Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bird's Eye View of Charleston's Marshes

I just returned yesterday from Charleston, SC where I was working with The Nature Conservancy to document their Oyster Habitat Restoration project being led by marine ecologist, Joy Brown. The flight time was donated by a wonderful organization called SouthWings whose slogan is 'Conservation through Aviation.' Although our pilot –a really nice guy named Hume Davenport– was held-up in Asheville due to fog, we were still able to fly, albeit somewhat later than we had originally planned. So much had gone into arranging the shoot that we felt like it would be best to go ahead and make the best of it.

I had never flown over South Carolina's marshes and coastal region before and I was amazed by the serpentine, almost circulatory patterns of the creeks flowing toward the Atlantic. Depending on the deposits in the water, the temperature (perhaps) and depth of the creek some of the water had a turquoise color which really contrasted with the pluff-mud and spartina grasses that each one passed through. One of the highlights of the trip was seeing Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge from the air. I could see Cabbage Palms growing naturally throughout the landscape and a 'skeleton forest' covering a rugged, untouched coastline. Joy tells me that this is one of the only places in the U.S. where a National Wildlife Refuge borders a National Forest (Francis Marion).

I will be posting more images when I complete my edit, but the image above is a sample of one the creeks that we flew over. The slow-moving waterways offer endless potential for abstract compositions.

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