05.12.19: Church at sunrise

Looking east on Broad Street toward Michael's Church at sunrise, Charleston, S.C.


Technical information

Feb. 19, 2017,
6:29 a.m.

32°46'34.999" N 79°55'55.999" W
(Show in Google Maps)

Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Canon EF-S 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 (22mm)


.6 second


This photo of the week is a bit of an oddity. It’s a scene captured  — unplanned — on my way to a shot I planned that also became a photo of the week.

My wife and I visited Charleston, S.C., in February 2017. I knew before we arrived that I wanted to get a shot of a sunrise behind the Pineapple Fountainthe focal point of Charleston’s Waterfront Park along the Cooper River that has become one of the city’s most popular sites since it opened in 1990.

So the second morning in Charleston I left my hotel room well before sunrise to walk to Waterfront Park to set up for the shot.

A few blocks from the hotel I saw the steeple of Michael’s Church, illuminated by spotlights against a pre-sunrise deep blue sky. Broad Street was empty and streetlamp were lighting the fronts of old buildings along the road.

I thought the scene looked interesting so I set up the camera on a tripod to grab a long exposure shot.

Just as I was ready to open the shutter I heard a rather fast-moving car approaching from behind me, heading east on Broad Street. So I opened the shutter just as the car was ready to enter the scene, knowing that the taillights would add a red streak through the lower portion of the photo and hoping the headlights would add to the illumination on the building fronts.

When I reviewed the photo on the camera’s display I liked the colors and lighting, but I also liked the small-town look and feel it created.

I also noticed that the horizon was getting brighter and I still had five more blocks to go before I reached the Pineapple Fountain. So I picked up my gear and hurried to the waterfront.

Each week I will post a photo from my collection with an explanation of how I got the shot. Previous photos of the week are in the archives.