• Archives
  • Mar29

    WHES Community Fair 2011

    My kids’ grade school held their annual community fair this past weekend, and my son was very excited to get a chance to hang out with one of his favorite classmates, Kayla!

    WHES Community Fair 2011

    The kids slid, jumped, and climbed for hours on a beautiful spring day.

    WHES Community Fair 2011

    WHES Community Fair 2011

    I though I’d let my son have a say in this post, so here’s my interview with Kegan about his buddy:

    Joe: What do you want to tell everybody about Kayla?

    Kegan: She’s very nice!

    Joe: What is your favorite memory of Kayla?

    Kegan: She came to my birthday party and got her picture taken while playing.

    Joe: If you could tell Kayla one thing right now, what would it be?

    Kegan: I’m so happy that we are friends!

    WHES Community Fair 2011

    I’m happy they’re friends also 😉

  • Mar28

    Patriots Point Seabirds

    There’s a spot at the Charleston Harbor Marina to the side of the marina offices out in the water where there are six pilings whose only purpose seems to be as a resting spot for the local seabirds.

    Patriots Point Seabirds

    I find myself working in those offices and usually walk around the side of to check out what’s going on on the pilings – usually, I’m only armed with my iPhone, which was used to take this photo below:

    Patriots Point

    Last week I decided to bring my camera with me out on the docks and took some shots of the pelicans, seagulls, and cormorants.

    Patriots Point Seabirds

    This double-crested cormorant just landed after taking a swim and needed a place to dry off:

    Patriots Point Seabirds

    I haven’t posted anything in a week, so I thought I’d share this with you. I’ve got some fun things coming up, so don’t think I’m slacking off or anything!

  • Mar20

    Valero @ The Oasis 3.19.2011

    After the rise of the super moon last night, I stopped over at the Oasis on Folly Road in James Island to catch a set from Clemson’s emo rock band Valero.

    Valero @ The Oasis 3.19.2011

    Valero @ The Oasis 3.19.2011

    Valero @ The Oasis 3.19.2011

    While I was somewhat prepared to shoot the moon over the ocean, I wasn’t prepared for a live band and I was really wishing I packed a f/1.8 prime lens with me because the lighting in the Oasis is just plain harsh. One side of the stage was red, the middle was green and blue, while the other side was barely lit at all.

    Valero @ The Oasis 3.19.2011

    I had my f/2.8 Tamron 17-50mm lens with me, so I set my auto ISO threshold to max out at 3200 (I usually have it limited to 1600) and varied between 100th and 125th of a second for my shutter speed, which was just enough to freeze the action. I did try to use my flash for some shots, but I wasn’t feeling it, and I didn’t want to annoy the band with a lot of flash activity. I tried to make the best of the lighting situation and get some low key shots such as these:

    Valero @ The Oasis 3.19.2011

    Valero @ The Oasis 3.19.2011

    I also tried to play of the club’s Christmas themed stage colors which gave some interesting contrast to these shots:

    Valero @ The Oasis 3.19.2011

    Valero @ The Oasis 3.19.2011

    Valero @ The Oasis 3.19.2011

    Go ahead and check out Valero’s Bandcamp.com page to listen to their latest recordings, or check them out on their Facebook page. You can also check out the complete set of shots from Saturday’s show on my Flickr stream.

  • Mar20

    Perigee Moon 2011

    Last night at sunset, the Perigee Moon rose in the east. This is the largest full moon since March of 1993 I gathered up family, friends, and neighbors to head over to the Morris Island side of Folly Beach to watch the sunset and moonrise.

    Perigee Moon 2011

    Taking moon photos at the beach is not an easy task, as I quickly learned. I usually weigh down my tripod with my camera bag, but the wind at the beach made it less stable with the weight than without! Paired with the rapidly decreasing light, long exposures, and quickly moving orb in the sky, it was quite a challenge to get a decent photo of the moon. The other major challenge was the haze – it was quite difficult to focus clearly through it when the moon first appeared. By the time it cleared the haze, it looked no bigger or brighter than any other full moon. No big deal though, as I had the image on the top of this post envisioned when I set out. I wanted a simple graphic image of the scene and I got just what I wanted! I also wanted a moonlight reflection on a soft long-exposed ocean, which I got in the second shot – so I’m quite happy with what I accomplished. I would have liked to have made a shot from behind the trees, but most of the other photogs were getting that shot and I’m sure some of them got some really good results from there.

    I was able to grab a couple of shots of the sunset when I arrived, and I think these fulfilled my “through the trees” shot aspirations anyway:

    Folly Sunset

    Folly Sunset

    Robert Donovan was on hand as well and we got a chance to talk about photography while waiting for the big show. In fact, there were a lot of photogs there – I thought it looked like a photo studio when we crossed over the dunes onto the beach!

    Here’s a shot of my daughter Mac at twilight. I think this was the only split second she wasn’t running around with the other dozen or so kids on hand.

    Mac at the Shore

    There were plenty of kids running around and having fun, and this girl playing in the sand was the subject of my favorite photo of the evening:

    Morris Island Lighthouse

  • Mar17

    Today marks twelve years to the day since this Polaroid photo was taken in Long Island, NY by the minister who used to preside over weddings on Ricki Lake’s long defunct TV talk show. That look of shock and awe on our faces as we eloped in front of my 2 former band-mates (Tommy Rockstar & Hugo Lowbrow) as witnesses is priceless. I often find myself looking at my wife with that same amount of enthusiasm as she proves with each passing day just how incredible of a mother, wife, & friend she truly is.

  • Mar16

    Forest
    1/200th of a sec | f/9.0 | 65mm | ISO 200

    I was out at a private plantation in Goose Creek, SC this morning and on the way out I took some shots along the road of the forest. The shot above is one that I always want to shoot when I’m driving and see the woods cut abruptly short at the edge of a road. The sight of the wall of the edge of a forest is daunting to me.

    Cypress Trees
    1/100th of a sec | f/9.0 | 55mm | ISO 200

    The cypress trees always make for interesting pictures because they grow out of still swamp water and sometimes have a very graphical interaction with their shadows and reflections.

    Tree in the Marsh
    1/15th of a sec | f/16.0 | 35mm | ISO 320

    This shot is an oak tree alongside a marsh in James Island, SC taken in 2009 with my D40. I like the relationship between the curves of the water and the curves of the tree limbs.

    B&W Swamp View

    Here are some more cypress trees at Cypress Gardens in Moncks Corner, SC. This shot was taken in 2007 with my D40 and converted into a single image HDR photograph.

    B&W Trees at Botany Bay
    1/1600th of a sec | f/4.2 | 26mm | ISO 200

    Finally, we arrive at Botany Bay Plantation in Edisto Island, SC. This photo was also taken in 2009 with my D40 (that camera is a fantastic little DSLR). The beach at Botany Bay is like something out of a dream; shell covered beaches, trees in the surf, and teaming with shorebirds and wildlife.

  • Mar15

    Bees
    1/160th of a sec | f/10 | 100mm | ISO 160

    While I was washing my car on Sunday, I noticed that the bees are out in full force in the bushes in my front yard. It sounds like a beehive in 2 of my bushes, with mostly honey bees, a couple of bumble bees, and even some wasps getting in the mix. After I was done with the cleaning, I grabbed my camera and started shooting.

    Bees
    1/500th of a sec | f/3.5 | 100mm | ISO 200

    At f/3.5 in the photo of the bumblebee directly above, you can see how small the plane of perceived focus is. I hand-held the shots of the bumble bees because they moved so quickly and rarely stayed still long enough to get a sharp picture with a slower shutter speed/smaller aperture setup that I had to use a fast shutter speed and large aperture to get a properly exposed sharp image. I used my Tokina 100mm macro lens. Even though the lens can shoot at f/2.8, typically when shooting something like this, it’s best to use a smaller aperture. Since it’s a 100mm prime lens, some amount of bokeh will be present at even the highest f number (smallest aperture). In order to get more of the honey bees in focus, such as the shot at the top of the post, I needed to rely on my tripod.

    I set the tripod up very close to the subjects, composed the image of the flowering parts of the bushes, grabbed my ML-L3 remote, and waited. A little patience and sooner or later a bee would come along and start gathering pollen. Prior to grabbing my remote, I was trying to stand behind the camera and manually fire the shutter. Besides being a bit nerve-wracking, I noticed that the bees all seemed to have moved to the other side of the bush while I was standing there. I guess they were more intimidated by me than I was by them. After I stood back a bit and used the remote, they came right back to the front of the bush again.

    Much like shooting the hummingbirds in my front yard, the key ingredient is patience. If you can allow yourself to slow down enough to wait out shots like this, the reward is much more than just a cool picture, it really is a zen-like experience.

  • Mar13

    I’m very excited to say that Kulture Klash 7 has been officially announced. Last year’s Kulture Klash Arts Festival was, in my opinion, a major highlight of the Low Country’s arts community. Needless to say, I’m honored and excited to be participating in this event! You can read my recap here, and check out this awesome video of last fall’s event:

    Kulture Klash Episode 6 from Jewell&Ginnie on Vimeo.

    What: Kulture Klash Arts Festival #7
    When: Saturday, April 9 at 7:00pm – April 10 at 2:00am
    Where: Noisette @ the Navy Yard, 10 Storehouse Row, North Charleston, SC
    Why: Great art from all different walks, including photography from BadJon, Robert Donovan, & more!

    Kulture Klash Graffiti Artist

  • Mar9

    North Carolina

    A few weeks ago my family went to the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina for a weekend getaway in a tiny little cabin on the side of a river in a town called Bat Cave. We did some hiking, checked out waterfalls such as the one above at Pearson’s Falls, spent a day at the Biltmore Estate, visited Chimney Rock (pictured below), and of course shopped at all the touristy shops.

    North Carolina

    I also took some time to try and teach the kids a little bit about photography. The kids love when I let them shoot with my D40! This shot below is of my son on the side of Hooker Falls sporting the greatest little DSLR ever made.

    North Carolina

    I used this shot below as a lesson on using long exposures to shoot running water. I showed them that if you set the aperture to a really small setting (which means larger f number), then you are able to set a really long exposure time which gives the running water a glassy and smooth effect. This was shot at f/22 for 1/2 a second. I used the guard rail on the edge of the trail to brace the camera since we were sans tripod on the hike.

    North Carolina

    I like hiking in the mountains, everything just seems so photogenic. Maybe it’s the change of scenery from living near the coast, or maybe it’s the way things are designed to compliment the environment such as these steps on a mountain trail.

    North Carolina

    There are times when we’re driving through the hills and I scream “pull over now!” so I can capture scenes such as this:

    North Carolina

    I’m sure when people come to the beach, the plantations, the city, or swamps of the low country, they get the same kind of excitement. Physically taking yourself out of your comfort zone can be a very inspiring act. It’s quite true that the spark of inspiration is easily lit by doing something different. The struggle is finding the new inspiration in your own backyard!

    North Carolina
    This is my family on the last day of our adventure – what a rag-tag bunch we were after a few days in the back woods! Gotta love that ML L3 Remote in my right hand – I was over 50 feet away from the camera outdoors, and it worked like a champ.

  • Mar7

    Evans Party

    I had the pleasure of shooting a wonderful couple’s wedding rehearsal dinner at Waters Edge at Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant, SC this weekend.

    Evans Party

    Beau and Kathryn Evans are two beautiful people whose awesome mother, Donna Evans hired me to shoot this event for their family.

    Evans Party

    I wanted to share with you some of my favorite pics from the evening. We had a great location at a great time of day with perfect weather – You couldn’t ask for a better combination!

    Evans Party Evans Party

    Evans Party

    Evans Party

    There was music, shagging, and shucking, oh my!

    Evans Party

    The more events I photograph, the more I realize how important it is to know your camera inside and out. I can’t tell you how often I double-check my camera and almost every time I do I find that a crucial setting has been changed, a button mashed, or dial spun that would have otherwise ruined or missed a moment. I don’t know how many times I would find myself chimping the LCD screen in the past – after a number of phantom setting changes, I do get real paranoid that I’m blowing the shots! The more I do this though, the less I need to check my screen because I accept that while I’m communicating with subjects, and squeezing through crowded bars, my camera is busy taking on a life of its own, so I check my settings before I press the shutter.

    It’s also handy to keep a mental baseline of settings for each environment you shoot in. That way you can quickly reset the camera to that baseline and work up from there. I still find shooting people at sunset is the hardest time because the light changes so drastically with every passing second. Event photography is very fast-paced, so any method you employ that will gain you precious seconds looking through the viewfinder is the difference between getting a great moment or just missing it.

    Evans Party