This adventure has taken us to the heart of South Carolina’s Holiday cheer!
To anyone who knows me or has spent the slightest amount of time around me during the holiday season would know that Christmas is my all time favorite holiday! And I found a spot in Myrtle Beach South Carolina that took my holiday breath away!
Now what also took my breathe away was the hassle it was to just get to the gardens! From where we are camping the event was 18 miles away, so you have to think about a 25 minute car ride…there abouts. It took me THREE hours to go 18 miles! Had I not been so hell bent on going, purchased the tickets a head of time and was three miles away when traffic really started to get bad, I would have thrown in the towel long before. It was only the last mile did I really start getting irritated with the fact that I could have parked on the side of the road and walked and gotten there faster.
I will say that the wait was well worth it once I arrived. Night of a Thousand Candles is a holiday light show that is unlike any I have seen before! I have seen some Christmas light shows but this one topped them all! The show is held in Brookefield Gardens, the gardens themselves are exquisite but when you add thousands upon thousands of Christmas lights to it and they become awe inspiring. Not only did this Christmas light show have Christmas lights for days but they also had something else that, in my opinion, set it apart from the other Christmas light shows I have seen. They have 5,500 hand lit candles scattered throughout the entire garden!
Lining pathways, floating on ponds and fountains, hanging from globes in the trees and hanging from posts dug into the ground in large fields. Every where you looked there was candles! I heard one of the volunteers talking to a visiting couple about the time that is put into just hanging the lights. They start hanging lights in September! Can you imagine starting to hang Christmas lights in September and not see the full fruits of your labor until December? I know I couldn’t I like to see my Christmas creation as I am hanging the lights.
It was almost like a dream in some of the areas of the garden. One spot was my particular favorite, because of the trees! The way the lights were hanging down from the branches to touch the ground, or how the branches were thick and low to the ground curving every direction or how the moss on the branches made the tree look sad…almost like a weeping willow.
To stand at the corner of the field it would look like you were standing at the edge an orchard of weeping willows.
Moving through the gardens was a slow process, there was a lot of people coming and going around you at all times. Yet I was so excited how some of my images came out looking as if there was no one in the garden but me and my camera. The stillness of the water or how there was music being played in nearly every corner of the gardens it made the place feel like it was absolutely empty, open only for me.
You really can’t ask for a better place to visit during the holidays, full of life and Christmas cheer, a machine that makes snow to mock those who want snow for Christmas and all and all just a really amazing experience.
My next not so adventure took me to a place called Suck Bang Blow. A biker establishment on the way back from the gardens that we had to go check out! I have to say that if you have any interest on two wheels, that this is the place to go! I love the old school feel to these pictures. I think I was trying to emulate photos that I used to see growing up of an old school biker calendars.
I love the bikes that I have seen on this trip! I think that is one of THE most rewarding portion of my trip. Now not only am I around bikes all the time but I get to see and experience the locations they are presented, like Suck Bang Blow.
This trip has been an amazing experience for my photographic career, but it isn’t just the story it is never knowing where I will be next and to me that is a very liberating feeling. From living a life of military structure and discipline to a life of liberation, living on the road by the fly of my seat? I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity.
Also, this trip has given me a chance to practice my skills of different angles and genres of photography. Photojournalist, portrait, macro and landscape genres all have their place during this campaign. And I am thankful to be able to practice them all because this can only help me in my future.
All in a days work!
Traveling Photographer Out!