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Brookgreen Gardens Nights Of A Thousand Candles 2014, Brookgreen Gardens: 13 December 2014   no comments

Posted at 2:19 am in Uncategorized

I got to Brookgreen a bit later than I had planned this year, and so did not hit all the spots I usually hit, but it was still a very nice evening out in the cold and lights. Actually, the weather was relatively moderate compared to some prior years -- I was able to hold my camera and adjust the controls without my fingers going numb. There is still an official ban on tripods, and I decided this year I wouldn't go for much in the way of "set the camera on something and do a time exposure" shots, so I cranked the ISO way up and took what I got, so I have to admit I've gotten better shots in previous years. I did play around with the in-camera HDR setting, and that's where some of the freaky green-lit exposures come from. Sometimes it did quite a good job of capturing both the lights and normal objects, and sometimes it didn't (I haven't used those spoiled shots here, obviously).

Getting in was a little quicker this year as they did not bring back the suboptimal secondary dirt road route they tried last year, although there was still quite a jam on US-17 (where I witnessed a fender-bender just as I finally got waved through). You still have three more chances to catch the lights this year on 18 December, 19 December and 20 December, and you really should if you are anywhere near the area.

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Brookgreen Gardens Harvest Home Weekend, Brookgreen Gardens: 5 October 2014   no comments

Posted at 12:32 am in Uncategorized




It's a few months until the candles, but what better way to spend a gorgeous Fall weekend than out in the sun at Brookgreen Gardens Harvest Home Weekend? You can build a scarecrow, paint a pumpkin, make a birdfeeder, see butterflies up close and personal, gawk at extroverted otters and cruise past basking alligators.

If you don't happen to have children in tow, you could even look at some sculpture,

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Brookgreen Gardens Nights Of A Thousand Candles 2013, Brookgreen Gardens: 21 December 2013   2 comments

Posted at 12:29 am in closing


























"Some Pig!"













This years' was the warmest Nights of 1000 Candles I've ever been to. In past years, there have been times when I have been so cold that I couldn't feel the buttons on the camera, but this year was not just mild: We're talking bikini weather here (though even so attired, you would still have on more clothes than most of the statuary..).

In years past, I have either taken a tripod (now disallowed) or set the camera on something for long time exposures. This year, I just cranked the ISO up to 16000, 32000 and sometimes 64000 to see how things would come out. Obviously the results aren't as pristine as some in the past, but despite all the high-ISO noise, I think you get the general spirit. If you've never gone, well, it's too late for this year, but you should make some plans for next.

UPDATE 5 December 2023: Update post title & tags, add map icon.

Vocal Edition Christmas Medley, Brookgreen Gardens: 22 December 2012   no comments

Posted at 2:36 am in closing

Brookgreen Gardens Nights Of A Thousand Candles 2012: 22 December 2012   no comments

Posted at 1:38 am in closing

I went down to see the Gardens last weekend (the 15th) and ended up getting rained out, so I took a daytrip back yesterday.

This was neither the warmest nor the coldest of the Candles events I've been to, but it was cold enough that I had trouble feeling the smaller camera controls with frigid fingers..

I didn't take my tripod this year. They were disallowed last year, and while I didn't see any verbiage one way or another this time, I decided I would do more handheld shots at high-ISO rather than try to get a lot of long exposures. (Though I did set the camera on various rests to get some). That is preface to say there is a good bit more noise than previous picture sets, but there are still some nice ones.

They went all out in the exhibit room with electric trains this year -- possibly the most iconic Christmas present for boys of a certain age. The room had that immediately identifiable ozone smell from the working transformers and small hot engines as well as the unique sounds of O-27 trains (there were other guages as well). I've still got a set up in the attic -- I ought to take it out and set it up some time.

If you liked this set, there are others: 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008.

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Brookgreen Gardens Nights Of A Thousand Candles: 3 December 2011   1 comment

Posted at 9:51 pm in closing

Well, it seems to me I got better pictures last year, but I had a good time as usual at Brookgreen Gardens Nights Of 1000 Candles last Saturday. The weather was nice -- I didn't have to zip my jacket or put on gloves, and the lights were as spectacular as usual.

If you will be in the vicinity of Murrells Inlet on 9, 10, 16, 17 or 18 December this year, you should definitely stop by and check it out!

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Brookgreen Gardens Nights Of A Thousand Candles 2010, Brookgreen Gardens: 3 December 2010   2 comments

Posted at 11:45 pm in closing

Brookgreen Gardens Nights Of A Thousand Candles: 11 December 2009   3 comments

Posted at 12:24 am in closing

Well, I suppose it's a bit of a cheat to do a closing for an event that will repeat this weekend, but hey, it's a closing for the 11 December viewing date only.

If you can make it to the coast this weekend (17th, 18th or 19th) the show is well worth your time. The gardens are lit as you see, and there are singers, bagpipers, food and drink.

I took my tripod with me this year, set the aperture to f2.0, the ISO to 80 and let the camera set whatever exposure it liked. Often it worked quite well, other times not so much (these are some of the ones I think did OK). The long exposures mean you can see blurs for people walking by in some pictures. It was supposed to be much warmer on the 12th than the 11th, but it was also supposed to rain, so I went out on the colder night. It wasn't too bad except when I was trying to feel the little buttons on the camera and could not find them at all in some cases!

It's all pictures after the jump.

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2008 Brookgreen Gardens Nights Of A Thousand Candles: 20 December 2008   no comments

Posted at 7:03 pm in closing

Brookgreen Gardens is the famous sculpture garden established by Ann Hyatt Huntington just below Murrells Inlet in the 1930s. It has changed a lot the early days. For one thing the old style zoo with animals in concrete, steel-barred cages is long since reformed, for another it is no longer in the boonies, accessible from the South only by ferry, but is in the heart of a bustling tourist mecca.

I think that on the whole, the park organization has managed the change well while staying true to the Gardens' heritage. One of their most recent innovations is the holiday Nights of 1000 Candles which frames the Gardens' statuary and pools with light (candle and otherwise) and provides entertainment and dining among the magic settings.

These pictures were taken on the middle weekend of this year's Nights, Friday 12 December. The night was cold, though not as cold as two years ago and the skies were clear with a full moon. In the past, I have tried shooting ISO 800 film at the event with mixed results. Since I was happy with the way a lot of the 2008 State Fair closing-cam night shots turned out, I decided to try that this year. Some shots were interesting, but on the whole the results were fairly unimpressive: Neon is a lot better light than candles and pinlights. I've got a Panasonic DMC-LX3S to put under my tree this Christmas -- perhaps I'll try that next year.

Photos follow the jump.

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