Saturday, April 28, 2018

And the Winners Are . . .

     These are not "winners" per se. But after taking around 200 photos, culling through them, cropping and otherwise trying to improve the results, I came up with a dozen photos to show at my photography class over at the Center for Learning in Retirement.

     In case you missed it, I've been taking a photography course in the senior division at our local university. The course culminates in presenting a photographic portfolio to the class, centered on a particular theme. One man did covered bridges. Everyone agreed his photos were the best. One woman focused on pictures of picture frames. They were kind of abstract, and everyone thought her photos were the most original.

     Since I was in Charleston, SC, at the beginning of the class, I picked "Historic Charleston" as my theme. I got "most improved," which means . . . well, we all know what "most improved" means.

     Anyway, the instructor asked us to write a brief introductory essay to set up the photos:

Historic Charleston, SC

for CLR: 505 Planning and Creating a Photographic Project

       Charleston, SC, one of the oldest cities in America, was founded in 1670 and named after King Charles of England. It was a significant port in early America for trading in rice, cotton . . . and slaves.

       Charleston was home to Francis Marion, the heroic Revolutionary War general known as The Swamp Fox, as well as John C. Calhoun, U. S. Senator, Vice President of the United States, and staunch supporter of slavery. 

       The Civil War started in Charleston on April 12, 1861, when Confederates bombarded the federal installation at Fort Sumter. The city suffered significant damage during the war, but was spared complete destruction when Union General William Tecumseh Sherman marched to the west and continued up to North Carolina at the end of the war.

       Today, Charleston is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, attracting college kids, retirees and everyone in between. The Citadel, a military college, has been famously featured in the novels of Pat Conroy, and the College of Charleston has grown from less than 1,000 students in the 1970s to over 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students today.

       Here are a few photos focusing on historic Charleston:

            1. The Battery faces Charleston Harbor, with its historic homes.

            2. Cumberland St. is located in the historic district where street names are embedded in sidewalks on the street corners.

            3. Art student paints a building on the College of Charleston campus.

4. Private garden is typical of the old stately homes south of Broad, a main east/west thoroughfare.

5. Graveyard stone is located at St. Philip’s church, where John Rutledge and Charles Pinckney, two signers of the U. S. Constitution, are buried. This stone reads:

            Margaret Charlotte Elford
            Wife of James Maud Elford
            Who departed this life 9 May 1817
            Aged 43 years 4 months and 20 days
            Leaving a husband with seven young children to lament their irreparable loss
            She was
            In childhood obedient
  In wedlock virtuous
  In prosperity humble
  In adversity resigned
  In sickness patient
  In death happy

6. Breakdancer struts his stuff in Marion Square, a park in center city named after the Revolutionary war general.

7. Sweetgrass basket was handmade by a Gullah woman. The Gullah, originally from West Africa, have lived in the low country of Georgia and the Carolinas since the 1700s. The baskets, woven with a marshland grass native to the area, were originally used to winnow rice from chaff.

8. The Pirate House was built as a residence around 1740. Pirates are rumored to have lived here and used a secret underground tunnel system to access the waterfront.

9. Ironwork decorates a cemetery railing. Since the mid-1700s Charleston has been known for ironwork that decorates gates, fences, railings and staircases.

            10. Historic Charleston City Market …is over 200 years old and features vendors of food, arts & crafts and sweetgrass baskets. The covered market is four blocks long and opens on one end to Meeting Street.

11.  Shop windows parade off King St., the main commercial street in the city.

12. Bluegrass band plays on King St., which is closed to traffic every second Sunday for sidewalk sales, pedestrian strolling and music performances.


Olga Hebert said...

I enjoyed your photos and I was thinking how much improved before I read the text of your post. Well done!

Anonymous said...

Very beautiful photos and interesting history. Congratulations.

Anonymous said...

Very nice! That sounds like a good class, I'd loved to find something similar here.

Jeanette said...

Beautiful -- the photos capture Charleston's history and it's present day charm.

Tom Sightings said...

Thanks. I heartily recommend, to everyone, taking a class at this stage of life. It's given me a project and a focus . . . and I've met some new friends as well.

still the lucky few said...

I'd love to be in that class! I took several short courses in Art during my teacher training, but somehow, photography wasn't in the cards! You should be proud. You have a good eye!

Jono said...

They are nice photos, Tom, and being "most improved" is not a bad thing. I also love continuing education for us older folks. Just got back from a language weekend myself.

Wendy Pender said...

Nice! I enjoy the range of subjects and techniques. THanks for sharing! ~Wendy

Hawaiian Sunburn said...

Enjoyed your photos and your post!

Karen D. Austin said...

These are interesting. Thank you for taking the time to post and label them. They are giving me "itchy feet." I haven't been on a sightseeing trip in a very long time.