My photo
... is a freelance photographer working in Middle Georgia

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Game Day

One of the best stories I got to do this year was following Northside High's football team on their Championship Game Day. Coach Nix allowed me a lot of access. Without their openness and trust I could not have completed my job. Everyone went about their business as if I was not there.

I didn't want to concentrate on one person, but try to include as many people and situations as I could. I had a loose plan, but pretty much let the story tell itself.

My first pictures were done Friday morning as coaches, players and trainers packed up and loaded their gear for the long ride to Waycross. I followed them to lunch and got one of my favorite photos, lunch room lady Wanda Keene giving star quarterback Marquis Ivory some last minute advice, "Fall down, don't you get hurt."

I really wanted to show the bond this team has, the character, and the influence of their late teammate Chris Johnson. He was very present the whole day.

I knew an important part of my coverage would be halftime. Not too many coaches will open their locker room at halftime during any game, much less a game of this importance. I really wanted to be there. The half came and Northside was behind.

Would I still get in? I have been in this situation before and had coaches change their mind, but not Coach Nix. The halftime images were some of my strongest.

I am glad my photos ended with celebration.

It was a long day, it was after 4am when I got back home. But what a day. What a fun story to tell.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Favorite Photos of 2007

Each photographer had to pick our two favorite photographs from 2007 to run next week. I went through looking for possible images. How to narrow my search down to two? I have lots of favorite photos, all for different reasons, not always for aesthetic reasons. I narrowed my search to these four. Each for a different reason.

The tornado picture from Americus, this was a really big news story this year. The news value was partly behind my grabbing this one. Also the difficulty of getting the photo and sending it back. That was quite a day.

The Peach County football game was a cool photo. Love that sky.

The photo from the home of Spc. Daniel Gomez was one that has held on to me for the past four months. I have thought about his family quite often. They are such gracious folks. Another photo with a lot of news value.

The last one, the sunset...I don't really know why I love this photo the way I do. I just get lost in this image. Maybe it's because it is a grainy black and white shot with a long lens. Kind of a haunting image.

Well, I made my picks, turned them in. Now as I sit here writing this, I have changed my mind again. Originally I picked the Americus photo and the sunset. Gotta include the Gomez photo. It wins out on quite a few levels. It was amoment I was quite honored to share.

My posting may be kinda spotty next week, going to be on vacation. Thanks for visiting my blog this year. I will be back on schedule after the first.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Day For The Birds

Just about every day at work is a good day. I love my job. Some days are really great. Monday was one of those days. I went to the Rum Creek Wildlife Area for the Christmas bird count. It is always great hanging out with people who have a passion for what they are doing. Terry Johnson and his crew of volunteers are truly passionate about their task.

I spent some time with them in the woods near Plant Scherer, then moved inside the plant grounds. The coolest photos were on the dam overlooking Lake Juliette. The ring bill gulls pit on a show for us. The volunteers were busy counting, and I got some great images of them and the birds.

I got stuck on the sunlight reflecting off the water. I turned in the photo of Bryan Fobbus silhouetted against the water, but I really liked the photo that had the sun showing. The picture of Bryan and his spotting scope required some waiting to get a clean angle. Still not sure which one I like best. The top photo ran in black and white. I really thought it was my strongest photo of the day. Oh, well.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

All Wet

Jason Vorhees and I went to Waycross last Friday for the Northside-Ware County State Championship football game. I began the season with the Northside -Houston County game, and got soaked. Boy, did it rain. The first part of the season I got wet every Friday night. Some years are that way.

Last Friday I was worried about rain. The rains were supposed to come sometime Saturday morning, according to the Weather Channel. You can never be sure. Well, game time came and it was dry. We shot the game under starry skies, Thought I had finished the season dry.

The clock is running down, so I get close to Coach Nix on the sidelines. You can try to do the Coach shot two ways....get close on the sidelines, or shoot from across the field. I hate trying to shoot this picture from across the field because there is usually someone in the way.

So I am shooting everyone hugging Coach Nix, the big celebration. Then wham. Players dump a cooler of ice water over the coach. Most of it went over his head and soaked me. Jason's photo at the top shows me getting very wet. It also shows that there is usually some photog or two between you and the picture when you shoot from across the field. It also shows the reason you don't get too close. The last photo shows why you keep something in your pocket to clean the front of your lens.

Oh well, at least it wasn't Gatorade. I'd still be sticky.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I did a story on custom painter Sid Gooden in last Saturday's paper. I spent part of an afternoon photographing and talking to him. The picture part is always easy when you are working with someone like Sid. He works with such photographable (did I just make up a word?) stuff and and he gets into his work so the camera does not bother him.

I wrote the story as well as shooting the art. The words are the hard part. Sid just talked as he worked, A fairly constant flow about what he was doing with the bike he was working on, how he does what he does, and why he does it. His words fit so well into what I wanted to put together, but it is hard to put the camera down to write quotes. And, by the way, I can't remember ten minutes ago.

I have struggled with this problem for a while. Since coming to the Warner Robins office I have been doing more writing, usually just really long lines, a copy block, to go with my pictures. Writing isn't real easy for me, but it is fun.

This time I used my little digital audio recorder. Makes it a lot easier. I don't have to stop and write. All I have to do is play back the audio and write from there. I just have to be more careful where I place the recorder. This time I recorded a lot of motordrive.

If you want to add drama really easy to a photo, just use a really wide angle lens. Shoot form down low, or from above. Really makes kinda boring a bit more interesting. Use the natural lines in your composition to pull the viewer's eye into your subject.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Finding Beauty

I was driving through Fort Valley this morning when I spotted these leaves just glowing in the middle of an empty lot. Last year a house burned down and the lot has really grown up, covered with wild vegetation.

I had to stop and turn around. Could not pass up shooting this picture. By the time I parked I knew I wanted to shoot it with a long lens, and blur the background. I thought I wanted to shoot it so the background was totally black, but saw the lacy plant and decided the contrast would be nice. Also liked the berries at the bottom. Tried it both ways and this one looked best.

I saw the morning glories low to the ground and swapped the 500 for my 15mm. Tried several shots from different low angles and liked these two.

What a way to start the week, finding such beauty amid this chaos.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Honoring a Generation

I photographed one of my neighbors Wednesday morning. I have lived down the street from Jon Pensyl for about three years. He belongs to a generation of my heros. I had met him before, and knew he was retired Air Force. He is a modest man, like most from his generation. I didn't know until Wednesday he was one of the World War II's Flying Tigers.

I was blessed enough to grow up around a bunch of men from this generation, men who knew what sacrifice really was. They proved themselves, knew they were men,
and influenced the next generation that came along just by the way they lived their lives. I learned a lot from these men. We all did.

Anyway, it is Pearl Harbor Day today. Lot of people think nothing of it anymore. Sadly not too many of this generation around now. I am glad that over the years I have gone back and thanked a few of them for the guidance I received and for what they gave. If you know any of these men, go tell them thanks for the job they did, for making our world a better place.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Meals on Wheels

Alas, more black and white dusted off and thrown across the ethernnet.....

Back in the 70's the City of Macon had a surplus of money (can you believe that???) and were trying to decide what to do with it. Several programs were being considered. One was the Meals on Wheels program. Our newspaper did stories on some of them, and I did most of the photos.

I spent a good bit of time with the Meals on Wheels delivery folks, and with some of the recipients. What an enlightening experience. Some of these folks ate only the one meal brought to them by Meals on Wheels, making the food last for both lunch and dinner. The delivery person was about the only contact several of the folks had with the rest of the world.

The top photo is of gentleman who enjoyed laking about his earlier years as a drummer in several local bands. He was reminiscing in this photo, invisible drumsticks flailing away.

The other two photos are of a sweet little lady in East Macon. The first time I went to her home, she took me into her living room sat down in this chair, and pointed to the framed 8 x 10 sitting on the table. "I just wanted to show you I used to be pretty," she said.

More days spent in the darkroom, printing and crying. Some heavy stuff. The story and a page of my pictures were published. City Council decided to give some of the money to Meals on Wheels. Sometimes you can make a difference.

Monday, December 3, 2007


I was looking through photos last week choosing images for a black and white
photo competition. I knew I wanted to use the Tattoo Shop stuff. It was shot in color, but I knew I wanted the finished work to be black and white. I began the project with the idea of color, but on the first day I shot Bobby, the owner of the shop, walking through the lobby and knew it had to be black and white. The tiles and all the flash on the walls made such a strong monochrome. My little brain just went WOW!!!!

One of the cool things about digital, you can shoot the originals in color and later make them black and white. I may go back and try them as color sometime.

While I was looking through my pictures I ran across the butterfly photos. I went past them, and something made me open them up and try them as black and white. Really glad I did.

It is easy to make your color digital images black and white. Just convert them from RGB to grayscale. In photoshop, just go to Image, pull down to Mode, and hit Grayscale. Save it as a different file name so you keep the originals unchanged.

Most folks don't make their black and white images contrasty enough. Don't blow out all the highlights, but get some contrast in there.

If you want to make prints of your black and white photos, save them as RGB's. You can use desaturate(Image, pull down to Adjsutments, and then Desaturate) Just be sure to tone the images properly so you have good contrast. Printing them as RGB's will give you truer tones when printed.

So, look back through some of your images, and try making some cool monochromes.

Blog Archive