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Smoky Mountain Getaway, Stargazing and Nature Hikes

Milky way Galaxy Photograph by Philip Casey

On Sunday, I drove up to the Smoky Mountains for another great weekend getaway. I had to escape the busyness of life and get to somewhere a little more relaxing and secluded than the city. I knew because of all the weddings I have coming up in October, this was my last chance to do so for awhile. I packed everything up and headed up the road. After arriving in Cherokee, North Carolina, I went over to the campground and setup my tent. After everything was ready to go, I drove up to Clingman’s Dome to watch the sunset go down. The sky rendered beautiful colors of blue, orange, and pink as the sun began to fall below the horizon. It was a peaceful moment indeed. After the sun disappeared from the sky, I patiently waited for the stars to come out. I was absolutely amazed at how many stars were in the sky. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many. And…for the first time ever I was able to see the faint image of the Milky Way Galaxy. I got out my camera and began photographing it. With the camera we’re able to take longer exposures which build up more and more light the longer the time elapses. Therefore, because I was at a higher evaluation, there won’t very many city lights, and the moon was hidden from illuminating its light, I was able to capture the Milky Way Galaxy. I was going crazy because never before had I been able to do this. It was amazing as you can tell.

The next day I went out for a little more hiking in the Smoky Mountains and of course photographing the beautiful scenery and wonderful streams along the way. I know it was a short trip but I was very glad I got to getaway for a few days to relax before things get busy again.

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Lori & Brian

magnolia plantation charleston wedding photos studio 1250

On Thursday, I photographed a small, intimate wedding at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston. Lori and Brian came down from Knoxville, TN with a small group of close friends and family to celebrate their wedding ceremony and their new family together. We were worried about the weather pouring rain on us but thankfully it stopped long enough for the ceremony. In May of 2010, mutual friends set Lori and Brian up together and since then, they’ve been happily creating a new life together. Lori and Brian are incredibly nice people and I wish them the best for the future!

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Charleston Engagement Photos | Rachel & Matt

Carolina vs. Clemson, a battle of the ages, but not for these two…Rachel and Matt managed to come together despite that. Rachel graduated from Clemson and Matt has graduated from Carolina, but is now finishing up at MUSC next year right just before their wedding. These two first met a couple years ago while interning at the Wild Dunes Resort in Mt. Pleasant. It was quite an adventure for both of them, especially when they first started dating. When it was time to go back to school, they both made the commitment to continue their relationship even after returning to their separate schools. With lots of phone calls, texts, and weekend trips to see each, it was certainly an adventure for them. And of course these two are incredibly fun people and I must say, they go great together. You can tell in the photos how much fun all of us had running around downtown Charleston on Sunday night taking their engagement photos! I’m excited to photograph their wedding next May, I know it’s going to be a fun one! You guys rock!

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Pittsburgh to Niagara

Niagara Falls

It was an amazing weekend. The trip began early on Friday morning as my alarm clock violently woke me at 3am. My flight was leaving at 5:30; therefore I had no choice but to crawl out of bed and drive to the airport. I could have stay asleep for at least another hour because when I got there, turns out no one was working and apparently the check-in counter isn’t open before 4am. I figured since all the airport security problems, I’d better get there early in case something happens. After arriving in Pittsburgh I spent some time exploring the area. I was walking around downtown when I noticed a large crowd of people storming to a barricade blocking the street. It was Paramount Studios filming the new Batman movie, not sure why Paramount was there because I thought it was Warner Bros. Nevertheless, it was intriguing to see them filming a real Hollywood production. I wish I had all the gear they had on set, wow what a lot of gear.

Later that night in Pittsburgh I got to see my favorite band, Hillsong United. It was an amazing concert and well worth flying in for. The next morning, I headed north to Niagara Falls. It was only about a four-hour drive. Not to bad, especially since I’ve wanted to see the falls for quite some time now, it’s good to be back in the lower 48. Note: If you ever go to Niagara Falls, be sure to take your passport and cross the border into Canada, the best view is on their side of the water.

What a great weekend trip. Sadly it has once again come to an end. Well I’ve been sitting in the airport for seven hours now, my flight has already been delayed twice. Looks like we’re boarding soon…hopefully I’ll be home before midnight. At least I was able to write this post while waiting. I’m glad I decided to bring the laptop with me. =)

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Niagara Falls

Quick Update: On the way back to Charleston, we flew through some lightning clouds. It took me a few minutes to realize that my phone was not the correct camera to be using…lol. Pretty neat though, I’ve never seen lightning from the sky before. It was really amazing when the strikes were parallel to my window.

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