Charleston Long Exposure Workshop

Several years ago, if someone had told me I should plan a photo adventure to the Charleston, South Carolina area, I'd have probably looked at them with a bit of a crooked eye. Because....well, you know....I'm cool. I've been doing landscape/travel photography for years. And even though there are many I haven't visited, I was at least aware of all the various 'hot spots' for such photography....at least those in the U.S.A. and the budget breakers like Iceland, Patagonia, Africa, etc. Or so I thought. But once again, it's been proven how little I 'know', and just how not cool I am (On a 1-10 scale, I probably peg the 'cool meter' at a solid -3....on a good day. :) ). It turns out.....Charleston is a terrific location for all kinds of photography.

I became acquainted with the area this past summer as a result of attending a 'Long Exposure' workshop hosted by the MountainsToSea Workshops team of Tommy White and Alistair Nicol.....with Athena Carey as a guest instructor. Though I'd dabbled a bit in long exposure work previously, there are a fair amount of nuances involved in the genre that introduce somewhat of a new learning curve...at least in comparison to the 'straight' landscape/travel photography with which I was more acquainted. And having attended a workshop on the Outer Banks with this same team in 2015, I was confident that learning curve could be shortened significantly by joining their Aug LE Workshop. And guess what.....this time I was right!

The workshop took us to a different location well suited for long exposure photography with each session. For an intro to subject matter involving the 'hand of man', we visited the Ravenel Bridge in the heart of the Charleston metro area for a sunset session. Another session involved sunset at a local 'cypress lake' (cypress trees growing in the middle of the lake). Throw in a couple seaside sunrise sessions at locations with little in common but the sea, and it was a great weekend of fun & learning. The instructors are enormously helpful and very giving of their knowledge and clearly did some solid location planning to make the experience both enjoyable and educational. Add to it a great group of students from all different walks of life and it made for a great weekend that passed by much too quickly. A hearty recommendation for anyone interested in such an event.

I was quite amazed at the variety of subject matter that was available in a relatively unknown location in photography circles. And from the browsing I've done since, I don't think we did much more than scratch the surface of potential photo ops in the Charleston area. I could see the spring flower blooms of historic plantations in the area being a big attractor. I'm sure historic downtown Charleston architecture could provide some interesting subject matter for those interested that genre. And the ops for seaside shooting beyond the couple we experienced I'm sure are numerous. No doubt a return visit is going to be on my 'to do' list in the future.

All that said, I don't think it really sank into my thick skull what a diverse variety of subject matter is available until I started working on putting together my '2016 Year in Review' and realized I could have populated that review with nothing but images from the Charleston LE Workshop trip and be more than content. While I won't be doing that, I thought it worthwhile putting together a 'My Best of Charleston - 2016' post together.

Going all show biz, let's just say 'without further adieu'....the following make up my best from a great trip...