Eye Candy

Well, just because.

Eagle Rock sunset. | Order a print of this image.

Commence

It’s that time of year and I got to be a part of Shenandoah Univeristy’s version of it.  Always a pleasure.

Commence

Video

The reaction I get these days when I tell people I do video…”You do video?!”  Yes, I do video.  It’s ironic that most people think of me as a still photographer these days when video is actually how this all got started.  So for those that may have forgotten that I do video, here’s a reminder.

Part 107

So I just posted a response (quoted below) to a video that showed up in my Facebook feed, but then I removed it.  Something about the time and placement of the response didn’t feel right to me, but I still feel that it needs to be said.

As more and more people earn their sUAS remote pilot certificate, the skies are becoming more and more saturated with “legal” drone pilots.  And when I say “legal” I mean drone pilots who are allowed to be paid for their craft.  Those flying for recreational purposes do still have rules to follow as well.  And for the most part, those rules are essentially the same rules as the ones for licensed remote pilots (of course, licensed piltots have the added CFR 14 part 107).

I’ve gotten on my soapbox before and I’ll keep getting on it because I feel strongly about these rules and the safety of everybody involved.  I’d also like to continue with my craft and grow it into a more successful piece of my studio, but it becomes increasingly hard to do with such blatant disregard for the rules and regulations happening all around me.

As I mention in the post, I’m not perfect and don’t claim to be perfect.  Granted, you can get some amazing imagery with drones these days, but that doesn’t mean “get the shot at all cost.”  I don’t have the additional cash on hand for potential fines from the FAA.  For me, I’ll continue to follow the rules as best I can.  And I’ll keep plugging away on my little soapbox when I see fit.

On the one hand I enjoy watching well-done video and this is certainly well-done.  On the other hand he, being an FAA sUAS remote pilot, should know better than to fly in some of the conditions depicted in this video.  Completely against part 107 regulations.  Granted, I’m not perfect, but it burns me up that FAA remote pilots are not really following the rules they agreed to when applying for the license.  Of course, my rant is negated if waivers were granted.

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This is the photo that got the attention of the FAA back in the Spring of 2015.  They never saw the photo, but did receive a report from the local police about my flight .  This incident is why I’m so very careful these days and advocate for safe, law-abiding flying.

Always Go Back…If You Can.

It pays to scout out a new shooting location.  Then you can go back and get the good shots.  I’m glad I still had time on our little trip or I wouldn’t have discovered this awesome angle of yesterday’s shoot.

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Almost all 1,561 acres of Jamestown Island. | Order a print of this image.

Hidden Gem

This place is magnificent and it’s right in our “back yard.”  Hopefully soon it won’t be as “hidden” when the documentary is released.  It’s also a wonderful place to fly – I wasn’t the only drone there this time.

“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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The Fall colors are peaking along the Shenandoah River at the Holy Cross Abbey. | 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.

metar

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?

fairy-tale

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

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.

Use It…

Not quite official, yet.  I still have to be vetted by the TSA, but I’m over the hump to being an officially certificated Remote Pilot by the FAA.  At least for the next 24 months.  No rest for the weary though.  I have to remain up-to-date on everything.  Use it or lose it, right?

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What a relief!

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.

old-fashioned

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.

#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.

PMS

That’s my high school.  No, not PMS, the school in the images.  Although it IS now called Wilbur S Pence Middle School.  Local folks call it Pence – Pence Middle School.  Fun, huh?

I graduated with the class that the last to attend all four years in this building.  Coincidentally, my mom graduated in the class that was the first to attend all four years in this building.  Cool.

I graduated with the class that was the last to attend all four years in this building. Coincidentally, my mom graduated in the class that was the first to attend all four years in this building. Cool.

Henge

Bucket list item – henge road trip:

  1. Stonehenge (Witshire, England) – ✓
  2. Carhenge (Alliance, NE) – ✓
  3. Foamhenge (Natural Bridge, VA) – ✓

What’s next – suggestions?

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RVTY 51

I've got a lot of traveling to do - this would be a fun RV trip. http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/29025

I’ve got a lot of traveling to do – this would be a fun RV trip. “Stonehenges” in the United States.