Botany Bay Plantation

Here I am road tripping up to South Carolina with my sister and the only thing I can think about is getting one of the images that's been on my photo "hit list" for awhile. And that's the dramatic oak tree-lined road in the Botany Bay Plantation.  I've seen some gorgeous images of this road, but I wanted one that was mine.  

When to Shoot?

One of the questions I kept bouncing back and forth with is "when?" When would be the best time to shoot it? I was thinking dawn or sunset to get those golden tones. On the other hand, since the road is so densely covered, maybe I would need to wait for more direct late morning or noon light so that I could get a more illuminated path.

Because of where we were driving from and where we were heading, Botany Bay would have to be the first stop and then on to Charleston. So morning is what I decide on.

On our drive in, there was a dense fog that was looming, but there was still about 30 minutes before reaching the photo spot. I was hopeful, but what I was worried about happening came to pass. The fog burned off by the time we arrived. I mean, it would've been nice to get an eerie shot of this pathway with a fog drifting through, but it wasn't in the cards.

The Plantation & Beach

There's a nature preserve and a beaten path witih a 10 minute walk that leads to the beach. What a great way to start the day, hearing the morning birds along with the sound of waves crashing as we approached the shoreline.  On the way there were some beautiful lichen covered trees that I stopped to shoot. The beach itself was a photo shoot. Scattered with driftwood and oddly-placed sea shells, I didn't know where to look first.  I took my camera out of my bag and walked around to try and find a composition I liked. 

The tide was coming in and the sun still hadn't broken the horizon. I cound't find a composition I was really happy with so I changed my perspective. Instead of going wide, zoom in. I'm not sure what the story is with these shells, but for whatever reason people hung conch shells on the spokes and roots of the driftwood and palm trees. Like a beachy christmas tree.  I got some decent shots, but nothing I was too excited about. All in all, it was a fun detour and distraction before heading on to the main event.

The Main Goal

The sun was a good bit in the sky by now and the cloud coverage was pretty descent, but still enough that it didn't turn the light too flat. I was hoping since I couldn't have my fog, maybe some rays breaking through the branches would be nice. I switched on my long lens and drove along to path to see where to stop. Honestly, it was hard not to stop every 20 feet or so. The lines in the branches would change, the fence that was there would be cleared, or the light would light up the road differently. Holding my enthusiasm in check, I settled on a spot and set up my camera. Here's the result:

oak tree-lined road in botany bay plantation

Botany Bay Road

Nikon D500 with Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6 ISO 400 | 1/125 sec at 40mm f/5.6

Morning Lichen

Nikon D500 with Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6 ISO 400 | 1/640 sec at 68mm f/5.6 (hand-held)