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  • Apr30

    “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”

    -Calvin Coolidge

    Hawk Trot 2011

    I’m proud of my son. There he is up there in the middle of all those kids with his running face on, ready to win. This morning we woke up and he didn’t want to participate in the 2011 Windsor Hill Hawk Trot. He didn’t want to get up early on a Saturday only to run and get sweaty, but him and his sister are part of their school’s running club and they had agreed to run in this race beforehand. I told him that you can’t break a commitment like this just because your not “feeling it”. He reluctantly got on his running shoes and headed over to the race. Soon after we arrived, he started to get excited about the event.

    Hawk Trot 2011

    I patiently awaited with my camera up to my eye at the starting line for the race to begin. I snapped a few shots and seconds after this shot above, there was a pile up. The kids in the back trampled over some of the kids in the front, and poor little Kegan was on the ground with a bloody skinned knee. I quickly ran over and scooped him up and brought him to the first aid table. When a young kid starts to see their own blood, it’s never a pleasant experience. I got him bandaged up and his sister, who had just finished her age group’s race, was kind enough to offer up her medal that she received for completing her race. He wasn’t happy about it though – he wanted to earn his own medal.

    I told him that even though he wouldn’t win, he could still finish the race. I told him I would do it with him for support and he limped on over to the starting line.

    Hawk Trot 2011

    By the time we got to the finish line, Kegan was able to sprint over it (because they were about to take down the clock). His official time was 26:10, which is including the time he spent at first aid. I think he did fantastic. He turned his attitude around from not wanting to even run the race, to getting back up after being knocked down and finishing the job. During the award ceremony, he was presented with his own medal, and he was proud to wear it.

    Hawk Trot 2011

  • Apr24

    Happy Easter 2011

    Posted in: News

    Happy Easter

    Just a quick greeting from my home to yours. Have fun with the sugary stuff! More photos to come…

  • Apr20

    Charleston Riverdogs

    On Tuesday night, we decided to head out to The Joe to catch some Minor League Baseball courtesy of the Charleston Riverdogs.

    Charleston Riverdogs

    One of the biggest attractions at The Joe is the food – we showed up in time to eat a glorious dinner of nachos, pizza, chicken, boiled peanuts & beer. After we got settled into our seats we got to see the Riverdogs give Georgia’s Rome Braves a royal butt-kicking.

    Charleston Riverdogs

    Charleston Riverdogs

    Ken Carrington, the Riverdogs’ public-address announcer awards this guy some tickets (even though he got the trivia question wrong – isn’t Ken nice?)

    Charleston Riverdogs

    There was no shortage of balls flying out of the field on Tuesday!

    Charleston Riverdogs

    Charlie, the Riverdogs mascot, likes to party with the people.

    Charleston Riverdogs

    By a score of 8-2, Charleston dominated the evening. Outfielder Slade Heathcott had a great game, with a hit, a walk, a stolen base, & a run scored.

    Charleston Riverdogs

    The pitching was spot on too – here’s closer Manuel Barreda shutting down the top of the 9th to seal the deal for Charleston.

    Charleston Riverdogs

    I shot the game from my seat with my 55-300 VR lens, which is not an ideal lens for nighttime sports photography. However, it is perfect for recreational shooting like this – I’m not winning any awards with these shots, but I’m successfully telling a story, which is what I had set out to do. I was shooting in manual mode with the widest aperture at any given focal length (the 55-300 has a variable aperture ranging from f/4.5-f/5.6 depending on your focal length). I also shot most of the game with a noisy ISO of 3200 to compensate for my shutter speed which was anywhere from 200th of a sec to 320th!

    You can read the whole rundown of the game here. I also have a set of photos up on Flickr.

  • Apr18

    Palm Fronds

    On Sunday we took a trip with some friends to the Palmetto Islands County Park in Mount Pleasant, SC to let the kids burn off some energy and enjoy perfect spring weather.

    Palmetto Islands Park - Kegan

    Palmetto Islands Park - Krista & Brandt

    The kids had fun on the Big Toy Playground, and eventually we moved the fun over to the observation tower, which has another play area built off of it. This is great because the kids can climb and slide while the parent relax up top to enjoy the view.

    Palmetto Islands Park - Mac

    While up at the top, my wife spotted this little bluebird on the branches of a tree right next to the tower. When I zoomed in on the bird, I noticed that it had caught lunch in its beak!

    Blue Bird

    The park is called Palmetto Islands because it is a series of little islands in the marshland connected by boardwalks. We decided to take a hike and explore a little.

    Palmetto Islands Park - Kids

    We made it to the last island which was home to some fishing docks. I had this great shot of the kids all lined up looking into the water off the edge of the dock and before I could squeeze the shutter, they decided to get up and go to the other side. Darn you meddling kids! Luckily, our buddy Krista had the mom-like reflexes to tell the kids that there was an awesome turtle on the other side and they all came back wide-eyed as can be looking for a reptilian swimmer. Hence, I was able to get this shot:

    Palmetto Islands Park - Kids

    As we hiked along, I took advantage of the plethora of palm fronds and tried to manipulate my position and the palms themselves to catch the sunlight in interesting ways. The photo up at the top of this post was magnificently back-lit, while this photo was taken half in shadow:

    Palm Fronds

  • Apr17

    Hospital

    One of the subjects that I’ve been leaning on since I started my Abstract Photo Project a little over a week ago is architecture. There’s no shortage of interesting elements in a classic building or home – something that makes me sad about the majority of today’s cheap pre-fab buildings that we see all over the place. Most strip malls and steel buildings are just offensive to the senses, so when you take the time to admire the quality in design of a great piece of architecture it’s all the more meaningful today.

    Rainbow of Charleston

    On the flip side, I do enjoy the urban decay of old buildings. The texture of the peeling paint and the off kilter shape of a dilapidated building structure makes for an interesting photograph.

    Day 67 - Front Door

    Looking up close at the features of a great building and changing your point of view can give you endless compositions to play with the lines and shapes of the building. Old banks and government buildings have great columns that are begging for a wide angle view of them.

    Chamber of Commerce Columns

    I also like to manipulate the angle of the camera when shooting wide to distort the geometry of the building. You can create a funhouse-like effect with just the tilt of your lens.

    Hayter Buildings

    Playing with color, contrast, and exposure leads to some very interesting photos when dealing with architecture. The iPhone is a great tool for experimenting with extreme abstract shots of buildings. I often find myself looking for a different angle with just my phone’s camera, only to start editing away and creating something completely new out of it right there on my phone.

    Corner

  • Apr16

    Relay For Life - Team Sweetgrass

    Last night was the 2011 Relay For Life of Summerville, SC which was held at Summerville High School. I was participating with one of me oldest & dearest clients, Sweetgrass Pediatrics, as part of their team.

    Relay For Life - Team Sweetgrass Relay For Life - Team Sweetgrass Relay For Life - Team Sweetgrass

    The kids had fun as most booths had an activity that you could donate a little cash for the cause to participate in. Wow – two events in the same week with hula hooping – who knew it was making such a come back?

    Relay For Life - Team Sweetgrass

    Team captain Dawn Norris is the person I’d like to thank for pulling it all together for the Sweetgrass Pediatrics team. She’s busted her behind making getting everyone on board and she’s also personally raised an astonishing $685.00 so far! Not to mention David & Dr. Colleen Boylston for their backing of the event. The event has managed to raise a staggering $91,763.01, and it’s not too late to donate!

    Relay For Life - Team Sweetgrass

    Relay For Life - Team Sweetgrass

    Relay For Life - Team Sweetgrass

    Check out all of the photos on my Flickr set.

  • Apr14

    I was out taking real estate photos this morning when my wife Amy told me to look up in a tree at a cardinal. The colors were magnificent! A deep clear blue sky and a dead yellowish brown limb with a bright red little bird on it. I took the shot fast enough to capture it flying away, which is depicted here in this sequence:

    Cardinal 1 of 3

    Cardinal 2 of 3

    Cardinal 3 of 3

    I just love the negative space and simplicity. The real trick is what my wife told me – to look up! Always keep your eyes wandering around a scene because your next favorite shot might be in a direction you’re not currently facing.

  • Apr10

    Kulture Klash W/Logo

    How do they do it? The organizers of Kulture Klash, the low country’s festival of art, dance, & music have managed to top themselves again. For the 7th installment of bi-annual event, the stand-out attraction for me was the live wakeboard demonstration provided by Chuck and Chalice to coincide with the festival’s water theme.

    Kulture Klash W/Logo

    OK, lets rewind a bit to yesterday afternoon, when the site of the festival was freely opened up to the public to view the art installations.

    Kulture Klash 7

    Kulture Klash 7

    In addition to art for sale, the show featured artist interpretations of the quintessential Surf Shack:

    Kulture Klash 7

    Kulture Klash 7

    This photo is all about BadJon, his framed art, and his giant Alien Bees ring flash:

    Kulture Klash 7

    Moving along outside, as the crew put the finishing touches on the wakeboard pools, the kids and dogs took advantage of the opportunity to get as dirty as possible!

    Kulture Klash 7

    What better way to cool off in the hot Charleston sun than with an all-natural snow cone from Rena Larch and her Happy Camper Snoballs?

    Kulture Klash 7

    Artist and the man behind (and in front of) the scenes at Kulture Klash, Scott Debus presented my kids with the coveted Blue Power Ranger, which also squeaks. I know this because I was woken up this morning to the sound of a squeaking Power Ranger!

    Kulture Klash 7

    The free art viewing was the perfect place to check out local art with your family. The kids were able to run around and be kids, people brought their pets, and the atmosphere was very relaxed. We also had a good vantage point to check out some of the Charleston Air Show, which local photo buddy Montwerx was covering from behind his lens.

    Now it’s time for the party! I returned to the Klash a little after 8:00PM to an already packed house.

    Kulture Klash 7

    There was live music, dancing, and hula hoop girls all around! So began an adventure in low and no-light photography.

    Kulture Klash 7

    Kulture Klash 7

    This works to my advantage, because the best way to tell the story of a party like this is to show the motion of it.

    Kulture Klash 7

    Also on hand was the newly founded Girls Rock Charleston, who performed an interpretive dance to live drumming:

    Kulture Klash 7

    The roar of the guitar and beat of the drums reigned in the alleyway next to Storehouse 10 as the band named Cusses took the stage.

    Kulture Klash 7

    Kulture Klash 7

    Kulture Klash 7

    As with past Kulture Klash Arts Festivals, there were live works of art being created during the course of the night, including a giant surfboard and this huge canvas:

    Kulture Klash 7

    Over in the next alley was the Urban Wakeboarding demo as well as another stage. The wakeboaders started out on one end of the alley on the back of a pickup truck. On the other end was a winch that pulled them across two pools joined by a rail jump in the middle.

    Kulture Klash 7

    Kulture Klash 7

    Kulture Klash 7

    Needless to say, nighttime action sports photography is not the easiest thing to do! That didn’t stop the throngs of cell phone videographers that lined the barrier broadcasting to their Facebook friends the watersports event of the evening. Sometimes I feel we’re all the stars of The Truman Show. So says the guy with the camera…

    On stage was the dub sounds of Charleston’s Dubplates:

    Kulture Klash 7

    Kulture Klash 7

    Kulture Klash 7

    It was time for me to depart. The amazing thing was that at 11:00PM, a whole new crowd was coming in through the gate to experience a whole other set of performances. It’s an amazing festival that truly is whatever you make of it, and I couldn’t be more impressed by just how much awesomeness is packed into one evening. I’d love to see everybody’s photos and hear their stories about the evening, so please share!

    Kulture Klash 7

    As usual, you can check out the full extensive set of photos I took on my Flickr Stream.

  • Apr8

    Thunderbirds Practice 2011

    Yesterday, I was over by the old Navy base in North Charleston and I heard the roar of jets overhead. I looked up and 5 F-16’s screamed across the sky. The telltale logo on the underside of the jets can’t be mistaken – the US Air Force Thunderbirds are in town!

    Thunderbirds Practice 2011

    Thunderbirds Practice 2011

    Luckily, I had my camera with me and I quickly pulled over and waited. I started out shooting manually, and when I finally got the planes in frame in a really cool formation, I let the shutter rip. After they were out of frame, I checked the LCD and most of the shots stunk out loud. I had manually set everything beforehand, but I neglected to realize that as I panned the bright and sunny sky, the correct exposure changed drastically. I had to change my game plan and set the camera to Aperture Priority mode and the ISO to auto. Then the results started to vastly improve. At this point in my photographic journey, an F-16 is still a bit too fast to adjust to manually 😉

    Thunderbirds Practice 2011

  • Apr7

    Day 78 - Self Portrait at Clemson

    It seems like only a few months ago that I was reflecting on the past year’s achievements and was all gung ho to get started with the new year (oh yeah, it was almost six months ago). Then life happened and smacked me down. Fast-forward to today when my wife took a picture of me this morning while I was driving. Looking at it depressed me because it made me realize I haven’t kick-started my year to be where I want to be enough. It was like looking in the mirror naked without your clothes on to cover up the hurt. I need to light the fire up under my ass and the best was I know how is by setting goals and taking photos.

    Barbed Wire Flag

    The first goal is to further define myself as a photographer. Looking at my past work with a critical eye is not very fun, but it’s necessary. I’m trying to identify the trademark things that I do that help define my style. In order to further this process, I’m going to start a new month long photo project. The theme of my project is going to be abstract photography. My ultimate goal with this is to create at least one abstract photo that has a purposeful meaning – something that I can show somebody and say “This is what I can do”.

    My first photo will be this one of a barbed wire fence – at this angle it reminded me of a metallic American Flag. I think it’s a good start, but I’ve got a ways to go. I’ve created a set on my Flickr stream for this project, and like my past projects, I’ll periodically remind you of it here.