Capturing Monkeys on the St. Helena Sound

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How would you like to photograph monkeys on their own private island or a pod dolphins swimming in South Carolina’s Harbor River? In this video, pro wildlife photographers Doug Gardner and Eric Horan first take you to the Lowcountry of St. Helena Sound off Beaufort, South Carolina for tips on photographing monkeys in a natural setting. The monkeys are part of the Morgan Island Research Project known as Monkey Island. Because the island is federally protected, Doug and Eric stay in their boat and photograph Rhesus monkeys on the move or sitting in trees, and mothers nursing their babies.

To shoot animals in their environments, Doug recommends using foreground and background elements to enhance your photograph. The idea is to give your frame balance, for instance a portrait of a monkey wrapped in a blurred green background or perched in a tree and surrounded by green leaves. Later in the day, Doug and Eric drive their boat to a coast line estuary and photograph swimming dolphins from various angles.

Eric Horan also gives you some background on his photography career. He started at the Colorado Fish and Games Parks Department and also free-lanced as an editorial photographer for magazines. The camera bug bit him, he moved to New York, worked as an assistant to the top shooters, then returned to his native South Carolina for his first love, capturing wildlife and landscape images. Over the years, he has produced a number of beautiful coffee table books of his work in South Carolina’s Lowcountry. Eric is testimony to the reality that it takes hard work and experience to be an accomplished photographer. As Doug Gardner points out, you probably won’t get rich as an outdoor photographer, but each day you love to go to work. Join Doug and Eric for some inspiring wildlife photography in St. Helena Sound.


See all videos in our Shooting in the Lowcountry Course: