Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Evening at the JICP Fishing Dock

After what seemed like weeks of unsettled weather, the clouds moved out of the area this evening, and with the humidity still relatively low (for July), it was just gorgeous.  I decided to get some exercise at the James Island County Park, but saw that it was shaping up to be a beautiful evening, so I grabbed my camera from the car and headed for the fishing dock to enjoy it.  I just love that park!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Full Moonrise

Always chasing the moon and pursuing the ultimate moon rise shot.  It's like being in search of the holy grail. I will never get there, but it sure was pretty on the West Ashley Greenway the other night.  Hot and buggy, but pretty.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

New Aerial Images uploaded

I had been trying to schedule a flight for over two weeks, but the weather had been rainy, stormy, hazy or just uncooperative in some way or another.  I finally got a break on Thursday evening and even though the temperature was in the mid nineties (and it was also pretty windy), I think we managed to get some decent shots.  I paid for it because my stomach did not appreciate the flying conditions, but all in the line of duty!  I have 600+ to edit, but here are a few that caught my eye initially.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Happy Birthday USA

A day late, yes, but I didn't want to let the occasion slip by without marking it.  The United States is definitely not united.  As celebrations took place throughout the country yesterday, this is a solemn reality that should give most responsible citizens a reason to pause. Regardless of our political persuasions and agendas, wouldn't it be wonderful if we could restore mutual respect, be more willing to listen than to talk, and not be so arrogant as to believe it is only our point of view that has any value.  That's how it has to be in families, otherwise we don't get along very well.  I for one want to be a peacemaker in my corner on a daily basis, and try to become part of a solution instead of perpetuating the problem, of which there are legion.  Hatred and scorn have never achieved anything positive.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Chasing the ISS

My "spot the Station" email alerted me as follows:  "Time: Sunday July 02 5:50AM, Visible: 4 min, Max Height: 55°, Appears: 11° above SSW, Disappears: 43° above E". Looking at the Google map coordinates, I figured that the Folly Beach pier would be a good place from which to view and photograph it, so I set my alarm clock accordingly.  I guessed that a maximum height of 55 degrees could be included in the frame, but as I watched it hurtle through the sky, it passed almost overhead, impossible to photograph while still keeping the ground in view.  I would have thought that 90° maximum height would have been more accurate, but then I guess I'm interpreting it wrong (wouldn't wan't to argue with NASA) and anyway Math was never my strong point.  In any event, I enjoyed the show and then stayed to watch the sun come up in the company of lots of other early risers.  I'm always glad later that I made the effort to get out of bed although I need to find someone to explain how to correctly predict the path of the ISS.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Sunflowers say Summertime!

It's hard not to smile when confronted by fields of sunflowers. There's something inherently cheerful and happy about big yellow blobs of color, especially together with a bright blue sky.  Every year I hunt them down and so it becomes challenging to present them from a different perspective, and not just have the 2017 sunflowers looking exactly like the 2016 sunflowers.  These were photographed on Highway 17S with permission from the owner, Glenn Smoak.  For inquiries contact him at gsmoak@smoakscomfort.com.  In post-processing I played with a software painting program called Impressions 2 from Topaz.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Another Moon, Another Month ...

As the years go by, I become more conscious of their swift passing, more aware that I am on a timeline and that the weeks that go by are irrecoverable.  In many ways, that makes everything more important, the seasons, the tides, the moon phases, relationships, meaning in every sense.  Anyway, that's a very short overview of my musings of late. This was the moon last night from the Charleston City Marina, with a few fireworks from the River Dogs game thrown in for good measure.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A Tale of Three Steeples

The steeples of Mother Emmanuel Church, St. Matthews Lutheran Church, and the Citadel Square Baptist Church, one image taken this afternoon, one at sunset, and the other during the "blue hour" at around 8.30pm.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Space Station Flyby

If you go on to the NASA website, you can sign up for email alerts that will let you know when the space station will be visible in your area. Sometimes it's just not convenient, like at 3am, or when you have to be doing something somewhere else, but this evening was perfect. My "spot the station" alert informed me that it would be visible for six minutes, appearing 10 degrees above Southwest at 9:09pm and disappearing 10 degrees above Northeast.  You would think that with such specific information it would be possible to document its entire path across the sky, but I only managed to pick it up about half way through its transit. OK, next time I'll do better.  In any event, it was a beautiful evening to be out in the James Island County Park, one of my very happy places.

Monday, May 22, 2017

A Few more Tall Ships in Charleston Harbor

Before I move on to other things, here are a few more images of some of the activity i Charleston Harbor on the day of the Parade of Sail, Thursday May 18th at the start of the Tall Ship Charleston Festival 2017.  The enormous container ship gave our Captain a few anxious moments as we had to wait for another ship to pass before we could come about and tack out of the way.  The wake it created was also pretty exciting.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Tall Ships are back in Charleston

I am always seduced by the romance of tall ships, so today I stole away and joined the Lynx, a square-topsail schooner from Nantucket, MA in the Parade of Sail. The weather was perfect, just enough cloud cover to mitigate a really punishing day under a hot Carolina sun, and a sweet onshore breeze.  The ships are docked in North Charleston and the festival runs through the weekend, so go take a look and support this wonderful event.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Rooftop Moonset - Good Morning Charleston!

I'm always scouting for new vantage points for shooting a full moon.  I love Charleston rooftops, but there are few elevated views available to the general public without having to shoot through glass, or without freedom to move and compose shots according to the position of the moon, etc.  This one is not too bad, and so this morning found me on top of a public garage watching the moon set behind St. Philips Church steeple.  It was warm, there was a light breeze, and I had my morning cup of tea along with me so all was well with my world :)


Monday, April 24, 2017

The St. Augustine Lighthouse

The last location I checked off my list before I headed back to Charleston was the St. Augustine Lighthouse.   A beauty for sure.  I climbed to the top, but cheated sort of, because I was photographing all the way, so I didn't get in the least bit winded.  While I was working there, I watched many locals who climb up and down the stairs multiple times as a daily exercise regime. That's more interesting than the stairmaster at the local gym!

St. Augustine's Alligator Farm

No visit to St. Augustine would be complete without spending some time at the amazing Alligator Farm, a misnomer really, since this zoo is so much more than alligators.  To be sure, they have a LOT of alligators, more per square inch than most southern swamps.  I was there to photograph their rookeries.  What a chaotic cancophony of  discordant squawking and activity.  Birds of every description are nesting and raising their chicks in every nook and cranny they can find.  Just when you think it impossible to fit another nest in a tree, some resourceful bird has bagged a spot.  All of this is going on above the alligator infested swamp. Here are a few of the birds that I photographed.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunrise at Marineland Beach, Florida

I have been wanting to visit this beach for years, made plans in the past but they never materialized for one reason or another.  Finally made it.  What attracted me are the unique outcroppings of coquina rock found along this particular stretch of beach.  Love the textures, and the way the water swirls around them, creating wonderful motion patterns.  This was sunrise, and I went back for sunset later on. Those images will be posted later.