Romare Bearden Park Cityscapes

Named after the Charlotte born African-American artist, Romare Bearden Park opened in in Uptown Charlotte  in August of 2013.   The 5.4 acre public park is located between S Church St and S Mint St.  Bearden worked in several types of media including oils, collages and cartoons across multiple styles from avant-garde, abstract expressionism, and social realism.

Romare Bearden Park Sunset 1
Romare Bearden Park Sunset 1

I approached the park at the end of my late late afternoon stroll through the northeast Uptown district, just as sunset was transitioning into twilight. This series was photographed with my Nikon D750 and Tamron 15-30mm lens, and mefoto tripod. Post processing included initial Lightroom tweaks followed by multiple Photoshop layering workflows using Aurora HDR and Alien Skin Exposure X3.

Romare Bearden Park Twilight 1
Romare Bearden Park Twilight 1
Ghosts in the Fountain at Romare Bearden Park
Ghosts in the Fountain at Romare Bearden Park

To fully appreciate these compositions, click on an image to see the high resolution version from my portfolio site.

Cheers!

C. S.

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Architectural Elements from Uptown Charlotte, part 1

Last week I traveled to Uptown Charlotte for a couple days of business meetings . After work, I found my way to the street and was rewarded with many composition opportunities. Here’s the first in series street photos featuring architectural abstracts.

City Skyline Sunset Abstract
City Skyline Sunset Abstract
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center Abstract
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center Abstract
Bank of America Center Sunset Abstract
Bank of America Center Sunset Abstract
Old Southern Bell Building Art Deco Abstract
Old Southern Bell Building Art Deco Abstract
Old Southern Bell Building Art Deco Abstract
Old Southern Bell Building Art Deco Abstract
North College St Sky Bridge Abstract 1
North College St Sky Bridge Abstract 1
Charlotte First Baptist Church Steeple
Charlotte First Baptist Church Steeple

Thank you for stopping by for a visit. For the best viewing experience, click on an image to see a high resolution version.

Cheers,

C. S.

Uptown Charlotte Epicentre Street Photography

In late April, I met my oldest son Austin in Charlotte to attend a University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Delta Sigma Phi fraternity event in Uptown (I’m also a Delta Sig, but from NC State). We rode the light rail from the University of the UNCC station to the Arena Station in Uptown. From there we walked through the Epicentre area to our destination on Trade and Tryon Streets. Of course, I was in the rear capturing these street photos along the way.

Arena Station Exterior Composition
Arena Station Exterior Composition
Uptown Charlotte Epicentre Street Composition 1
Uptown Charlotte Epicentre Street Composition 1
Uptown Charlotte Epicentre Street Composition 2
Uptown Charlotte Epicentre Street Composition 2
Uptown Charlotte Epicentre Street Composition 3
Uptown Charlotte Epicentre Street Composition 3
Uptown Charlotte Epicentre Street Composition 4
Uptown Charlotte Epicentre Street Composition 4
Bank of America Center Abstract
Bank of America Center Abstract
Uptown Charlotte Street Musician
Uptown Charlotte Street Musician
Uptown Charlotte Arena Station Composition 1
Uptown Charlotte Arena Station Composition 1

Thanks for checking out this post. To see these image in full effect, click to see a high resolution version from my portfolio site.

Cheers,

C. S.

Canadian Hole: Ridin’ the Wind

Located on the Pamelco Sound side of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Canadian Hole is acknowledged as one of the best windsurfing and kiteboarding locations on the American east coast, if not the world  Returning from a late afternoon visit to the Wright Brothers Memorial, we pulled off Highway 12 between Avon and Buxton to enjoy watching these windsurfers ride the wind.

Canadian Hole Windsurfing 1
Canadian Hole Windsurfing 1
Canadian Hole Windsurfing 2
Canadian Hole Windsurfing 2
Canadian Hole Windsurfing 3
Canadian Hole Windsurfing 3
Canadian Hole Windsurfing Pop Art
Canadian Hole Windsurfing Pop Art
Canadian Hole Windsurfing 4
Canadian Hole Windsurfing 4

Photographed the following day, his last composition features a kiteboarder in the Atlantic Ocean side of Hatteras Island near the city of Hatteras.

Hatteras Kiteboarder Composition
Hatteras Kiteboarder Composition

In our campground in Fresco, I met a gentlemen named Gerard from Montreal.  A serious kiteboarder, he was evidence Canadian Hole was indeed discovered by Canadians in the early 1980s. Thanks for stopping by today. Click to see a high resolution version of each image.

Cheers,

C. S.

Monochrome Memorial Day Monday

I especially enjoy the “unveiling” experience when switch a composition from color to black and white. Shapes, textures, lines, patterns and their supporting monochrome tonalities are elevated to a higher-level, often embellishing, or presenting a totally new composition. That was mostly the experience with this series of compositions from a recent visit to my local farmer’s market.

Portulaca Flower Composition
Portulaca Flower Composition

In the image above, I started with a sepia tone look, but quickly found a bit of subtle color was needed to bring alive the red Portulaca flowers. For those who follow my blog, this is one of my common monochrome workflows, which usually ends with a vintage Kodachrome slide film emulation with Alien Skin’s Exposure X3.

Coleus Plant Composition 2
Coleus Plant Composition 2

The Coleus composition above was a noteworthy because of the intense experimentation with red, orange, yellow and green luminosity value combinations. With some patience you can usually enhance patterns and extend the tonal range. This image had the “fattest” histogram of them all.

Juniper Detail Composition
Juniper Detail Composition
Arabis Flower Composition
Arabis Flower Composition
Coleus Plant Composition 1
Coleus Plant Composition 1
Coleus Plant Composition 3
Coleus Plant Composition 3

For the best viewing experience, including really seeing the gorgeous textures in this series, click on an image to see a high resolution version. On this U.S. Memorial Day, I’d like to personally thank my fellow countrymen, and their families, who serve, or have served in our Armed Services.

Cheers!

C. S.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Study, pt 2

For the image below, I patiently waiting about 30 minutes after sunset for the photocell in the lighthouse to finally turned on the lighthouse beacon. Yep, the kerosene lamp and Fresnel lens were replaced back around 1934.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Twilight Composition
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Twilight Composition

The remaining images in this post, along with most in the previous post, were captured the following day when my Scout Troop visited the Cape Hatteras National Seashore park. Because I usually linger to get the best shot, they’ve learned not to wait on me.

Hatteras Lighthouse Spiral Staircase 2
Hatteras Lighthouse Spiral Staircase 2

Because of high winds, I was only able to lean outside the door to the lighthouse balcony. If you look at the image below, along the right side of the horizon line, you can see the breakers along the leading edge of the Diamond Shoals mentioned in the previous post. For a better view of this image, or any other image in this post, click to see a high resolution version.

Hatteras Lighthouse Balcony View - Color
Hatteras Lighthouse Balcony View – Color
Hatteras Lighthouse Window Composition 3
Hatteras Lighthouse Window Composition 3

The steel and wood groin shown below, was a last ditch effort to save the lighthouse. Sand is captured on the updrift side, in this case on the left side, at the expense of lost sand deposits on the right (downdrift) side. No that the Hatteras Lighthouse has been moved further away from the seashore, I wonder if this groin will be removed, or left to deteriorate over time.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Groin Composition 1
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Groin Composition 1
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Groin Composition 2
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Groin Composition 2

Thank you for stopping by today. If you liked these images, be sure to checkout the previous Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Study post.

Cheers,

C. S.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Study, pt 1

At 210 ft tall, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest brick lighthouse in the United States, and second tallest in the world. Just off the cape, the warmer Gulf Stream collides with the colder Labrador Current creating shifting sandbars and powerful ocean storms. The resulting Diamond Shoals and surrounding areas have claimed over 5000 ships and countless lives.

Hatteras Lighthouse Sandscape
Hatteras Lighthouse Sandscape

Since 1871, in it’s second incarnation, the lighthouse has helped mariners navigate around these treacherous waters. By the 1990s however, the encroaching sea was just 15 feet, (4.6 m) from the lighthouse foundation. In 1999, the structure was moved 2,990 ft (880 m) and is now 1,500 ft, (460 m) from the current shoreline.

Hatteras Double Keepers' Quarters Composition
Hatteras Double Keepers’ Quarters Composition

During my exploration and study of the lighthouse interior, I sent members of my Scout party ahead with direction not to wait on me. I intended to use two legs of my tripod along with the wall or railing to squeeze out a few additional stops of depth of field. Unfortunately, tripods are not allowed inside the lighthouse. Keeping my ISO between 800 and 1200, I was able to get satisfactory captures with my Tamron 15mm-30mm wide angle at f2.8.

Hatteras Lighthouse Spiral Staircase 1
Hatteras Lighthouse Spiral Staircase 1
Hatteras Lighthouse Window Composition 1
Hatteras Lighthouse Window Composition 1
Hatteras Lighthouse Window Composition 2
Hatteras Lighthouse Window Composition 2

I have several additional compositions from Cape Hatteras to share in my next post. Click on an image to see the high resolution versions of this iconic structure. Have a great week!

Cheers,

C. S.

Yellow Thistle Shop of Horrors

When I first encountered these Yellow thistle plants near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, I was immediately reminded of the “Audrey II”, the alien man-eating plant from The Little Shop of Horrors movie.  The plant is a contradiction of exotic beauty and menacing horror. 

Yellow Thistle Monochrome 1
Yellow Thistle Monochrome 1 – Thistle Landscape

Interestingly, the Yellow Thistle’s genus- species name is Cirsium horridulum.  In several states, Cirsium are considered noxious weeds, while others states have designated it as an endangered or threatened species.

Yellow Thistle Color 1
Yellow Thistle Color 1 – Looking at You

In my state of North Carolina, the thistle is relatively common in the coastal plains and is know to initially flourish were the ground has recently been disturbed.  Over time, the thistle gives way to other plants who establish themselves with permanence.  I found evidence of this with numerous thistles thriving along the 2,900 foot strip of land where in 1999, the lighthouse was moved inland away from the encroaching sea.

Yellow Thistle Monochrome 2
Yellow Thistle Monochrome 2 – Alien Encounter
Yellow Thistle Color 2
Yellow Thistle Color 2 – Audrey II

Thanks for “sticking” around for this post! To best appreciate the prickly detail in these thistles, click on an image to view the high resolution version.

Cheers,

C. S.