Window in one of the old buildings in Charleston.
A few weeks ago we stopped by The Huguenot Church in Charleston. The door was open for visitors, of course it sucked us in like a magnet.
This is the third building here and was completed in 1845. The first church was opened around 1687 but burned in the late 1790’s, a second replaced it in 1800. In 1845 the current building opened in the same foot print.
The 1800’s were an ‘interesting’ time is Charleston. Repairs and rebuilds have been needed. During the US civil war the church was damaged during the bombardment by the Federal blockade. In 1886 Charleston had a major earthquake, a 7.3 magnitude making it still one of the strongest in US history. The area is on an active fault. In 2022 an area 20 miles outside town had a small quake every day for a month. (That was not in the brochure when we were moving down here)
Services are now in English though there are still a few in French during the year.
Huguenot Church, Church Street, Charleston, South Carolina.
The home of the Dock Street Theater is the old Planters Hotel in Charleston. The main part of the building is a large 1800’s theater. The lounge area is from the old Hotel.
The lounge, like the theater is a step back in time. It’s also a great place to photograph. You don’t know where to point first.
Recently we went to nearby Drayton Hall, an 18th century rice plantation. This is the only plantation house on the Ashley River to survive intact through both the Revolutionary and Civil wars, it is a National Historic Landmark.
The Ashley River runs down to Charleston and is the home of many of the largest and oldest rice plantations. These include Middleton, Magnolia, Runnymede, as well as Drayton Hall. The Ashley River was the ‘highway’ of the plantation era.
Built circa 1738 there is a need for constant maintenance and research. I had no idea there was an ongoing ‘dig’ in the cellar area. It was also open for visits. It seems when adding a stabilizing jack it was discovered the original terra-cotta tiles were in place. Also moving a few tiles uncovered a storage area under pavers.
When I found we could enter the cellar out came a few short lens with wider ‘f’ stops to compensate for it being a cellar..’ AKA dark.
Below are images shot from the central area with light from the open doors and windows.
The closed doors here lead to the side of the building. Front and back doors were open for air and light.
Below is the open back door. The tree line seen is on the banks of the Ashley River. We mention shooting on the Ashley, and the marshes there, often in this site. Most times it is from behind Magnolia Plantation which is just a few miles up river from that tree line.
As I shot the cellar I knew the final photographs would be black and white. The format makes the images so much more interesting and the details much cleaner.
Drayton Hall, Charleston, South Carolina.
One of three major rice plantations along the Ashley River in Charleston, SC. The other two are Middleton and Magnolia, both of which have probably thousands of photos in this web site.
Drayton Hall no longer has the large tracts of land we like to shoot. However the hall itself is unique in that it was not burned during the US civil war like other local plantations. The smaller Runnymede Plantation just down the road is only ruins. Drayton did have the smallpox warning flags during this period which may have saved it.
The hall has never been renovated and has been preserved ‘as is’ for historical accuracy.
Wandering the upper halls of the old Dock Street Theater.
A street that is in just about every vacation, real estate, or ad photo of Charleston, South Carolina. Centuries old row houses always painted in vibrant southern colors.
I went for monochrome and probably locals won’t recognize it without the bright colors.
Rainbow Row, Charleston, South Carolina.
After the text from above it made sense to add a color shot of the street.
Working with NIK Silver Efex and DxO Filmpack.
I loaded updates yesterday afternoon to the software I use for B&W photographs. I had no plans to go out so a good time for a quick test.
The old Russell house in Charleston, SC.