Category Archives: Shooting A Grand Old House

1808 – Black And White

A grand old house in black and white.

Charleston, South Carolina.

1808 - Black And White
1808 – Black And White

The original purpose of the visit was to photograph the grand free standing  three story staircase. However I cannot walk into a piece of history without being in awe, and capturing everything in sight.

Click any image for full screen.

Old Grand House, Charleston

A different look at an old southern grand house. The Russel House built in 1809.

Old Grand House, Charleston
Old Grand House, Charleston
Old Grand House, Charleston
Old Grand House, Charleston

When we visit, and shoot these old homes there are many restrictions. No external lighting, tripods, or even where we can walk/stand. That said bring a few memory cards, different lens, and you can build a complete library of photographs.

 

 

 

The Boudoir – Monochrome

I believe this was for the lady of the house, 1809.

The Boudoir - Monochrome
The Boudoir – Monochrome
The Boudoir - Monochrome
The Boudoir – Monochrome

I used various settings shooting here having no clue what would actually work.

The room was tall, and narrow making a wide shot difficult.

The Boudoir - Monochrome
The Boudoir – Monochrome

This room was shot using 18mm and 24mm lens.

Russel House, Charleston

Like many of the older Charleston homes the Nathaniel Russel House sits behind a high wall, hedges, and other buildings. Getting a full frontal image is usually not possible.

Russel House, Charleston
Russel House, Charleston

Once inside the gate here you can finally get a good view.

This is a tall building, and unique since it was built in 1809.

Russel House, Charleston
Russel House, Charleston

One of the important things about Charleston architecture is the small details. Plantations, and unfortunately the slave trade made people extremely wealthy. Each of the old homes in this town were as much art work as houses. World famous artisans worked here, the residents spent fortunes. Until the US Civil War, that changed everything.

Russel House, Charleston
Russel House, Charleston

These houses have almost all had heavy renovations, canon balls make big holes.

Russel House, Charleston
Russel House, Charleston

Only a fraction of the original homes remain now. After the war this town was empty and destroyed. Only the big buildings at the end of the peninsula were untouched, they were out of range of the ships guns.

Charleston was spared a complete burn, even though it had been ordered. Being the scene of the first state to secede and the first battle of the Civil War it was not a popular place with the Union military.  The battles turned inland and rather than destroy the town it was occupied.

 

Using Outside Light On The Stairs

Images from the Nathaniel Russel House, Charleston, South Carolina.

Using Outside Light
Using Outside Light

The staircase is elliptical, giving it a graceful look as it rises throughout the buildings main core. It rises three stories. Built in 1809 makes it even more impressive.

Using Outside Light
Using Outside Light

The second floor windows over look The Scots First Presbyterian church yard.

Using Outside Light
Using Outside Light

With only small floor lamps around the base of these stairs the ambient light through the windows was used in these photographs.

Using Outside Light
Using Outside Light

This staircase is one of the main reasons the home was inducted into the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

 

A Sitting Room, Charleston

One of the main, first floor, rooms in this house.

A Sitting Room, Charleston
A Sitting Room, Charleston

The building itself in different in size compared many of the same time. Smaller in width, but taller. Three stories high even with the 20 foot ceilings.

A Sitting Room, Charleston
A Sitting Room, Charleston
A Sitting Room, Charleston
A Sitting Room, Charleston

Russel House, Meeting Street, Charleston.