Sandstorm at beach

In late October last year I was on vacation to the area around Charleston, South Carolina. When I was visiting Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island I spent some time at the beach there. It was a sunny day, but with a strong and chilly wind. I got some shelter from the wind in the dunes and watched huge container ships and kite surfers in Charleston Harbor.

18mm  f/13  1/400sec  ISO200
After some time I noticed all the sand that was blown along the beach. It was an interesting sight and thus raised my attention. From within the dunes I saw the sand floating over little rocks and forming different moving shades. I was looking for a way to catch this on photo. From my position in the dunes it was impressive to see but did not function on a still photo. So I moved out of my shelter to the middle of that beach. The wind was strong and sand was flying all around me. I wished to protect my gear in a sealed bag, but the scene was too interesting. I turned into a direction where the wind was hitting me from behind. So I hoped to provide my gear a little protection. First I took out my one camera with standard zoom lens and took some photos with wider angle. Looked awesome. Even in that still image you can see the sand blown along the beach. I love the pattern the blown sand creates on the ground.

105mm  f/8  1/2500sec  ISO400
Then I was curious how it would look like with a tele zoom focal length. So I protected the one camera in my bag and got out the other one with my tele zoom lens. I was looking for a scene and took some further photos. The result turned out quite impressive as well. Even with this higher focal length you can still see the sand moving on the ground. It is a different perspective this time but that nice pattern of blown sand is still visible. I love it. At little rocks the sand even fills up some piles. I hurried to soon get my photos done and to no longer expose my gear to these extreme and dangerous conditions. Later on at some quieter location I checked my lenses for some unhealthy sounds, but I had luck. It seemed that no sand managed it into inner parts of my gear. No scratching noises when turning zoom or focus ring.

The technical details:
First photo was taken with an EOS 600D and EF-S 18-55mm standard zoom kit lens. Camera was set into P mode with fixed ISO value of 200. Aperture and shutter speed were calculated automatically by camera. Second photo was taken with an EOS 500D and EF 100-400mm L tele zoom lens. Camera was set into Av mode with a fixed aperture value of f/8 and a fixed ISO value of 400. Shutter speed was calculated automatically by camera. Both photos were shot hand-held.

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