Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Rainbow chase with Julia

Julia and I were on our way home from dinner in downtown Charleston when I pointed out the towering rain clouds we were heading into. "But it's OK because rain makes things grow," she said. Very true. A bit later, after it briefly poured, she said, "Look at that rainbow!" Thinking it was a lame, partial rainbow, I casually glanced to the sky opposite the sun and saw a brilliant, distinctive, complete double rainbow.
We stopped first at the closest open area: a Lowe's parking lot. I snapped photos with my phone. But it faded, and we drove home as I noted the mini rainbows in the mist kicked up by moving cars' tires. I talked about Roy G. Biv, but Julia already knew all the rainbow colors in the correct order. Can't tell her nothing.
Then we pulled into my community and saw another, though somewhat faint rainbow. Julia enjoyed the ride as I drove onto the raised sidewalk and took pictures.
She posed for a photo near the house. "Too bad I'm squinting," she said.
The rainbow eventually faded again, but Julia came up with a way to make sure it never goes away: She drew a picture with a colorful, full rainbow and the two of us, side by side, enjoying the view.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Severe thunderstorm over Charleston Harbor

A storm moved over Charleston Harbor early Monday evening, bringing lightning that was frequent at times. This was the view from Patriots Point.

A cargo ship floated under the bridge as lightning crawled through the sky above it.

Like most storms here in South Carolina, this one fizzled out as it neared the coast. Here's what was left of the gust front.

Made up of nine images, this panoramic view shows the bridge, a harbor tour vessel and the U.S.S. Yorktown, the museum ship at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Front-row seat to Charleston Harbor fireworks on the Fourth

Carrie, Julia and I visited some friends on the Fourth for some food, swimming and fireworks in downtown Charleston.
  Those friends and their friends live within walking distance from Charleston Harbor, over which the fireworks were shot.

So we walked to the Maritime Center, where a concrete pier juts into the water.
The crowd of spectators was manageable.
So, we got a clear view across the harbor.
The fireworks were blasted from the Mount Pleasant side of the harbor, giving people over there a slightly better view.
But we had some children who don't like loud noises, so a little distance was a good thing.
The only concern was that the little ones would tumble over the side of the pier because it did not have a railing at parts.
But some local firefighters were there watching the display from the pier as well, so any child overboard would have been rescued promptly.
As for the steady barrage of fireworks, they were pretty cool.

Some other towns' displays were visible in the distance.
I used a zoom lens set to about 70mm and oriented vertically to get some shots.
I used the tripod I got for Christmas (replacement for the one that was stolen) and a wired trigger to eliminate some blurriness.
After the show, we moved out quickly. But I took a second to get one quick shot of the pyrotechnics smoke wafting over the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. The show organizers were criticized last year because some people couldn't see the fireworks from Mount Pleasant's Patriots Point. So, they moved the origin spot. Unfortunately, that made the angle such that I couldn't get any of the fireworks in the same shot as the bridge. Bummer there, but it was a stellar show regardless.