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

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I love this photo. It makes me feel happy every time I look at it.
Another of those that I shot during 2007 and had forgot about.
Glad I stumbled across it when I was looking for contest entries.

I was in Warner Robins shooting a rehearsal of Peter Pan. I had finished and was leaving. Some of the cast were late arriving, one of them was Zakyah Freeman who was Tinkerbell.

As I was walking toward the door the director said "here's Tinkerbell."
Well, I turned and saw that smile and those wings, and knew I had to shoot one more photo. As I shot the picture, I knew this one was a keeper. Love the soft colors, the other girl pointing, all eyes on Tinkerbell.

The editor ran this one small liking another for the play photo. Should have been
this one, but what the heck. It still makes me smile.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Birds of Prey

These pictures are happy accidents. The owl a bit happier than the eagle. We went to Calloway Gardens last year mainly to visit the butterfly house. If you have not gone there with you camera, you need plan a trip. After the butterflies, go see the Birds of Prey exhibit. More cool photos, but just neat stuff. Later we went up the road from Calloway to a wild animal park for more great
picture possibilities.

When we came back I concentrated more on the wild animals and the butterflies. Didn't
hardly even look at the birds.

The birds (owls, hawks, an eagle with a funky beak) fly over your head during the show.
I shot these two pictures while they were in the air. I had my shutter speed too low, and got a lot of blur. The eagle almost works, wish his face had been a bit more in focus. The owl
is right on.

Anyway, go back an take a look at your old images every so often. You see how much
you have progressed in your skills, but you finds some hidden gems as well.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Little Leaguers

I shot these photos last August at the little league tryouts at Warner Robins American League. This was after the Warner Robins kids were on their way to the World Series. Interest was up, more kids were signing
up to play.

This was tryouts. Didn't expect to get anything really good. Should have known better. When you are photographing a bunch of kids, all you have to do is wait. Just be patient, and get down low, so you are at face level or below. Good images will come, Grasshopper.

My favorite is the top photo of the little boys waiting in line. So like a bunch of boys. All doing their own thing while they are waiting. One sitting on a bat, hanging on the fence. Another examining a bottle, some lost in thought, anticipating their time at bat. All I had to do was be there and be observing. The back light
does not hurt the image.

The coach giving the words of wisdom as the boy heads to the batter's box tells something about this
organization. I think it was important to the story. Another shot from a low angle, gotta see those little

Guess it is a big help that I am not much taller than they are.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Color For Color's Sake

I guess it is an awful thing for a photographer to admit, but I don't look specifically for color too often when I am shooting. Color usually doesn't figure in my choice of subject or composition. I see the picture as a whole, not pulled into the image by color alone.
The way the light plays in an image is more important to me.

These two photos are different. They are more about the color. That is what made me shoot them, especially the flag image. I know some people who do shoot for the sake of color. A lot of their images are based on color, both the composition and subject choice.

Nothing wrong with that.

I probably just spent too many years thinking and working in black and white. That is not a bad thing either. Hopefully I see the content more for what it is. The simpler the better. That is why so many of my images convert easily into black and white.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Bit of Flair

There are quite a few rules in photography. Two rules we hear quite early are keep the sun behind you while shooting, and don't point the camera at the sun. Well, sometimes the best picture is between you and the sun, or some other strong light source.

You can shoot into the sun, sometimes getting pretty cool results. When you point your camera in the direction of a bright light source while using a wide angle lens, you will probably get lens flare-those odd bubbles of color and streaks. part of your image will be washed out, and you loose contrast.

Lens hoods help reduce flare, you can help your hood a bit by holding your hand or a piece of paper above the front of the lens. As you look through the lens you can see the results of your added hood extension by the change in contrast.

Now, if you want to be a bit creative, just go for the flare. Probably will have to bracket your exposures a little, but with a digital, you can see what you are getting. Balance your exposure so you get flair, usually want to be able to see your light source, and still have some detail in the foreground.

A bit of flare can add some real flair to a routine photo.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Some Strange Pictures

I was looking through a folder of photographs from a trip last year to the Jarrell Plantation. Don't know why it had never occurred to be before, but I shoot some strange stuff. This is an odd way to look at an 1800's plantation. Really kind of an odd way to see anything, I guess.

That is why I can get so frustrated some of the time if I only travel with my little point and shoot. Oh, that is another revelation of late. Sometimes I need more lens that the point and shoot carries.

I like really wide lenses, and I like to shoot really tight with long lenses. Some of these images I see in my little head just won't work without extreme wide or long glass.

But why do I see things this way. Why is my eye pulled to cluster of thorns? Or a knothole? Maybe it's the voices......hello, hello, anybody there?

Yet More On Monochrome

More and more of my personal work ends up as black and white. I keep saying I want to shoot more black and white film, but always end up doing most of my stuff digital. So much easier than dragging out the reels and tanks, mixing developer.
Then scanning in the negatives. Just getting old and lazy, I guess.

I had thought about getting a digital that I could shoot black and white files with, by-passing the color. I have decided that would be a loss. I got to thinking about all the times back in the day(here we go again, those non-acid flashbacks!) when I was shooting color in one camera and black and white in the other. So often the great frame was a monochrome, no color available. Decided that it is much better to have the color and not use it.

All the photos that become black and white are first color. I tone them as color, and save both a raw version and one that has been completely optimized. Then I play with making it black and white, sepia, or just dumping part of the color. Six months from now, or maybe 6 years from now I may decide I want to see the color version. I can always go back.

Can't do that with Tri-X.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Yikes, Toad-Like Reflections!!!!

I went to The Westfield Schools yesterday to photograph their
award winning debate team. This kind of assignment always makes me
nervous. How do you get a cool photo of a debate team? Don't want to just do a
line of folks holding a trophy. They may be kicking it in the competitions, but still....this is a debate team.

I had no idea how I would shoot the photo. Had several ideas during the day, sadly mostly dumb ones. As I gathered the team and their coach I had an idea. I shot the safe shot of the group with their Region championship trophy, then had the team sit on the floor, positioned the trophy on the floor in front of them, and shot the above photo. Pretty cool, eh.

All was well until I looked closer at my photograph. There I am, looking like a toad, reflected on the side of the cup. Oh, well.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Monochrome Butterflies???

Last January we took a trip over to the butterfly house at Calloway Gardens. Got some really nice photos, all color , of course. Who would do black and white of butterflies?

Well, I dug these images out a couple of weeks ago and started playing with them, I really like them as black and whites better than with color. It is nice to have the option with digital. When you change them to black and white, be sure to
pump up the contrast, but be careful not to blow out any of the detail in the images.

Playing with pictures can be fun. Just be sure that you save the original file unchanged. When first open it up, go ahead and save it with a new file name. That way you won't loose your original image.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Go Fish

Last Wednesday afternoon I was headed to Perry for an assignment. I usually go
what I refer to as the back way-out Moody Road onto Houston Lake. Less traffic and much prettier scenery.

As I passed passed Houston Lake I looked over toward the boat ramps. I always do, never know what you will see. Bright color caught my eye. Lawn chairs and large plastic buckets. The overcast sky just made them pop.

I didn't have time to stop, so I was hoping the fishermen would still be there after my assignment was done.

I came back later and found Demorie Ellington and his fiance Lindsey Royal fishing. My first shot was with a telephoto, tried from 200mm to 500 and it just didn't work. I moved in with my wide angle and got the shot of Demorie casting.

My original assignment was to photograph Kim Greer at Go Fish. Glad this one didn't get away.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A Moment To Remember

There are days and assignments that I will never forget. Sometimes my mind goes back to them. Don't know why they come into my memory at odd times. I know why I won't forget them though.

The above photograph was from one of those days. One of the most intensely emotional afternoons I have ever spent. I was in Judge Ed Lukemire's Houston County court room. It was the end of a murder trial. Benny Dunham and two friends were on trail for killing Robert Daughtry. A really senseless murder, but aren't they all?

Benny Dunham had just been found guilty of murder, and sat at the table with his attorney Althea Buafo. The jury was out deciding his fate.

All three defendants were in the courtroom, their families and the family of the victim. All very much in pain, but all sharing the pain of the other families as well. The hurting was overpowering. I can not even begin to imagine what thoughts were going through this 19 year-old convicted murderer's mind as he waited to hear his sentence. His attorney reached out to comfort him. What a moment of compassion.

I hope readers were able to feel that spot of kindness in an otherwise very sad story.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Joys of Sharing

I have been leading a photo group at my church this past year. I have mentioned them before in my blog. We have been doing some day trips taking photos and having fun. Our last trip was to Providence Canyon over near Lumpkin, Georgia. If you have never been, check it out. Great photos and good exercise hiking through the canyon, and you can hit Yoder's Restaurant in Montezuma for dinner on the way home.

My wife Deborah goes with us quite often, but usually doesn't shoot any photos. She has a great eye and quite often points out photos to me. I have been telling her she should be taking pictures.

Elaine Dorsey, Patricia Pike and Ellen Foster went with us to the canyon. I know I am not much of a teacher but the four of them made me feel like I have done some good. Deborah used one of my cameras, and got some great images. The photo of Elaine, Patricia and Ellen are mine, the two cool photos are Deborah's.
All four of them have gotten good at seeing strong pictures in ordinary places. And not only are they seeing them, but they know how to capture what they are seeing.

In the beginning it was fun teaching this group, enjoying their enthusiasm to learn.
Next watching them take more chances with their photography, not being afraid to try
something totally off the wall. And then the fun of sharing new images.

It has been more rewarding for me than them I am sure. I know I am a better photographer for the experience. And that is what we are supposed to do. If you have a talent, find a way to share the fruits of your gift, but also help someone else nurture their's.

Can't wait to see how they all progress in 2008.

You can check out some of our photos at our website

Friday, January 4, 2008

Ice Photos

We don't get to shoot too many ice pictures in Middle Georgia. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining. When nature gives us ice pictures, it is a huge pain for everyone, lost power, can't drive the roads. But when the temperature drops low enough to freeze, be assured that someone's automatic sprinkler system will create a winter wonderland.

All you have to do is get out and find them before they melt. Wednesday I found a fountain in Fort Valley that had a little ice but nothing dramatic. Thursday I went to Perry for an early assignment and found my arctic scene.

A lot of these plants are small so i was working right on the ground. Always makes neat ice shots when you can get the sun in the photo. Ice photographs best when it has the light coming from behind. makes the ice really sparkle.

Dark backgrounds help to make the ice jump out, often the pictures would be just as good in black and white as color. When you can find some color to work into the shot, it makes an interesting image. The top photo with the red leaves just screams.

Look for interesting shapes, and for stems and limbs coated with ice. Water dripping for ice cycles is always cool.

The fountain photo was done at a fairly slow shutter speed causing the water drops to elongate, and the splashes to show up well when they hit the water.

Hope you got some pictures, cause next week we will be in shorts again.

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