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Magic in the Light

First weekend photography workshop at the Sanctuary at Capri Isle!

It was the start to a memorable weekend, when three of my continuing students arrived from Charlotte, North Carolina last Friday under sunny skies, cameras in hand and dreams of making beautiful pictures in their heads.

After the kids got settled into their rooms, we all convened for "Happy Hour", which consisted of snacks, bevi's and a tutorial on the top six tips to making better pictures. A game of ping pong, some scootering, and then a hearty dinner of spagetti and meatballs, and my first photography camp in Charleston began with a sunset shoot on the Stono River. It was low tide and the sun was not positioned where we wanted it, but it was a good warm-up and lots of fun being on the water. Paying attention to the light, observing how it reflected, or made shadows on objects was part of our exercise.  Alyssa definitely got the coolest shot of the evening, which I posted here.

Saturday we were out the door and on the streets of downtown Charleston by 9:30am. It was already steamy hot, but we were pacing ourselves for the long day ahead. About 15 minutes into our walk in the French Quarter, the skies opened up and let loose on us! All six of us huddled under a huge oak tree, laughing at the irony. Besides, the cobblestones looked cool all wet and glistening. Happy accidents are what happens when your plans go awry, but you remain aware and ready for the beauty to arise in front of you, perhaps in an unexpected form!

Soon enough the rain let up so we could walk to the water and photograph the famous Pineapple Fountain. Another obstacle presented itself, which was non-stop people in the shot! Every problem is a lesson, and this one allowed for creative solutions, like shoot from the bench over people's heads, and have the patience to wait for folks to move, while framing the shot very tightly for maximum impact. Eventually, everyone got a picture they were happy with.

After a snack and drink, we explored the City Gallery and enjoyed the perspectives of the juried artists in Piccolo Spoleto, including our favorite, Stephen Elliott Webb! We found an interesting effect by shooting through the shades on the front windows of the gallery, which I posted on my Instagram account, theklcreative.

Fully cooled down, we meandered back into the streets around Vendue Range, and through the gallery district, people watching, but mostly obsessed with architectural details and hidden gardens. Crossing King Street, some of our best shots were had in the cemetery of the Unitarian Church. The light play between the Spanish moss hanging down from live oaks, and the clouds in the sky, afforded us some beautifully moody moments.

Not content with our day shoot, Alyssa, Dalton and I returned that evening to revisit some of the locations we had sampled earlier. Night shoots are challenging in terms of graininess, due to lack of light. However, using existing lamp lights and occasionally flashlight mode on our phones, we played with the light, finding blue orbs in our alley shots and discovering magic in the Charleston night!

Student work: