January 5, 2020

A-Year-In-Photos 2020 - Part 1

By: John A. Carlos II

John A. Carlos II / Special to The Free Times

A Police cruiser burns on Lincoln Street in Columbia, SC, after a day of peaceful protest over how George Floyd was killed, escalated into people setting fires, vandalizing property, and breaking windows on May 30, 2020.


I started the year by saying "I can't wait to see what I'll see in 2020."


Well, 2020 was weird, it went by slowly, and it feels like didn't do much, even though I did. Sure COVID-19 knocked out a lot of my calendar, but that doesn't mean I didn't work. Like always continued to improve my photography skills by watching videos, photographing more sports, and just heading out to experiment and taking photos. I had a lot of ups and downs, I gained a new nephew and lost loved ones. I cried for about a week when my cat died of old age.


I made sure to eat some black-eyed peas this new year's day... in fact, I had two helpings of Hoppin' John. I hope this will be better see y'all in 2021.


Anyone that knows me knows how much I like films, but due to Covid-19 I didn't see that many... the reason is I focused on mostly long-form stories on tv. Anyway here are my somewhat limited top ten films of the year that I saw. 


1) The Way I See It

2) Hamilton

3) The Way Back

4) The Invisible Man

5) The Gentleman 

6) Da 5 Bloods

7) Bill and Ted: Face The Music

8) Bad Boys for Life

9) The Old Guard

10) Birds of Prey


Thousands gathered at steps of the South Carolina State House for the annual King Day at the Dome rally on Jan. 20, 2020.<br />
John A. Carlos II / Special to The Free Times

(Photo by John A. Carlos II/Special to The Post and Courier)


On January 20 - Democratic presidential candidates Joe Biden, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders march with thousands during the King Day at the Dome event on January 20, 2020, in Columbia, South Carolina. 


John A. Carlos II / Special to The Free Times

(John A. Carlos II/ for the Free Times)


On January 30 - Portrait of City Grit partners Elie Yigo, Aaron Hoskins, and Sarah Simmons at smallSUGAR, 


smallSUGAR opened in 2018, less than two years after they shuttered Rise Gourmet Goods and Bakeshop in Five Points over concerns that the building was being sold. Their previous New York City-based champagne and fried chicken restaurant Birds and Bubbles was forced to close due to flooding, and Simmons’ first New York City venture, the guest chef dinner spot City Grit, had closed, as well.

But with smallSUGAR, they didn’t just refuse to back down, they upped the stakes. The restaurant launched paying a livable wage, something they’d wanted to do since their time in New York, and introduced a workforce training program and other community-focused initiatives.


John A. Carlos II


On February 8 - A photo group that I'm a part of held a workshop. little did I know that this will be one of the last times in the year where I'd meet people without a mask on.


John A. Carlos II


On February 10 - I captured some behind scenes photos of South Carolina rapper H3RO, filming a music video, in downtown Columbia, SC. I even was filmed for a couple of scenes. 


Here is the link to the music video... It is kickass! Go JD!

H3RO x PATx - Lil Y.A.D.Y. [You Ain't Dead Yet] (Official Music Video)


John A. Carlos II

(John A. Carlos II/Special to The Post and Courier)


On February 18 - Maci Gantt, a Red Bank resident holds a candle at a community vigil held outside Cayce City Hall Tuesday night, honoring the life of Faye Swetlik, a 6-year-old who was found dead a week ago.


Six-year-old Faye Swetlik died from asphyxiation soon after she was abducted by a neighbor.

Coty Taylor, a 30-year-old who lived nearby, took and killed the girl based on DNA evidence, Byron Snellgrove, director of the Cayce Department of Public Safety, said. Police have said there are no other suspects.

Taylor was found dead on his back patio soon after the body of the redheaded first-grader was discovered on Feb.13, three days after she was reported missing.


John A. Carlos II / Special to The Free Times

(John A. Carlos II / Special to The Free Times)


On February 22 - A bartender makes a margarita at COA Agaveria Y Cocina in Columbia's Vista.


John A. Carlos II


On February 23 - Chisolm Beckham Rural Forestry Program Manager at South Carolina Forestry Commission walks Cub Scout Pack 326 around Harbison State Forest. 


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On February 26 - Governor Henry McMaster speaks to attendees of the 2020 South Carolina Automotive Summit.


John A. Carlos II


On February 25 - Grad students at the University of Clemson's CU-ICAR program show S.C. Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette, Deep Orange 9 car at the 2020 SouthCarolina Automotive Summit.


Deep Orange 9 is a vehicle engineered, built, and tested by Clemson students. DO9 is a Next-Generation Rallycross racecar that envisions a clean, fuel-efficient car of the future that doesn’t compromise on performance. With Honda R&D Americas, Inc. as the primary sponsor, students were challenged to create an innovative motorsports concept built for rallycross, a global sport that involves sprint-style racing with large jumps, aggressive jockeying, and drifting on a closed-loop track of dirt, asphalt, and mud.


John A. Carlos II

(John A. Carlos II / Special to The Post and Courier)


On March 10 - Lexington Medical Center in West Columbia has set up a tent as an extra level of caution.


Just a few days after the 2020 Auto Summit COVID-19 changed life as we all knew it.


John A. Carlos II

(John A. Carlos II/Special to The Post & Courier)


On March 15 - Derreck Becker chief of public information & external affairs monitors covid-19 news in the public information room at the state emergency operation center on March 15.


John A. Carlos II

(John A. Carlos II/Special to The Post & Courier)


On March 15 - Gov. Henry McMaster gives updates on the state’s preparedness for COVID-19 at the state emergency operation center on March 15.



In March - Everything shut down in March so I decided to tell individual stories about companies struggling to keep a source of revenue during the limited lockdown that South Carolina implemented.


John A. Carlos II / Special to The Free Times

(John A. Carlos II/Special for The Free Times)


On April 16 - A man waits to catch a COMET bus on North Main Street on April 16.


As the 28-year-old attorney and Democratic state representative from Richland County’s District 77 — which stretches from largely African American North Columbia out to Northeast Richland and Blythewood — looks at the ways the COVID-19 pandemic has manifested in the Columbia area, a particular saying comes to the front of his mind. “When white America gets a cold, black America gets the flu, or pneumonia,” he tells Free Times. And now he’s watching as the lethal coronavirus takes a heavy toll on black communities in Columbia and across South Carolina.


John A. Carlos II

(John A. Carlos II / Special to The Post and Courier)


On April 24 - Protesters make formed a vehicle convoy wrapping around downtown Columbia. Driving past key stops like The governors' mansion the horseshoe at U of SC, and the South Carolina State House on April 24.


The event was called Drive To Thrive and was a protest against government closures of non-essential businesses due to the coronavirus in South Carolina. Although the state has allowed some non-essential businesses to re-open, restaurants, barbershops, massage therapists, entertainment venues, and others remained closed by state order.


John A. Carlos II / Special to The Free Times

(John A. Carlos II/Special to The Free Times)


On May 5 - A long line forms outside Jake's Bar and Grill in Columbia's 5 Points, patrons gathered to eat and drink at the outdoor patio.


On May 4, Gov. Henry McMaster allowed South Carolina restaurants and bars, closed for dine-in due to COVID-19 since March 17, to reopen for outdoor seating under certain conditions that allow for social distancing and increased protection against infection. On May 8, McMaster eased restrictions, even more, allowing for indoor dining with a suggested capacity of 50 percent, but no formal restrictions, starting May 11. In the first week, several eateries took advantage of the outdoor capabilities, and customers came in droves. But not all are reopening, with some citing health concerns for their staff and customers.


Sam Faucette plays disc golf at Earlwood park. John A. Carlos II / Special to The Free Times

(John A. Carlos II/Special to The Free Times)


On May 22 - Sam Faucette enjoys a game of disc golf at Earlwood park.


John A. Carlos II / Special to The Free Times


On May 30 - Police officers protect a police vehicle near Columbia police headquarters on Washington St.


John A. Carlos II / Special to The Free Times
John A. Carlos II / Special to The Free Times


Protesters smashed and set fire to squad cars on Lincoln street.


The day started off as just another peaceful protest, but as the day progressed tensions rose to transforming the protest into a riot.


John A. Carlos II

(John A. Carlos II / Special to The Post and Courier)


On May 31 - A day after a peaceful rally over how George Floyd was killed escalated into people throwing rocks and bottles of water at police. Protesters once again gathered at the steps of the South Carolina statehouse.


John A. Carlos II

(John A. Carlos II / Special to The Post and Courier)


On May 31 - A man throws a teargas canister back towards a police line. 


John A. Carlos II


On June 1 - Columbia Mayor Steven Benjamin sat down to talk with protesters that gathered for the third day in a row to protest police brutality.


John A. Carlos II


On June 1 -  Protesters gathered for the third day in a row to protest police brutality by having a Die-In on the statehouse grounds.


John A. Carlos II

(John A. Carlos II/Special to The Post and Courier)


On June 5 - University of South Carolina quarterbacks Ryan Hilinski, and Jay Urich joined a protest for better treatment of African-Americans by law enforcement officers at the S.C. Governor’s Mansion on Friday.


John A. Carlos II

(John A. Carlos II/Special to The Post and Courier)


On June 5 - Citizens gathered at the S.C. Statehouse to demand better treatment of African-Americans by law enforcement officers.


John A. Carlos II

(John A. Carlos II / Special to The Post and Courier)


On June 6 - Ben Byrdic drives by the protest at the S.C. Statehouse on Saturday, yelling for the protesters “to say his name,” a common call and response, the protesters shouted in unison “George Floyd.”


John A. Carlos II

(John A. Carlos II/Special to The Post and Courier)


On June 6 - Columbia Mayor Stephen Benjamin joined hundreds of citizens gathered at Finlay Park for a prayer service on Saturday evening.


John A. Carlos II

(John A. Carlos II / Special to The Post and Courier)


On June 13 - Educators from across the state gathered on Saturday, June 13. To march from the steps of the S.C. Department of Education, to the S.C. Statehouse, to protest systematic racial inequality.


John A. Carlos II

(John A. Carlos II/Special to The Post and Courier)


On June 14 - Thousands of South Carolinians gathered on Sunday for the “Million Man March.” The assembly marched in unison from MLK park in Five Points to the S.C. Statehouse, raising awareness against systemic racial inequality.


John A. Carlos II

(John A. Carlos II/Special to The Post and Courier)


On June 18 - Gena Sanders, Shanise McFadden, and Cierra Sanders listen to Jason Myers local presbyterian minister in Chester, speaking to a crowd gathered at Metropolitan AME Zion Church, in Chester during a candlelight vigil for Ariane McCree.


Sixteen artist collaborated to paint a "Black Lives Matter" mural in front of Spartanburg's City Hall, on June 20, 2020. John A. Carlos II


On June 20 - Makayla Binter paints the 'V' in a "Black Lives Matter" mural in front of Spartanburg's City Hall. A total of Sixteen artists collaborated to paint the mural stretching for 240 feet on W. Broad Street in Spartanburg, SC.


I hadn't planned on making this a two-parter, I think this post is getting rather long and could best be served by a break-up. I know that this was a long ask so thank you for getting this far, I just thought this year was a bit different and wanted to encapsulate the year in a timeline. Again thank you and hope to see you all in round 2.


Keywords: South Carolina; above the fold; editorial; news; journalism; 2020; photojournalist; photojournalism; photographer; SC photographer; Columbia; Columbia SC Photojournalist; soda city; University of South Carolina;  Post and Courier; Free Times; Rap; concert photographer; concert; music; movies; 5pts; sports photographer; sports; events


Article & Photos by John A. Carlos II Copyright 2021 www.jac2photo.com



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