A place for me to share my recent work, random musings on photography and reflect on my thoughts, experiences, ideas and revelations.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Busy Month

Kathy & I spent this past weekend at Grandfather Mountain, attending their annual Nature Photography Weekend. This weekend traditionally kicks off what promises to be a busy month for us. We like to spend our June weekends chasing the Catawba Rhododendron, which were just starting to pop at Grandfather this weekend but were in full bloom in many other places along the Blue Ridge Parkway. In two weeks we head for Roan Mountain, which straddles the North Carolina and Tennessee borders and is renowned for its display of rhododendron and azalea.

The festivities at Grandfather Mountain included presentations by such luminaries as Tony Sweet, Gregory Georges, Jim Clark and Pam Barbour. There is also a photo contest held as part of the weekend, and it is always interesting to see what other people saw that I didn't.

Always on the lookout for a unique vantage point for sunrise, fellow CNPA member and Photo Buddy Don Brown and I went out Saturday morning and hiked to Flat Rock, on the Blue Ridge Parkway just south of Grandfather Mountain. We were treated to an hour of dramatic side-lit cloud formations streaming over the top of the mountain before and after sunrise. I'll post a few images in a slideshow once I am able to get some processing done. In the mean time here is one of my favorites, a view of Grandfather Mountain from Flat Rock, accented by the blooming Catawba Rhododendron.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I admit that I’m pretty much a loner. I have a few good friends that really are friends, but I’m not an outgoing social person. I generally don’t go for self-promotion and keep well away from the limelight. It’s a good way to be, because it suits my temperament and personality. But it’s not a good trait for someone looking for a job or trying to market their photography. This blog is a good outlet for me, because it lets me write my thoughts and feelings, brag a little about my accomplishments and showcase my photography and writing skills. I know a number of people ready it, and I hope more people read it, because I feel like I have something useful to share.

In this post I bragged a bit about the fact that I had photos published in three different magazines in one month (May). That’s a huge accomplishment for me and one I am very proud of, given that I’ve only been doing this for a relatively short time. It’s a big deal to me to be able to share my photography, to have my work published and appreciated by my peers, and especially to have my work included with work of those who I look up to. Many people have accomplished much more than me, but many more haven’t come close to what I’ve done. Often that’s because that’s not their style so they haven’t tried. That’s OK, because everyone gets to do their own thing.

Recently several of my nature photography buddies had photos published in Our State Magazine (June issue), and one of my other buddies posted about it on the CNPA message boards. It’s great and they should be proud, but I found myself thinking, somewhat selfishly, “what about me?” Isn’t that silly? I go out of my way to not call attention to myself then get my shorts in a knot when someone doesn’t notice.

I think the lesson for me in this is that I need to work hard to be noticed without being annoying. I need to work hard to not be invisible.

The photo is from Silver Lake on Ocracoke Island, taken on our trip there in 2005.

Friday, May 15, 2009

To The Beach!

Kathy & I are off on our annual jaunt to Hilton Head Island, SC for a week of rest and relaxation, with perhaps a little photography thrown in. I'll probably work on some of my wave motion inventory, and perhaps add to my collection of sand patterns. I may also try to get some stock shots of some of the more touristy places on the island. Don't expect to see an uptick in posts though, because for me a vacation is NOT time sitting in front of the computer. I'll get back to work when I get home.

This photo is another recently uncovered treasure from a different beach. This was taken on the Outer Banks near the old Coast Guard station at Oregon Inlet.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Branching Out, and Buried Treasure 3

I spent most of Saturday helping out at The Light Factory's annual Shoot Out. It was the 20th such event and is a Big Deal. A number of professional photographers donate their time to do portrait sessions for individuals and families, and the customers range from singles, to singles with kids, singles with pets, to full-blown family shoots. There was even an "After Dark" Shoot Out that I'm sure had some interesting subject matter.

I had a blast assisting Nanine Hartzenbusch, one of my 'buds" and a veteran photographer with roots in photojournalism who is making a go at being a kids and families shooter. Nanine is not used to working with an assistant and I've not done much (any?) assisting so neither of us had any expectations or preconceptions. We were a perfect pairing! I helped set up lights, move them around, help get the kids posed and - probably the most important job of all - got to use an assortment of squeeky toys and other gimmicks to help get the attention of cranky toddlers and with any luck help to turn a "reject" into a "keeper." At least I hope so! It was hard work! The Saturday session only lasted a half day, but when I got home I was whooped!

Anyway, the experience underscored for me the importance of learning new things in order to grow as a photographer, as an artist and as a person. It is a rewarding experience to help make special memories for families, especially when it also helps support a local organization that does a lot of good in the community. I like the idea of being an assistant, and think I may make a go at trying to do some more of that work for other photographers. Eventually I might even get good enough to get paid for it, but in the mean time I'm thrilled to have a chance to gain some knowledge and experience doing something I really enjoy. Even if I don't pick up a camera I think the exercise of looking and seeing other photographers in action will help me grow my own vision.

The photo is another one from the archives. From June 2005, the image was taken just after sunset from the parking area of the Craggy Gardens visitor center along the Blue Ridge Parkway just north of Asheville. The various peaks around Craggy Gardens are usually the best places to be, but the parking lot is a pretty decent sunset spot during the summer months. This image underscores the importance of sticking around well after the sun has set, especially when there are clouds around. Sunset itself was pretty nice, but these high whispy clouds lit up big time just after sunset.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Buried Treasure 2

I may be posting some more old photos over the next few weeks. I've been making a concerted effort to go back through the archives and catch up on my unprocessed images from Digital Day One, which was sometime in late 2004.

This particular photo was taken almost exactly 4 years ago today - 5/7/05! It is image #204 on my Canon 20D, which was actually my second digital camera, the first being my still-trusty Powershot G5.

This is a view from Waterrock Knob on the Blue Ridge Parkway, taken a few minutes after sunset.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Slideshow Test

Please bear with me while I test out a site called Issuu that will allow me to embed presentations on my blog. This is only a test....