Jamestown Island

I’ve found that some of the best sunrises are during the winter months.  It’s tough, though, to get motivated to get out of a warm bed and subject myself to frozen hands, but the end result is usually well worth it.

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Sunrise over Jamestown Island. | Order a print of this image.

Maiden Voyage

Well, So far so good.  I took the new Mavic Pro out for its first flight this morning and was impressed with everything about it.  It’s easy to set up, unassuming and is incredibly easy to fly (as I expected having used DJI products for almost 3 years now).  Its image quality is incredible for as unassuming as it is.  It’s ultra portable and the battery lasts forever.  It doesn’t take the place of my Inspire 1, but is simply another tool in the toolbox for this massive gear head.

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Sunrise over Winchester (processed from a single RAW photo). | Order a print of this image.

KOKV 291515Z AUTO 21007KT 10SM CLR 17/07 A3013 RMK A02

Great day to fly – yeah, I’m a geek, so.

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The weather finally cooperated with me – just wish the foliage would, too. | Order a print of this image.

Fairy Tale

Makes you completely disregard the fact that this is actually a cemetery, right?

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The gatehouse entryway to Mt Hebron cemetery in Winchester, VA. | Order a print of this image. 

Organic Creativity

Photography is one of those things that can truly have an organic component to it.  I often venture out with a specific shooting goal in mind and almost always become inspired on site to be creative based on whatever situation presents itself to me.  It’s simply part of the creative process.  I gotta figure out how to teach that in the classroom.

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I was there to shoot Fall foliage.

Tuscarora

I always wondered what BFE looked like – now I know.  What an awesome place.  A bit of a hike to get there, but so worth it in the end.  Look for more images like this hitting the marketing material of visitwinchesterva.com.

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Sunset from Eagle Rock along the Tuscarora Trail right here in Frederick County, VA just west of Winchester. | See more like this here.

Due Diligence

Ok, now that I’ve done the “heavy lifting” to be allowed to fly a sUAS legally it should be as important for you (the consumer of photography and video) to complete your due diligence.  Make sure the person/company you’ve just hired to shoot your video is also legally allowed to perform the sUAS work for hire.  It concerns me that anybody can walk into Best Buy or Target or Wal-Mart or hop on Amazon or any number of other online retailers and purchase these flying machines.  And young kids these days are seeing the proliferation of drone videos and YouTubers flying with reckless abandon that it seems glamorous and risk-free.  It’s certainly not risk-free, but kids tend to simply plow forward without a second thought.  It worries me to no end that a very young middle-schooler recently proudly announced to me that he just got a DJI Phantom 4 – a fairly expensive flying camera.  Yeah, kids are amazing at video games and technology in general these days, but the decision-making skills are simply not there.  It’s comparable to a drivers license.  There are reasons that teens go through a process to earn a driver’s license which includes an age requirement.  Decision-making skills folks.  And I’m certainly not saying that you have to hire me – just make sure the person/company that you DO use is qualified and legally allowed.

Ok I’m done.  Enjoy this image of Fall colors knocking on our door.

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Fall colors are popping up quickly.  My goal is to get this shot with much more Fall color in the next couple weeks.

Old-Fashioned

I’ve been lucky enough to live in towns where a drive-in theater is minutes away.  If you haven’t been to the Family Drive-In in Stephens City, I’d encourage you to give it a try.  Now that’s some good old-fashioned fun.  I had the opportunity to visit one in South Dakota in an RV and I’ll tell you, there’s no better way to enjoy it than in an RV.

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The Family Drive-In in Stephens City from a different perspective. | Order a print of this image.

Choo-Choo

Well, just because…

Choo-Choo

I’ve been shooting this location for the past couple months.  Today was the first time I saw the engines parked so..why not, right?

Public Speaking

Another fun aerial/drone/UAV/UAS/sUAS workshop tonight at the Blandy Photo Club meeting.  It’s always fun inspiring new people to get into the aerial platform.  It also helps me keep up to date on all the new regulations, which are changing in my favor in a couple of months.  Can’t wait!  😀

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Showing off the Inspire 1 to the Blandy Photo Club.

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I always love the way the light of the sunset plays with the cloud cover in the opposite direction.

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Lots of great texture in the sky last night during the flight demo at the Blandy Photo Club meeting.

School Daze

There’s an incredible amount of construction around here these days.  It’s apparently Winchester/Frederick County’s turn to grow.  These schools are pretty amazing, too – the new Frederick County Middle school looks very much like a high school.  And then there’s that whole trend where the school’s essentially share the same campus (separate, but together).  I remember my primary schools (elementary-middle-high) weren’t even in the same town really.

note – I just read that back to myself and just pictured the old wrinkled man sitting on his porch telling his grandkids that he used to walk through 4-foot-high snow to school both ways barefoot.  I refuse to accept that that’s where I’m headed. 😁

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The current Gainesboro Elementary School with the new Frederick County Middle School construction behind it.

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The new Frederick County Middle School.

Luck

I completely stand behind my statement that I tell a lot of people about my photography.  There’s certainly a lot of luck involved.  Right time, right place.  As I gain experience, though, it’s becoming easier to be in that right place at that right time.

The Storm

As the double rainbow was strengthening, I was able to spin it around and catch the lightning! | Order a print of this image.

Luck

The magnificent double rainbow over Winchester tonight. | Order a print of this image.

Palindrome

Happy Palindrome Day!  At least it’s a palindrome if you use the format 6•1•16.

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Wish I could find a decent reflection image, but this one’s nice to look at, too.

Absence

Has your heart grown fonder?  It seems like it’s getting longer between posts for me.  I suppose that means I’m busy these days with my studio work, which is good for me, but I need those days wheere I can just go out and shoot what moves me and just be creative.

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One of the few landmarks around Winchester that I haven’t really shot – The Museum of The Shenandoah Valley. | Order a print of this image.

SU Graduation

This may make it onto NBC news somewhere – hopefully in some sort of commencement round up from the area/region/nation.  Fingers crossed.  What a great day to fly.

Graduation

The graduates of Shenandoah University 2016!  Congratulations to all.

Sanity

My home office is in the basement and has absolutely no connection to the outside world.  I need to get out every once in a while.  If not to see what the weather is like, at least for my own sanity!

Sanity

Wedding Selfie

I don’t think I’ve shared this.  I remember posting an image of this incident, but never the full video.  If you pay close attention at about 45 seconds you can see the quad level out (it’s so very subtle) and that was my fatal mistake because it didn’t clear the hill and I still had legal room to climb.  Once the forest starts to appear in the shot it’s not long before it happens, but I end this video before that point.  It won’t take much imagination to figure out what happens next.  A shout-out to my brother and son for heading off after it.  After all that, I still got the shot!

#TB (Insert Day of the Week)

Wow, it’s been a long time.  Not that I’m lazy, but I’m going back through all my photos to see if I can dig up some good ones.  Someone recently gave me a great quote about what separates a pro from an amateur photographer.  Basically it come down to size matters.  Now, get your mind out of the gutter…

The size of their “trash can.”  Pros take a crap-load of photos and most are never seen by anybody.  In 2015 I shot 6478 “general” photos.  This figure doesn’t take into account all the paid gigs that my studio handled.  That would bump the number of images up to 29,925.  Still not an enormous number compared to a lot of pros, but when you factor in the fact that I only considered 90 good enough to post here, that’s a lot. A mere 3 tenths of a percent were deemed decent enough to represent my studio.

Wow, long story short, here’s one of those images that never made it here (at least I don’t think it did).

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It was almost a year ago that we had our first snowfall and two weeks ago it was nearly 80 degrees!

Underwhelmed

Did you ever purchase something based on the hype and the credibility of person pushing it?  I just did and so far I’m underwhelmed with the results.  I’m not giving up, I’m just saying it just may not be worth all the hype just yet – or at least, I’m not seeing it.

Meh.  It's a decent photo, but not much different than what I've already been doing.

Meh. It’s a decent photo, but not much different than what I’ve already been doing with the software I already had.

Folgers

Waking up early is no big thing when you know it’s gonna look like this.  It doesn’t matter what brand of coffee you drink, I still think this is the best part of waking up.

Order a print of this image.

Order a print of this image.