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


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.


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


It’s certainly not for everybody and I’ve seen it done with great success, but the “painterly” style is definitely different.


Shenaodah University’s Halpin-Harrison Hall as the Fall foliage sets in. | Order a print of this image.

Fairy Tale

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


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.


I was there to shoot Fall foliage.


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.


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.


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

I Lied

Alright, so at the very last minute I really got going and created a pretty horrifying scene apparently.  It doesn’t hurt that I have a fairly professional lighting kit to dip into.  Plenty of kids came up the walk and immediately turned around after seeing our greeting.  I guess I’m still into Halloween.

This is what greeted the kids as the walked up the sidewalk to our house. It helps that the front door is somewhat removed from the street, Next year's gonna be awesome!

This is what greeted the kids as they walked up the sidewalk to our house. It helps that the front door is somewhat removed from the street.  Next year’s gonna be awesome!


I’m not as much about Halloween anymore as I am about the Fall colors.  I read a blog post just now commenting on how Halloween is “an adieu to Fall.”  Really?!  Fall is 3 months you know and we’re only really 1 month in.  Come on.  Go outside, kick some leaves up and have fun today.  Happy Halloween Fall!


No, not the year of the British Invasion.  It’s the year that D-Hall was built on JMU campus.  I saw this picture and thought, this is probably not too far from what it looked like then especially the concrete tables built into the landscaping (perhaps didn’t have handicap ramps either).  Love it.

The controversy over D-Hall was that it wasn’t consistent with the rest of campus. It was round and didn’t use bluestone in its construction.

The Soul

Everybody needs something in their life that’s stress-free.  You know, that activity that satisfies the soul.  I didn’t realize how much just shooting does that for me.  I was able to get out the other day and just shoot for nothing more than the fun of it.  That’s good stuff.  For me at least


The dome of the Handley Regional Library in Winchester, VA. | Order a print of this image.



What do you remember from college?  I was on my alma mater’s campus today during the annual parade of champions marching band competition, but I was more focused on what I remember from my days at the school – D-Hall.  I worked in food services throughout my entire college career and have some great memories – from farm parties, bowling leagues and overnight camping trips.  What a blast!  I wanted to capture a few images of the building I called “my office” before it’s demolished and replaced by a more up-to-date facility next year.  Check out this page for an image of the construction of D-Hall.

See more like this in my online gallery.

D-Hall is the circular building with Bridgeforth Stadium top left and the iconic Wilson Hall (from behind) top right. | See more like this in my online gallery.


I end up shooting almost as much of the location at cyclocross races as I do of the race itself.  The Luray caverns cross race has some very cool buildings and old farm equipment on the property.  Lots and lots of character and textures.  Just really cool to shoot there.



They say that -40ºC is equal to -40ºF.  Not sure I want to find out first-hand.  -4ºC is cold enough for me.

It's apparently also been proven that -57.6ºF is twice as cold 0ºF.  I just know it's cold!

It’s apparently also been proven that -57.6ºF is twice as cold 0ºF. I just know it’s cold!


If you knew what you were looking at you could see almost the entire course of yesterday’s Battlefield Half Marathon.

This is the "view" from my house - well, at least from straight above my house.

This is the “view” from my house – well, at least from straight above my house.


So I was driving down the interstate highway and got the urge to take this photograph.  So I did.  Its pretty colorful along our section of 81.

Our colorful section of I-81 near mile marker 309.

Our colorful section of I-81 near mile marker 309.


It was such a cold day for a football game.  I know most people would say it was perfect weather for a football game, but not me.  I’ve certainly become a fair-weather person in my “old” age.  But the sunsets are no less spectacular – that’s one reason I could photograph the sunset every day.  Maybe that’ll be my theme for all of next year – what a challenge.


Aerial HDR

So it’s tough enough to handhold an HDR image, but given a choice between handholding and aerial HDR – I choose handheld.  Even with the 3-axis gimbal guiding the camera, the aerial cam just can’t hold still enough.  I probably spent about 20 minutes trying to eliminate all the ghosting in this image (and could have easily spent another 1/2 hour).  Enough’s enough.  This will have to do.  I think I’ll just stick to the one image post-processing using the raw data straight out of the camera.

I just realized that was an incredible amount of technical geek-talk.  It’s late at night – thanks for listening.  Now just enjoy the image.

Fall On The Mall - Old Town Mall in Winchester, VA.

Fall On The Mall – Old Town Mall in Winchester, VA.

Nature’s Palette

It’s nature’s color palette.  What a great time of year to be a landscape photographer.

Order a print of this image.

Order a print of this image.