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Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category

It is not often I pack my camera with a composition already in my mind for a photograph. No photographer can compare his skill of photo composition with that of Life’s natural ability to compose a perfect image. Whether I am shooting sand dunes on Sullivan’s Island or farmers markets in the fall, Life has a way of giving me all the composition I need.

But recently, the left half of my brain Рfor once in its feeble existence Рtook over and developed a specific composition  for a photo I had yet to take (complete with logical, laid out colors and lines, a distinct goal to be met). It was a door weighing down the right side of my [future] image, with 2 windows balancing the middle and left portions of the photo. The building was made of brick and foliage shaped the border, thus creating a short depth of field while adding a living element that a viewer would want to smell. The sidewalk was cobble-stoned and the shutters black. The shutters had to pop. And because I do not digitally alter color (only enhance) in my photos, I knew this would be an adventure. So my search for doors in downtown Charleston began.

Charleston door

downtown charleston sc

door in downtown charleston

When I jumped in my car to head downtown, I actually thought this was going to be an easy project.

I was so wrong.

historic door

Rainbow Row Charleston SCThen I got sidetracked. Exterior spiral staircase on Rainbow Row

Battery Park in Charleston SC

Abstract photo of gate

And without warning, I found the door my imagination had designed.

downtown Charleston door

A glaring problem could not go unnoticed, however.  Blue shutters instead of black. I quit my search after taking this photo, discouraged that my composition did not exist, at least not in downtown Charleston like I hoped it would be.

It was when I sat down to edit the days shots that I saw what I had not seen during my search. The blue shutters DID pop from the image. They also blended seamlessly with the building’s green and red tones, a relationship of color I had not considered when building my original vision. It gave way to what would have been unpleasantly harsh contrasts had they been black.

Life, again, outdid my own creativity. All at once I was reminded that I am not in control – that what I was so determined to make my image would never belong to me. I simply have the opportunity to document the beauty and share it with others.

Profound.

Humbling.

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Outside Magazine Cover 2011Okay Charleston Porch friends. Now is your chance to show the love you have for living alfresco in this amazing town!

From Outside Magazine: “For the past 15 years, we’ve scoured the nation to find America’s best places to live – those dream towns that offer the balance of great culture, breathtaking scenery, reasonable home prices, low-stress living, and, of course, easy access to the outdoors.”

The writer of the sentence above was obviously jotting down observations while meandering in and out of King Street’s art galleries and boutiques, relaxing at Battery Park, or surfing on Folly’s waves.

Outside Magazine has narrowed the list down to 10 finalists, and we have made the cut!! Now we all need to vote Charleston as the best town to give our city a great, big pat on the back that is so much deserves. Each town will be ranked based on votes, along with submissions of photography and writing that illustrate what makes it so great. Perhaps I will submit a little something from the ole’ blog?

Charleston SC - Best Town in America

Charleston as Outside Magazines best town in America

Charleston SC for Outside Magazine's best town in America

Charleston SC as Outside Magazines best town in AmericaI wonder if I can submit my entire blog! Because after all, The Charleston Porch celebrates exactly what the contest is trying to find – a city that encourages life outdoors, comprised of diverse, laid-back residents and tourists who appreciate everything that Charleston is. And if my favorite English teacher – Mrs. Kaplan – is reading this, I apologize for the run-on sentence. Charleston is just too great cram between a capital letter and a period.

So click here and VOTE!

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I'm as happy as Manuel about the progress!

We are up and running folks but are under some serious construction…

In the meantime, peruse my photography website, Life Unfolding, along with some other wonderful blogs and webpages:

Young House Love

Design*Sponge

Blue Chickadee

The Pioneer Woman

Steph Modo

Zillow Blog

And if you are wondering who that angel of a boy is in the photo above, his name is Manuel, the youngest of four children in the Rosales family hailing from Tijuana, Mexico. In June of 2009, I traveled with Double Impact-Nashville to rural Tijuana for a 9 days volunteer trip. We worked alongside the family, and the Amor Ministries team to build this adorable boy and his brother and sisters a new home. We couldn’t give them an extreme home makeover, but we could offer them a set of hands and a lot of love to build a safe house. And wouldn’t you know, they even had a covered patio. View it here, along with the rest of my photos from the trip.

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