Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Revisiting Charleston and its charms

 When we were in Charleston, S.C., a year ago, a trip that would lead to our joining a vacation "club" (for lack of a better word), I was pretty certain we'd be back.

Lee Ann and I spent several days in Charleston last year but didn't get to see or do nearly everything we wanted to accomplish. Our time there this year was even shorter, and while we scratched one or two new things off our list, there is still more.

In the late afternoon, we did return to Waterfront Park, a wonderful amenity for the community. I was fortunate to a nearly full moon and a passenger plane flying over the city to use for composing pictures this time, too.

The photo of the park fountain leading off the post doesn't include the plane, but it does include several other nuggets -- the children on the left, the aforementioned moon, the Charleston Bay in the background, the cool color spectrum on the horizon and a sailboat on the water where the setting sun is still shining bright. And if you really indulge me the stretch I'm about to make, click on the picture to bring up a larger version (if you haven't already), then look closely behind the sailboat. That teeny structure is Fort Sumter. Hey, I warned you that it was a stretch, but it is there!

The fountain in the lead-off photo is actually one of two in the park. This one is more centrally located, although it's on the park's north end. The other fountain, at the far north end, greets pedestrians accessing the park at the junction of Queen and Conrad streets. It's also the one where children gravitate toward because there's no barriers to stop them from getting intentionally doused. The pavilion and pier you see in my photos can be found on the extended walkway from this second fountain, too.

We also made it back to Jestine's Kitchen, where we enjoyed the touted fried chicken last year. This time, I opted for the delicately fried catfish on special, and it was divine. Lee Ann returned to her friend chicken livers, and was very satisfied. We also ate at a place supposedly known for its barbecue and ribs, but I was not impressed.

As always, click on any picture to pull up a larger, sharper version, which is particularly important if you access the blog from a mobile device. To view a full gallery of my shots in Charleston, click on the link in this sentence.

Photo geek stuff: I shot everything you see here with a Canon 6D equipped with a Tamron 28-300 f/3.5-6.3 Di VZD VC lens and used a polarizing filter when I was outdoors until dusk, at which time I swapped out the polarizing filter with a UV filter. I bracketed all shots for three exposures, melding a good number of all three for each composition in post-processing using Photomatix high-dynamic range (HDR) software. In some situations where using HDR software was impractical, I composed a shot with single frames.

Above and below: Two examples of integrating the moon into the photograph. The one of the flag pole above also includes the airplane (the speck to the right of the pole just below center).  

Above: Another look at Waterfront Park, facing south, a view that shows the row of Palmetto trees along the east perimeter. The Palmetto is South Carolina's state tree and it appears in its state flag.

Above: The plane now heading north after circling over the city ... and the glowing sunset. That's the Queen-Concord street fountain ... and the pier and a portion of the pavilion.

Above: On the night we were there, this gentleman was performing by himself outside the pavilion.

Above and below: Shots taken almost at dark (I brightened them in Camera Raw to bring up detail). In the image below, you can better see Fort Sumter in the background.

Above: A view of the U.S. 17 bridge connecting Charleston with Mount Pleasant.

Above and below: Two more shots integrating the moon, the one above taken almost near dark, and the one below taken earlier. In the one below, don't miss the little boy peering through the fence in the bottom left corner. That's Fort Sumter (again) on the far right of the horizon.

 Above and next two below: Scenes fron the fountain at Queen and Concord streets. 

 Above: St. Philip's Church in the background, looking south on Church Street from the City Market.

 Above: Carriages carrying tourists stack up at this intersection near City Market. 

Above: Somebody left a coffee and a bag of treats unattended on a bench, no doubt mindful that I'm on the prowl to photograph unusual things. 

Above: A scene off East Bay Street downtown. Across the street is S.N.O.B. (Slightly North of Broad), a restaurant Lee Ann and I enjoyed during our visit last year.

Above: In Mount Pleasant, across the Cooper River from Charleston, this mural by Portuguese artist Odeith on the side of a Moe's Southwest Grill restaurant stirred controversy last year (and perhaps still) because of perceived zoning issues raised by municipal zoning authorities. The mural depicts images of John Lennon, Al Capone and Marilyn Monroe (supposedly these people were selected to help represent the areas of music (M), outlaws (O) and entertainment (E) [i.e., Moe] in our culture.

Next Up: Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

Previous posts in this series:

Part I: Savannah's Forsyth Square

Part II: Savannah's old-city neighborhoods 

Part III: Savannah's Riverwalk

Part IV: Savannah's Bonaventure Cemetery

Part V: Tybee Island, Ga.

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