TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) — A photographer will do anything to capture that perfect shot, even if it means driving over an hour and a half away from home most weekends.
That’s the routine for Anthony Jackson Sr., who lives in Sylvania.
By day, the avid photographer works long hours as a truck driver. But by sunset or sunrise, he’s out breathtaking photos of Tybee Island that have gotten some positive attention online.
Jackson says he takes photos purely out of love for the hobby, but when he shares his images on his Instagram page or in Facebook groups dedicated to the island, people seem to love it.
“Seeing the world through everybody’s eyes, it makes you appreciate how they see stuff,” Jackson told News 3.
Jackson’s appreciation of nature — and feeling drawn to the water — is why he spends his weekends taking photos around the island.
When he started posting online, he began noticing he was getting attention from an unexpected source.
“I realized that a lot of people that are older than me who can’t make it [to the beach], they’re in like their 70s and 80s, so when I post pictures, they’ll say it brings back memories,” he said.
“People who don’t even know me message me like, ‘Hey, this is inspiring, I had a bad day until I saw your video,’ it’s like wow, you can touch somebody like that,” he said.
Something else that took Jackson by surprise — online fans of his work would enter his photos into contests, sometimes without him knowing — and he’s won some of them.
“I was like, ‘Wow, people really push for you when you do something,’ and that surprised me,” he said.
He started out taking images on his phone a couple of years ago while he was working his day job but wasn’t satisfied with the quality.
That’s when he decided on an upgrade.
“The phones [save photos] in JPEGS, so you can’t really edit, whereas the camera has it in raw files, so you can do more editing with it and bring out the color,” he said.
Jackson uses a Canon Rebel T6 to make most of the magic happen, along with a little help from Photoshop to tidy up the pictures.
“Now, the stars do show and that is edit because you have to, what I call clean up the picture, like a lot of noise pollution in it,” he said. “Those pictures take a lot of work.”
Jackson says there’s a good reason why he prefers shooting at the beginning and end of the day.
“When the sun is above us, taking a picture, the color quality gets distorted a little bit, versus the sun coming down or going up, you have multiple colors that you can play with,” he explained.
“It’s not as crowded, the day is more calm and cool,” he added.
Jackson says, while Tybee itself is beautiful, he’d also encourage people visiting the island to take a second — and look up.
“Some people come out and just walk around, which is okay,” said Jackson, who’s also taken incredible close-up shots of the Moon. “But if you ever look up and just be aware of your surroundings you can see that.”
“I really wish they would have one day on Tybee [where they] just turn all the lights off, and have some photographers come out here with their cameras and have people walk around, and they can actually see the stars,” he said, adding that the Milky Way Galaxy is much more visible in the sky in March and April.
Jackson says one day, he hopes he can leave behind truck driving altogether and pursue his passion and hobby full time.
In the meantime, he plans to continue capturing the beauty of Tybee and inspiring people one stunning image at a time.
“If I can take pictures and show somebody to where their eyes are watering, that’s amazing,” Jackson said.
“If I can show something that they can actually remember, years ago that they’ve probably forgotten, that’s worth it,” he said.
View more of Jackson’s work on Instagram by visiting here.