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

Saturday, July 23, 2011

NASCAR, Coke and Pepsi

I traveled to Perry this morning to photograph NASCAR driver David Ragan and his many fans. He was at a table signing autographs. Always a challenge to get a good shot since your main subject is on one side of the table, and other folks are on the other. You want both faces, good expression, and some action.

I also wanted the Coke 400 Daytona Race trphy. It was on a table in front of a window. I stood there looking at it, thinking how boring it was. Then some guy leans against the window and peers inside. Made my photo.  I thought the crushed Pepsi can on the table was a hoot. And, no, I didn't put it there.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Some Cool Plugins

I found some pretty cool free plugins that work with both Photoshop and Elements 9. You can find them at  The site has several free packs of plugins. This one has several effects.
The top photo is the LOMO filter. It gives a similar image as the LOMO Konpakt Avtomat, a Russian cult camera of some fame.

The middle photo was done with the sepia effect, and the bottom was using the "Old Photo" effect. It lets you ad as much grain as you want. Each filter has various sliders to control contrast and other features. You can change the tint in both the sepia and the old photo filters. With the old photo, you can distress the photo, giving the look of a damaged, scratched print. You really have to play with each one to see what you can do, and how much you like the effect.

There are other filters in the pack, you can do a colorizing effect, a softening filter called Dreamy, and one called Grunge. Check them out, the price is right.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fresh Blueberries

I picked a basket of blueberries this morning. What a treat, love these little things. First time I have picked any in over ten years.  The City of Fort Valley has a bunch of blueberry bushes in one of our parks. They are maintained by the city, and anyone can go and pick, for free.  

I had to do a few pictures, they looked so good on the bushes. I am shooting more and more as RAW files, and doing much better preparing them.  Most of the work on these two was done in Camera Raw, very little in Photoshop. 

It is amazing how much more information is available in a RAW file as compared to a JPEG.  You have so much more latitude, like comparing transparency film to to color negative film. It takes little more time editing, but well worth it. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Happy Birthday To The Goat Man

Today is the Goat Man's birthday. Charles "Ches" McCartney would have been 110 years old today. For those of you who do not remember this American legend, he traveled the United States for over 50 years with a wagon pulled by a team of goats, hence the name Goat Man.

McCartney was born in Iowa in 1901, and ran away to New York City at age fourteen. There he met and married a Spanish knife thrower ten who was ten years older than he was. The two moved back to Iowa and resumed life on the farm. They had a son, Albert Gene.

Supposedly he took to the road with his goats after losing everything in the depression. Not sure what happened to the Spanish bride and Gene. One story said he sold his wife to a neighbor for a $1000.00. He traveled America with his goats, the Bible, and a copy of Robinson Crusoe.

Lots of stories followed him during his road years. He was a spy(Cold War Years), another that he was a really quite rich.  He would always gather a crowd as he camped each night. He would get out his Bible and share the Word with anyone who would listen.

He ended his travels in the late 1960's and settled in Twiggs County, living in an old school bus. I visited him fairly often during the early eighties. He was frequently seen hitchhiking between Macon and his Twiggs County home. He stank to high heaven.  Anyone giving him a ride would have some interesting conversation and a smelly car. Gene came to stay with him at some point.

Ever the adventurer, Ches traveled to California , was beaten, robbed and ended up in a LA hospital. Writer Eric Velasco and I met him at the Macon airport when he returned home. Said he went to California to marry actress Morgan Fairchild.

He spent his last years in a nursing home in East Macon, dying in 1998. I was one of many at his funeral in Twiggs County.  Gene was murdered about six months before Ches died. His murderer has never been found.

Happy Birthday to an American Legend.

Monday, July 4, 2011

God Bless The USA

This is a rose from our yard. Deborah had put it in a vase and commented this morning; "How appropriate,
a blood red rose for the 4th of July."  She had gotten some water the petals, and said it would look really cool in the sun, holding drops on its velvet-like surface. That was all the cue I needed to grab a camera and take it outside.  She handed me the flower along with a small spray bottle.

I found a patch of sun that sort of spotlighted the rose and gave it a good spray with water. The top is pretty much side lighting, the bottom back lit.  I had to change over to manual exposure to get the detail and texture I wanted. Letting the camera pick the exposure gave me a bit too washed out on one, too dark on the other.

Hope you have a Happy 4th of July, and remember our freedom and our heritage. God Bless the USA.

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