• Archives
  • Feb27

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    When I first arrived at the old Navy Base in North Charleston on Saturday for the second annual Brewvival, I felt a similar feeling as when I walked through the doors at CupcakeCamp. Elation. As a fan of real beer, not that swill most people pass off as beer at sports bars and chain restaurants, I was in heaven. Everywhere I looked, I was surrounded by real honest-to-goodness beer!

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    After I pinched myself a few times, I remembered that I had a job to do. I had to captured the day in photos. Where to start? Well, there was the huge growing line of attendees awaiting for the 12 o’clock hour to strike so they could start the party. I walked to the front of the line and met this group of folks who had arrived an hour early to be the first to enjoy the heady goodness that was to be dispensed throughout the day.

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    I realized I had a few minutes to check out the grounds before they were filled with festival goers. I walked around taking in the sights of each booth.

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Soon, the “gates” opened and some of the happiest people on earth were welcomed with a program and a beer glass as they entered the festival.

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    And so it began. People lined up at the booths and started sniffing, tasting, and in some cases, even licking their beer!

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    The organization of the festival was brilliant. Lines moved quickly, each brewer was organized in alphabetical order, and everyone had a list of what each brewer had to offer so there was little doubt as to where you could get the beer you wanted to try.

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Soon after the gates opened, the rock began with the sounds of Gaslight Street (featured in the photo at the top of this post). Now I was getting into my groove – I love beer, photography, and rock n’ roll (not in any particular order).

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    I started to get into it and got in close on the instruments…

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    I decided to head back into the crowd for more shots of beard beer drinking!

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    It was lunch time, which I spent inside of Coast Brewery’s facility and enjoyed some amazing home-made food that was prepared for the vendors and brewers. While I was in there, I decided to take some shots of the inner workings of the brewery.

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    After I was done inside Coast, I headed back outside to the festival with an idea for a shot. I wanted to get the darkest beer I could find and fill one of the Brewvival beer glasses and get a shot of the band behind it. I set the aperture as small as I could to get the most depth of field (and showcase the plethora of dirt on my camera’s sensor). I believe it captures the essence of the day. The shot up top is my favorite, and here is an alternate of the same shot in the key of G:

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    The beer I used was Palmetto Brewing’s Espresso Porter, which was amazing to say the least (I had to drink it because I wasn’t about to waste it). I also checked out some of the food vendors. We had D’Allesandro’s Pizza, Ted’s Butcher Block, Roti Rolls, as well as others on hand to keep the drinkers paced and satisfied.

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Next up on the stage was the Garage Cuban Band, who played a trippy Latin-flavored soulful sound that was perfect for the occasion.

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Phew – this is a long post, and I’m still going! After checking out a riveting game of bean-bag toss, I met up with some Twitter Friends.

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    It’s @JasonCZ & @SkimTheOcean

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    I tried to explain to Jason the art of being a creep with a camera at an event such as this. Sometimes the shot you want is of people off their guard, such as these:

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    When people know they are being photographed, the tend to step out of their natural character and when you combine that with beer, it may look something like this:

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    As the day went on, people came out of their shells and it was much easier to approach them for candid shots. Here are some of my favorites:

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Let’s not forget the unsung heroes of the day. I’m talking about the designated drivers who, donning their straight-edge X’s on their hands, sacrificed partaking in the alcohol bevicide for the good of their fellow man.

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Guess what time it is? It’s banjo picking, fiddle sticking, foot stomping time! Fire up the Dukes of Hazard car chase scene soundtrack and check out these shots of the SC Broadcasters!

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Right about now, the people started to get the itch and some dancing ensued.

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    The day was winding down, and somebody with temporary tattoos on his head was getting his skull licked, so I took that as my cue to wrap up my photo shoot.

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    I had a blast, and I can’t wait until next year’s event. Until then, I raise my glass to the Brewvival crew and Coast Brewing for putting on a spectacular festival. Cheers! I leave you with this picture of this guy looking awesome.

    Charleston Brewvival 2011

    Check out the whole set of 247 photos on my Flickr!

  • Feb25

    What: Charleston Brewvival
    Where: 1250 2nd St North, North Charleston, SC 29405
    When: Saturday, February 26, 2011 12-6PM
    Why: Beer!

    I’ve been extremely busy over the past couple of weeks, but I wanted to quickly update you with my latest project – I’ve been tasked with shooting the Charleston Brewvival 2011 event. I’m very excited to bring my love for photography to the world’s love of cold liquid gold.

    If you are coming to the Charleston area this weekend, make sure to get yourself some tickets, and a designated driver, and get ready to taste some of the low country’s best brews. I hope to see you there!

  • Feb22

    North Carolina

    I’d like to quickly say happy birthday to my little shooter. My wife and I are so proud of her – not only in celebrating her 11th birthday, but she found out this weekend that she was accepted into the school of the arts for her middle school. We are all so happy for her!

  • Feb17

    Machine Shop

    One of the perks of my other job is that I get access to all sorts of interesting places here in the Charleston, SC area. Today I was doing some work in a machine shop over at the old Navy base and while I was walking through the giant shop floor, I started to notice all of the cool shapes, colors, & surfaces all around me. On the return trip I pulled out my iPhone and started snapping shots of various things that caught my eye.

    Machine Shop

    I made most of these shot’s using Trey Ratcliff’s awesome 100 Cameras In 1 app. The color and texture complimented the effects of the app – a case of marrying the right tool for the job at hand.

    Machine Shop

    I also tried using one of the new in-app purchased filters in one of my other favorite iPhone camera apps, Camera+. An awesome new feature in the latest version of Camera+ is the ability to adjust the strength of the filter you apply – very much like Trey’s app. If they let you combine filter’s like Trey’s does then it would be perfect. Fortunately 100 Cameras In 1 does do just that!

    Machine Shop

    Most of us have subjects all around us that can be captured photographically and we pass them by due to either familiarity or just plain negligence to open your eyes in your own backyard. Try to look at life as a tourist – you might be surprised at how cool your environment can be.

    Machine Shop

  • Feb15

    Amy

    She’s my soul mate and as they say, the picture doesn’t do her justice. She is strong, scary smart, has a heart the size of the mountains she grew up in, and is to me the most beautiful person in the world. I love you Amy!

    BTW, did anyone ever tell you that you look like Gillian Anderson?

  • Feb14

    Day 163 - Happy Valentine's Day
    1/60th of a sec | f/3.5 | 50mm | ISO 200

  • Feb13

    February 2nd Sunday

    Late last year, the city of Charleston decided after the success of the “Do the Charleston” festival to regularly close King Street to traffic on the second Sunday of each month so that the pedestrians could take over (you can read more about the origins here). Today I was finally able to bring the family for an afternoon downtown and also to do some street photography.

    The diptych above was a group of people watchers in Ye Ole Fashioned Ice Cream and Sandwich Cafe. They were having a blast commenting on what everyone was wearing, and I told them I was turning the camera on them next!

    February 2nd Sunday
    1/100th of a sec | f/4.5 | 62mm | ISO 200

    It didn’t take long for me to start looking for some decent light and interesting people to shoot. It was mid-day, so the light was harsh and three quarters of the street was in shadow. I found that the slivers of light between buildings was a great side-light opportunity and looked for opportunities to use it.

    February 2nd Sunday

    I also looked for people who were doing just ordinary things, like eating some lunch…

    February 2nd Sunday

    …or drinking some coffee…

    February 2nd Sunday

    …or talking on the phone…

    February 2nd Sunday

    …or walking their dog…

    February 2nd Sunday

    …or flipping me the bird while double-fisting some beverages…

    February 2nd Sunday

    …or looking as happy as can be…

    February 2nd Sunday

    …or just as pretty as can be.

    February 2nd Sunday

    I was hoping to get a lot of shots of people dressed up as characters from the “Where’s Waldo” series as there was an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most people dressed like Waldo in one place (more info on that here). Unfortunately, they fell quite short of the record. I did grab a shot of these two festive Wandas:

    February 2nd Sunday

    As with any outdoor Low Country event, the dogs were out en masse. I think the next time I attend one of these Second Sundays I’m gonna focus on capturing the dogs – there were so many awesome dogs out.

    February 2nd Sunday

    Getting down to the dog’s perspective makes for an interesting composition:

    February 2nd Sunday

    These dogs looked really excited to be out and about:

    February 2nd Sunday

    I also made some black & white shots – I knew when I shot this one that it would be perfect as a monotone image – the contrast and negative space are just shouting to be devoid of any distracting colors.

    February 2nd Sunday

    All in all, I had a blast and cant wait to do it again. I have a hefty set of photos on my Flickr stream if you want to see some of the other shots I made today. Street photography is a fun and exciting way to exercise your creative mind, and you end up meeting interesting people in the process.

    February 2nd Sunday

  • Feb13

    Day 162 - Snow In Charleston

    I was searching through my Flickr stream for some valentines day photos when I realized that one year ago today, Charleston, SC was buried in snow! I know my buddies up north aren’t that impressed, but I think it’s surreal to see palmetto trees covered in snow:

    Mac Reenacts A Scene From "A Christmas Story"

    The snow started vanishing by that afternoon, but the kids made the most of it while they could. They built snow forts:

    Mac Playing In The Snow In The Backyard

    Had snowball fights with the neighborhood kids:

    Carolina Vs. Clemson Snowball Fight!

    Tried to make a snowman:

    Mac Rolling a Snowball

    And of course, made snow angels:

    Kegan Makes a Snow Angel

    With all of the snow that the rest of the US has gotten this season, we’ve been able to grin as we put on nothing more than a sweatshirt to stay warm here in the low country. These photos remind me that it’s very possible to be put back in our places with a good old fashioned snow storm. My hammock just doesn’t look so relaxing in all of that snow!

    Don't Eat The Yellow Snow!

    Looking back on the technical side, I should have manually set the white balance on these shots – it’s all over the place when using AWB in the snow.

  • Feb12

    Shem Creek
    1/30th of a sec | f/2.8 | 17mm | ISO 200

    Last night I was driving through Mount Pleasant as I find myself doing on a pretty frequent basis, and the time was right, the location was right, and I was prepared. I approached Shem Creek just as the sun was bidding adieu to the coast of South Carolina and pulled into a parking lot. I slung my camera on my shoulder set to manual mode with a fixed ISO of 200 and started walking up the bridge. As I approached the middle, I quickly brought the camera up to my eye and checked the internal light meter. As I tend to do, I made it set to be ever so slightly under-exposed and started firing away. this is what I caught:

    Shem Creek Sunset
    1/80th of a sec | f/5.6 | 55mm | ISO 200

    I dug the foreground of the boardwalk, so now I wanted to isolate the mid-ground area a bit more. I took a few steps forward and zoomed in a little to get this:

    Shem Creek Sunset
    1/100th of a sec | f/8.0 | 72mm | ISO 200

    All the while I keep adjusting my exposure values – specifically the aperture and shutter speed. In the moments just after a sunset, every second that passes dramatically changes the light. Once again I took a few more steps forward and zoomed in a bit tighter to get this:

    Shem Creek Sunset
    1/60th of a sec | f/7.1 | 100mm | ISO 200

    I checked the back of my camera and knew I had the shot I wanted. Now It was time to explore. I kept walking and came up to a glorious blue building that rents kayaks and has a seafood market in the back. How blue is it?

    Mt. Pleasant Seafood
    1/20th of a sec | f/4.5 | 55mm | ISO 200

    That’s pretty damn blue. I needed to capture the entrance to the building. When you get that kind of red against that kind of blue, you can’t go wrong.

    Mt. Pleasant Seafood
    1/20th of a sec | f/4.8 | 125mm | ISO 200

    I really dug the convergence of lines from the wood siding and the angles of the metal roof. The light was really starting to fade, so I switched out to a faster lens and shot this:

    Mt. Pleasant Seafood
    1/13th of a sec | f/2.8 | 50mm | ISO 200

    I decided to look down off the side of the bridge and lo and behold, there were a couple of pelicans perched a few feet below me. I braced the camera on the railing of the bridge and composed some shots of the big birds.

    Shem Creek Pelicans
    1/30th of a sec | f/2.8 | 50mm | ISO 200

    When shooting in this low amount of light at pretty slow shutter speeds it’s quite difficult to capture these birds sharply. They never cease twitching their beaks and adjusting themselves when you are as close as I was. It’s best to set your shutter to burst mode and let it rip once you have your composition. You can shoot a dozen shots and possibly only get one that’s decently sharp if your lucky! You could always bring out a flash, but you’ll get one chance before you send that bird soaring to the other side of the creek.

    Shem Creek Pelicans
    1/5th of a sec | f/2.8 | 50mm | ISO 200

    I was quickly losing light, I was shooting at speeds that require bracing the camera on something sturdy, and I was getting pretty damn cold (at least for just a sweatshirt – guess I wasn’t as prepared as I thought). I only had a couple of more shots left in me, so I started to get a busy composition of the waterside of the blue seafood/kayak building when one of the birds flew right into the composition and landed in the perfect spot to become the focal point of this shot:

    Shem Creek Pelicans
    1/5th of a sec | f/2.8 | 50mm | ISO 200

    Talk about a lucky break! I started to walk back to my car and fired off the shot at the top of this post. The color in the sky was no longer as magnificent in this location (although as I drove home the colors in the sky were unusually deep – the horizon was almost brown for a few moments). I decided to create a split-tone image which basically worked out as such: I first converted the shot into a black and white image, and then I gave the highlights an orange tone and the shadows a blue tone. The result is what you see above. It can add a little more mood to a black and white image as well as make something starkly different. It definitely stands out amongst the rest of the images I shot last night.

  • Feb7

    Caitlyn's 7th Birthday Party
    1/125th of a sec | f/2.8 | 50mm | ISO 200

    When a lot of people get a DSLR, a setting that they tend to overlook is the type of metering. Most cameras come set to Matrix metering by default and that’s where it stays. There’s a good reason for that – Matrix metering handles most situations really well. So why would you venture into the world of spot metering?

    The Matrix
    Shot on the iPhone with Instagram – never mind the goof in the shutter’s reflection

    When I’m shooting something like people outdoors or indoors with a very strong directional ambient light source (like a window), spot metering is the way to go. In the photo up at the top of this post, birthday girl Caitlyn smiles for a split second for me. In this type of situation, I’ve got the camera in aperture priority mode, and the metering set to spot. Why? Well, I shoot in aperture priority mode because there are kids hopped up on birthday cake – this means largest possible aperture to get the fastest shutter speed because they are bouncing around like heated up Mexican jumping beans. There is also a huge window wall with the sun blaring right through it. For me this means I need to try to put my subject between the light source and my lens, preferably at a slight angle to get some sidelight.

    Caitlyn's 7th Birthday Party
    1/250th of a sec | f/2.8 | 50mm | ISO 200

    In order to not have the camera meter for the brighter background, I use spot metering and focus on my subject to get a meter reading off of their face. This will blow out the background, but that is perfectly accepted in today’s photography as it helps isolate your subject. The face and eyes are the important part of these photos, so that is all I care about in regards to exposure.

    Caitlyn's 7th Birthday Party
    1/125th of a sec | f/2.8 | 50mm | ISO 200

    Matrix metering was designed to address this kind of shooting, but like any automatic mode it lacks the intuitive decision process of the human mind. It will try and properly expose your subject, and a lot of the time it will not get too fooled by the brighter background because it will use a database of different shooting situations to guess what you are trying to do. But, it will try not to overexpose any part of the photo, so there is a chance that it will slightly underexpose your main subject. I know with spot metering that I will get the result I’m looking for each and every time. The real trick is to remember to switch it back from spot to matrix when you’re done shooting!