Fishing for a catch of the Ashley River

 (Kathryn Wagner)

I love how people still have a strong connection to the land here in the Lowcountry. This is Steve, he is a native Charlestonian fishermen with a passion for seafood. He gives away most of what he catches to friends and elderly neighbors, and his favorite catch to eat is shrimp. Utilizing a cast net on the banks of the Ashley River, you can spot Steve most evenings doing what he loves: fishing.

Beauty in the Lowcountry

 (Kathryn Wagner)

One of the joys of photographing in the heart of Charleston’s historic district is the abundance of gardens everywhere you look. Window boxes seem almost mandatory, and often are overflowing with bright beautiful color. Just as “Southern women make the effort” southern homeowners seem to do the same. And we are all the better for it. If there is one city that is a shining example of Urban Horticulture, Charleston is it. From House and Garden tours in the fall, to beautiful city parks, Charleston is a shining example of the beauty to be found in the Lowcoutry.

Colonial Lake

 (Kathryn Wagner)

Colonial lake is a wonderful part of Charleston’s city park system. A favorite of runners and fishermen alike, the area has long been a fixture in the Holy City:

“For many years the lake was known as the Rutledge Street Pond. It acquired the name, Colonial Lake, in 1881, in honor of the “Colonial Commons” established in 1768. Some residents still call it “The Pond.”The park around the lake was developed in 1882-87. Fountains were placed in the lake in 1973, not for decorative purposes, but to aerate the water and prevent fish kills on hot summer days.”Gala Week” used to be held in the fall of the year, with a fireworks display on the west side of the Pond, which was then an undeveloped area. Spectators filled to park and crowded onto boats in the lake.” – Charleston County Public Library site Read More

Image of the week: Sailing the Charleston Harbor

 (Kathryn Wagner)

Charleston Harbor has a long and storied history playing a key role in the start of the Civil War. The first shots of the Civil War were fired at a Federal ship entering Charleston Harbor. Home to the now recovered Confederate submarine the H.L Hunley as well as many other shipwrecks, much is concealed beneath the surface of this body of water. Today the harbor acts as a major passenger cruise and shipping port. Part of the Intercoastal Waterway, the Charleston Harbor is a gateway to the Atlantic Ocean.

Crushing on Virginia Wine with President Jefferson

“I find friendship to be like wine, raw when new, ripened with age, the true old man’s milk, & restorative cordial.”
– Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush, Poplar Forest, August 17, 1811[1]

As a native Virginian, a travel story on Virginia wines is something that begins to truly come alive, visually, when you pair the modern wine industry with the vast history that surrounds the Monticello American Viticulture Area. One cannot experience the fruits of Virginia wine without paying homage to President Jefferson and his innovations to the Old Dominion’s beverage choices. When touring the central Virginia countryside by car, it is easy for one to imagine the early days of viticulture. Sampling Chardonnay, the regions most popular grape, along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier, and Cabernet Franc is surely one of the easiest – and most enjoyable – ways to learn about wine.

St. John’s Cinnamon Bay Trail

 (Kathryn Wagner)

As a travel photographer, one of my favorite overlook’s within the Virgin Islands National Park is on the Cinnamon Bay Trail. This vista is well worth the climb, as you are able to take in all of Cinnamon Bay as well as Peter Bay. For a fun full day out one can hike the Cinnamon Bay trail in the morning, and then catch the bus from Centerline road, where the trail ends. You can then go out to Coral Bay for an afternoon of hamburgers at Skinny Legs or head back to Cruz Bay. No matter what you might choose to do, be sure to allow plenty of time to stop to take in the very same view that many of the Danish colonists likely saw back in the 1700’s.

Virgin Gorda Rocks

On a recent trip to Virgin Gorda, I was fortunate to have an entire day to spend within The Baths and Devil’s Bay. I had a great time photographing and studying the unique granite rock formations that dominate this coastal landscape. The granite boulders are attributed to the island’s volcanic origins. I have been to Virgin Gorda before and had a blast photographing everyone interacting with the landscape, though this was the first time I had the luxury of an entire day to explore.  Above is a mini-fine-art study of the fascinating shapes and forms that can be found there. Definitely a unique destination within the British Virgin Islands.

Go to a cay to stay for the day…

 (Kathryn Wagner)

Spending the past year and a half doing travel photography in the Caribbean islands allows one to spend time on Cays.  A cay is a small typically uninhabited offshore island, many of the cays near St. John are perfect for a picnic day trip via kayak.  Cays are formed when when ocean currents transport lose sediment across the surface of a reef. One of my favorite Cays in the Virgin Islands is Whistling Cay, home to many pelicans and a Colonial-era guardhouse. Whistling Cay resembles the islet above.

Island fish in a barrel? Far from it…

 (Kathryn Wagner)

Big game fishing is popular sport in the Virgin Islands and a day’s catch makes for some great cooking, with Mahi-Mahi and Yellowfin Tuna being perennial favorites. Though more difficult than shooting fish in a barrel, visitors often come to the Virgin Islands for the likelihood that they will catch the elusive Blue Marlin. As a food photographer, I feel lucky to have great access to clients with chefs who use fresh ingredients such as seafood that is caught the same day it is cooked.

Often, offshore big game fishing in the Caribbean begins with the tool pictured above, a cast net. This net is typically four to twelve feet in diameter and similar counterparts have been used for thousands of years. Cast nets are used in a skilled fashion (such as seen below) to catch the bait needed for a day out on the water.