Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Different Point of View

A week or so ago, the day dawned so crisp and clear; it was one of those perfect October days when you can see forever and the temperature is just perfect.  A perfect day to do some aerial photography, and since it's not every day that you can see forever, it was an opportunity not to be missed.  Thanks to the always obliging Holy City Helicopters who scramble at very short notice, and my able pilot Dylan, we captured some gorgeous shots, many of locations that I hadn't covered before and that I needed to fill some gaps in my aerial portfolio.  To see all my aerial images, go to
Count the steeples!

Bird Key, Stono Inlet with Folly Beach in the distance

Crab Bank, a shorebird sanctuary, just off Shem Creek

Daniel Island neighborhood

Saturday, October 25, 2014

One more Fall trip up to the Highlands

Fall is such a special time of year, and we don't get to see much evidence of it in Charleston, so this weekend I took another trip upstate. This time I based myself in Greenville (my son lives there, so cheap hotel!) and struck out mainly in Pickens County and around Lake Jocassee.  Only folks who really want it have the photo of the lake from Jumping-Off Rock, the reason being that it takes over an hour to get there from the SC 215 along Horse Pasture Road, bouncing along a bone-jarring trail, hoping that your tires are going to hold up to the abuse. Actually it took me well over an hour because I stopped so many times to photograph the forest in its fall splendor.  Oh, and another hazard was dodging the hunters who swarm all over the forest at this time of year.  I felt a little vulnerable without my orange ball cap. This time on the way back, I took the SC 321 and 178 South from Columbia.  The cotton is mostly harvested and the soybeans are still hanging in there (pardon the pun). 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Highly Preferable Alternative to the I-26

The more often I drive the I-26 between Charleston and Asheville the more I am amazed at the dreadful driving practices of many motorists.  Cars bunched together with less than 20 feet between them, traveling at 80+ miles per hour doesn't give much room for error or momentary lapse of concentration.  Then all it takes is for one impatient motorist to rush up from behind and try and squeeze himself/herself in between an already impossibly small gap to result in carnage and misery for countless people.  Enough already, so on the way home from North Carolina I left the craziness just south of the I-77 interchange and enjoyed the rural South Carolina countryside along the SC 176 for the next couple of hours drive back to Charleston.  Much more scenic, much safer, and much less stressful.  Here are some images from stops I made along the way.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fall 2014 in North Carolina

It's always a crap shoot no matter how diligently you research the progression of fall color.  Colors were expected to be at their peak this weekend in the lower elevations of the Blue Ridge Parkway and around the Brevard area, but a couple of days ago a storm blew all the prettiest leaves away, leaving the overall landscapes very muted.  Nevertheless, there is always something worth photographing - it just makes your mission a little more challenging.  Here are some of today's images: the sunrises were taken along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the rest along portions of NC64.
Predawn colors from the Blue Ridge Parkway

Sunrise from Mills River Valley Overlook

Fog rolls off the peak of Mount Pisgah

Mill Shoals Falls, Highway NC215

Chapel on Whiteside Cove Road near Highlands

The Bear Shadow - only visible for a few days of the year in October

Dry Falls

Friday, October 17, 2014

CLF 13th Annual Prayer Breakfast

For a few years now I have photographed this event "pro bono" for Jerry Young who heads up the Charleston Leadership Foundation (CLF), a non-profit organization whose mission is to conduct an annual prayer breakfast to encourage the Christian leaders of the community to come together in a forum designed to introduce people to the Gospel and learn about how Christ can change lives.  The charities supported by The Charleston Leadership Foundation are Be A Mentor and Lowcountry Orphan Relief.

This year's speaker was Reverend  Derwin L. Gray, former NFL player and founder of Transformation Church, recognized by Outreach Magazine in 2010 as the 2nd fastest growing church in America.  

Over 1,000 people attended, including all the area mayors, Senator Tim Scott, and a veritable who's who of  Charleston business leaders.  Music was provided by worship leaders from Seacoast Church

I'm heading for the North Carolina mountains later today (can't wait!) so look for some fall color scenes here soon :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Did you see that Moon?

Oh wow!  This was worth getting up early for.  The last total lunar eclipse back in April this year was pretty much a bust due to cloud cover, but this morning was beautifully clear.  I had got my equipment organized the night before, correctly assuming that I'm not at my sharpest at 4am, so all I had to do was make myself a cup of tea and watch the show, clicking the shutter occasionally and wiping the dew off the front of my lens.  Neighbors Victor and Dori joined me on the dock as the earth's shadow slowly progressed across the face of the full moon.  As the totality phase approached, so the sky began to lighten and the moon became increasingly difficult to see, and even more challenging to photograph.  Finally I gave up, and a little later it set in complete obscurity.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Family Portraits ... with a little wine

I just love doing family portraits.  Usually I find that the subjects start off somewhat apprehensive, but warm up after a little while and usually it's a lot of fun.  One of these subjects (not the kid) is inclined towards being more than a little apprehensive (I know because we did this last year as well), so this year I jokingly suggested they bring some wine with their picnic, since we were going to a park.  They took me quite seriously, and while we all still functioned quite competently, the wine took the edge off any nervousness, and we had a hilariously successful shoot.  I think I should make it a mandatory condition for all future shoots, as long as they are not too early in the day :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

New Aerial Views

I had been waiting for ages it seemed for the weather to clear.  Someone said on the radio the other day that out of 29 days in September, only 5 were not rained out.  I had been waiting to get back in the air and collect some new aerial images of the Charleston area, and today was perfect.  Here are a few from the route we took, over the downtown area, across the harbor to Shem Creek and along the coast of Sullivan's Island and Isle of Palms.
Breach Inlet, Sullivan's Island

US Customs House, East Bay Street

Shem Creek

Shrimp boats in Shem Creek