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

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Shooting Pigeons On Main Street

I was downtown last night shooting a play at the Austin Theater on Main Street. Like all downtown’s we have our share of pigeons. Usually I pay them no attention, but last night a flock flew overhead as I walked to my car. They wheeled and turned, flying out of sight, then came into view from a different direction.

I immediately brought my camera up and started shooting. The first frames had a bit of blur, the shutter speed was down around 1/60 second from shooting inside. I reset my ISO and shutter speed and shot as they flew around.

I love the texture in these images, the shadows and tiny points of detail. Cool the way the light falls on some birds while others are silhouettes, a beak and eye show up on one bird, the next in shadow.

I know folks were wondering why that fool was taking pictures of a bunch of pigeons. Who cares? I got some neat images.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

When Better Is Possible......

I was invited to a Literacy Week Celebration last week. The lady who was organizing the event
dropped a flyer by the office for me and told my boss she would really like for me to come to the program. I called her later that day and talked about the program. She told me some of the people who would be speaking. I told her I would be glad to come.

So, Tuesday morning I grabbed my cameras and headed over to the program. I walked in and Mrs. Lindsey waved me over. State Representative Lynmore James was at the podium. She said she was so glad that I was able to attend, showed me the program, and said "You are speaking next." I said "What!!!!" She said "you are the next speaker."

"Well," I said, "I thought I was coming to take pictures for the paper. I had no idea I was to speak." She said "If you don't want to, I will understand." I almost said I would just take pictures, but decided I should take my turn at the podium. I went to the back of the room and prayed til my time came, "Lord, don't let me look like an idiot."

The top photo is of Dr. Odessa McNair. She spoke after me. Wow, what a cool little lady. Love the photo of her at the podium. By the time I got through I am sure the audience had forgotten all about me. One bit of advice she offereed, "When better is possible, good is not enough."
Well worth remembering. Made me glad I took my turn to speak.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

You Never Know Where you'll End Up

We have new coffee shop in Fort Valley. They sell Starbucks coffee. This is a big deal in our town.
The coffe shop is located downtown inside Fort Valley State University's new Fine Arts Building.
Having the part of the Fine Arts Department in downtown Fort Valley is pretty big as well.

I had shot my pictures and was talking with coffee shop owner Spring Rosati when I was called about the cops chasing some suspects in a shooting. I ended my interview with Spring and hit the road, headed to the other side of the county.

I didn't get the arrests, but I did get some decent photos. One of them was the photo with the officers with a bloodhound and and AR-15 walking through a subdivision.

One of the things I have always loved about my job is that when I leave home for work, I may know where I am going, but never know where I will end up.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Hambone Jam

This past weekend my hometown, Fort Valley, hosted the Hambone Jam, Georgia's championship barbecue competition. The festivities began Friday night, the air aroma of smoking meat and chicken floated through downtown, , live bands filled the air with music.
Both days a chance to get some interesting photos and visit with old friends and meet some new ones.
The top photo was from the rib judging. Love the photo, a feminine hand, fingers covered with barbecue sauce, while the other hand daintily holds on to a hunk of meat. One of my favorite photos.

I like my photo of guitarist Jay Fredericks. You won't find a better guitarist anywhere, and he's
homegrown. Captain Anthony Brown shows off his tender fall apart chicken. He invited me back Saturday for a taste of his pilled pork.
Love my hometown, and I do love community journalsim.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Eat Your Veggies(But Take A Picture First)

This is photo I shot several years ago for the Telegraph's Food section. The story was about vegetables and this idea came into my head. It made a neat image, but it took some effort.
I used a light box(used for viewing negatives) as the background and light source. The box has tungsten bulbs so I shot the photo using Tungsten balanced Ektachrome.
I sliced the tomato, pepper, onion and carrot as thinly as I could and layed them on the surface of the light box. The hard part was getting the carrot thin enough to be as translucent as the others. This required several cuts, to carrot and fingers. I used a bit if onion skin and piece of lettuce to balance things out.
I metered for the light coming through the veggies and then bracketed the exposure. I also turned off the room lights so the only light was from the box. It worked out okay. Shooting digital makes these kinds of images much easier. Removes some of the guess work.
Hope this will inspire you to follow through on that idea you have had floating in your head. And eat your veggies!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Three Old Friends

I photographed Ronald Reagan quite a few times during my career. The first time was a campaign visit to Macon Mall. This was before he was elected for his first term. The bottom photograph was from that visit. My friend, the late Bobby Lowe, is shown directly behind Reagan. Bobby was a Macon Police officer and was helping with security.

Reagan's other appearances were at Macon's City Hall. The top photo was from one of these visits. My friend and former Telegraph photographer shot this image. Reagan can be seen in the lower left of the image, with his back to the camera. I am the dude behind two tripods, inside the red circle. UPI photographer Russ Yoder is on my immediate left, and AP photographer Joe Holloway next to Russ. I have mentioned both of them before...heros, mentors and good friends.

Russ, Joe, and Bobby. Three friends who all contributed to my growth over the years. Just wanted to share them with y'all.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Family Photos

Deborah and I had family with us over the weekend.  The perfect opportunity to break out the camera and do some candid photos.  You can always pose some group pictures, but for the good ones hang back and let folks do their thing. This is really easy with kids.

The top photo is of Deborah and our great niece Chetney playing while Chetney's mom Angel was taking their picture. The bottom photo is Angel playing with her son Tristen.  They were busy playing in the floor ignoring me.  Just be a fly on the wall and shoot away.  You will get some keepers.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Photographing Jewelry

I shot this photo last week while working with Mark Ballard. He had found these really cool rings. Mark is really great to work with. Unlike some artist who try to micro manage photo shoots, Mark lets you know what he wants, and then lets you do your job. He also comes up with some neat things to photograph.

When shooting jewelry or any small objects, you need to have them as big in the photo as you can. This usually means working with a macro lens. Macro lenses have very little depth of field, so you focus and placement is critical. Notice in the top photo, all the rings are in focus. The bottom photo is how the rings were originally placed. Only an inch or so apart, but either the back ring on the finger was in focus, or the ones in front. No way to stop down and have them all sharp.

The solution is simple enough. You just get them all on the same plane. You position them so if you look down from above, they are all pretty much lined up.

Keep your lighting simple, and make sure you don't have any really distracting shadows. Use a background that is complimentary to your subject matter. Use props sparingly. The hand works well to show the top ring, and the lines pull your eye into the picture.
Simlpicity very seldom goes wrong.

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