. I wanted to share some of my observations as tips for shooting on Driftwood Beach and some notes on the Expo as well.
Driftwood Beach is much like shooting on any beach with some special subjects to consider. The trees, or driftwood, is a key to the composition so make sure you scout to find the tree that appeals to you the most. The trees will be on dry land except for rising or falling tides near their peaks. I personally like to have swirls and wet sand around the wood to reflect the morning sky. Using a simple App to determine where the sun will rise on the horizon will help you to get set up for that perfect image. Plan to be able to shoot on a couple different days just in case the weather conditions are perfect. Lower humidity will hopefully eliminate some of the haze on the horizon and help if you want to shoot sunstars. A slight breeze will help with the gnats, and believe me, you want the help with the gnats! I put some type of bug spray on every 15 minutes, and if you miss a square inch, they will find it. I like the smooth water so for me using a Neutral Density filter is a must. A circular polarizer will remove the reflection, so an ND filter is better. You will want either a 4 stop or 6 stop. I use the square filters from Sirui. When the sun is rising and the detail in the foreground and sky are so dark due to the sunlight, a Reverse Graduated ND filter is needed. I used a 2 stop Reverse Graduated ND filter for my images. A good tripod is needed as well for longer images. Watch the legs to make sure they aren’t in the water because it will sink in the middle of your exposure and cause blur. Be ready to run around and work other trees as well, and most of all have fun.
The GNPA Annual Expo kicked off Thursday with some pre-conference classes and workshops. I taught a Macro class and then we went out to shoot around the building. On Friday I took a group to Harris Neck NWR, which is an incredible location and everyone should visit it, even if it is just to see the birds that visit and reside there. Once the Expo started officially and all the presentations were in one location, the break out sessions and meetups were great because you got to meet so many new folks, shoot with friends and people who share the same passion for nature. The Expo, to me, isn’t about all the presentations or workshops, its about the sharing of knowledge between photographers, the camaraderie that is there. I never leave one of these events that I don’t see the formation of lifelong bonds and friendships. For me, seeing so many people that come hoping to walk away with more knowledge is a personal goal to make sure I do my best to give them that which they seek. I hope most of all to inspire people to try new things, shoot new places and most of grow their passion for photography and nature. I hope everyone will check out the GNPA or NANPA, or the local equivalent, wherever you live. Go to their meetings and conferences, you won’t regret the experience!
Tamron SP 24-70mm f2.8 Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-850, Manual Exposure mode, f22, ISO 64, shutter speed of 15 seconds, Sirui 4 stop Neutral Density filter and 2 stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density filter, Sirui N3204X tripod and K30X ballhead, MindShift Gear PhotoCross 13L slingbag, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #MindShiftGear

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