Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cruising into Charleston

Cruise Ship and Ducks, Charleston Harbor, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

There are many ways to travel to Charleston.
You can drive a car over the Ravenel Bridge.
You can ride a cruise ship into harbor.
Or you can swim, like this duo of dainty ducks.
Which ever way you choose,
you'll have fun cruising'.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Blue Evening Promenade

South Battery Sidewalk, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Evening light illuminates a walkway on Charleston's South Battery. This images falls under the spell of this week's Favorite Photographer Friday selection,
 Pete Turner. Like Ernst Haas (last week's FPF pick), Pete Turner was an early master of color photography, and is esteemed as one of the 20 most influential photographers of all time. One critic described his work as having "a dramatist's sense of event, intense and saturated coloration, and a distinct if indescribable otherness."

Please take a few moments to enjoy the link to Pete Turner's work,
and have fun photographing this weekend.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Italian Cypresses, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Three. Three Cypresses. Three Italian Cypresses. Three Italian Cypress leaning. Three Italian Cypresses leaning in a sky. Three Italian Cypresses leaning in a blue sky. Three Italian Cypresses leaning in a blue sky with fluffy white clouds.

Clouds. White clouds. Fluffy white clouds. Fluffy white clouds in a blue sky. Fluffy white clouds in a blue sky with leaning Cypresses. Fluffy white clouds in a blue sky with leaning Italian Cypresses. Fluffy white clouds in a blue sky with three leaning Italian Cypresses.

Sky. Blue sky. Blue sky with fluffy...


End. The end. The end of this story. The end of this story about...

 Three. Three Cypresses. Three Italian Cypresses...


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Modern Building Materials

Concert Amphitheater Canopy, Riverfront Park, North Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

This 21st century metal canopy shades the outdoor amphitheater at North Charleston's Riverfront Park, showing us man-made materials and textures quite dissimilar to the building materials of yesterday. Metal alloys and synthetics replace stone and wood. Though ever-changing, the sky will forever be the constant background to the evolving elements of construction.

This amphitheater is a feature of the The Navy Yard at Noisette, a long term attempt to build a new American city from the industrial remains of an old navy base.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mountain Farm Building

Layers of Building Materials, Old Farm Building, Great Smoky Mountains National Park,
North Carolina  © Doug Hickok

Dating from the end of the 19th century, an old farm building at the Mountain Farm Museum in the Great Smoky Mountains displays a variety of building materials and their textures. Mountain folk used whatever natural resources they could to construct their farmsteads... stone, river mud, timber and bark, mixed in with a generous dose of blood, sweat and tears. For a hundred years pioneers used their skills and perseverance to eke out a rough living amid the harsh mountain wilderness of the Appalachians until the modern world gradually crept in and changed their lives forever.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Misty Monday - View From A Lighthouse Window

Mulholland Point Lighthouse, Campobello Island, New Brunswick
  © Doug Hickok

From a atop Mulholland Point Lighthouse, on Campobello Island, a view of the mist shrouded Bay of Fundy is framed by a window. On a clear day, you can see forever, 
and ever, and ever, and ever more... well at least all the way to Small's Cove, and Deep Cove, and Broad Cove, and maybe even to Chocolate Cove (there are countless coves in this part of the world). Oh, and did I mention Carrying Place Cove, and Lord's Cove, and Otter Cove, and...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Finding Little Treasures - Easter Edition

Easter Candy  © Doug Hickok

Sometimes one of the thrills of life is finding little treasures, like this assortment of multicolored malt eggs and jelly beans on Easter morning. For a person who relishes sweets and their tastiness, like me, this is striking it rich! 
YUMMY ! ! !

Wishing you a Happy Easter weekend full of delicious treasures.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Harbor Water Abstract - I

Sunrise on Charleston Harbor Waves, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved 
(Click on image for larger view)

Eye-catching early morning light on these harbor waves creates an abstract pattern of texture and hues.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Homage to Ernst

Sports Car Driver, King Street, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

It's Favorite Photographer Friday (FPF), a feature I began on my blog last week where I link you to a photographer who has influenced my work in some way over the years. Today, I thought I'd dedicate my post to one of my all time favorite photographers, and one of the most influential photographers you may never have heard of, Ernst Haas. Born in Austria in 1921, he later became one of the first photographers invited to join Magnum Photo, where he began a long illustrious career. Haas is admired today for his pioneering work and innovation in color photography, especially with abstracts, reflections, motion blur, and highly saturated images. Many contemporary photographers make images in a style that Ernst Haas set the standard for decades earlier. Take a few moments to browse around his estate website and look through his amazing array of images. You may find yourself marveling at his ingenious vision. Perhaps he'll inspired you as much as he inspired me. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sign of the Times - Man Crossing High Above Street

Crosswalk Sign, Cincinnati, Ohio  © Doug Hickok

For some reason, I see this walking man just about everywhere I look. In big cities. In small towns. In the mountains. In the desert. He seems to be a ubiquitous man. He favors walking on this diamond shaped yellow sign whenever he appears, and is always frozen in mid stride, like a mime unable to move. In this instance he is crossing high above a street in downtown Cincinnati. Perhaps you have seen him too, in some form or another, wherever you live.

(This image was made a few years ago on Velvia 100 RVP 35mm color slide film,
pushed one stop for increased color saturation,
with a Nikon F3HP camera body,
and a Nikkor 105mm f2.5 lens,
while wearing a pair of old white sneakers,
 laced with red shoe strings,
tied in big floppy bows.)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bridge Wednesday - Lines and Cables and Hues, Oh My

Tower, Cables and Light Posts, Ravenel Bridge, Mt Pleasant, SC  © Doug Hickok

Sorry, no pineapples or dinosaurs today. But I do have a modern bridge to get you over the mid week hump and on your way toward the weekend. This is the Ravenel Bridge which is often referred to as the Cooper River Bridge... hmmm... probably because it spans the Cooper River, not the Mississippi, the Nile, or the Amazon.
In this photograph, an arrangement of lines and shapes caught my eye as well as the blue hue of the view.

For another blue hue view of the Ravenel Bridge, see this post.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pineapple Tuesday

Pineapple Fountain, Waterfront Park, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Here is another stylized version of the Southern hospitality pineapple. This one takes the form of a fountain featured in Waterfront Park, a pleasant greenspace overlooking Charleston Harbor. Although it appears to have the spiny horns of a triceratops from the Cretaceous Period, this is misleading. It is, in fact, a man made fountain of the Quaternary Period.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Misty Monday - Ancient Mountains

Budding Tree, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina  © Doug Hickok

Right about now, Spring is inching its way up into the high ridges of the Appalachian mountains, some of the oldest on the planet, dating back to the Ordovician Period. On a misty mountain day, early leaf buds waken on this mossy limbed tree. 

Some things never change. This scene of vernal transformation could have appeared millions of years ago. The cycles of the seasons continue, like the flow of time. Gladly, Spring is easing into the colder reaches of the Earth. And gladly, pterodactyls no longer terrorize the skies.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pineapple Sunday

Pineapple Gate, Saint Philip's Church, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

This elaborate ironwork motif over the entrance gate to Saint Philip's church is actually a stylized representation of a pineapple. For Charleston, the pineapple is significant because it symbolizes hospitality. Stories from 150 years ago tell of sailors returning to port with tropical fruits from the West Indies. They would often hang pineapples above their doors as a sign of welcome. These days Charleston is often voted best mannered city in the USA, and pineapple symbols can be seen throughout the town.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Creatures Among Us, Part Two

Rebar Tangle, Old Navy Base, North Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok


(Please see The Creatures Among Us, Part One)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Finding Little Treasures - The Original

Assorted Rocks, Hunter's Beach, Acadia National Park, Maine  © Doug Hickok

Sometimes one of the thrills of life is finding little treasures, like this assortment of multicolored rocks on a beach in Maine. For a person who relishes rocks and their rockiness, like me, this is striking it rich!

Wishing you a weekend full of little treasures.

Thought I'd start something new also. Calling it Favorite Photographers Friday, I'll post a link to photographers whom I admire or who have influenced my work to a certain degree over time. Today's favorite is Eliot Porter, one of the first to photograph landscapes in color.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Salt and Pepper

Table Shadow, Savannah, Georgia  © Doug Hickok

At a sidewalk cafe in Savannah, Georgia, late day sunlight casts a shadow of a translucent table onto the wall.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Across the Ocean...

Angel with the Sudarium, Ponte Sant'Angelo, Rome, Italy  © Doug Hickok

From yesterday's natural angel we cross the ocean to a man made angel (young in comparison, a mere 342 years old). Designed by the great Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and sculpted by Cosimo Fancelli in 1669, this stone angel is one of ten on the ancient Roman bridge that spans the Tiber River between Castel Sant'Angelo and the city's historic center. Each angel holds an instrument from the Passion. This one displays the Veil of Veronica, often called the Sudarium, which is said to have the likeness of the face of Jesus imprinted on it from when Veronica wiped the sweat off Christ's face during his struggle toward Calvary. The genius of Bernini can be seen in the complex textures and curving shapes of an angel transformed from stone to art.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Around the Bend...

Angle Oak, John's Island, SC  © Doug Hickok

The Angel Oak is estimated to be as much as 1500 years old, making it the oldest living thing east of the Rocky Mountains. It is a 25 foot diameter live oak tree, one of the largest in the country, that shades an astounding area of over 17,000 square feet. Its longest limb is 105 feet long! Many of these limbs are so heavy that they rest on the ground.  The name "Angel Oak" comes from the couple, Justus Angel and Martha Waight Tucker Angel, who received it as part of their marriage settlement from the Waight family (the owners for four generations).  Now owned by the City of Charleston, it is even more spectacular because there is no admission fee!

For another image of this amazing behemoth, see this post.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Misty Monday - Curving Country Road

Country Road, John's Island, SC  © Doug Hickok

A country road curves towards the dreamy mists of early morning on John's Island, a rural sea island near Charleston. This road leads to the ancient Angel Oak, estimated to be the oldest living thing east of the Rockies. I'll show you an image of that Methuselah-like tree on tomorrow's post.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Trinity Church Sunday

Trinity United Methodist Church, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

This antebellum church was designed in the style of a Roman temple, with a lofty portico, ornate Corinthian columns, and an elegant medallion in the center of the ceiling.

The image was made with a technique I like to use when I don't have a tripod handy for a long exposure, or want an unusual perspective on a subject that is commonly photographed in a straight forward way. I lay the camera on the ground pointed upward and release the shutter using the timer. In this instance, a wide angle lens emphasizes the receding lines of the columns and the tall wooden door. Turning the camera on the diagonal creates a more dynamic image.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Impression of a Sunrise IV

Great Blue Heron, Charleston Harbor, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

A Great Blue Heron glides across harbor waters just as the sun peeks over Sullivan's Island on the horizon.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Twisted Trees

Twisted Coastal Live Oaks, Kiawah Island, SC  © Doug Hickok

At the edge of the ocean, this glowing cluster of coastal live oaks twist and turn from the constant force of winds sweeping off the sea. Like durable trees on mountaintops, they are survivors.
Hope you survive your weekend!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Clip Clop, Clip Clop...

Shadows of a Horse and Carriage, Meeting Street, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Clip clop, clip clop... neighhhhh, snort, nicker, whinny, pbbbbb...  "and over here to your left you'll see the Nathaniel Russell House. Built in 1809, it is one of America's most important neo-classical dwellings..."
Carriage tours through the historic district are a part of Charleston's charm, as they offer visitors a slow paced, leisurely view of the city's beautiful and historic setting. This 19th century mode of transportation is so authentic that you might imagine you glimpsed Rhett Butler strolling along a promenade, arm in arm with a lovely southern belle.

This is one of the images from inside this year's Festival of Houses and Gardens brochure (see the post for April 5th).

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bridge Wednesday - Purple and Blue and Clouds Too

Purple People Bridge, Newport, Kentucky  © Doug Hickok

Here's a bridge to get you to the end of the week. This is the Purple People Bridge of Newport, Kentucky, otherwise known as the Devou Suspension Bridge. It spans the Ohio River, connecting Kentucky with Ohio, and dates from 1872. This colorful bridge has been used by railroads, street cars, and automobiles, but today it is used as a pedestrian bridge, providing beautiful vistas of the Cincinnati waterfront and river valley. It's interesting to note that you can rent the bridge for private events, such as weddings and dinners. You can also participate in bridge climbs, as they do in Australia and New Zealand. But you had better know how to climb a bridge. If you fall off, you'll never get to Friday.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Festival of Houses and Gardens

Tropical Flower Vine, Broad Street, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

The Festival of Houses and Gardens is conducted every Spring by the Historic Charleston Foundation and runs March 17th through April 16th. Select private homes and gardens are open to the public for tours during this time so that visitors can experience first hand the splendor of these beautiful places.
I've been fortunate over the years that many of my images have been featured on the cover and inside the ticket brochure. Graphic designer, Lee Helmer, does a fabulous job creating the brochure each year. Here is the cover shot of this year's brochure. I'll also post a few more images that were used in this publication over the next week or so.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Mysterious Monday - Light Keeper's House

Caretaker's House, Heceta Head Lighthouse, Oregon  © Doug Hickok

Legend has it that the Heceta Head Lighthouse is haunted by the Lady in Gray, or Rue as she is called. She was the wife of an assistant light keeper in the late 1800's who lost her young daughter to a drowning in the waters near the coast. In despair, Rue took her own life.
It fits the story that the word "rue" in English means regret or sorrow. Since then, many people have reported seeing or hearing her ghost in and around the lighthouse and the caretaker's house.
 On a misty and moody evening, I made this image of the light keeper's house as I walked down the hill from the lighthouse, and the gloom of the coastal fog moved in. I thought for an instant I saw something move in the darkening shadows. Was someone on the porch? What was that light in the attic? Could it have been the Lady in Gray?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Saint Matthias Sunday

Matthias Church, Budapest, Hungary  © Doug Hickok

The Church of Our Lady, better know as Matthias Church, rises prominently on Budapest's Castle Hill, overlooking the Danube River. Originally constructed in the 13th century, it was the city's first parish church. In 1541, during the Ottoman occupation, it was transformed into a mosque. The current appearance of the church dates form the 19th century, and reflects its splendid original Gothic architectural style. This image shows the colorful tiles which form intricate diamond patterns on the steep roof tops.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bike Taxi at Night

Bike Taxi on King Street, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Charleston's bike taxis are a fun way to get around the historic district when you want to go a bit faster than your feet will carry you. These taxi drivers will be very busy this weekend as approximately 100,000 visitors are expected in the area for various events, the biggest being the Cooper River Bridge Run. Also being held here is the Family Circle Cup Tennis Tournament, the Flowertown Festival, and the Festival of Houses and Gardens tours.
Good luck finding a parking space.

Friday, April 1, 2011

My House

Antebellum Mansion, High Battery, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Perhaps some of you have been wondering what my house looks like. Well, here it is. This is my town house. I'm upstairs doing some late night reading.

Antiques, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

These are some of my antiques in the entrance hall. That's an original Sully.

Classic Automobile, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

 This is my driving-around-town car. It's a replica of a classic MGTD.  I built it myself with a kit from British Coach Works.

Oh wait, what's today? Is this the first day of April? Well I'll be darned...
April Fools!

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