Charleston Street Photography

I had a fun Saturday morning walking the streets of historic Charleston. With my Olympus E-M10 and a 40-100mm lens, I headed out from a parking garage on Kings Street about 4 blocks north of Marion Square. I made my way to the City Market about 1.5 miles away taking photos along the way. Once at the City Market, I walked through all the buildings….twice. I weaved my way back to the car, stopping at Moe’s (yum!) for lunch.

My first stop was Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts, not for doughnuts, but for photos.



I spotted this guy sitting around on the job at a shoe store on King’s Street. He spotted me too and walked from that seat after I took three photos.


I went in the Starbucks looking for people having their morning coffee. As luck would have it (or maybe it was because it was 9am and many people drink coffee at that time) I found some! The coffee shop has a really cool upstairs. I was standing on the stairs when I took this photo. Looks like she opted for water?


A lady with a big hat at the Historic Charleston City Market drew my attention.


There was SO much beautiful light at the market. It’s located in an old building with window openings, but no windows. This salesgirl was standing at a corner of the building where light was coming from behind her from one window opening, and light was coming toward her from the open doorway in front of her. I took a bunch of photos of her and I know she noticed me. I have one photo of her looking directly at the camera. She didn’t seem to mind and went about her work. Love the dreads and headband! Cool scarf too. And the background is awesome.


You never know where you might get a photo. This one of a cute dog in a dog purse was taken in the woman’s restroom.


Back on King’s Street, a store was getting a renovation and these lovely ladies were looking, well, lovely, while a little boy checked out the place.


Sometimes we all wish there we two of us to handle the workload.


I’m going to call this one “Circle of Friends”.


Oh what fun it is to take photos! Especially in Charleston.



Yes to Yes 2 Yoga

Donna Duffy, owner of the Edison Square Yes 2 Yoga Studio, asked me to take photos of the Grand Opening. Yes! This would be a wonderful opportunity to photograph people. I enjoyed mingling with the yoga instructors and working in the beautiful new studio! I was able to photograph those participating in the free classes that morning.

There’s so much natural light in the studio.IMG_4121IMG_4126

I switched between using a flash and no flash and used a 24-105mm lens. Here are a few images using flash. Often seen when using flash, the background is dark in some cases and there are a few shadows. The flash did freeze the action though.


I definitely like the images taken without flash better. I had the camera on a tripod and fortunately Yoga isn’t a fast moving activity. I was able to use burst mode and get some good images using a shutter speed anywhere from 1/6 sec. to 0.6 sec.IMG_4245IMG_4226

The blurred feet and hands in these next two images show movement. I like that. I didn’t like the images that showed blurred faces though.IMG_4320IMG_4302

This image is just plain fun!IMG_4294

As Bert and John Jacobs, founders of Life is Good, would say, “Do what you love. Love what you do.” Some people love yoga. I love photography. Life is good.

Practice Portrait Session with Faith

I’m lucky to have a willing portrait subject just up the street. Thanks, Faith, for helping me out! You’re adorable and awesome!

I approached Faith as she was swinging on the play set in my backyard. The natural area of the yard looked like a good place to start. It was somewhat chilly that day and I liked the fur on her hood, so I decided to have her leave her coat on. I had her sit in an Adirondack chair, and working from what I recently learned from a Udemy online course by Jon Haase, tried some poses with her hand up near her face.

In the first photo, the back of the hand is facing the camera making it look too bulky. I asked Faith to turn her hand and took the next two images. Much better! A 70-200mm lens and flash mounted on a flash bracket pointed at the subject was used for all photos. Camera settings for the three photos below: 1/100 sec., f/6.3, ISO 160. The lens was at a 144mm focal length and I used a +2/3 flash exposure compensation for additional fill light.

Next, I practiced with the legs. I had Faith sit at the edge of the chair and lean forward. This brings her face closer to the camera and extends the neck. When a person sits all the way back in a chair, the knees and feet are usually closest to the camera. To create angles with the legs, I had Faith bring her knees together and move her ankles out. It felt a little awkward for her, but she stuck with me! Camera and flash settings were the same as the first three images. Used a little Nik Glamour Glow for this one.


Then we walked over to Faith’s house. Her house has one of those great front porches where you can sit and watch a storm roll in, or just hang out on comfy furniture and drink wine with friends. My front porch holds a potted plant and packages from the UPS delivery man.

We tried some shots with her standing near the porch column, but they didn’t turn out well enough to process. We did have fun experimenting with having both her and I lie on the ground facing one another.

The background may be a bit busy in this one. In addition, there’s some softness due to the fact that I was shooting at 1/60 sec. with a 160mm focal length. That’s much too slow for that focal length. And, I had the image stabilization (IS) off! Geez! Professional photographer and friend, Mike Baker, confirmed that the shutter speed to use when hand holding a camera should not be slower than the reciprocal of the effective focal length of the lens  even if I’m using a flash. A shutter speed of 1/180 in this case would have been a better choice. If I had the IS on, the shutter speed could be a bit slower.

***Something to remember:  The flash freezes the subject’s motion, not the photographers.***


Eliminating most of the background, moving in closer, and asking Faith for a solemn look made this image work. The fact that I had the camera resting on the ground helped get this image sharp even though I was still at 1/60 sec. and a focal length of 176mm.

IMG_4050 clone crop soft sepia define

Next we went in her backyard where her dad just built a shed. We tried this one with her coat on. 1/60 sec., f/6.3, ISO 125, 85mm focal length.

IMG_4067I thought her t-shirt might work better with the background, so I had her remove her coat. Nice light and soft colors. I see a connection in this next image. She looks relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera. A small genuine smile and bright eyes!


Thanks again, Faith. I enjoyed working with you!