Skyline

Skyline Drive (aka The Gateway to the Shenandoah Valley). Order a print here.

“National parks and reserves are an integral aspect of intelligent use of natural resources. It is the course of wisdom to set aside an ample portion of our natural resources as national parks and reserves, thus ensuring that future generations may know the majesty of the earth as we know it today.”

President John F. Kennedy, 35th president of the United States

Flight

Winchester Regional Airport (aka OKV) with Winchester and the Allegheny Mountains in the distance. | Order a print here.

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.” – Leonardo Da Vinci

I was, without a doubt, a bit nervous before my flight today. It essentially went against all my protocols up to now. Got some pretty epic footage though. Be on the lookout for the marketing videos coming out from the airport soon.

Time

Daggone it – just make time for the things you enjoy!

As Good As It Gets?

Sunset in Woodville, VA

Don’t settle. Never settle. You can always improve, even if it’s only by just a little.

Worth It

Somewhere deep into West Virginia.

Sometimes you drive an hour for a shoot. Totally worth it.

Somber

“…conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

Abraham Lincoln. 11/19/1863
Devil’s Den from Little Round Top at Gettysburg National Military Park. | Order a copy of this , or other, images.

Eye Candy

Well, just because.

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

My Corner

My little “corner of the world.”  Stay safe everybody.

corner

Change (aka I’m Old)

So I’ve arrived at that point in life where I can remember growing up with things and experiences and an entirely new generation can’t relate.  Sure there are those people who talk about certain things/experiences like they know.  They don’t know.  You’ve seen those lists and probably videos of products that millenials didn’t grow up with like cassette tapes, rotary home phones, home phones, the “pound sign,” 8-track casettes, Mickey butters, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, dial-up modems, floppy discs, Nick from Family Ties, Family Ties, console TVs, answering machines, Kodak disc cameras – good grief, the list goes on and on.  Now, I’m not saying kids these days don’t know about these things – they just didn’t grow up with them.  There’s a difference.  I was reminded recently when my sister got an air popcorn popper and had no idea how to use it.  It was fascinating to watch all her friends taking pictures and video (from their new-fangled smart phones no less!).

Good grief I feel old.  Now, get off my lawn!

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James Madison Univeristy’s new D-Hall replaces the previous round building that was my work home during my 4.5 years at the school. | See more images including some of the previous D-Hall.

Scene

Simply felt like a scene out of the movies.  I’m in a big, overgrown field (alone), photographing the landscape and out of nowehere the massive lightning storm erupts before me.  And just like in the movies, I’m telling myself “I gotta shoot this.  Just 5 more minutes.”  Have I not watched enought TV and movies to know better!!!

Scene

I got the shot. | Order a print.

Notes to Self

So along with about 5 million other people (give or take), I traveled to the path of totality.  How could I miss something like that?  Many thanks to my friend Brian Clark for motivating me to travel with him and his kids to experience it.  I may not have come away with the best images, but I experienced it.  It was all worth it.  The distance traveled, the traffic, the waiting.  Icing on the cake?  There’s another one in 2024.  I’ll see you there!

In the meantime, here are some notes to my future self so I don’t forget (the beauty of an online journal, right?):

  • Use the same camera to shoot both partial and total (the other camera is a backup)
  • Avoid extenders if at all possible.
  • Get a solar filter for the longest focal length.
  • Practice.  Actually practice.  It may seem silly, but now you know.
  • Take time away from the viewfinder and experience it.
  • A sturdy/hefty tripod ballhead is your best friend.
  • All camera bodies you use need a fully articulating LCD viewfinder.
  • Go ahead and rent that camera body you really wanted to rent this time around – it’ll be worth it.

Mid-day Sunset

The sunset horizon due North during totality.  One of several very specific images from my gallery – those who were there may appreciate them more than others. | More images here.

 

Later

One of my workflow tricks as a photographer (now that I kinda know what I’m doing) is to not dive right into my edits right away.  I wait a while and edit later.  I let some time pass between when I shoot and when I edit.  I can’t really articulate why this is, but I just know that if I’m too eager to jump into the edit it’s not as creative as when I wait plus it’s a bonus when I go back through my images and find ones I forgot I shot.  Of course, with thos pesky deadlines looming this isn’t always practical.

Later

Order a print of this image. | North River in Bridgewater, VA shot about a month ago.

24º

This is what 24ºC looks like to me in Febraury.  Come on, how could I not?!

24o

Differences

Put aside your political views/opinions for about 45 minutes each day.  Enjoy the fact that there’s always this to look forward to.

differences

It’s been a while since I shot anything and I know this is a similar composition, but it’s never really the same. | Order a print of this image.

Snow Haiku

I don’t like the cold
The sun looks great in Winter
I want some bacon

snow-haiku

I really like the juxtaposition of the cool tones and the warm tones. | Order a print of this image.

Sneak Preview

Alright folks – set your DVRs and TiVos and whatever else you high-techy techies use.  Next Thursday 8-9pm EST – “Saving Place, Saving Grace.”  Cedarmeade Studios’ debut on PBS.  Well, it’s not MY debut, but it kinda is for my aerials except that I did just win an award for aerial cinematography.  Anyway…it’ll be cool to watch it.  You can get a sneak preview of it and meet the filmmakers this Saturday (1/7) at The Barns of Rose Hill.  I’m going.

Here’s every link I could find about the film:

  1. Picture Farmer Films (this is the production company)
  2. Holy Cross Abbey (this is what the film is all about)
  3. Indiegogo (you can support the film)
  4. Sneak Preview (another link to get tickets for the sneak preview)

saving-place-saving-grace

One of the few still images I took while filming near the river. | Order a print of this image or others like it.

Last Sunrise

I made it up for the last sunrise of 2016.  This is a photography blog so that’s enough words.

last-sunrise

The scenic Colonial Parkway runs along the James River. |  Order a print of this image.

 

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.

jamestown-island-ii

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

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.

jamestown-island

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

Stubborn

Through some pretty intense back pain I still managed to get out on Saturday to shoot the Battlefield Half Marathon.  Although I wasn’t as mobile as I was the previoius two years, I still got some great Fall colors and an awesome sunrise.  I suppose I should have taken it easy, but I’m just stubborn that way I guess.  After all, I got the shot!

battlefield-16