Mountains To Sea Workshops Bulls Island Expedition - Mountains To Sea Workshops
Explore Your World
[email protected] || 828-773-0369
Duration: 17 May 2018 - 20 May 2018
Location: Cape Romain Wildlife Refuge
Price: $650

Light painting in the Boneyard

Explore a remote barrier island at the south end of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge just north of Charleston, South Carolina. Unlike any other island in the refuge, Bulls Island is 5,000 acres of dense maritime forest, miles of hiking trails and fresh water ponds teeming with wildlife.  On the north end of the seven mile long beach is the infamous Boneyard, where the forest has been stranded on the sea shore over time.  These monolithic oaks of the Boneyard have been bleached by the sun and weathered by the salt air, rendering them skeletons on the shore. We will hike the island exploring the boneyard, marshes and wildlife.

Milky Way over the Marsh

This multi-day immersion on one of South Carolina’s barrier island is home to the most unique wilderness ecosystem in the country. The island lodging is in the historic Dominick House, with all meals and transportation provided.  We will explore the salt marshes and estuaries searching for dolphins, oyster catchers, white pelican, bald eagles, etc just to name just a few of the 290 species of bird.  This adventure will include some significant hiking and we will spend both mornings in the boneyard catching sunrise through the majestic old oaks.

Our guides have a wealth of knowledge of the natural and human history of this coastline.  We will also have genuine gourmet meals from our very own chef.   Join us on this engaging weekend excursion as we photographically explore one of the most stunning and diverse coastlines on the planet.  We will photograph abundant wildlife and changing coastlines, marshes and boneyard beaches and learn the best ways to capture each scene.

Bulls Island Sunrise


Trip Highlights:

  • Raw untouched coastal beauty of the remote barrier islands. Bulls Island, Capers Island Preserve and Cape Romain Wildlife Refuge
  • Photograph Dolphins, Alligators and hundreds of birds
  • Expert naturalist guides, tasty meals in a beautiful setting.
  • Sunrise and Sunset in the boneyards and marshes that make this area famous (for photographers).

Topics we will cover:

  • Basic Camera functions such as:  Shutter, Aperture, Focus, ISO, Exposure Compensation
  • How to read a Histogram
  • Hyper-focal distance
  • The use of filters and filter systems, including Neutral Density, ND Grads & Polarizers.
  • Bracketing and High Dynamic Range (HDR)
  • How to read the light and adjust for changing light conditions.
  • How to look for and choose your composition.  Advanced compositions and compositional elements.
  • How to get the most from your current camera system.  What are the advantages of Higher end systems and lenses.
  • Post Processioning techniques to include:  image loading, meta-tagging, basic image adjustments, Dodging & Burning, saving your file
  • A basic understanding of Lightroom & Photoshop(advanced techniques will be touched on as needed)

Tentative Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 – Welcome to Charleston
    Meet for dinner and Introductions
    Gear Readiness
    Sunset session near Charleston
  • Day 2 – Cape Romain National Wildlife Preserve
    Breakfast and Gear loading
    Naturalists guide us through the salt marshes teeming with wildlife (via Boat)
    Get situated in the house before an exploration of the island for sunset.
  • Day 3 – Bulls Island Full Day
    Sunrise at Bulls Island Boneyard with the sun rising above the ocean.
    Fresh breakfast at the house
    Hike through the maritime forests, photographing wildlife and the many birds (Alligator spotting guaranteed)
    Lunch on the island followed by discussion and processing in the Dominick House conference room
    Locally sourced cooked dinner before sunset over the marsh and sound.

Dominick House, home sweet home



Abundant Wildlife, Image by Sheri Elsenhuth

Price Includes:

  • 2 night accommodations in the Dominick House
  • Limited transportation while on the Island.
  • All Meals are included while we’re on the Island(Bring your own trail food)
  • Boat transportation to and from the island
  • Professional Naturalist guide to the surrounding area
  • Expert Photography Guidance and Hands on Training
  • Sunrise and Sunset sessions on the Boneyard
  • Access to the Boneyard for Astrophotography, Star Trails and Time Lapse Video
  • Pricing is based on double occupancy(4 Rooms)

*You will be responsible for your transportation to Charleston.

*Space is limited to 8 on this very special trip.



Important:  Hikes can vary in difficulty levels and can reach up to 1 mile or more.  No one knows your condition and fitness level better than you.  We will be in the mountain where terrain can be rocky and steep.  Your safety is always our highest priority.  Helping us by being prepared will ensure you have a safe and productive trip.

*If you have a pre-existing medical condition, we will need to know about this in advance to assess your ability for this trip.

*All locations are subject to weather.   To check the local forecast:  Mt. Pleasant, SC

*An Itinerary and Equipment list will be sent out one month prior to the trip.  A good Camera backpack is essential to reach our destinations.



Light Painting in the Boneyard


Payment Policy
You are required to make the minimum deposit to hold your spot. Full payment of the workshop tuition is required within 30 days of the workshop start date, otherwise you risk forfeiting your deposit and opening your space to another individual.

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations made more than 60 days before the event date may choose to reschedule for another workshop date or request a refund minus a 20% admin fee. Cancellations made less than 60 days before the event date are only eligible for rescheduling or a refund if the opening can be rebooked.