Alabama Botanical Gardens

Alabama Botanical Gardens

Recently I was sent to Alabama, Huntsville to be exact, for work.  Unlike most work trips, I was sent out a little early to capture footage from a few classrooms for a couple projects we are working on.  I spent most of the day in three schools and probably a dozen classrooms.  I finished off what I needed to capture and was done for the day.  My plan was to get together with co-workers for dinner but I knew they were still busy with their tasks.  There was time to kill before they were ready, whatever shall I do?   Off the recommendation of one of the derby girls, I looked up where the Botanical Gardens was in relation to my location.  To my surprise the gardens were only about 10 minutes away, perfect.   Time to go commune a little with nature and take a breath.     I made my way to the botanical gardens and equipped myself with a camera body and a 24-70mm lens.  I didn’t want to load myself down with the 70-200 lens for a couple reasons: 1) it gets heavy and I get hot after a little bit, especially walking around outside.  2) as I have spoken before, I wanted to force myself to have to work within the constraints of the one lens – give myself that challenge I’m always after.  There were a few times where I really wanted that longer lens, but I had to make do with what I had. I was also armed with my other ‘must haves’ of my sunglasses and music – this day I walked...
Phoning it in – San Francisco by iPhone

Phoning it in – San Francisco by iPhone

I have been traveling a fair amount for work this year.  My travel typically consist of me flying to the location the evening before, sleep, get up and rush to various events, hurry to airport to catch my flight home.  These are quick trips and do not usually allow for time to do personal shooting of the area I’m in.  That said, the last two trips have been more than an evening which has allowed me to take, like in Alabama, at least a couple hours to explore and capture what I see.  My trip to San Francisco allowed me to take the opportunity for a couple short outings to capture the city.       This time around, I didn’t want to find myself stuck behind the viewfinder of my camera so I decided to use my phone – an iPhone 6s Plus.  I know if I’m walking around the city I will be a snap-happy person but will also isolate myself from absorbing the city during my exploration.  And, because you know I thrive on them, I wanted to give myself a challenge.  Walking around a busy city means street photography jumped front and center in my mind.  I didn’t want to travel to the ultra touristy areas only to capture the same images everyone else tries to capture, I wanted to grab the city as a whole and not (just) the iconic shots – yeah yeah I know the first image you see is of the Golden Gate Bridge, some things are just too good not to pass up.  So street photography with my iPhone, that...
Outer Banks Tourist

Outer Banks Tourist

Recently we went down to the outer Banks (Nags Head area to be specific) for a wedding.  Over the past 20 years or so I have only been to a handful of weddings.  Yes they are nice and everyone is happy but sometimes they can just drag on for a long time and get kind of boring.  Sorry but it is true, all the pomp and circumstance can be a bit much for the audience – at least in my opinion.  Well anyway, I don’t want to get off on a tangent, I’m here to talk about photos.  So anyway, Carrie’s cousin was getting married and we were invited.  Given my approach to weddings I wasn’t completely sold on the idea of the long drive until these words were said “it will be nice to have the whole family together for a happy occasion instead of a funeral”  ok, point taken – and knowing this would be a more relaxed wedding I was in.   Bags packed and the camera tagging along for the ride we made the 5.5 hour drive down to the Outer Banks.  There was just enough time to check in to the hotel and change before needing to head on over to the venue for the wedding.  I had to make a really big decision, for me, and decide on bringing the camera or leaving it at the hotel.  I figured the wedding already had a photographer and, honestly, didn’t want to get tagged to shoot additional group shots.  This mindset wasn’t coming from me just being grumpy or not wanting to play nice, I didn’t...
Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

About a month ago I commented on a Facebook post, I didn’t know it would make me go outside my comfort zone to challenge and push myself and my photography.   I like shooting.  I enjoy the whole process of photography from walking around looking for the right images, to working with models to play with light and shadows, to trying to capture the right shot at a concert or roller derby bout.  The editing of images to reveal the complete vision that I saw once I clicked that shutter button.  The thing is, all these images I create I do for my own benefit, for me.  I hang some images at group shows, give them to friends and provide them for charity auctions.  I shoot for me.  The shooting I do during my off hours are for me.   The past couple years I have been interested in finding some organization to offer up photography services as a way to help where I can.  I never knew where to go or what type of organization to approach.  The thoughts were always in the back of my mind in case I found something that I felt would be easy and fun to do.  Because it was at the back of my mind I never really brought it to the surface and researched my options.  Sure, I would think about something with animals or the homeless, those were some typical areas where people with cameras turn to, they popular areas.  These are organizations that you can get some compelling images and are great for editorial use and are universal in...