• Archives
  • Aug27

    Hurricane Irene in North Charleston

    I woke up yesterday much like every other day. Late in the morning I got the phone call from my wife, “They’re closing the schools down” she said. It seemed like Irene was going to hit us and destroy life as we knew it (well, that is what they told us if you had read any news websites or looked at one of the many 24 hour news channels on the old fashioned TV).

    Low and behold, the rain came down pretty hard for about 5 minutes as I drove through the Charleston area. The wind was blowing enough to make some palm fronds and grass bow down (although they pretty much always do that at the coast – they’re very amiable to swift breezes).

    Hurricane Irene in North Charleston

    On the porch of one apartment complex in Mount Pleasant, a toad took refuge in a corner. You know it’s bad when the frogs are out.

    Bring on the Plagues

    The destruction was imminent. Just look at what this demolition site at the old Navy Base looked like during the heart of the storm. It was quite frightening, even though it has looked like this for months now – how long does it take to tear down a building anyway?

    North Charleston Demolition

    North Charleston Demolition

    Not knowing what to do, I hurried home (after I was done working) and evacuated my house. I left the dogs though because someone had to guard my stuff. My wife and I dropped the kids off at a friend’s house and we did what most upstanding citizens would do during a hurricane – we went out for drinks at Taps. We had to forage for food though, so I walked across the parking lot and got some Mexican food from Senor Tequila. While I was walking, I noticed that the sky was on fire, so I took out my iPhone and snapped this:

    See ya Irene

    After quite a few rounds of hoppy dark goodness, my wife dragged me home. The next thing I knew, I was waking up this morning with a slight headache. I quickly ran to the medicine cabinet and downed some Aleve. The dogs wanted to go outside because they tend to do that, and to my horror I saw the destruction Irene left in my yard.

    Hurricane Irene in My Backyard

    It’s gonna take me minutes to clean up these leaves. Oh, the humanity. The rain even filled my children’s wagon (well, it did earlier this week from one of those late summer storms – I just never got around to dumping it). A leaf even made it’s way in there as well – Mother nature is not one to be fucked with.

    Hurricane Irene in My Backyard

  • Aug10

    Sugary Start

    I made the shot above after pouring a bowl of Cap’n Crunch for my son the other day. I liked the natural light coming through the windows and the vibrance of the colors of the cereal and bowl. After I shot it, I was working on my computer and I looked over as he was eating and saw a whole different shot of the same scene. I remembered being a kid and reading the entire cereal box while I would eat my sugary breakfast. Kegan was doing just that and when I picked up my camera again to capture this:

    Sugary Start 2

    Same scene, but two completely different shots. I couldn’t say which one is better or more effective, but instead of one shot, I now have two that I love! I also recently parked near a church in downtown Charleston and decided to break out my camera. I started with the straight “real estate” shot:

    First Scots Presbyterian Church - Charleston, SC

    I walked around the church looking for interesting shots, and the view of one of the doors through the iron gates just screamed Charleston to me. Iron gates are one of the signature elements in the Holy City, as are the many churches.

    First Scots Presbyterian Church - Charleston, SC

    I then recomposed for a vertical shot which turned out to be a very different photo:

    First Scots Presbyterian Church - Charleston, SC

    As you shoot, it’s so important to move around and look for different approaches to the subject you are shooting. Joseph Stalin once said, “Quantity has a quality all of its own”, and as nutty as he was it makes a lot of sense. The more you do something the better you will get at it, and the more you produce, the better your chance of capturing the perfect moment or composing the perfect scene. In short, keep shooting.

  • Aug3

    I’ve been quite a busy bee lately, and unfortunately I’ve been neglecting you fine readers. One of the things I’ve been doing in my spare time (which is sparse) is checking out some of the newest social media sites. The one that’s been most intriguing to me has been Google’s Google+ (or Google Plus).

    With it’s fair stance on content ownership, which basically reads that what you post is yours, not their’s, a large amount of Facebook-hating photogs have rushed to the new platform. There’s even a nifty Google Spreadsheet of thousands of photographers that are currently using the site. This is a very vibrant community that is still in Beta, and so far I find it a lot more fun and interactive than Facebook. It’s like a cross between Facebook and Twitter in that you can follow strangers/celebrities, but better because you can share only with specific groups of people as you see fit. I’m interested to see what happens when Google opens it up to the masses. Hit me up in the comments if you need an invite, as I usually have some in my account.

    The next site I’ve been messing around on is 500px.com

    500px.com started as a LiveJournal community back in the early oughts by two photographers, Ian Sobolev & Oleg Gutsol. The name came from early limitations the group set on photo sizes due to CRT monitors and slow internet connections. The original idea was to have a place for photographers to receive constructive criticism on their work. The site still aims at commentary by your peers, and it differentiates itself from Flickr by attracting artistic work instead of being a dumping ground for your cell phone shots or last night’s party pics. I find it very inspiring to browse the site’s most popular photos.

    Finally, its a very quirky social experience that my wife turned me onto, Pinterest.com.

    When my wife first told me about it, I thought Pinterest was going to be another bookmark site like Delicious.com. Once I looked at the site it reminded me more of Tumblr.com if it exploded all over your screen. It’s actually quite addicting, albeit hard to describe properly. The best advice I could give you is to go there and sign up (or hit me up for an invite in the comments). My first impression was that it was very feminine, but I quickly realized that it is what you make it by who you follow and what you post. Much like Delicious.com, they encourage you to create a “Pin It” link in your browser’s favorites to easily add any content you come across on the web to your “boards” (which are virtual cork boards that you can categorize your “pins” with).

    Let me know if there are any other cool social sites for photographers that you use. Here’s my current list: