A Little Known Spot for Free Fun
My family and I have lived in Rock Hill for almost 4 years now. We love it here. From the Children's Museums, to the Museum of York County, to Glencairn Gardens, to Old Town (downtown Rock Hill), to all the random playgrounds spread throughout the area; we always have something to do with the kids. So we thought that we had found all the fun spots that are cheap or free because we like to save money and still be entertained. We had no idea there was a fantastic playground complete with walking trails, camping areas, and access to the river close to where we live!
I forget exactly how I came upon this gem, but Westminster Park is the little known park I am writing about. It is located at 3916 India Hook Rd, Rock Hill, SC 29732. If you already knew about this park then awesome, but I was clueless that it existed! It is basically at the end of India Hook road, so if you think you drove past it you probably did not. It will be on your right. Once you turn into the park you will be on a long dirt road that will take you to the playground, which is right next to the soccer fields. There are also walking trails, but I did not get any images of those today.
I took my Nikon D5500 camera and 35mm 1.8 lens with me on our little adventure. It is nice and light-weight compared to other DSLR cameras, so it's easy to carry when playing on the playground with my kids. I try not to ask them to smile at me or look at me. I always get fake smiles when that happens. The point of taking my camera with me is to capture these fleeting moments in the way they occurred. I played with them, told them jokes, made silly faces and engaged them all while trying not to hit my head on the playground equipment!
One little warning though. I always go to this park with either my husband or friends because it is desolate and nobody ever seems to be there. I don't think anything bad has ever happened there, but I am just extra cautious when it comes to my surroundings. It is open from dawn until dusk.
Photography Tip: Use shutter priority mode when on the playground. Your children will be moving fast so you want to capture that motion. You will want your shutter around 1/500 if they are moving fast (sliding, running, etc). You should have it at least at 1/125 if they are standing still, sitting in one spot, etc. I kept mine at 1/500 because my kids were moving A LOT. I had my ISO on 200 because it was very sunny so I could decrease it pretty low. Shutter priority allows your camera to choose the aperture depending on light. So each picture I took had a slightly different aperture.
If you want to learn more about how to use your camera to capture special moments of your family please check out the upcoming classes I have available in Rock Hill, SC. Click Here for more info.
I've been meaning to do this. It seemed simple. Choose 12 images, one from each month, that were my favorites from 2017. Maybe you share my pain and have tried something similar. How is it possible to choose 12 out of thousands of pictures that I have taken and edited to be my favorite? (Note: There may or may not be more than 12 pictures here, don't bother counting. ;) I knew this was going to be a time consuming task, but I didn't realize that I was actually going to enjoy it. Reflecting on this past year. How much the kids have grown, the new schools, the potty training highs and lows, the family vacations, the tears and smiles, the birthday parties full of energy, the stages they go through (trains to dinosaurs and princesses to heroes), the dinner table negotiations, the million hugs and kisses, the hundreds of books read at bedtime (usually the same ones over and over), the endless love. It's easy to get so busy and overwhelmed and not have the time to reflect and recognize the amazing blessings we live with. I know I need to do this more often!
Larisa is a natural light photographer and teacher in the Rock Hill, SC and Charlotte, NC area.