Monthly Archives: January 2010

From a Saturday Outing

I belong to the Carolina Nature Photographers Association. This past Saturday (23rd) some of us in the Myrtle Beach Region took a little trip into Charleston and then to Folly Beach to photograph the Morris Island Lighthouse. 

This is St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston.  St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, a National Historic Landmark, houses the oldest congregation in South Carolina and was the first Anglican church established south of Virginia. This church is the third building to house the congregation.




Morris Island lighthouse stands all alone about 300 yards off shore from the island of Folly
Beach. It can be viewed from the northeast end of Folly Island and from the bridge coming on to Folly Beach.
The Morris Island lighthouse is now completely surrounded by water but was once sitting on a good sized island with numerous buildings around it. The lighthouse was completed in 1876 and was the second lighthouse to be built on the island.
In the 1700s there were three islands that stretched for four miles between Folly Island and Sullivan’s Island. They were named Middle Bay Island, Morrison Island, and Cummings Point. The first Charleston lighthouse was built on Middle Bay Island in 1767. The lighthouse was designed by Samuel Cardy and built by Adam Miller and Thomas Young. The tower was cylindrical and stood 102 feet tall. The lantern room had a revolving lamp that had a range of about 12 miles. In 1858 a Fresnel lens was installed.
In the early 1800s the channel leading to Charleston began to shift causing a change in the tidal currents. Sand began to build up between the islands and this resulted in the three islands merging into a single island. Since Morrison Island was the central of the three earlier islands, the now single island was called Morrison Island. Later the name was shortened to Morris Island.
The first Charleston lighthouse continued to provide service up to the Civil War. In 1861 the fleeing Confederate soldiers blew up the lighthouse so northern troops could not use it.
Following the civil war, in 1873, Congress appropriated money for the rebuilding of the Morris Island Lighthouse (then referred to as the Charleston Main Light). The lighthouse was completed in 1876 approximately 400 yards from the earlier tower. It stood 161 feet tall and was patterned after the Bodie Light of the Outer Banks in North Carolina. It even used the same paint scheme as a day mark – black and white horizontal stripes. There were a total of 15 buildings on the island besides the lighthouse tower. Included in these were the keeper’s quarters, various outbuildings, and a one-room schoolhouse (the school teacher came over from the mainland on Monday, taught the children during the week and returned to the mainland on Friday).
Toward the end of the 1800s the channel had again shifted, but this time the change threatened the Charleston Harbor. In order to keep the channel open several jetties had to be built. These were completed in 1889. Although the channel into Charleston was saved, the changing tidal currents resulting from the jetties caused severe erosion on Morris Island. The island began to shrink. By 1938 many of the buildings were destroyed and others moved. The light was automated in 1938 and the Fresnel lens was removed.

Since 1938 over 1600 feet of land surrounding the tower has been lost. Today it stands alone, completely surrounded by water. In 1962 the Sullivan’s Island lighthouse was built to replace the Morris Island Light, which was decommissioned. The U.S. Coast Guard had plans to demolish the tower but petitions from local residents saved the structure. The Coast Guard built an underground steel wall around the tower to protect it from further erosion damage. The lighthouse is now privately owned and efforts are underway to preserve the Morris Island Light.

The Morris Island Coalition – 
www.morrisisland.org – is working hard to protect Morris Island. The Morris Island Lighthouse Project –www.savethelight.org – is working to preserve and restore the lighthouse. Please visit their sites and learn much more about the rich history of Morris Island.

Directions: The Morris Island Lighthouse can best be seen from the northeast end of Folly Beach. Take East Ashley Street until it ends. There is a parking lot there and then it is about a 1/4 mile walk to the beach. 

Click on each photo to see a larger version!







Posted in Charleston, CNPA, Folly Beach, inlet images, lighthouse, Morris Island Lighthouse, South Carolina

PDF Creator 0.9.9

Another non-photo related post but one that has some good info for you!


PDF Creator allows you to use a “virtual printer” to “print” things to PDFs rather than actual printed documents. It is a must-have utility and I recommend that everybody use it. The software will work on any program that has the ability to print (document editor, browser, etc.)


This software has been at version 0.9.8 seemingly forever, but now there’s 0.9.9 which has notable improvements. I downloaded it and it works great!


Important note: If you’re using PDF Creator now, you will have to uninstall the old version first and reboot before installing 0.9.9. Yes, it’s a pain, but it’s worth it for this software because it’s that good.


Oh – the best part – it’s FREE. You can safely download it HERE!


During installation it will want to install a “toolbar” but you can opt out of that, just follow the instructions.

Posted in Uncategorized

Matting Photography with Picture Frames the Correct Way

Picture frames do so much more to photographs than just make them look nice they protect them, show off their beauty, make them into decorative accessories for the home,and more.  You can always be sure that no matter what size photo, what size frame you have or what size wall you need to put it on that there are professionals out there who can transform a horrible looking photograph into an incredible piece of artwork.  There are also many tips you can follow to accomplish that same task on your own.

In a raw sense, the act of using picture frames is basically to use as archival storage on display.  You should always be sure that you use a mat board to provide a solid backing for your project.  This of course serves as a layer of protection for it.  It also makes the task of framing easier and more workable too.  Attach the photograph to the board using acid free, photo safe stickers or tape, being careful to use those products that are also self adhesive.  Luckily you can find entire framing kits in many hobby and photo stores that include the mat board, the photo corners and adhesive and the frame everything you need for your project except the photo.

You will also want to include an additional piece of matting for the top of the photograph to support around the edges.  This not only protects the edges and makes the project more sturdy but it also serves as a really attractive border for the photo itself.  Be sure that whether you are looking for adhesive, glazing, matting or anything else to go with your photograph project that everything is photo safe and acid free, because not everything is.  Even products that are made for photos are not all acid free so be sure to do your homework and look at the packaging to make sure that there is no acid.  With time, acid slowly eats and dissolves photographic material, which would be a devastating end to a really nice project.  Most of the good quality mat board has an alkaline feature to them to neutralize any acid that might be present, and although these are a bit more expensive the cost is well worth it.

The glazing that is used in your picture frames can be plastic, glass or acrylic.  This is the final front seal that can protect the photo from environmental hazards and contaminants like dust, dirt, and direct sunlight so be sure to use it in your picture frames.

Posted in Uncategorized

Look who I found…

on Artfire!
Just this afternoon I found Theresa of Tak Unique Jewelry Designs! This very talented jewelry artist has some very wonderful designs. For example:

and then there is this one:
Theresa’s passion is handcrafting beautiful and unique jewelry with genuine gemstones and high quality findings.
You owe yourself the favor of checking out her shop SOON!



Posted in bracelet, gemstones, Jewelry, Kentucky, necklace

How to Buy a Tripod

Buying a tripod can be a trial in itself…do you go for the savings, or the investment or what. Just what should you be looking for?
1. Weight – you, or someone else, will be carrying the tripod. You will want to consider its weight and bulkiness. Secondly weight is important as you consider what you’ll be putting on it. If you’re using a small camera with no accessories you’ll not need anything too weighty but if you have a DSLR, use larger lenses and add a flash to it you will probably want to invest in something that will take the weight.
2. Stability – How stable the tripod is means a lot. Depending on the surface that you will be setting it up, and the conditions, and the weight of the camera or camcorder. Test it fully extended to see how stable it is. Will it be sturdy on a windy day? Will it take the knock of someone bumping it on the way past?
3. Type of leg locks – How easily can the legs be locked into place and how secure is that lock. A lot of it comes to personal preference but you will want to ensure that whatever method you choose you pick something that is easy to use and adjust but that will be strong and hold in place with the full weight of your camera on it.
4. Type of head – is it an integrated unit or can it be switched out. There are two main types of tripod heads:
ball and socket – these are great in terms of flexibility and moving your camera around but I personally find them a little bit too fiddley. They are very smooth though and have a very nice feel to them.
pan and tilt – these are great for locking into position and are generally more affordable. They are not quite as fluid to move around and take a little getting used to use but I quite like them. Tripod heads can either be bought with a tripod as a complete set or separately.
5. Height – Depending upon the type of photography you do, your height requirements will be different. Think ahead about the maximum height you’ll need but also when testing a tripod see how it operates at it’s minimum and how big it is when it’s all folded up (portability). Attempt to get a tripod that has a maximum height that you can look into without having to bend (there’s nothing worse than a full day of leaning over to check the framing of your shots).
Posted in Camera phone, inlet images, tripod

Nexus One

Google has officially announced its Nexus One smartphone, which has a large touch-sensitive screen and a 5-megapixel camera on board. The slim phone, which was unveiled at Google’s Mountain view headquarters, runs Google’s own Android operating system. The Nexus One handset, which features a 3.7” AMOLED display with 800×480 pixels, microSD card compatibility and a 5-megapixel auto focus camera with a LED flash, will be sold via Google’s website. The unlocked version costs $530. As to the camera part, it has a fixed focal-length lens that can focus down to 6cm, provides the user with an opportunity to geotag their photos using information from the built-in AGPS receiver, and can also shoot movies at a resolution of 720×480 pixels and a frame rate of at least 20fps.


Read more here


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Posted in Camera phone, geotag, Google

In The News

OK, thus far this blog has focused on things photographic and left the politics to others. But just this morning I ran across this “gem” and it really got my blood boiling. I think this is absolute B.S. But that’s just my opinion. You read, you decide.

Taken from the Washington Examiner ; Obama gives Interpol Free Hand in U.S.

Right before the holidays, Barack Obama issued an executive order that didn’t receive any press. There was no statement or press briefing, only an announcement on the White House website. President Obama’s Executive Order 12425, “Amending Executive Order 12425 Designating Interpol as a public international organization entitled to enjoy certain privileges, exemptions, and immunities.”

Essentially what this means is that this international law enforcement agency can operate here in America without any regard for our laws and Constitution. It is impervious to our own FBI and it is immune from the Freedom of Information Act. This international law enforcement entity will have full law-enforcement capabilities without any of the checks.

Comments welcome.

Posted in Uncategorized

New Gallery

New Gallery added to my website. Take a look at my “Abstract” gallery. Click the slideshow button!

Posted in Uncategorized