After Blossom

I wonder if I can get something going.  For all those people who host parties for Apple Blossom, what happens to all that extra food?  For all those people who complete massive projects just in time for Apple Blossom and then the weather doesn’t cooperate, bummer right?  There’s an enormous run-up to the festival and then, just like a summer storm, it’s all over in a heartbeat.  Where did all the people go?  Oh no, we forgot to do this or we forgot to do that!  You can finally get to those projects that had to wait until after the bloom.  Don’t blink or you’ll miss something.  Memorial Day is coming.  Will the food still be good enough to serve at a Memorial Day backyard party?  Will the weather finally cooperate?  It can feel like a massive release of pressure.  Oh yeah, and it’s my birthday.

Happy “After Blossom” – catchy?

After Blossom

Part of some backyard improvements at our house.  The rain hanging from the lamp shade compelled me to shoot it.

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.


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.


I think I’ve discovered a new, fun way for shooting fireworks.  I was just going through my Apple Blossom images and stumbled upon this one – at first I thought it was no good, but I like it.



This was my 21st year of Apple Blossom Festivals.  I realize that’s still fewer than a lot of people, but when you want to shoot unique images, it starts to get difficult.  Every year I think to myself “self, there’s nothing new to shoot.  You’ve seen it.  Yep, that’s another fire truck.”  But this year I got to see a different vantage point.  Yep, you guessed it – here’s a bird’s-eye view of that same parade.

A fun new perspective on an annual event in Winchester, VA.

A fun new perspective on an annual event in Winchester, VA.

Low Light

Just out testing the low light capabilities of this aerial rig.  So far – I like it a lot (spoken in the best Lloyd Christmas voice possible).  I also had my first (and most likely NOT my last) encounter with law enforcement.  It was a really quick response (guess it makes sense if you look closely in the bottom left of the frame).  I hadn’t even depleted one battery yet.  It was a positive experience and I’m hoping that goes a long way in my efforts to represent this new technology.

The results of my late-night low-light endeavor.  Well worth it all in my opinion.

The results of my late-night low-light endeavor. Well worth it all in my opinion.


I wanted to get some “before” images and the sunset was perfect today.  Can’t wait to really test out the low-light performance of this rig.  The video is gonna be off-the-chart awesome!

The beginning stages of set-up and prep for the carnival at this year's Apple Blossom Festival.

The beginning stages of set-up and prep for the carnival at this year’s Apple Blossom Festival.

“Antique” or “Old Timey”

Either way, it’s a cool car – the Excalibur.  I usually go to the Apple Blossom Weekend in the Park, but this weekend kicked my butt.  I’ll settle for snapping a few shots in my church’s parking lot of all the cars that the celebrities ride for the parade.  This one was just sitting there oozing style.  Those menacing clouds off in the distance never really produced anything the entire day (at least not on our parade).

Another successful Grand Feature Parade.

Another successful Grand Feature Parade.