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Arthur J Ravenel Bridge Charleston South Carolina

Photography, Memories and Charleston, South Carolina

Science tells us – and our own observations confirm – that smell has a powerful connection to our memory. When we get a sniff of something baking, a particular perfume, or even something less pleasant, our minds can be immediately transported back to a specific place, or time or event. To this day the smell of a certain type of cigar dials up very vivid images of my first visit to a major league baseball game. Photographs, of course, wield that same power over us. That’s why we take pictures at important moments in our lives: weddings, senior portraits, the […]

Rainy Days in the Great Smoky Mountains

It seems hard to believe, but it was exactly one year ago this week that I spent a couple of days in America’s most visited national park. I don’t live that far from The Great Smoky Mountains, but I rarely seem to be able to find the time to get there. I had a couple of open days last February, so I thought I would head over and see if I could be lucky enough to get some snow-filled landscape photography. That was not to be. In fact, heavy rains and flooding cut my trip a bit short. Particularly after […]

2020 Brooksville Raid Reenactment

Brooksville Raid – 2020

Since I’ve started photographing battle reenactments, I have only had the opportunity to shoot Revolutionary War events. A few weeks ago I had a chance to step into the mid-19th century at the 40th anniversary of the Brooksville Raid, a civil war engagement in central Florida. I came home with 3 filled memory cards, some new friendships and some images that made the trip worthwhile! In many ways, there is little difference between photographing a Revolutionary War event and one that depicts the Civil War era. In both cases, the reenactors, their camps, their families, the animals, and, of course, […]

Living History – A different kind of event photography

Event photography normally means weddings, birthday parties or corporate functions. Generally speaking, these are happy occasions where memories are made and the photographer is there, much as a journalist, to capture images that will remind future viewers of the details (and the emotion) of the event. I have shot birthday parties and a variety of functions, but none of them quite like the day that I spent at Historic Brattonsville a few days ago. Each January Brattonsville holds a hog butchering day. No, the goal isn’t simply to make bacon. It’s an educational event that shows the importance that sustainable […]

Top Ten of 2019

Believe it or not, the second decade of the 21st century is about to come to a close. But before I can attack the ’20’s, I need to take a minute to reflect back over the past year. Part of the process, as it has been for a number of years, is to choose my Top Ten Images of the Year. To be clear, this is an exercise that benefits no one other than me. In fact, in past years as I have asked others to participate in the process I came to realize that all of us have our […]

Battle of Camden – 2019

Technically, the event is known as Revolutionary War Field Days. But most people around here simply refer to it as the reenactment of the Battle of Camden. I leave the history of the event to others who are better suited for it, but suffice it to say that the Continental Army received a stinging defeat at the hands of the British. Today, hundreds of reenactors descend on historic Camden, South Carolina every November to set up their encampments, live as their forbears did, and provide a display of 18th century warfare tactics, in which the Continentals lose again. Candidly, as […]

Processing “Historic” Photographs

The first photograph in history was taken in 1826 or 1827. Obviously, there was no “time stamp” embedded into the image to help us be more specific. A dozen years passed before the first photograph to include a person was made, and that was largely an accident. About a year later, in 1839, the first intentional portrait (which happened to be a “selfie”) was made. The first war photo was shot in 1847, during the Mexican-American war. Matthew Brady became famous during America’s civil war for the thousands of images he took during that conflict. Brady followed on the earlier […]

2019 Worldwide Photo Walk

For the past several years, photographers around the world have gathered in their respective communities on the first Saturday in October to walk around, take pictures, enjoy one another’s company and even raise money for an African orphanage. They are part of Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photo Walk. For the first time, I was able to join a dozen others in Rock Hill and participate. Candidly, my participation was far more focused on the local element, rater than the worldwide scope of the day, but the event gave us a good excuse to get out and shoot together. The weather cooperated […]

Revolutionary War Reenactment

The Battle of Charlotte – 2019

I have enjoyed shooting the Battle of Huck’s Defeat at Historic Brattonsville for the past two years. So much so, in fact, that I have decided to put some other reenactments on my calendar over the next few months. As luck would have it, my first stop was less than an hour from home, at Historic Latta Plantation in Charlotte. Every year they host the reenactment of the Battle of Charlotte, which occurred a few miles away, in what is now “Uptown Charlotte”, on September 26, 1780. I’ll leave the details and significance of the original battle to those who […]