“The peacocks were calling. I had to go!”
It is so difficult to describe the pull that Magnolia Plantation and Gardens has on me in springtime. Charleston, SC, has always held such a special place in my heart since living there for five years right after graduating from college.
Oddly enough, it was after moving away from Charleston that I visited Magnolia for the first time.
The gardens are a visual delight at every turn for all visitors and a photographic paradise for those hoping to capture just a tiny bit of its beauty.
As soon as I drive down the tree and azalea lined drive, my ears perk up at the sound of the peacocks welcoming me back. All of life’s stressors cannot seem to pass through the gates into Magnolia. While I am there, everything is magical.
This year, as every other year, I tried to come away with images that were something I had not already captured at Magnolia. This becomes more challenging each year. For most of my images, I used a very shallow depth of field. I spent most of my time photographing with a 105 mm 1.4 lens. Using the aperture of 1.4 allowed me to focus on my subject with a dreamy, blurred background.
I wanted to try a new take at the iconic shots. I was amazed at the incredible job they did rebuilding the damaged bridge.
Another iconic area I wanted to revisit was the avenue of the oaks. First, I used a wide open aperture to create a different look, for me.
I also used multiple exposures to explore the oak alley in a different way.
I am thrilled that I had the chance to spend time in my happy place during the peak azalea bloom this year. Until next time, Magnolia will remain in my dreams.
What is your happy place? I hope you will visit it soon!