If you are in the Rock Hill, SC area, or even close, "Ceramics and More" at 190 Chester Street is more than worth experiencing. It is a ceramics studio and much, much more. My daughter and I have never painted ceramics before, but we learned a lot from the family members who own the place. They were super helpful and showed us the ins and outs of ceramics. We literally had hundreds of ceramics to choose from right on site to fulfill our creativity needs. Plus, they were super affordable.
Photography Tips: Luckily they have HUGE windows for great lighting in order to get fantastic pictures while you are there. As you capture the memories you are creating, remember to try different angles and to get the details as well as the pull backs. I also changed my Aperture as I worked through taking the images above. The lower number aperture (f/1.8) allows for more bokeh (background blur).
You can stop at Ceramics and More any time during open hours (in the pictures), or you can attend a class. They also having painting class, jewelry making classes, and more. Check out their Facebook page to get updates on the events they hold. Enjoy getting your artistry on!
I have fond memories of Smokey the Bear when I was young and his forest fire prevention techniques. He was campy.......get it.....but the message got through. However, as time passes marketing gets better and Smokey is no exception. Smokey the Bear is still helping to prevent forest fires, but now he has a whole fun experience that comes along with his message. If you get a chance to stop at the Museum of York County in Rock Hill with your kids, do it! They have a new exhibit that will only be there for a limited time. It is all about camping, forests, and fun! My kids are 3 and 5, but I think older kids will enjoy it too.
One of my favorite parts of the new exhibit is the camping area with a tent, pretend campfire with bucket of water, and stars in the dark sky (ceiling) above. They even have the classic marshmallows on sticks (again, these are not real). Since I am not brave enough to take my 3 year old boy, who refuses to listen to me, on a trip to a real camp with a real campfire this is a good alternative.
Photography Tip: When shooting is dark areas you should boost your ISO. My ISO was up to 5000 in the picture above of my kids in the tent near a lantern. This will increase "noise" in the picture, but I'd rather have that than a blurry picture. I also shoot in RAW so I have more details to allow for a better edit in post processing. It looked like a very dark picture at first and I brightened it with Lightroom.
Since I am a science teacher as well as a photographer you know I was loving the "meet the scientist" and species identification area. I thought the picture of my son with the snake identification chart behind him was pretty funny. I'm not a fan of snakes, so his face reminds me of my own when talking about snakes. It would have been a worse face for spiders though!
My son was obsessed with the part of the exhibit where he could take golf balls and put them through a track system where they would eventually make lots of noise by hitting cymbals at the end. My daughter enjoyed building the outside parts of a house and fishing from a cute little boat.
If you have never been to this museum they have much more than just the new exhibit. They have an impressive amount of specimens (taxidermy animals) in the Naturalist Center, a play area (Tot Town) for kids 6 and under, a planetarium with daily "shows", and a nature trail behind the building with a picnic area.
If you are coming from Charlotte, the museum is not too far from route 77. There is a ton of parking and don't forget to take a book from the little library box outside. Find out more about the museum: http://chmuseums.org/myco/
Photography Tip: When taking picture of your kids at a museum remember to get different perspectives. Try some shots from above, below, details, and far away. Some shots you might want them to smile, but others you want to capture them engaged and not even noticing that you are taking pictures. These are usually my favorite because they are being their genuine selves in these moments.
If you want more helpful tips and keep up to date on my latest photography classes please sign up for the newsletter at the top of this page or email me at email@example.com. You can also find me on social media at the following handles:
Only You Can Capture the Moments!
Time has been flying by and we were in Amelia Island, so it took a while for me to write this post. More about that trip in a different blog post! Click here for the first post about our trip to Charlotte.
Continuing from the last blog, after we left Imaginon with growling bellies we took a short walk (across the train tracks) to 7th Street Market for some good eats. Luckily they have a bunch of different food vendors there so no fighting about what restaurant to eat at. I'm always excited when whining is not happening! The kids chose Pure Pizza for their plain cheese pizza go-to lunch. My son has a peanut allergy so I double checked on the nut policy and was pleased to find out they have no peanuts or tree nuts in their facility. We placed the order easy peasy, were given a number to put on our table, and off we went to find mommy and daddy some food. I have a tendency of getting hangry if I wait too long to eat, so I was hopeful I would find something quick and deeeelish.
Photography Tip: When indoors with fluorescent lights make sure your white balance is on fluorescent so that your images do not come out too blue or too yellow.
ISO 2000, f/3.5, 1/100 sec 18mm
I've been a little obsessed with sushi lately, so I decided the best place for me to fill up and curb my hangry was Bonsai Fushion Sushi. There was only one person in front of me in line and then I ordered 2 basic California rolls. My hubby went over to Local Loaf for a sandwich. We found a table in the back of market street and waited for our orders to come out. The pizza came out super fast, then my hubby got his sandwich soon after. I waited a fairly long time for the sushi, but maybe it just seemed like a long time because everyone else had eaten theirs before I got mine. Oh well, I guess they were busy! You know this only happens when you're famished.
ISO 2000, f/3.5, 1/200 sec 18 mm
All the food was tasty and we were happy adventurers with full bellies.
Photography Tip: Raise your ISO higher when you are in low light areas. This will help you to increase your shutter speed. I like to keep the shutter at least 1/125 sec with pictures I am taking close up.
ISO 2000, f/3.8, 1/125 sec 20 mm
ISO 2000, f/3.5, 1/125 sec 18 mm Pizza smile!
The 7th Street Market is conveniently located right at the 7th street train stop, so we walked out the side doors and the train had magically appeared at just the right time. Once in a while we are lucky like that!
ISO 400, f/6.3, 1/200 sec 18mm
The trip back to the station was a little slower than usual because there had been a storm while we were in Imaginon and some street lights were out. But the train conductor (is that what you call them?) got us back safely to the Scaleybark Station. The kiddos were happy to have the ride last a little longer anyways. They were having so much fun that they didn't want to go home, but I knew naps would be taken in the car on the way home. And that's just how we ended our journey. Two cute little napping kids and a quiet drive home!
Photography Tip: Make sure that your focal point is on the subject you want to have in focus. As you can see from the picture of my hand holding my son's hand I focused on our grasp and the foreground and background are out of focus. That out of focus look is called "bokeh".
For more photography tips and tricks or to just follow the adventures of me and my family please feel free to like my Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, or sign up for the newsletter. Click the icons below.
Larisa is a natural light photographer and teacher in the Rock Hill, SC and Charlotte, NC area.