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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Favorite Places: From Readers & Pros

For real estate and nature photography, there’s nothing as important as location. Check out this selection of diverse places around the country so you can be in the right place to get your shots.

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favorite places
* Bob Krist, Magnolia Plantation, South Carolina
I have several places in coastal South Carolina and Georgia that I particularly enjoy shooting. I love the plantations and gardens outside of Charleston, places like Middleton Place and the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. Although Magnolia Plantation and Gardens might seem a little touristy at first, once you wander through the ponds when the azaleas are in bloom, you feel like you have the place to yourself. Magnolia Plantation was founded in 1676, so
some of those swamp gardens are 300-plus years old. The Audubon Swamp Garden is filled with cypress and tupelo gum trees and surrounded by blackwater. It’s a great photo op because herons, egrets and waterfowl nest here and are really accessible.

Spring is king in this area, when the azaleas are in bloom. But I’ve been down there in spring, fall and winter, and there’s always something to shoot. If you go in summer, be prepared for withering heat and high humidity.

Essential Gear:
The birdlife calls for long lenses—I have an old 500mm ƒ/4 Nikkor P that I always bring. I also like to do aerials of the ACE Basin and the coastal areas, so I try to bring some fast prime lenses, a Nikkor 85mm ƒ/1.4 and the like, for working from small aircraft. A macro helps for the flowers. Insect repellent and sunscreen round out my list of must-haves.
Getting There: The Magnolia Plantation and Gardens can be found from the north via Interstate 26, by taking Interstate 526 west at North Charleston. Drive about five miles to the Ashley River Road/U.S. Highway 61 North exit. Follow the parkway two miles until it dead-ends into Bee’s Ferry Road. Bear right onto Bee’s Ferry Road and drive about two miles until it dead-ends into U.S. Highway 61. Turn left. Watch for the Magnolia Plantation signs. Magnolia Plantation is three miles up U.S. Highway 61 on the right.

favorite places
John K. Webb, Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, Jones Gap State Park, South Carolina
Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area in northern Greenville County, South Carolina, is my favorite place for outdoor photography. The Mountain Bridge Wilderness is approximately 10,000 acres consisting of Caesars Head State Park, Jones Gap State Park and all of the land in between. Nestled at the base of the Carolina foothills, this area contains a phenomenal variety of terrain, flora and fauna. The sudden variations in elevation account for the many waterfalls, and there’s a distinct look to the area for every season. The entire region is laced with a great trail system. Nikon D70s, Sigma 10-20mm ƒ/4-5.6

favorite places
Davis Goodman, Thunder Hill Overlook, Blue Ridge Parkway,
North Carolina

Thunder Hill Overlook always has been one of my favorite places to photograph. From this location, around 4,000 feet above sea level, a photographer has the opportunity to capture spectacular panoramic views of the mountains and countryside. The parkway and surrounding area is a wonderful place for photographers to test their skills all year long. My favorite times are the spring and fall. Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF-S 18-55mm ƒ/3.5-5.6

Note: * denotes pro photographer


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