22 June 2010

St. Augustine Part I-Sunrise and Siblings

This is the first major post of images from my recent trip to St. Augustine, Florida to visit the wild rookery at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. I cannot recommend this location enough for those of you interested in birds or nature photography. You can't beat the experience of having at least 9 species of wading birds nesting and roosting within arms reach and with little concern for your presence. The staff at the Alligator Farm is also very friendly and accommodating. If you are a photographer I strongly encourage you to purchase a photo pass. Even better than the opportunity to enter an hour before the park opens is the opportunity to stay after the park closes (usually involves a small tip to the staff member on duty) as the sweet evening light approaches.

I'll start off this post with one of my favorite locations to shoot sunrise before heading to the Alligator Farm. The St. Johns County Fishing Pier is located in St. Augustine Beach just off of Route A1A. This is a great location to photograph the sun rising over the ocean (but don't expect to get beach shots at high tide, the water comes right up to the sea wall)and images of the pier against the sunrise. My shoot on Sunday brought up an important photography lesson. Mediocre sunrises can be improved by silhouetting objects against them.  On this particular morning, the sky was cloudless and hazy (it was already 70-80 degrees and humid before the sun came up) so it was clear the sunrise was going to be fairly lackluster.  However, by getting down on the beach and silhouetting the pier against the rising sun, I came away with some images I was very happy with.  Of course, the reflections of the pier on the dark wet sand didn't hurt either.

St. Augustine Sunrise - Images by Elijah Goodwin

For the second set of images, I had to find some way of breaking down the large number of wader images both to display and to make the task of editing a little less daunting.  So for the first set of images, I chose those that fit the theme of "siblings".  Tomorrow (hopefully) I'll post more individual (adults and young) and flight images.  Enjoy and please leave a comment!  I value your feedback!  As usual, click on the fullscreen icon for the best viewing.  Reclicking that icon or hitting ESC will return you to the blog when you are finished viewing.

Heron and Egret Siblings - Images by Elijah Goodwin


  1. Beautiful, Eli! For the sunrise pics, I like #3. I think the sunlight on the waves really add something. For the herons and egrets, I like #2, and I especially like #7. The mom looks so regal and stern! :)

  2. wow, all these herons and egrets - great photos!

  3. Thanks for the comments. Nancy, I think the Mom is actually a little hesitant/scared. Those older fledglings really attack the parents for food. It is a wonder they don't get severly injured by the bills. Even after the parents have given up the food, the young continue to harass them. The adults eventually fly away to a different tree (it may be anthropomorphizing, but it seems like they are trying to get away and get some peace).