Thursday, December 30, 2010

Trout Dreams - Linville Ridge, NC

I'm sitting here by the fire this evening editing pics, posting to this blog and waiting to head to Linville, NC in the morning. Some really great friends of ours have a place called Trout Dreams for the weekend. Their daughter and Kanah are the best of buds and are quite entertaining when they are together. We stayed there with them back in September of this year. This place is unbelievable, it sits on about 400 acres on the side of a mountain. There are miles and miles of logging trails and 3 ATV's to explore every bit of them. There is a ridge just up from the house that overlooks the valley and over a mountain range on one side. On the other you can see the swinging bridge at Grandfather Mountain. I could go on and on about the house and how cool it is. There is a picture of former President Jimmy Carter in the living room from a visit he made to the house. It seemed appropriate to post some pics of the last trip there on the eve of the next....

If you want to see the rest of the pics from the September trip, click on this link:

Lake Raleigh Sunsets

Lake Raleigh is located on N.C. State's Centennial Campus in Raleigh. It's one of the best places that I have found in Raleigh for sunsets. I am a sunset junkie, they are another one of the reasons I started talking photography as serious as I do. I would always take my point and shot camera with me on fishing trips just in case there was a catch that needed documenting. I found myself starting to watch the western sky to see how the sunset was going to play out more and more. I guarantee this will not be the the only Lake Raleigh sunset post on this blog....

Bogue Inlet Pier - Emerald Isle, NC

Speaking of Bogue Inlet Pier, as I did in my last post. It is one of my favorite subjects to photograph in the landscape around Emerald Isle. These are 3 of my favorite shots I have taken of it over the past couple of years.

Matt Baker - Kite Boarding

I was out on the beach by Bogue Inlet Pier on a pretty windy day late last year. Matt Baker was out Kite Boarding and came close enough to the beach that I was able to get some good shots of him doing his thing. This is a really cool sport to watch, the amount of air he gets when he pulls up off a wave his incredible. A ton of fun to watch, I can only imagine how much fun it is to do. Here's a link to see the rest of the shots:

Great Blue Heron

Here's a shot I took of  a Great Blue Heron along the canal in Emerald Isle, NC. These birds spook pretty easily and I spooked this one several times trying to get a decent shot of him....

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Off The Lip

This is a page from the Sept. 2010 issue of Crystal Coast Outdoors Magazine. It was a corresponding page to an article written by Rudi from EI Surf Shop in Emerald Isle, NC.  Rudi does a regular article each month called "Off The Lip." He covers different topics related to surfing and this one was about Surf Photography. It was titled "Surf Window of Another Kind." I was included along with five other surf photographers from around the Emerald Isle area. The other photographers were Brad Styron, Graham Hunt, Jarred Bell, John Sudbrink and Jay Getsinger. This was my first time being in Crystal Coast Outdoors Magazine and I was thrilled to be included with these guys. They are all great photographers and have alot of great photos to look through on their sites. I linked their names to their sites, if you're like me and enjoy looking through photographs you should check them all out.....

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I-440 @ the Melbourne Road Overpass

On the way home from shooting some of the snow scenery Sunday evening I stopped to take some extended exposure shots of traffic going along The Beltline. I love taking long exposure shots of traffic, trying to time the shot with oncoming and passing traffic to get the best effect with the head lights and tail lights is alot of fun. All three of these shots were 30 second exposures at F22 (the second was F5.6) with ISO 100.....

White Christmas in Raleigh

It started snowing here in Central North Carolina late in the evening on Christmas. It really came down over night and I woke up to around 6-8 inches around Raleigh. I went out to a few bodies of water that are near the house. The first is at the pond at Powell Park. The second is at Lake Raleigh, a place I love to shoot at for the wildlife as well as the landscape. There are some really incredible sunsets to be witnessed there. The third is at Walkers Pond, or at least that's what I call it. It's actually named White Oak Lake. I started calling it Walkers Pond when I moved to this neighborhood 10 years ago. There is a house across the water in this picture that the Walker Family used to live in. I've spent alot of time fishing there. I've worn a path around the bank, fished from the Walker's jon boat and crossed it many times in my little 10 footer. Mr. Walker passed away and Mrs. Walker sold the place not too long after and moved to the coast to be closer to her son Rusty and his family. I miss seeing and talking to her in that backyard....

Kanah B!

My daughter Kanah is one of the reasons I began to take photography as seriously as I do today. When she first came home to us from China about four years ago I of course was taking pictures of her about every other minute. As the days and weeks went by I started to try to make them more than snapshots. I began trying to compose the shot and do all the little things that make a shot more artistic.  I have literally taken thousands and thousands of pictures of her over the past four years. This one is my favorite so far.

Just Passing Through

This is a picture I took and a piece I wrote for Crystal Coast Outdoors Magazine about a chance meeting with a guy named Ralph. I had just had lunch with my family and was walking along the dock behind the restaurant and meet him. I was pretty taken with his story. Here is the piece I wrote:

I was walking along the dock after having Sunday afternoon lunch. My mother and father had joined my wife, daughter and myself for the weekend at our place in Emerald Isle. We decided to head to Morehead City, I have been wanting to spend some time taking photographs around the waterfront. This was the perfect opportunity to take advantage of a nice afternoon with clear skies. After lunch I decided to walk along the dock attached to the back of the restaurant while the rest of my family tried to keep my high energy four year old coraled and out of the water that floated the boats that were intriguing her so. As I walked along I approached a docked sailboat with someone going about the business of what appeared to be chores that had to done in order to prepare a vessel to set sail. When I got within ear shot the man on board offered a greeting of "Hey, nice toy!" referring to my camera. I promptly responded "Thanks, that's a pretty nice one you have too!" I introduced myself and offered my hand for the handshake. He told me his name was Ralph, while simultaneously wiping his hand on his jeans and apologizing for the mineral spirits he was about to transfer to me. With the formalities out of the way, I began to ask questions about his boat and he about my camera. After a few answers were exchanged he began to tell me about how he came to acquire his boat. It seems Ralph had traveled a long road to get to the point where he was able to stand at all, much less on such a nice craft and carry on a conversation with a new friend.

One day Ralph was on another mode of transportation, a motorcycle. He was cruising along obeying the green light that was giving him the right of way as he approached the intersection. Unfortunately, there was a truck approaching that same intersection that had no intention of obeying the red light that indicated he should stop and yield that right of way. The truck T-boned Ralph. One can only imagine what it would be like to meet the grill of a truck face to face while riding a motorcycle. Well, Ralph doesn't have to imagine, he has first hand knowledge of what that type of meeting of metal and flesh is all about.

He spent months and months healing and rehabbing from what should have killed him. There are pins and rods in his legs that make them operable. It seems to me there is something else inside him that is even more important than those pieces of metal that have reconstructed his legs. There seems to be an incredible spirit and a will to live.

Ralph went on to tell me that after getting to the point where he was able to move about on his own efficiently and there was a financial settlement from accident he decided to purchase the boat that I was standing in front of. There were two reasons for the purchase he explained. One was that he had always wanted to sail and two, it would also provide an enjoyable way to continue to rehabilitate his legs and begin the process of total reacquiring his upper body strength. The arduous tasks of
deploying and trimming sails would certainly offer the exercise needed. He went on to tell me of past trips along the Intercoastal Waterway and some out in the open water when the weather and conditions allowed. This particular trip was to the Florida Keys, Key West in fact.

Our encounter began to wind down and I needed to rejoin my family to continue our afternoon together. After hearing his story of what he had been through and what he was doing now I said "It sounds like the definition of freedom to me" to which Ralph responded "It pretty much is."

I'm no sailor, as my nautical experience is limited to navigating my two much smaller vessels across inland lakes. However, I did know enough to wish Ralph nothing but smooth seas and the wind at his back. I think he has navigated enough rough seas and head winds for a lifetime.

2010 Cary Photographic Artists Juried Exhibition

I had two peices selected to be part of the 2010 Cary Photographic Artists Juried Exhibition at Bond Park in Cary, NC this fall. The two peices were titled "Face To Face" and "Under Fire". Shonna over at did the custom framing for both of these and did a great job. If you have any custom framing needs in the Triangle area you need to check them out. The show ran from 11/17 through 12/17. I was really happy when I found out that I had been selected and even more so when I first walked through the Exhibition. There were alot of great photographs and I was honored to be among them.

Full Page in Local Sessions Surf Magazine

Here's a shot of local Emerald Isle, NC surfer Hunter Heverly getting airborne on New Years Eve 2009. This was included as a full page in an issue of  Local Sessions Surf Magazine early in 2010.

Locals Off The Lip

This is a Surf Photography feature included in an issue of Crystal Coast Outdoors Magazine that I did called Locals Off The Lip.

Pelican At The Fountain

Here's a shot I took along a boat dock on the White Oak River in Swansboro, NC that made the Daily Dozen on I was walking along taking shots of a couple of Pelicans, one went towards this drain pipe that water had just started draining out of. I started firing away, I thought it was quite an unusual photo and I guess the editors thought so too. I was pretty excited to have a photograph used by National Geographic!

First Magazine Cover Shot!

This is the cover of Crystal Coast Outdoors Magazine's October 2010 issue. It is a magazine that covers the local happenings around Emerald Isle and surrounding areas on the coast of North Carolina. This picture was  taken on the White Oak River in Swansboro, NC.

Student Of The World

A good friend of mine calls me a student of the world. I like that, I think that it is a pretty accurate description. Having said that, I thought that a photograph of a Hawk would be the most appropriate "first pic" on this blog. Hawks are my favorite creatures on this earth. There is just something about them that I cannot possibly articulate.

This photo was taken towards the back side of Lake Raleigh in Raleigh, NC. I was walking along one of the trails looking for Hawks or Herons to shoot. I saw this bird fly up from the ground onto tree branch only about 8 feet of the ground. I slowly started through the woods towards that direction with that typical feeling of excitement and urgency hoping I would get a decent shot of him before he was spooked by my presence and flew away to another tree farther away and considerably higher off the ground. When I got deeper into the woods and spotted him perched on that tree branch I approached while firing away to make sure that I had at least some shots of him. I saw blood on his beak, as well as the lump in the upper portion of his chest that meant I had just missed him feeding. But that meant that he was now digesting and was quite content to sit there and rest while doing so. I was able to get within 10 feet of this bird and get some great up close shots. Not only was I able to get that close for a shot or two, I was able to hang out with it for an hour. He was unaffected by my presence, it was quite an experience for me considering my love for these creatures. Most of my hawk encounters are very brief and from more of distance.