Phillip recently completed two residential deck & sunroom additions, the first in suburban neighborhoods of Knightdale:
And the second nestled in the woods in Cary:
Also traveled down to Charleston to shoot some of their civic work, including preservation of several historic buildings, new additions to existing buildings, and new work including:
The Fireproof Building (1826), on the National Register of Historic Places and where the South Carolina Historical Society is headquartered:
A three-story educational center linked to the First Scots Presbyterian Church:
And finally, Grace Episcopal Church (1846), located in the Charleston Historic District, which included multi-million dollar restoration of the original church and several modern additions over the years.
This blog basically covers some of my travel between October 23 and December 8, 2010 – Spartanburg, Shrevesport, Myrtle Beach, and Nasvhille. Ready? Here goes:
SPARTANBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA
Trespassing at an abandoned truck stop across the street from my hotel:
Abandoned IV (2010)
I hadn’t traveled to Shreveport since visiting with my parents as a teenager. There’s a riverside with a slew of pretty tacky casinos (great food though!) While there, I was very fortunate to have an extra day to roam around by myself and explore downtown a bit:
My black and whites are getting grimier and moodier with every shoot. I’ve been trending this way for the last year and I’m unsure exactly why I’m doing it. Yet.
406 Cotton (2010)
Hotel 6 King Street (2010)
And of course, you know I have to show tagging some love:
MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA
You’d think a trip to the Carolina coast, even in November would be relatively warm, right? WRONG! I woke up at a 5 a.m. to capture the Second Street Pier at sunrise. It was 25 degrees Fahrenheit with a bitter wind chill down into the teens. As I shivered uncontrollably with tripod, camera, and remote trigger in hand, I thought to myself, “So this is what death must feel like.”
Second Street Pier (2010)
By sunset it was much warmer in the low-40′s. This is a scene at the Myrtle Beach State Park Pier. I was actually parked at a different pier when the colors came ablaze and I could see this scene in the distance. Driving to the pier would’ve meant taking about 15 minutes to travel by car, park, and pay a fee to enter the park and get to the pier. Time was of the essence, so I ran (yes, ran) about 1/2 mile with my camera equipment and tripod slung over my shoulder to catch this scene. It’s stunning I didn’t collapse, really.
I’m not sure what happened here…whether I accidentally bumped the tripod, triggered the camera while adjusting or what, but the result of this capture seemed interesting.
And this is the finished “polished” photo.
Sunset over Myrtle Beach (2010)
Nashville. Man, what to say about that. It reminds me a bit of Los Angeles. Huge music scene, respected art scene, and ugly as sin. I didn’t bring myself to capture any of the iconic downtown buildings, though with more time, I might’ve considered it. The afternoon I arrived and parked downtown, I exited my vehicle and caught a baseball lying on the curb:
Love the Game (2010)
…then walked downtown a bit.
Nashville has a slew of industrial and old mercantile and manufacturing facilities that I would’ve loved to explore further. I think it’s enough to merit a return trip just for those buildings.
If you’re an architect or have studied architecture, or visited Greece, you must be like…WTF? Yes. That is exactly what you think it is. It’s an precise true-to-scale replica of the Parthenon in aggregate concrete, the only one of its kind outside of the actual Greek Parthenon. So I had a bit of fun toying with it in black and white.
That’s it for now, everyone enjoy their holiday season and have a great New Year!
My early June trip was a combination of performing architectural + real-estate photography mixed with some fun, traveling through Columbia SC, Charleston SC, Savannah GA, Macon, GA, Atlanta, GA, Athens GA, and Greensboro GA. Oddly enough there was some sort of friend or associate in every city I had a building to shoot, including meeting my very first collector in Macon (from 2005!) Didn’t get to see everyone, which is often the case, and hope to catch them the next time around. It’s funny, since initiating my venture into professional photography the amount of photographs I take for fun has precipitously declined. Road travel combined with a busy itinerary didn’t allow for much opportunity for other photography – in fact I didn’t do any in Savannah or Atlanta. Macon was the surprising gem – I had never been there before and I’ve love to return simply to shoot for a few days.
There’s a lot that transpired but I’m way behind with these blogs and super-tired. So here’s a few glimpses I captured while staying a few days in Charleston and while on the road:
While down – well further down – South, had a few commercial assignments with Olive Design Build – a couple of hotels and a medical office building.
The Comfort Suites in Charleston, South Carolina. Apparently this site had been dormant for years because nobody could figure out what sort of building function with limited access in or out could handle such a busy series of intersection. The low flow of a hotel made perfect sense.
Holiday Inn in W. Columbia, South Carolina. Has the appearance of most chain hotels, but this one got LEED certification.
And finally a medical office building down in Douglasville, GA
Recently completed a major trip through South Carolina and Georgia, both for work and pleasure.
My big stop was in Charleston, South Carolina where I photographed the Chamberlain Residence, conveniently located near downtown. This was a major house and garage addition designed and completed by my old boss Bennett Strahan and former colleague Phillip Jefferson when we were with Strahan Associates. Now that Bennett is with Consensus West Incorporated and Phillips is doing his own thing, they’re now both my clients.
How you like them apples?
I’d describe the project in detail, but that’s not my job anymore, I’m just the dumb photog. So without further ado…
Finally, wanted to thank Peggy and Olin for being such gracious, wonderful hosts while I was in town, they made it incredibly enjoyble and I had fun spending time with both. I’ll get to some of the fun I had in Charleston in a later blog.
I was going to originally leave Thursday but had too many household items to tidy up. I arrived into Savannah on Friday morning, crossed the Talmedge Bridge and immediately got in trouble with the Feds.
Well, okay, not in trouble trouble – but if you’re coming from the north, you’ll notice the heavy industrial district on the river as you cross the bridge into Savannah. So I figure that would be a great place to start my shooting, right? As I’m doing photography some security dude approaches me, rattling off some sort of federal Homeland Security regulation that I can’t shoot photos. I really had no clue, he was very nice to me and answered my questions, and as I left it looked like he was jotting down my license plate. I’m thinking to myself, “Oh great – next time I get on a plane, they’re going to pull me to the side because I’m on some sort of list.”
And if you think I’m paranoid about this, a few days later, my website receives an engine search with my FULL name, including middle initial, from Savannah. So how many of you know my middle name? Yeah, exactly. You mark my words, whenever I hop the jet to my next trip to Texas or California or something I’m going to get totally waterboarded because I thought the Savannah ports would make for some cool photos.
Having been properly chastised, I decided to do something less risky: take my handy-dandy SLR and roam the projects right next to the industrial area.
Yeah, no joke.
The Projects (2009)
It had been cloudy the entire day and by the time I hopped over to Tybee Island in the late afternoon it began to downpour. That would be the first time I got drenched.
Storm Chasing (2009)
I was pretty exhausted by the end of the day and couchsurfed that evening with my hosts Cindy & Jim. Cindy went to SCAD is a good photographer in her own right, developing all of her own B&W film, mostly portraiture. From what I can remember, she had a bunch of medium format cameras and some Holgas, including the cutest purple Holga. Another couchsurfer stayed over at their place that night – Nicole, she came up visiting from Gainesville, Florida.
Well the rain didn’t stop that night, in fact it continued through to Saturday afternoon. That morning, Nicole and I drove to downtown where we had breakfast at this coffee shop she had found. -Very- good food. She was really cool and I had no plans that evening, so decided to join her on a “ghost” pub and crawl tour. We parted paths after finishing our coffees, she to go shopping and I, to play photographer in the rain for drenching #2.
Back Alley (2009)
From downtown I went over to the Roundhouse Railroad Museum and took the rail “tour”. Currently the rail tour is fairly limited, but they’ll expand it over the next several years into more of Savannah. The tour guide was the entire entertainment during the tour – fortunately, both informative and interesting. I spent an hour or so afterwards shooting around the facility.
To Atlanta (2009)
Roundhouse Railroad Museum
Tower of Babel (2009)
The rain was beginning to break after visiting the railroad museum. I roamed Savannah’s historic neighborhoods for a few hours, including Forsyth park.
A Savannah Welcome
As I left downtown, I decided it was a good idea to visit more dilapidated low-income urban areas.
Positive Reinforcement (2009)
Having spent 8 hours attempting to shoot during and between downpours, I was tired and wanted to get an old-man nap at Cindy’s house before going out that evening. I woke up a couple of hours later. Nicole apparently had the same brilliant idea, as she was sleeping on the couch.
We drove back to downtown and had pizza at this place she found, called Vinnie Van Go-Go’s. Oh man, definitely the best pizza in the city, and the best I’ve had in quite some time. Their pizza with spicy Italian sausage topping is primo. After inhaling our food, we quickly scooted over to the pub to start our tour.
The tour was okay, and the guide was a riot – he had this weird New York / Georgia mashed-up accent. He had a lot of ghost stories which Nicole and I shared a huge skepticism for. We also shared annoyance with this one shrieking chick on tour with us who was totally drunk off her rockers. But we got to see some cool places, including some dilapidated rotten interiors of old buildings we wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
Savannah is totally cool because you can walk around downtown, freely drinking with cups of beer in your hand. Just for the record, since so many people reading this blog know me…I actually had two beers.
During the tour, I decided to expand what I label my “anti-bucket list”. What is the anti-bucket list, you might ask? It’s basically everything I don’t EVER want to have happen to me or do in my life. So far, the list is very short, but perfectly understandable (at least I think so):
I don’t want to get run over by a postal-delivery truck moving at 20 miles per hour between mailboxes.
I don’t want to suffer a nasty papercut while licking an envelope.
When I die, I don’t want a highway public restroom named in my honor. If the summation of my life ends in the opportunity for you to take a dump in the Sterling E. Stevens Rest Area, I’m perfectly comfortable with passing away with complete anonymity.
I will not be forced to deal with my psychotic ex-girlfriend again without exacting the severest of legal repercussion.
After hearing the tall tales and the involved horrific context surrounding these supposed ghost sitings, I’ve decided to add, “I would like to prevent a bizarre gruesome death to avoid becoming part of ghost-telling folklore.” to the list.
Neither Nicole or I saw Cindy and Jim very much during the entire stay, but they were pretty kickin’. Left that morning for “historic” Bluffton, on the way to Hilton Head, South Carolina.
Bluffton is overrated.
And for that matter, so was Hilton Head – that may be the most boring beach destination I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been to Myrtle Beach. It was here that I experienced Drenching #3. I was waiting to pick up one of my photographs from the local art show and spent much of my time wasting away in Starbucks, in an existing elevator shaft that was converted into a regular room.
So at 6:00 p.m., I go to the art gallery to pick up my work from the juried exhibition and WOW – I usually have mixed feelings about what I see on the walls, but I was stunned with what I considered to be the quality of work. 150 juried pieces from artists around the United States and there were only a few I didn’t like. And surprise upon surprise, my photo received an honorable mention!
I must’ve appeared unexcited because the gallery director didn’t realize I was the artist until I was about to leave. I just didn’t want to look like a giddy idiot. But by the time I stowed away my photo and got into the car, I started to excitedly pump my fist and go “YEAH! OH YEAH! WOOO!”
Two parking spaces adjacent from mine, the woman sitting in the car was looking at me kinda weird…I don’t know why. It could be because I broke into the cabbage patch.
I got into Charleston on Sunday and finally got to hang out with Lewis & Jamie, who are both totally kickass. We ate lunch then roamed the downtown wharf area and some of the neighborhoods. The city was not very crowded at all, I think much of the Memorial Day crowd waned because of the soggy weather, high gas prices, and shaky economy. Regardless, the lack of crowds was awesome. I had to expose them to the desserts at Saffron then accidentally took them in the wrong direction on the way back! Sorry Lewis! I felt bad, he was so red from the sun. But we all had fun and I’m looking forward to hanging with them again!
Between Sunday and Tuesday, I barely took any photos. But the weather was so perfect, I knew I was going to get the photo I had been wanting a chance to re-take for the last six years – a good photo from the top of the Holiday Inn.
The City of Charleston, South Carolina – Riverview (2009)
(click here for a larger view)
I had been playing phone tag with a buddy from grad school, Ben, and we finally caught up in downtown Charleston. He showed me his architectural office, some of the work he was doing, then we for a drink and appetizers. Was good to catch up with him and talk shop, had been a couple of years since we had last seen each other.
From there I traveled to Folly Beach where I was able to view some of the area before sunset.
Sunset on Folly River (2009)
And that’s when I began to sneeze. I had a tickling sore throat the night before, but now I was suffering under sneezing-fits galore. I barely got any sleep Tuesday night and the sneezing pretty much lasted through Wednesday. I was so miserable by the time I got home I crashed (and took some Vitamin C), which apparently did me a lot of good. I guess that’s what I get for shooting in the rain. But overall the trip was good, despite all of the dreary weather conditions!
My boss Andy and I were out in east North Carolina on a project. I had a few minutes of downtime and couldn’t resist taking a non-work related photo – what can I say, I’m an addict.
Highway 64 (2009)
Friday March 20 – Saturday March 21: North Georgia
I had put in my time for the week so got to head down to Georgia during the day on Friday. I stopped in see Don Bryam, a photographer and frame shop owner in Commerce whose canvas prints Tony Admur raved about. I chatted with him for an hour or so, was pretty impressed with his work, and may consider using his services in the future because I definitely want to start printing and displaying some of my work on large size canvases. I drove to Athens to meet Tony for coffee; it’s always great to see him and talk shop, he’s really one of the guys that encouraged and mentored me in my development as a photographer.
I only got a couple shots on Friday but woke up early Saturday morning to get going. I walked downtown Athens, then visited the Lyndon Art House where they had a large yearly art showing and the results of the town’s latest Bus Stop Design competition – which much to my own humor, is seemingly one of the banes of my friend’s (Phillip’s) existence. I have to say the winners this time around were more impressive than when they did this in 2006, what they picked last time was awful.
Star and Stripes (2009)
I dropped off my two photos at the Southworks show in Watkinsville then went to the Georgia Botanical Gardens to test out my 100mm macro. I’ve owned it for a year and have rarely used it – I’m just not sure if having the ability to shoot macro photography is really suited to my disposition. The only lens I’ve owned previously that I never shot with was a 75mm-300mm; one of the first lenses I purchased and totally useless to me. I’ll likely keep the lens at least through my June trip to see what I can honestly do with it.
I had no plans that afternoon so took an impromptu trip up GA-15 to North Georgia to Minnehaha Falls and Dick’s Creek. Along the way, found some of my favorite subject matter – stuff falling apart. I shot Minnehaha for the first time in four years then discovered that access to Dick’s Creek was completely closed off.
Have A Seat (2009)
March 21, 2009 4:30 pm (2009)
No Mail (2009)
Sunday March 22: Leesville, South Carolina
I drove to Columbia, South Carolina on Saturday night and resisted the temptation to “capture the flag” at the state capitol. Besides, I promised Stephen we’d swipe the Stars and Bars together. I can see the local news now:
Two black men are wanted for stealing the Confederate Flag from our hallowed state capitol. Do not, I repeat, do not attempt to apprehend them yourselves, call the proper authorities for they are considered well-educated and dangerous. We suspect at least one of them knows how to read and write.
I met up with fellow photographer Brendan and we visited one of my favorite places in South Carolina: a ginormous junkyard – there must be at least 1000 abandoned vehicles rusting away in the woods. To have a real appreciation of the magnitude of this place, click on the panorama I took below:
Traffic Jam (2009) (click the image for a larger view)
Brendan borrowed my macro lens. I have no clue what he was taking, but I think the lens is more suited to his type of photography than mine. We drove around, had lunch, then walked a newly constructed bridge in the area.
Upon leaving Leesville, I drove through downtown Columbia but was so wiped out, decided to just drive home.