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

hidden-gem

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.

Painterly

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

painterly

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?

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.

tuscarora

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.

almost-there

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

X5 FTW

I was cleared for takeoff this evening.  Yep, I filed my first (and second) flight plan.  It’s kinda surreal for me that I’ve made it this far.  When I got my first aerial camera, it was so new that there weren’t really any regulations for it (which explains all the images in my collection that I can’t really shoot these days).  It’s crazy how fast the governemnt moved on this set of regulations.  But I’m always about what’s next and that usually spells trouble for me being a gear-head and all.  I have to separate myself from the ever-growing community of “dronies” who are basically shooting with the same super-wide-angle-infinity-focus camera that everybody else has.  That’s not good enough for me anymore.  Not after tonight’s flight.

x5-ftw

Can you appreciate what’s slightly different about this aerial image? | Order a print of this image.

 

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.

Down By The River

I have all sorts of new projects in the hopper, but this one is pretty cool.  If you weren’t aware of the presence of monks in the area, you will soon enough.  I get to shoot the aerials for a new documentary by George Patterson about the Holy Cross Abbey in Clarke County.  It’s supposed to air on WVPT in late October.  Check this out in the meantime.

IMG_3539

The chapel that welcomes guests onto the grounds at Holy Cross Abbey in Berryville.

There He Is

It’s taken several trips to the beach to get him used to it, but now he absolutely loves running up and down the beach, through the water chasing after any wildlife that moves.  Today he discovered the little sand crabs.

20160725-IMG_7958-HDR-Edit

Waldo found his happy place.

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!  😀

20160705-DJI_0013

Showing off the Inspire 1 to the Blandy Photo Club.

20160705-DJI_0017-HDR

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

20160705-DJI_0022-HDR

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. 😁

20160701-DJI_0358

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

20160701-DJI_0368

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.

DJI_0021

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.

20160531-DJI_0248-Edit

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.

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!

Space Coast

Alright, so here’s the obligatory Spring Break photo…

20160309-DJI_0052_AuroraHDR_HDR

Order a print of this image.

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.