Early Morning on Saint Helena Sound

I was never a morning person, even less so as time goes by, but every so often I will make an exception and rise early. So it was yesterday since I was joining some friends at sunrise down at Butcher’s boat landing on St. Helena Island near Beaufort, SC. It was a beautiful morning, and the air was soft and warm as we pushed off and followed the creeks out to the sound. We were looking forward to enjoying nature, observing shorebirds, dolphin, and watching the shrimp trawlers as they plied the sound dragging their nets. It was a wonderful time. Here are a couple of photos of the trip.

The Promise of Fall

I wouldn’t go so far as to say there was a “nip” in the air yet, but it is getting cooler and the humidity is dropping. The mornings are glorious and some trees are beginning to drop their leaves. Just another couple of weeks and nature will start to amaze with her explosion of color in the higher elevations of North and South Carolina. I was looking back through some photos I took in the fall of 2016, a particularly good year for color. Hopefully 2021 will not disappoint.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;  a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Been photo mining

We are almost at the end of a long, hot summer and I’m so looking forward to feeling less lethargic and more energized to get out there and photograph my world. In the meantime, I sat in my airconditioned office and dug back through some old folders and reminisced about past adventures. Here are a few taken in South Africa over the last few years. Such a long way to go and now even more tedious thanks to the COVID19 virus, but amazingly beautiful and worth the effort. Soon I’ll be heading to the North Carolina mountains for some fall photography – can’t wait.

Paying final respects to a Warrior

Yesterday evening I attended a memorial service for a friend. He was a decorated Vietnam veteran and a fighter with a huge heart. It was a poignant event, as friends and family recounted stories from his life; some funny, some not so much. I was full of admiration and gratitude to the attending volunteers who give generously of their time to pay their respects. Although personally unknown to them, David was recognized as a member of the brotherhood that protects and serves our country. Thank you to the Army National Guard who conducted the flag folding ceremony, to the SC American Legion who provided the rifle volley and performed Taps, and to the SC Patriot Guard Riders who surrounded the ceremony with American flags as a watchful guard. Rest in peace, David Arias. You were remembered well.

Summertime Family Portraits

As we know, Charleston summers are HOT! Not the most ideal season for outdoor portrait sessions. Make-up literally melts off the ladies’ faces and people (and kids) can get cranky sooner rather than later. However, it is also a time when families are reuniting for summer vacations and wanting to capture memories of time spent together. This was the case when this family gathered in Charleston from scattered locations for a week of catching up. They were not cranky and I think they will treasure the memories for a long time.

Upstate South Carolina Waterfalls

This past weekend, a friend and I took a brief respite from the Charleston humidity and spent a couple days in Tryon, NC. We had mapped out a couple of waterfalls we planned to visit while in the area, both just over the state line in South Carolina. The first one, Wildcat Falls on the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway (SC 11) is very accessible from the roadside and consists of a lower and upper falls. I converted the lower falls photo into black and white IR. The next stop was Twin Falls in Sunset, SC and what a surprise that was! I was astonished to see how much water was cascading over the top. There were more like 4 or 5 falls because of increased volume due I guess to summer storms in the area. Beautiful sight.

Squirrel Entertainment

Having tried multiple ways to keep the squirrels from plundering my bird feeders, I finally found some wisdom that works. The trick is to provide a diversion and entice them away. This is apparently a very common dilemma for backyard bird lovers, as I discovered when I googled “squirrel feeders”. After reading many reviews, I picked a nice compromise between reputedly worthless and excessively indulgent, and ended up with one that provided much amusement for about 5 days. It seems that ultimately the structure was unable to support the weight of one of my heftier squirrels and the bottom fell out. As an experiment, the price was certainly worth the cost of admission for days of entertainment, however I didn’t want to replace it every week. Today I found one at Lowe’s that seems much sturdier so it will go into service tomorrow much to the delight of the birds and squirrels. Just trying to keep everyone happy 🙂

Window Box Project – Summer

I started a project recently for a client to photograph their downtown Charleston window boxes through the four seasons. A few posts back I showed some images of Spring, and these latest photos show the boxes decked out in Summer splendor. I took some during the evening to try and give some diversity to the same subject matter and I like the warm glow from the outside gas lamp and interior lights. Fun and challenging to photograph.

Charleston Evening Views

I was looking back through my folders of aerial images the other day, and thinking about how much I have missed not being able to fly over the city and photograph it in all its moods and seasons. Unfortunately, COVID19 led to the demise of my helicopter pilot’s business. I don’t think there are many businesses who cannot say that 2020 was a very challenging year. Exceptions of course would be Zoom, social media, and other high tech companies. Anyway, these images were taken during an evening flight back in November 2017. The air was warm and there was a full moon rising. A little slice of heaven.

Summer Family Portraits

This young family was visiting Charleston from North Carolina last week and wanted some portraits taken at the beach. The little girl was a real trooper and quick to oblige with all ideas and suggestions for activities. The baby was somewhat overwhelmed by my camera lens and sobbed inconsolably every time it was pointed in her direction. This called for some sneaky creativity on my part, but on the whole we managed to produce a series of images that they loved. I did add in one of the outtakes just for fun – there were quite a few!

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