Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gallery Show at Bill Shores Gallery in Chattanooga

This evening was the opening of my show at the Bill Shores Gallery in Chattanooga. For those of you wishing to see the show, it will remain in the gallery thru June 30. I hope you will stop by and see all of the new images and perhaps add one to your home.

The First Day Out

My backyard can only be described as a baby bird nursery. Over the past several years, we have carefully planted all sorts of things to attract birds, and they have certainly come to enjoy the surroundings. This year we have an amazing number of birds that have decided to nest in the yard. In the past few days, I have found several young birds fledging the nest and exploring the world around them. The adults, of course, keep a close eye on them. feeding them continuously, but these little guys seem to be having fun bouncing around the yard. I hope everyone enjoys the photo.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sometimes We Forget It's Not the Tools

Like a child, who has just broken his new toy, I have been miserable since my Sony A900 crashed last week. Admittedly, I have been pouting over the tragic loss of my trusted 24 mega pixel picture machine. In fact, I have been downright awful about my plight these past several days.

So, this morning I decided perhaps a haircut might just help me rid myself of the blues, and get my life back on track. In fact, I thought I would just take my wife and her friend out to breakfast, and then get my haircut, and then........go do some shooting. I pulled out one of my older DSLR cameras, and threw it in the car. I had no idea where or what I would shoot this morning, but I knew in my heart that this was going to be the only medicine that could help.

After a wonderful breakfast, and a decent haircut, I said "goodbye" to the girls and off I headed for the morning adventure. Within a few minutes, I came upon a beautiful Magnolia tree in full bloom. This looked like the perfect place to start the day. I reached in my camera bag, and pulled out my old camera and exited the car, all the while, scanning the tree for the perfect blossom.

Within a few minutes, I saw a flash of red moving through the branches, and I could feel my heart start to beat faster. The thought of capturing yet another Cardinal in amongst the Magnolia flowers was all I needed to start this boy's blood pumping. And then......there he was. Directly in front of me stood this incredible specimen, and he seemed to be checking me out as much as I him. Starring at each other, I started shooting, making sure to adjust my exposure and focus as I moved sideways to get a better angle. Never knowing whether you will get 3 sec.s with a bird or maybe 10 mins. , I quickly began a series of rapidly fired exposures, bracketing each shot by a third of a stop.

Amazingly, in just a few short minutes, I had completely forgotten about my broken Sony A900, and had once again become close friends with this old camera. It was like to dear friends coming together at a reunion. It was like I had never left it.......and ashamed of the fact that I had forsaken it when the new guy showed up in my bag. The old camera forced me to think carefully about each shot, checking exposure and framing and composition. The old camera, which has no extra pixels for cropping, made me do it right ........the old way. Maybe we all could benefit from taking a few steps back once in a while.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Today's Winner

This evening, as I sat having my dinner, I happen to look outside and see this Bluebird enjoying his bath. Although I thought I would never be able to catch the shot, I jumped up and grabbed my camera, and I very carefully opened the door onto the patio. To my utter surprise, this little guy just ignored me and continued with his bath. I started shooting and captured this image before he finished. Sometimes it pays to give it a try!

Old Barns and Wise Owls

Like lots of people, I am intrigued by the sight of an old barn. I always find myself slowing down to have a closer look, and then driving away with questions about who built the barn, and who stored hay in the barn, and maybe even who kissed in the barn. Old buildings, whether they be barns or bus stations, always cause me to ponder the stories and the secrets that hide within their walls.

As a bird photographer, old buildings have proven to be havens to lots of birds, who have discovered the safety and the protection that they provide. Though most of my exploration of such structures turn up little more than historic questions, occasionally I am rewarded with a special find. This time, while exploring the countryside outside of Greensboro, N.C., I found a wonderful old barn made of log and still being used to store hay and farm equipment. A Great Horned Owl had also discovered the barn, and I suspect was helping himself to the mice that lived in and around the structure. So.....I shot a couple of frames and left him to his work, as I went on down the road to finish mine. Some days are special........but as I have said so many times before, "you have to get out of the house and go discover them." Good luck with your adventures.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Closer Look at Richland Creek

Today I am still feeling the pain of my beloved Sony A900 crashing, so I needed to just get out and do some shooting. So, I pulled out a couple of older DSLR's that have been collecting dust, and off to the hills I went.........with dreams of capturing something special. While I don't think I caught anything earthshaking, I did have fun seeing what I could come up with in capturing the beauty of Richland Creek, a small mountain stream that flows through the Laurel Snow Pocket Wilderness here in East Tennessee. This is one of my favorite places to go, when I don't want to make a road-trip to some distant location. The Canyon, as we locals call it, is one of those special places that calls you back again and again. Over the years, I have made countless trips there and shot thousands of photographs. These are just four more attempts at capturing the beauty of a magical place.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Annual Spring Gallery Show

Just wanted to share with everyone that my annual spring show is being hosted by Kathy Reed, the owner of the Bill Shores Gallery in Chattanooga, TN.. The opening is being held the evening of May 27th and will begin at 6:00 pm. I hope everyone will join us for an evening of fine wine and art. I will be showing a new collection of photos that have not yet been seen by the public. Come and be one of the first to see this years' collection. It should be a fun evening.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

There Are Days.....We Just Count Our Blessings

Today was one of those days, when despite all of the frustration, I just have to count my blessings. On what was suppose to be a beautiful day of spending time with my wife and sharing time in the outdoors, I found myself struggling with a malfunctioning camera, and worse, a camera that finally said, "Enough....I am done making pictures." So, in the midst of a wonderful day, and in a place that was stunningly beautiful, I was stuck without a camera. As one might guess, I was not a happy camper.
However, just minutes before the camera decided to take its' last breath, I manage to capture just four images. I had hiked to a very remote area that had been on my radar for weeks, and the goal was to shoot a couple of mountain streams that I had fished a year earlier. As I arrived on the scene, I located a couple of small falls that I quickly captured while the light was good.
Not knowing what had happened with the camera issue, I returned home with doubts as to whether I had actually recorded any images. But, to my amazement, the four shots I did take turned out to make the day worthwhile. So, even in the midst of a melt-down, I am thankful for the images that came home with me. I would hate to have left these behind. I hope everyone enjoys them.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Morning on the Lake

I spent this morning kayaking on the lake, and I managed to get some nice shots that I thought I would share. Early morning light is hard to beat, when you want to make good photographs. I love to shoot the first two hours after sunrise, as the angle and quality of light are magical. Over the years I have consistantly made my best photos during this short time frame. Not only is the light wonderful, but you also have the advantage of shooting before the wind has a chance to get moving too strongly. Calm conditions and good light ........ that's the formula for making dramatic photographs.