Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Morning Sunrise

Sunrise, Folly Beach, SC  © Doug Hickok

The great glowing orb of the sun, rising over the Atlantic Ocean, appears to teeter on the brink of the world.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Rhythm & Oranges

Castle Hill, Budapest, Hungary  © Doug Hickok

The repetition of windows and a roofline's shadow, plus various hues of orange, continue yesterday's theme of rhythm and color. I can't think of any jazz artists that would be appropriate for today's theme. But, for some obscure reason, that only my brain can understand, Bugs Bunny and piano keys come to mind. Hmm.

Here's a link to explain the rather obscure allusion to Bugs Bunny and piano keys... Hungarian Rhapsody #2

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Rhythm & Blues

Folly Beach Fishing Pier, Folly Beach, SC  © Doug Hickok

Beneath the Folly Beach Fishing Pier, a repetition of pilings and the blurred motion of the sea add a jazzy rhythm to this twilight scene... hey, wait, a little rhythm, a little syncopation, a little improvisation... all of a sudden, I'm feeling kind of blue, a Miles Davis Kind of Blue.

This post is dedicated to MT.

Photography note: To accomplish this bluesy photo, I made a 5 second exposure to blur the ocean waves, and adjusted the camera shot setting to tungsten as the light faded to dusk.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Shem Creek Shrimp Boats

Shrimp Boats docked at Shem Creek, Mt Pleasant, SC  © Doug Hickok

A pair of painted prows proudly pose for pictures.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

From the Archives - A Fountain in Krakow

Fountain near Market Square, Krakow, Poland  © Doug Hickok

A fountain near Krakow's Market Square (Rynek Glowny) attracts more than just tourists. Krakow is perhaps Europe's best kept secret. We loved our visit so much we'd like to go back one day. Among many of its attractions, Krakow boasts the largest medieval town square in Europe, which seems to emanate endless European charm at every turn. And for a photographers, it offers wonderful vistas and vignettes to capture your eye. Oh yes, there's excellent coffee to be had as well.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Where In the World Was Your Favorite Cup of Coffee?

Espresso and Hot Dog Stand, Portland, Oregon  © Doug Hickok

Seeing this colorful but curious Espresso and Hot Dog stand in Portland got me thinking about coffee (but not with popcorn, eek !), which is a favorite topic of mine, which then got me wondering, where in the world did I have my favorite cup of coffee? I'd have to answer that it was in Venice, at the Caffe' del Doge near the Realto. It may have been because we were in La Serenissima after all, or because it was late, and we were exhausted from walking all day, and cold, and thirsty. Or, it may have been because it was simply the most delicious cup of heaven I ever tasted. Ooh la la! Either way, it was fantastic! So, this got me wondering, where in the world did you have your favorite cup of coffee?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

From the Archives - Fantastical Venice

Gondola docks near the Grand Canal, Venice, Italy  © Doug Hickok

 Venice, especially at night, seems like a dream world, a magical world of color and light and imagination. One feels transported to another time, one that is out of time with one's own, yet vaguely familiar. It's little wonder that so many writers, painters and composers have found inspiration in fantastical Venice.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Little Misty, A Little Mystery

Colonial Lake, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

A creeping fog veils Colonial Lake in the early hours of dawn. This could easily be the setting for an Alfred Hitchcock film or an Edgar Allen Poe mystery.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Market Hall Reflection

Market Hall, Charleston SC  © Doug Hickok

A colorful bookstore window display on the corner of Market Street features coffee table books about some of Charleston's finest attractions, antebellum architecture and courtyard gardens, plus a reflection of old Market Hall, built in the neoclassical style of a Roman temple.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Angel Hair Fashionista

Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, GA  © Doug Hickok

A statue in Savannah's Bonaventure Cemetery proudly points to her fabulous coiffure of Spanish moss. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Dancing Fish Net

Crosby's Seafood, Folly Beach, SC  © Doug Hickok

A fish net dangling in the air, becomes a dancer swaying in the breeze. It may not be the tarantella, but it's a fine jig nonetheless.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Visitor in Velvet

Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee  © Doug Hickok

One day in autumn, a few years back, as I steadied my camera to make a photograph of this old shed and fence row, an antlered visitor quietly appeared in the frame from the woods. He was so well camouflaged that I didn't notice him at first. And as soon as I pressed the shutter, the visitor vanished just as quietly back into the woods, as though the moment had never happened. But it wasn't my imagination, because the proof was in the emulsion.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bridge Wednesday - Tower of Power

Ravenel Bridge, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

This twilight image shows one of the powerful towers that suspends the Ravenel Bridge over the Cooper River in Charleston. The bridge is one of the longest cable-stayed bridges in the Western Hemisphere, and is designed to withstand both strong hurricanes and earthquakes, and the demented driving habits of some local denizens. Furthermore, a splendid pedestrian/biking trail parallels the span, providing lovely views of Charleston Harbor and its numerous semi-tropical icebergs.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Our Winter Wonderland?

Tidal Marsh, John's Island, SC  © Doug Hickok

 The russet hues of winter suffuse our Lowcountry tidelands. We don't usually have snow, but we see a lot of this along the coast.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Too Many Birds On The Wire

Market St., Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Propagating pigeon populations present palpable power pole problems.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Dining Room Window

Dining Room, Vendue Range, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Condensation forms on a dining room window in the humid air of early morning.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Charleston's Old Cemetery Ironwork

Old Cemetery Ironwork, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

When ambling around the historic district of Charleston, you're certain to find beautiful ironwork at almost every turn. This is especially true of the old churchyards, where there is a treasure trove of ornate iron fences and gates to discover. This one is among the headstones of Saint John's Lutheran Church on Archdale Street.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sunrise on the Battery

East Battery Mansions, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

A row of antebellum mansions perch along the East Battery, facing the light of a new day in Charleston.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Piazza Reflection

Window Reflection, Orange St., Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

The balustrade and column of a piazza (porch) is reflected in this window from a Charleston single house across the street.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Another Parking Garage to Contemplate

 Parking Garage Stairwell, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Here is a detail from another parking garage in Charleston. This one poses no metaphysically challenging questions, as did the previous blog entry. Or does it? You may well ask, "Where do the steps lead?" And that's a good question to contemplate. Where do the steps lead? Metaphorically speaking, we can only suppose where our steps might lead us. Only time will tell us the answer.

Until then, here is some cool photography to think about...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Picture That Poses Too Many Questions

Archdale St. Parking Garage, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

A pattern of rectangular lights and multiple railings atop a parking garage make for an interesting arrangement of shapes and lines. And look, there are no cars to spoil the image either! What? No cars in a parking garage? What does it mean? Is it purely coincidental, or does it presage something deeper and more profound? If there are no cars in a parking garage, does that also mean there are no people driving them? And if there are no people driving them, does that also mean there are no people? And if there are no people, does that also mean I don't exist? And if I don't exist, then I never made this picture? Nor wrote this blog? Hmm. I'll need time to think about this one. But wait! If I don't exist, then I can't think. On second thought, maybe it's better that I don't think. Argh, this is getting way too existential for me!

Location note: This photo was made on the 5th and top floor of the Archdale St. parking garage. That's why there's so much sky. And probably why there's no cars too. Who wants to park on the top floor when they can park on the bottom floor. Anyway, the view is nice.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Reflection of Palmetto Trees

Pond, Kiawah Island, SC  © Doug Hickok

A row of palmetto trees is reflected in a golf course pond on Kiawah Island resort. One word of advice though. If you slice your Titleist into the water, don't go fishing for it. There could be alligators lurking in the shadows!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Impression of a Sunrise II

Charleston Harbor, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Using a quick downward camera movement and saturated colors, a sunrise on Charleston Harbor becomes an impressionistic rendering, and a foray into experimental photography.

Impression of a Sunrise I

Charleston Harbor, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Using a long, sweeping motion, I panned my camera across the reflection of a sunrise on Charleston Harbor, creating an abstract image of subtle light and color. But only after lots of tries did I make an image I was happy with. One of the beauties of digital photography... you can shoot, and shoot, and shoot, making experimentation affordable.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

From the Archives - Time Heals

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington  © Doug Hickok

Made from Velvia slide film, this image was shot about five summers ago. Even then, after 25 years from the day Mount St. Helens erupted and ravaged the surrounding mountains and valleys, the land showed signs of recovering. Areas of forest blowdown grew masses of wildflowers. Scars from mud flows slowly healed. And a lone tree was determined to pioneer a new beginning. Life is a persistent force. And time heals.

Friday, January 7, 2011

From the Archives - Eye in the Sky

Union Terminal Ceiling, Cincinnati, Ohio  © Doug Hickok

The art deco style of Cincinnati's Union Terminal train station offers fascinating designs to gaze upon. This is a photograph of the geometric pattern on the terminal ceiling, which is directly over the heads of the one million visitors who walk beneath it every year. The terminal has been in use since the 1930's, but was converted into a museum in 1990. Nevertheless, it's still used today as an Amtrak stop where you can board a train to Chicago or Washington, DC. And the sensation that you're being watched as you pass below the "eye" is simply unadulterated paranoia, even though there are hundreds, no, thousands of hidden security cameras everywhere you look. And the dark suited man standing next to you is listening to every word you think. And he knows your favorite color. And where you live. And, and, and...


Thursday, January 6, 2011

3 for Thursday - Ravenna, Italy

Street Lamps, Ravenna, Italy  © Doug Hickok

Door Knocker, Ravenna, Italy  © Doug Hickok

Doorway, Ravenna, Italy  © Doug Hickok

Seen above are a trio of images from Ravenna, the former capital of the Western Roman Empire, and home for several years of romantic poet Lord Byron, who worked here on his masterpiece, the epic poem Don Juan.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

From the Archives - The Blue Nun of Jasna Gora

Monastery of Jasna Gora, Poland  © Doug Hickok

The 14th century monastery of Jasna Gora shelters Poland's most sacred icon, the Black Madonna of Czestochowa. It also contains many arched passageways that create settings for nicely framed photographs. In this image, a blue clothed nun walked past just as I happened to press the camera shutter. I never saw her face, and to this day I wonder who she was. Where was she from? What kind of life did she live? And most importantly, I wonder who her favorite football club was?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

From the Archives - If Life Was Like A Gondola

Blue Gondola, Venice, Italy  © Doug Hickok

If life was like a gondola, it would be simple and stylish, with artistry in the details.

If life was like a gondola, it would glide along smoothly and serenely, with sweet serenading songs to sooth you.

If life was like a gondola, there would be unmatched beauty all around, with a kaleidoscope of colors to astonish you!

If life was like a gondola, you could dock at a cafe along the Grand Canal, and enjoy a sunset while sipping creamy cappuccinos, and savoring succulent chocolates. (Yum. No, wait, that's a double yum!)

That would be the life.

Monday, January 3, 2011

From the Archives - A Rainy Night in Rome

Near Palazzo del Laterano, Rome, Italy  © Doug Hickok

This image shows a range of muted colors flowing together, as seen through a rain soaked window at dusk. That, or my eyes were watering from a fit of sneezes. And yawns. It was a long day.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

From the Archives - Serendipity

Road Cut, Cherohala Skyway, North Carolina  
 © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved  (Click on image for larger view)

Sometimes beauty is found in the least expected places. In this instance, it was found in a road cut on a mountain highway in western North Carolina. Such serendipity is one of the true joys in life.

Photography note: This is a found scene that I almost passed-up. While driving by, I happened to glance over and notice the colors and textures, but kept going. I was impatient to reach my next destination. But the little voice in my head kept saying, "Go back Doug, go back and take a second look" After several miles, I finally turned around, and drove back. I found a safe place to park, jumped out, and made the picture. Sad to say, it wouldn't have been the first time I passed on a potential shot because I was  rushing to be somewhere else. But this time it worked out well.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year From Charleston!

Reflection of Saint Michael's Church in City Hall Window, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Happy first day of 2011... y'all!

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