Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Rope and Shrimp Boat Hull, Shem Creek, Mt. Pleasant, SC  © Doug Hickok
(Click on image for larger view.)

The word for the day is symbiosis. It is a noun meaning "any interdependent or mutually beneficial relationship." The word dates from 1877 as a biological term, and refers to a mutually beneficial association of two different organisms.

In this photo I would like to think that the colors red and green are visually symbiotic, and the boat and rope are just as symbiotic.

In my experience, chocolate and coffee (especially chocolate covered espresso beans) going into my face, also exhibit traits of symbiosis... maybe... I hope the coffee and chocolate benefit...  somehow...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I Wandered...

Main Square, Old Town, Krakow, Poland  © Doug Hickok
(Velvia slide film. Click on image for larger view)

... lonely as a cloud,
That floats on high o'er Krakow square,
When all at once I saw a truck,
a beacon, of bright red paint;
Beside the umbrellas, beneath the trees,
flashing and gleaming in the summer heat.

And even though this poem doesn't rhyme,
I don't mind,
'cause I made a picture,
Worth more than words.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Misty Monday - Low Tide

Steps to East Quoddy Head Lighthouse, Campobello Island, New Brunswick  © Doug Hickok
(Click on image for larger view)

The only way to visit the lighthouse is at low tide (you can see how high the water reaches by noticing the marine vegetation, the rust on the stairs & railings, and dark stains on the rocks). On most days, here at the Bay of Fundy, tides will vary about 

30 to 40 feet from low mark to high. Wading or swimming are extremely dangerous due to swift currents and cold water temperatures. Woe to those who get stranded on the island when the tide rushes in. They will have to wait about 8 hours for the next chance to escape.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Saint Philip & the Spider

Spider Fountain, Waterfront Park, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok
(Click on image for larger view)

Backlit by late afternoon sunlight, the Spider Fountain at Waterfront Park glistens like a gossamer web against a Charleston skyline. Seen in the distance is Saint Philip's steeple standing tall above the French Quarter.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bare for Now

Bare Dogwood Tree and Fence Rail, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina  © Doug Hickok
(Click on image for larger view)

But soon there will be white flowers...
and green leaves!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Residua of a Past Age

Twin Bollards, Church Street, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok
(Velvia slide film)

If I can beg your patience for one last image from the Hank's Seafood Cookbook... this one shows two stone bollards, the remnants of a place along Church Street where boats used to be moored. However, if you walk past here now, you will notice something missing... the water. The tidal creek that once bordered this house was filled-in during the late 18th century, so that habitable land could be expanded beyond the bounds of the old city walls. Today the surrounding neighborhood has many Revolutionary and antebellum era houses.

I will leave you a few photography links for your weekend perusal...

 Have you ever wanted to run away to join the circus?

This Vermont artist, now living in California, pursued photography as ritual and story.

Lastly, see extraordinary color abstracts by Pepe Boulette.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pirates and Cookbooks

Ornate Gate to Pirate Alley, French Quarter, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok
(Velvia slide film. Click on image for larger view.)

Another picture from the Hank's Seafood cookbook? Yes, you guessed it. But what, might you ask, does a cookbook have to do with pirates? Nothing really. This image just happens to portray the gate to Pirate Alley in the French Quarter, which hints at Charleston's historic past (plus it makes an interesting topic of discussion for this post).

Pirate Alley is adjacent to the Pirate House, a purported hangout for buccaneers in the early 1700's. Although
 there once were pirates in colonial Charleston, they are now safely tucked away in history books, and the only ones likely to be seen today are in costume, leading walking tours through the city.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bridge Wednesday - Twilight Glow

Ravenel Bridge at Night, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok
(Click on image for larger view)

Aglow in the twilight, the Ravenel Bridge displays its symmetrical form while reflecting its illuminated towers in the waters of Charleston Harbor. This is another one of the images from Hank's Seafood cookbook.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Courtyard Garden

Fountain in a Small Garden, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok
(Velvia slide film. Click on image for larger view)

Another picture from Hank's Seafood cookbook portrays a classical fountain in a small courtyard garden. These kinds of green spaces adjacent to homes are a significant part of Charleston's charm. Protected by surrounding houses and vine covered walls, these enclosed gardens usually have something blooming anytime of the year.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cooking Charleston

Saint Philip's Churchyard Gate and Carriage, French Quarter, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok
(Velvia slide film)

As I alluded to in a previous post, Charleston has been receiving much favorable attention as a travel destination in recent months. Conde Naste Travel Magazine ranked it as the number one city to visit in North America. Fodor's Travel went even further by placing Charleston among the top 21 "to go"
 attractions in the world. They described it as a "buzzy" destination that is "foodie-centric" and "leading the Southern food revival". Charleston, for such a small city, is indeed graced with an abundance of fine restaurants and cafes. There is a menu for almost anyone's taste.

Today's image is one that is featured in a coffee table cookbook recently published by Hank's Seafood Restaurant.  It is replete with delicious recipes presented by nationally recognized chef Frank McMahon. The intent of the image is to offer a taste of Charleston's historic and charming ambience.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Colonnades and Lantern, Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City, Italy  © Doug Hickok
(Click on image for larger view)

A solitary lantern hangs between the rows of large columns in Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City. The centuries old colonnades are made of travertine stone, a common material of buildings in Rome, and throughout Italy. Travertine is a limestone formed from mineral or hot springs. The word itself derives from an Italian word meaning 
"of Tibur", an ancient Roman town, which is today called Tivoli, near Rome. 
It was a preferred stone of Michelangelo... and Bernini, the builder of the 
colonnades pictured here.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Time Capsule

Gresham Mill, Canton, Georgia  © Doug Hickok

Gresham Mill, amid the suburbs of Atlanta, seems like a Depression era time capsule
 preserved for modern eyes. Not far from a busy interstate highway, it is a reminder of who we once were, and how dramatically times have changed, even within recent memory.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Edge

Palm Trunk and Shutter, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Today's photograph illustrates color contrast between warm and cool colors, and is an apt segue into my Favorite Photographer Friday selection, Tom Mackie. He is a renown practitioner of color design, creating saturated images with vivid impact. He teaches about seeking conditions that maximize atmospheric lighting and color, conditions that create tension by being in a state of transition... for example, the edge of day and night, the edge of changing seasons, or the edge of clearing storms.

My take on this visual tension is the above image, which portrays the edge of light and shadow, where the setting sun briefly illuminates textures on a palm trunk, while the background lies in deep blue shadow.

I hope you take a few moments to look at his website.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Wheel and the Great Beyond

Tiller Wheel, The Old Depot, Lewisburg, Ohio  © Doug Hickok

Teeth on the wheel of this old tiller form an alternate pattern, seeming to move with the wheel in a relentless path toward the heavens...

 to infinity and beyond!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bridge Wednesday - Into the Darkness

Cape Creek Bridge, Coastal Highway 101, Oregon  © Doug Hickok
(Velvia slide film. Click on image for larger view.)

This arched bridge, reminiscent of an ancient Roman aqueduct, disappears into the Stygian shadows of a mountain ridge as daylight fades to night. Who knows where the road may lead, or what lies ahead... perhaps only the Fates can say.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Shadow of a Chair on Shell Pavement, John's Island, SC  © Doug Hickok

I know, I know, the color is a bit over the top...
 but it's Valentine's Day,
so why not go to extremes!?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Misty Monday - Veil of Obscurity

Sun and Fog, Newfound Gap, Great Smoky Mountains NP, North Carolina  © Doug Hickok
(Velvia slide film)

Beauty, behind a shroud of mist, will reveal itself for those patient enough and 

willing to see.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Bronze Door, The Basilica of Saint Anthony, Padua, Italy  © Doug Hickok
(Velvia slide film. Click on image for larger view)

Saints of the Church, like guardians of the faith, peer down at the faithful from their ornate alcoves on the Basilica of Saint Anthony's tall bronze doors. The basilica was completed in 1301 to honor Saint Anthony of Padua, who after his death became the patron saint of lost people and things. The basilica is a major destination for pilgrims from all over the globe. If you have lost something dear to you, perhaps this is the place to begin your search...

"Tony, Tony, look around. Something's lost that can't be found."

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Blue Door of a Restaurant, Folly Beach, SC  © Doug Hickok

Rusted metal, peeling paint, worn wood... this weathered blue door seems to have the character of an old mariner, exposed to years of salty seas at the helm of his weatherworn ship.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Finials

Tourists on Legare Street, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Finals in the shape of stylized pineapples decorate this 19th century mansion on Legare Street. Pineapples are symbolic of hospitality, a tradition that dates back to the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean. Eventually the tradition spread to Europe and then to colonial America, where pineapples became a common architectural motif, from door knockers to finials to fountains. 

As one of the images featured in the Spoleto Festival USA ticket brochure, this picture gives a sense of Charleston's historic setting and the old world feel that the city can sometimes convey. 

I've listed a few photography links to click on if you have some extra time this weekend.

Here is a collection of stunning images by the renown photographer Peter Turnley.

A police officer with camera makes poignant images.

Finally, consider how different everything looks in the light of night.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Ride Back in Time

Horse Carriage and Old Exchange Building, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok
(Velvia slide film. Click on image for larger view)

One of the fun ways to see historic Charleston is a horse carriage tour. It makes you feel like you have journeyed back in time, to an era when life moved at a considerably slower pace.

This is one of the images from the Spoleto Festival USA website, from a section that promotes things to do when visiting the city. If you come, remember to bring your Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara costumes, along with your carpetbags. But please, no scalawags or rascals allowed.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

City at Night

City Lights, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok
(Velvia slide film)

Another one of the images used in the Spoleto Festival USA ticket brochure, one that suggests a lively night life... theater lights, restaurants, cafes, the fluxing auroras of city streets...

or maybe alien crafts landing at the site of an active volcano...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Palm Tree Cloud

Palm Tree and Cloud, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok
(Velvia slide film. Click on image for larger view)

Palm tree fronds wave against an azure sky in this image from the Spoleto Festival USA ticket brochure. Although this picture may suggest a tropical island setting with visions of white sandy beaches, grass huts and coconuts, it's not...  Charleston has more of a semi-tropical coastal climate. There are tan sandy beaches, but no grass huts or coconuts that I know about.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Spoleto Festival USA 2012

Cover, Spoleto Festival USA 2012 Ticket Brochure  © Doug Hickok

Original Image, Riviera Theater Marquee, King Street, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

I am proud to announce that Spoleto Festival USA  selected this image to feature on their ticket brochure this year. Spoleto Festival USA is one of the largest international arts festivals, not just in the USA, but in the world. It has been a center piece of Charleston attractions since it was begun here in 1977 by the founders, who were looking for an American venue to correspond with the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. The two week event runs from late May through early June.

Charleston was selected because it would "provide the charm of Spoleto as well as its wealth of theaters, churches and other performance spaces..."

This image was made at night using a quick zoom blur with my tripod mounted zoom lens. I'll show you more images from the ticket brochure and the Spoleto website, in the following days.

Stitch Design Co., an awarding winning design and marketing group, did exceptional work, 
as they always do, in designing the brochure and selecting images.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Old Ornate Gate, Saint Michael's Churchyard, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

This is a detail of one of the most famous decorative wrought iron works in Charleston, Saint Michael's Churchyard gate. It was made in 1840 by a German born blacksmith, 

J. A. W. Iusti. Inside the gate are the tombs of John Rutledge and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, signers of the U.S. Constitution (1787).

As you may know, the first 10 amendments of the Constitution are the Bill of Rights, which allow for, among other safeguards, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion, etc.

It furthermore allows for the drinking of coffee on a leisurely Sunday morning while humming songs from Mary Poppins...  "Supercalafragalisticexpealadocous" anyone?

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Playground Turtle, Daniel Island, SC  © Doug Hickok

Having journeyed to South Carolina for sun and fun, Polly the Prefabricated Plastic Turtle was saddened to learn no swimming was allowed in the park.

Friday, February 3, 2012

White Point Light

Late Afternoon Light, White Point Gardens, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

White Point Gardens on The Battery is a pleasant place to sightsee or simply find a place to sit and while away the hours. Light from late afternoon sun glances across the grassy grounds where outdoor weddings take place beneath the 19th century gazebo. Among other highlights, Charleston has also become one of the top wedding destinations in the U.S.

For your weekend pleasure, I'll end today's post by shedding some light on these fun photography links. Hope you enjoy!

A National Geographic photographer demonstrates how to use available light in a variety of situations.

See phenomenal images of the recent spike in arctic aurora activity.

Check out the editing process of Magnum photographers and see how a handful of great images were selected from their contact sheets.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Sweetgrass Baskets and Camellia Petals, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

The word of the day is Kumbayah. It is a Gullah expression which means "Come by yah" or "Come by here". Its connotation is associated with closeness or spiritual unity, and derives from a 1930's African-American spiritual. The Gullah language (also called Geechee) was the Creole spoken by slaves of South Carolina's sea islands.

This sweetgrass basket image was used recently in a Town of Mount Pleasant advertisement, with the title "Kumbaya. (Come by here)". The basket design is simple, but other basket designs are quite elaborate, displaying the artistic skills of the weaver. Some are featured in art museums.

The local craft of basketry is an art form brought to the Carolina Colony by slaves from West Africa. It is prominent in the fabric of Gullah culture, a weave of African and New World elements. Sweetgrass is a native plant which grows in Lowcountry tidal marshes, and is gathered and dried for basket weaving.

The red flower petals are from the sasanqua camellia bush, which grows readily in our climate, and is featured in many Charleston gardens. Ironically it is not native, but derives from the southern coasts of Japan. It is a cultivar dating from the Edo period (1695-1733).

This concludes your South Carolina history/biology lesson of the day!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Appalachian Snow

Birch Tree Trunk and Rocks, Roan Highlands, North Carolina/Tennessee  © Doug Hickok

A dusting of snow adds texture to tree trunk and rocks in this scene along the Appalachian Trail. Many blogs that I have visited this January have displayed beautiful images of snowy winter wonderlands. We don't have snow in Charleston, so I had to pull an image from last fall when Becky and I took a hike in the highlands of North Carolina. With an unusually warm winter (thanks to a La Nina cycle), apparently, this will be the closest thing we will have to a snowy wonderland this year.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...