• Activities:

    Photography

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Groups
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area
Scenic

Get lost underneath one of the biggest and oldest trees on the continent. Observe in awe of the hundreds of years of growth sprawl the trunks through the ground, into the sky, and out on a long magical limb formations. 

Angel Oak Park is located just 12 miles from downtown Charleston, so it makes for a great mini trip if you're already visiting the beautiful area. The tree is half a mile down Angel Oak Road, off of Maybank Highway on Johns Island. The Park is free and open from 9am - 5pm. Tripods are only allowed to be used 100 ft from the root trunk, but otherwise the tree is free to explore all around and underneath. DO NOT CLIMB ON THE TREE. There are signs all around, but it should be emphasized again. 

Be careful when walking around the roots, but some of your best shots will be looking upwards and making abstract shots with the funky limbs going out in every direction. Try to visit either right when they open, or an hour before they close to get the best light and the least amount of tourists. Since you can't use a tripod under the tree, crank your ISO up, but no more than 1600. Set your camera to Aperture Priority and bring it to a fairly large opening, such as f4, to bring in as much light as you can without blowing it out with a high ISO. Also, use a wide lens if possible. I used a 20mm prime and it worked great, usually framing my shot's edge right at the sun coming through the trees. Play around with the lens flare, and adjust your aperture to the amount of light in the frame, matching your shutter speed to make sure it doesn't drop below a 1/250 sec. 

The age of this tree is in question, but a majority of researchers have concluded it's somewhere between 400 - 500 years old. Yet, other researchers still believe the number is closer to 1,500. It stands 66.5 ft (20 m) tall, but the more fascinating number is that the longest length of branch tip to branch tip is 187 ft. It is 28 ft (8.5 m) in circumference and produces shade that covers 17,200 sq ft ( 1,600 m2). 

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Wide angle lens
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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This is beautiful! Really a sight to see!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Mike Fennell Explorer

Professional Travel and Nature Photographer

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