So I get this upgraded “toy” – I call it a toy, but it’s not a toy (not at that price) – and the weather has not cooperated with me one bit yet. It’s sitting in its case begging to fly.


“Come fly with me, let’s fly, let’s fly away.”

– Frank Sinatra



Just got the updated drone today.  Not really enough time to put it through its paces.  There’s an enormous library of learning videos they suggest I watch first.  It makes sense that I’d need a pilot’s license for this stuff!


One of the first images from the DJI Inspire 1.

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I know I used that blog title before, but hear me out.

I had a shoot at an undeveloped site today and got pretty excited that I found a place that was big enough to really test the range of the aerial camera.  At one point I determined that I was about 1600 feet away from my launch point.  Pretty cool and I was having a blast (getting some great footage, too).

Tonight I saw the movie American Sniper, which really makes you think about things differently.  Anyway, if you follow the road in the upper middle of the frame (it starts with a left-hand bend) away from the camera to where the open field ends and the forest begins, that’s about the 1,600 feet.  That’s still 4,700 feet short of the longest shot from Chris Kyle, the featured soldier in American Sniper!





I’ve looked forward to flying this thing while it snowed.  Now that I have – meh…

I got the call that the city schools were called off so I got excited that it might make for some great images.  Schools were cancelled because of this!?

This is as bad as it got today.

This is as bad as it got today.


I’m committing to competing in the Challenge Williamsburg this Summer.  I took an entire year off of racing and am itching to get back “in the saddle” so to speak.  I think I might be done (won’t really say “never”) with pure bicycle racing for now, but need/want to stay fit.  I think this is how I’ll do it.  I was looking over the course maps and sure enough, this is where it starts!

Jamestown Beach Park near Williamsburg, VA

Jamestown Beach Park near Williamsburg, VA


Ah, the first snowfall.

I actually got a little freaked out about not posting an image yesterday.  I certainly didn’t want to get out of the habit of shooting so I’m glad it snowed because I recently posted that I wanted it to so I could get some snow pictures.

Ta-da.  Of course I shot Handley.


Order a print of this image.


Flight Training

It’s been a while since I took to the skies.  I spent some time with my nephew letting him control the yaw of my aerial camera (it’s really the only control that would be safe for a three-and-a-half-year-old to control).  I suppose I should have recorded video and posted it here.  Next time.



Cotton Candy Sky

I recently read a photography post compiled by top professionals indicating what photos I (as a professional wanna-be) should avoid because they’re cliche and “tired.”  You know what, I don’t care.  I don’t always take a photograph based on what the population will consider artful.  In fact, I think being a professional means determining in my own mind what I think to be artful.  And the sunset, although having been shot countless times every day, is different (IMHO) every single day.  That’s the beauty of it.  So enjoy this very unique sunset.


Can You See It?

I’ve read articles about how various drone sightings are freaking out pilots of major airlines.  I certainly can’t speak to what it’s like to fly a plane or what it looks like out the cockpit window – having had only a 1/2-hour lesson in a Cessna once about 10 years ago.  I’ve debated whether or not I should write about this because I know the sh*t storm that could ensue, but I think I’d be hard-pressed to see a drone out the window of an airplane.  But that’s me.  I don’t have the trained eye of a pilot.  It’s different up there.  Kinda like when I was in Africa and the guides kept seeing all the animals.  I had no idea what I was looking at having never experienced it – that’s why they’re the experts.  That being said, I can speak to what it looks like from the other perspective and can only assume that it’s a similar view.  I know my pilot friends may have a lot to say on the matter and I certainly invite it because both sides need to be considered as the public moves into a new era of unmanned craft hovering around your neighborhoods.  I think I’ve done a pretty good job at using common sense since I’ve had the aerial camera.  I’ve only had one complaint and that person was questionable at best.

Anyway, can you see the small aircraft (prop plane) in this image?  It was flying near my house and I was very nervous about it so I brought the drone back towards me.  The plane was relatively close (probably just took off from the local airport) and I could clearly see it from my vantage point on the ground.  Look really closely.  It took me a little bit to find it and I knew it was there.  Now, keep in mind that I’m probably below the plane so seeing it would be easier than it seeing me.  I have a more contrasting background from my viewpoint.

Look out!

Look out!  I’m hovering at 374 feet by the way.

Pit Stop

Any excuse to take the aerial camera out and fly it, right?  I saw these trees across the highway on the way down to Florida and said I thought it would make a cool image.  So we stopped on the way home.  I really missed out on some cool photography on our cross-country RV trip a couple of years ago.

Our first rest stop on the way home from Florida.

Our first rest stop on the way home from Florida.


I wonder when I’ll get past the nervous feeling I get when I’m flying over water.  Still, it makes for some awesome footage.

Giving Thanks

With it being almost a year since the demise of the local ABC affiliate in Winchester, I’m thankful that I was able to remain in that area and that my family was supportive as I made the transition into doing what I enjoy doing.  It’s been somewhat of a bumpy ride and it’s certainly not over yet, but I’m thankful that they came with me.

I know, it's not the most traditional image of Thanksgiving.  Just another thing I'm thankful for (we missed the first big storm).

I know, it’s not the most traditional image of Thanksgiving. Just another thing I’m thankful for – we missed the first big storm back home.

Sun Shower

I think it’s cool how you can sometimes see a rain storm way off in the distance.  That’s what I saw here, only it’s a sun shower.  One of these days I’m going to figure out how to shoot those rays so they look like they do when I’m looking at them.



This morning’s glow was pretty cool.  It completely wrapped around the entire sky.  So many times I’m so focused on the actual sunrise that I forget to do a 180 and check out the other view.  It was tough to pick just one image so here are two.



Closing Time

It’s a real race to get in position for the sunset these days.  The last buses from the school day haven’t even left the school, yet!  It’s worth it though.  I’m flying from the comfort of a heated vehicle these days.  I wonder how easy it would be to fly from a moving vehicle.  I suppose I should be even more careful now that the FAA is gaining ground with the NTSB, huh?


This one’s on my gallery site, too.



I was looking back through my images and saw this one and thought “cool, I love those clouds.” Nope, not clouds.  I was only about 50 feet up – just a really foggy morning.  Looks like it was out of a plane though.



So it’s not graffiti.  I thought it was something like a senior hallway that changes every year or something like that.  Nope, it’s a wall of constellations.  Yeah, look really closely.  I always wondered what it was.  And I’ve always wanted to take a photo of the cupola through the glass hallway.  Here’s both – well, sort of…

The "bridge" at John Handley High School. | Order a print of this image.

The “bridge” at John Handley High School. | Order a print of this image.


I’ve posted all my images from the Battlefield Half Marathon last weekend on my gallery site, but I really wanted to get to the video that I shot that day, too.  There’s some awesome scenery in the surrounding county here.  Enjoy…

Second Mortgage

I should know better than to follow technology news when I’m the biggest gear head I know.  I don’t need a car, right?

DJI's new product launched today.  Anybody want to finance this for me...?

DJI’s new product launched today. Anybody want to finance this for me…?

Just Cool

Wow, that was just cool!  When we first started talking about shooting some aerials of the entire student body of WPS, I thought sure it’ll be neat.  That was just cool and a little overwhelming.  To be honest, I was nervous until it was all over.  Shooting aerials of that many people gathered in one space with an aerial camera makes me nervous.  But we pulled it off.  How about that?!  And the camera was a huge hit.  Kids love that stuff – and I’m including adults ‘cuz we’re just big kids, right?

The entire student body of Winchester Public Schools (roughly 4,400 students) gathered today for an aerial shoot promotion cultural diversity.  The footage will be featured in a video to be shown in January on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The entire student body of Winchester Public Schools (roughly 4,400 students) gathered today for an aerial shoot promoting cultural diversity. The footage will be featured in a video to be shown in January on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.