Patrick Krohn's image of the waterfall at Poinsett State Park.
Patrick Krohn's image of the waterfall at Poinsett State Park.

Aiken photographer captures beauty of state parks during artist-in-residence program

Nature photography piques Patrick Krohn’s interest.

He especially loves close-up details captured within a single leaf, a spider’s web or a lone tree — even having a favorite type of tree he likes to shoot.

“I love cypresses,” said Krohn, an Aiken resident who often finds himself at the Carolina Bay Nature Preserve, taking photos of the bald cypresses. The former photojournalist recently spent a week at Poinsett State Park in Sumter County as part of the South Carolina Parks Service’s artist-in-residence program.

Aiken photographer Patrick Krohn. Photo courtesy Patrick Krohn

2022 was the second year Krohn had participated in the program. In 2021, he was an artist in residence at Hickory Knob State Park in McCormick.

“Every year the South Carolina State Parks Service hosts the artist-in-residence program. This program provides artists with the opportunity to gain inspiration from the natural and cultural resources of the South Carolina State Parks,” according to the state park website.

In return for a week’s stay at a park, the artist provides the state park with an image. In 2022, 100 photographers submitted applications with only 22 selected. Krohn had camped at Poinsett prior to his residency, so he was familiar with it.

Krohn captured different seasons during his two residencies.

He spent a week in the spring at Hickory Knob and a week in the fall at Poinsett.

Poinsett State Park. Photo by Patrick Krohn

The differing seasons provided distinctive backdrops for the images, but the seasons weren’t the only things that contrasted the two parks.

“They are different,” said Krohn. “Hickory Knob is right on the water, and it’s more hilly.”

Overlooking Clarks Hill Lake, Hickory Knob also has a golf course. Poinsett is also located on a smaller lake and has trails through the Manchester State Park.

Krohn hiked a lot during his residencies, searching for the perfect images.

While he takes a lot of micro-shots in and around Aiken, he had the opportunity to take more of the wider angle views at the park.

And he did stumble across his favorite subject — cypress trees — while staying at Poinsett.

 “I found a bunch of cypress trees,” he said. “Right outside the park.”

Although there weren’t any inside the park gates, Krohn said he found plenty of subject matter at the park.

Krohn also took the opportunity to experiment with his craft.

MORE: Aort Reed

“The great part of the AIR program is having seven days to explore a park and and try new ways to express my art. During my time, I looked for more impressionistic photos as well as experimenting with intentional camera movement,” he wrote at his website.

His works at Hickory Knob are on display at the gift shop there. He’s not sure where his Poinsett images may end up, but he has noticed that the parks also like to use the photographs to decorate the on-site cabins.     

 Krohn said he enjoyed the experience and felt fortunate to have been selected for the program twice.

 “It’s a really cool thing to do,” he said.

Charmain Z. Brackett is the publisher of Augusta Good News. Reach her at Have headlines delivered to your inbox by signing up for the free newsletter here.

Support Local Journalism

Local stories on local people, organizations and events. That's the focus of Augusta Good News, a member of the Georgia Press Association. And you don't have to go through a paywall to find these stories. An independent voice in Augusta, Ga., Augusta Good News is not funded by a billionaire or a large corporation; it doesn't have celebrity reporters who have agents. It's local people who are invested in the community and want to tell its stories. You can support local journalism and help us expand our coverage by becoming a supporter. Through Ko-Fi, you can give once or set up a monthly gift.

Comments are closed.