Why People Love to Visit Charleston in the Spring
Foggy mornings and overcast skies didn’t stop us from capturing the picturesque beauty of Charleston and the stunning gardens close by. With tripods over our shoulders, the handful of photographers pictured at the end of this story covered a lot of ground with expert guides. We spent two and a half days, sunrise to sunset, with Kate Silvia and Kenneth McKeithan and along the way discovered why people love to visit Charleston in the spring.
Live oaks and azaleas at Magnolia Gardens
People love to visit Magnolia Cemetary for many reasons. Ghost tours enthusiasts go there for the “Spirits of Magnolia Cemetary Tour.” History buffs go there to see the magnificent tombstones of notable interments. Others go there to contemplate the elegant surroundings. But photographers go there for beautiful compositions.
Azalea and camelia blossoms compliment wrought iron fenses and tombstones. Magnolia Cemetery is why people love to visit Charleston in the spring.
Folly Beach is stunning even with clouds rolling in. We captured the pastel colors of overcast skies reflected on the ocean at sunrise and sunset.
Folly Beach at sunrise is why people love to visit Charleston in the spring.
Folly Beach at sunset is another reason why people love to visit Charleston in the spring.
Waterfront Park is enchanting and mysterious on mornings when sea fog blankets the area.
Waterfront Park shrouded in mist is another reason why people love to visit Charleston in the spring.
When the fog lifts, Charleston displays iconic springtime glory.
Wisteria bursting through fenses…morning carriage rides… cobblestone streets…dappled sunlight around every corner…well…you get the picture.
Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge
Visitors and locals love walking and biking along Wonder’s Way, the 2.7-mile bike and pedestrian path on the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. On clear days, the views reach from Folly Beach to the Isle of Palms. It’s every photographer’s dream to capture twilight from the bridge. The rays of sunlight from below the horizon paint the whole sky in magnificent shades of lapis lazuli. But the day we were there, overcast skies returned and we focused our cameras on the beautiful contours and cable-stayed sails of the bridge from the ground.
Kate and Kenny provided invaluable guidance concerning composition, settings, post-processing of the images, and the importance of using a tripod, no more blurry images! After leading field trips together for years, they form a powerful base of knowledge on everything about photography. In addition to the places highlighted here, they took us to Shem Creek Park and Cypress Gardens, stories of their own that will be published soon on Travel Notes and Storytelling.
About Kenny McKeithan
Almost completely self-taught, Kenny McKeithan has 30 years of experience in photography, photo finishing and possesses. His passion for photography began as a child when his parents bought him his first box camera. As a teen, he began working for local photo retailers and eventually left there to teach others. Eager to share his wealth of knowledge, Kenny provides hands-on workshops in the field. He trains locally and in 4 to 5-day outings in North Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Florida. He is an award-winning nature photographer and also has favorite photos in aviation, fashion, glamour, and portraiture. His images have appeared in Charleston Magazine, Art Mag, Camera in the Wild, Where Magazine. Kenny is the owner of The Charleston Center for Photography, a native to the Lowcountry, he grew up on James Island and currently lives in Summerville S.C.
Charleston Center for Photography
2021 workshop schedule
Kenny McKeithan Photography
“My greatest fear is that, when I die, my wife will sell all of my camera gear for what I told her it cost!” – Kenny McKeithan
About Kate Silvia
Kate Silvia is a professional landscape photographer, author, videographer, field guide, and instructor based in Charleston, S.C. Her field trips, educational blog, and YouTube Tutorials are popular among all levels of aspiring photographers. Kate’s accomplishments are numerous. She has images published in Landscape Photographer, Nature Photographers Network, Aquarium Fish, Nature Photographer, Camera in the Wild, and NANPA’s Expressions. She’s produced streaming video workshops for NIK Software, Photoshop, and Creative Post Processing. Her E-Books include “Composition For The Landscape Photographer” and “The Nature Photographer’s Guide to Greater Charleston.” Kate writes regularly for the Visual Wilderness blog and produces full-length educational videos for all aspects of landscape photography.
“It’s all about helping others become better photographers.” – Kate Silvia
Sony a7III and Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master lens. Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 lens for a few shots of the mansions along E. Bay Street. Really Right Stuff TVC-34L, carbon fiber tripod, very light until I attached the BH-55 ball head. This ball head is a little heavy but very stable with a heavy lens, even on windy days.
The Francis Marion Hotel is a legend, named after famed Revolutionary War hero, Francis Marion (the Swamp Fox), and designated in Historic Hotels of America. It’s where I enjoyed short respites in between photography sessions and dinner at the Swamp Fox Restaurant. Fried Okra with Fresno Chili Oil and Chèvre Goat cheese is my favorite appetizer on their extensive menu of classic southern cuisine.
Go to my Gallery to see more alluring images of Charleston in the spring.
For another story about Charleston see Checking Up on Downtown Charleston.
One of the joys of photography is spending time with talented people, each with their own creative interpretations. Thank you all for your contributions and to Kenny and Kate for your expert guidance.
Learning photography with the experts is a great way to learn quickly and share information with fellow photographers. With photography experts Kate Silvia and Kenny McKeithan, we covered a lot of ground in two and a half days. Whew! It was a fast pace, but we were learning the whole way. This current story covers all but two of the locations, the rest will follow soon.
You never know what the weather will do and this tour was no exception. We were lined up for sunrises and sunsets, especially on the beach, Ravenel Bridge, and Shem Creek Park. Cloud cover dogged us on every occasion. Nevertheless, as travelers and photographers, we continued on our journey and adjusted as needed. For photographers, it’s important to avoid the harsh sunlight of midday, and we worked around it. We arrived at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens as soon as it opened at 9:00 am and beat the harsh sun and the crowds. Our guides arranged the perfect schedule for the following locations, all reasons why people love Charleston in the Spring.
- Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
- Magnolia Cemetary
- Folly Beach
- Waterfront Park
- Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge
- Shem Creek Park in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
- Cypress Gardens in Moncks Corner, S.C.