Revisiting the familiar

In my time here so far, my two favorite places to photograph in the Charleston area are the Ravenel Bridge and Botany Bay. The bridge is simply majestic, though I don’t feel like I’ve depicted its full grandeur yet. Botany Bay at sunrise is the closest definition of tranquility that I’ve found here. Naturally, it’s difficult to photograph the boneyard at Botany Bay from a place other than Botany Bay, but there’s plenty of vantage points for the bridge. One week ago, I decided to check out a new location to shoot the bridge at sunset.


I knew that night was the full moon also, but as everything but a professional photographer, I didn’t realize it was supposed to be a supermoon that night. Fortunately, the spot I had picked out — Pitt St. in Mt. Pleasant — offered views to the west and east, satiating my appetite for awe and incredulity and also allowing two rather intoxicated residents of the area to continually point out that I was shooting in the wrong direction.



Unfortunately, the low clouds blocked much of the rise itself, and slightly higher clouds prevented the moon from staying lit its whole ascent. I hope I run into the women again — Kim and Carol(e), in the very low chance you’re reading this, it was awesome meeting you! I’ll be better prepared for next month’s moonrise. :-) In the meantime, I turned back to catch the end of the sunset.



Two weeks ago, I slept in and missed a really colorful sunrise, so with the clouds “fleeting away” (I ignored the 80% cloud cover forecast for the next morning) last week, I headed out to — yup — Botany Bay to see if the same color from the night before would grant me a reprieve. Erm, nope. It was drizzling as I pulled onto the beachhead, though further east, at the end of the boneyard, the rain had stopped.



The sky was lighter here, and by the time I got back to my apartment, the sun was shining.



This didn’t last. A few hours later, it was storming again, and downtown streets flooded briefly as the storms overwhelmed the drains. Ah well. This is summer in Charleston.


I missed photographing the moonrise twice more (both were spectacular, I’ve heard), but later in the week headed back to Pitt St. for a quieter evening, this time with no moonrise. The colors flared once, and I was in the wrong spot to capture it, chose the wrong aperture, and exposed the image longer than I wanted to. I need to spend more time with this [camera] body.



As the sun ducked behind the clouds for good, the Cove Inlet area became perfectly still, culminating in a nice way to unwind and end what had been a hectic day.



There’s something mesmerizing to me about watching the sunrises and sunsets across iconic Lowcountry landmarks, and even though this blog is now saturated with one bridge and the same dead trees, I still get some peace out of being there to see it happen (or imagine how it should have happened): these are the scenes that get me most excited about being in the Lowcountry, though I’ve only begun to realize how much more there is to shoot out here. For as small of an area as it is, there is a whole lot to take in and I’m not sure I have so much as scratched the surface.

Revisiting the familiar

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