Category Archives: Shooting A Grand Old House

Shooting An Old Charleston House

Here is a 4 AM project.

The logical thing to do at that hour is pack a bag, a little coffee, and head out for sunrise and early marsh shoots. Today, it was 74 (F) degrees all night, this afternoon around 100(F).

DxO Filmpack software has a few features I wanted to try so I’m staying right here. Most people use NIK SilverEfex for B&W work, I do too. However Filmpack is owned by the same company and has similar tools.

Shooting An Old Charleston House - Monochrome
Shooting An Old Charleston House – Monochrome

These are from a Charleston 1800’s planters home. The perfect place for B&W.

Shooting An Old Charleston House - Monochrome
Shooting An Old Charleston House – Monochrome
Shooting An Old Charleston House - Monochrome
Shooting An Old Charleston House – Monochrome

I guess these are the happy home owners from 200 years ago.

Shooting An Old Charleston House - Monochrome
Shooting An Old Charleston House – Monochrome

Two Old Charleston Churches

The other day was the first time I was able to walk behind these two landmarks. They share a back iron gate that is always locked. This day it was open.

St. Johns Lutheran 1734

The front of the building is magnificent too. Like much of Charleston everything is close quarters and hard to photograph. It’s an old town. The back graveyard here gave me a whole new perspective.

St. Johns Lutheran, Charleston
St. Johns Lutheran, Charleston
St. Johns Lutheran, Charleston
St. Johns Lutheran, Charleston

Unitarian Church in Charleston 1772

Behind this church it is impossible to photograph. It’s a jungle, by design. Their graveyard is old trees, thick bushes, and benches to rest on…all off an old alley.

Unitarian Church, Charleston
Unitarian Church, Charleston
Unitarian Church, Charleston
Unitarian Church, Charleston

Charleston has a large number of churches sitting side by side. Shared graveyards is also common.

With the except of one, the church graveyards have been full for centuries. The old Magnolia Cemetery we shoot came to be as there was no other burial places except at the plantations on the edge of town. In the 1850’s a yellow fever pandemic hit Charleston and the idea of cemeteries, not church yards started. I would call this useless trivia, but that’s the kind of ‘stuff’ floating around my head.

Manigault House Foyer

Joseph Manigault was the richest of the rich at one time. Charleston was the wealthiest town in the US, Manigault the wealthiest person in town.

In 1803 this huge two story chandelier hanging within the circular stairs certainly made a statement.

Manigault House
Manigault House

In a town of beautiful old manor houses this home may be the most impressive.

Charleston, South Carolina.

Architectural Folly, 1803

Something I learned the other day after shooting this old house, an ‘Architectural Folly’. A building created for decorative purposes only.

Architectural Folly.
Architectural Folly.

That description fits the gate house (almost) perfectly. Here it was basically a person with too much money. This was 1803 !

I say almost perfect because in 1920 the property was sold off for the site of a new fangled thing called a Gas Station. Old tires were stored in the gate house.

The property was saved and is now a National Historic Site. We now know the house is another type of perfect, a Federal style building with the largest cantilever free standing staircase in North America.

Manigault House, Charleston, South Carolina.

 

In Sepia, Old Charleston Great House

I didn’t plan on these three photographs from the other day. More of an experiment on sepia monochrome architecture shots.

One thing lead to another shot, and finally three before I stopped.

In Sepia, Old Charleston Great House
In Sepia, Old Charleston Great House

All images captured in the Joseph Manigault  House, Charleston. Built in 1803 it is one of two National Historic sites in town that have the early 19th century circular stair cases.

In Sepia, Old Charleston Great House
In Sepia, Old Charleston Great House
In Sepia, Old Charleston Great House
In Sepia, Old Charleston Great House

This home was out of range of the northern canons during the civil war, survived the large fires, and even the huge 1886 earthquake.

However in the late 1940’s this house was empty, the gardens gone, and (gasp) the Exxon Corp. was building a gas station here. The Charleston Historical Society formed and bought the property at the last minute.

 

By Candle Light, Again

A few days ago I published music stand photographs from an old Charleston home. All children in the wealthy families learned instruments. Click here to see the first music stand.

Visiting a different old house I spotted this in the corner of an entrance way.

By Candle Light, Again
By Candle Light, Again

Again candles provided light to the sheet music.

Both homes were from the early 1800’s owned by Charleston planters and traders.

 

Playing By Candle Light

A small, but important detail.

When shooting in the old manor houses my first thought is to go wide. Get as much in a frame as possible. While it makes for interesting historical images, things can be easily missed.

Like this.

Playing By Candle Light
Playing By Candle Light

A music stand was next to the old harp. I spotted the iron candle holder. It makes perfect sense, there was no other light to read music by.

Playing By Candle Light
Playing By Candle Light
Playing By Candle Light
Playing By Candle Light

It’s so easy not to see the small details.

Charleston, South Carolina.