Thursday, December 4, 2008

Back in the saddle again

Well, I'm back. For those who are wondering, my surgery went well. The pain is all just a memory and after a good bit of physical therapy I'll look forward to hiking again in the spring. I was able to catch a few photos of the last legs of fall along the Riverwalk yesterday, but I wanted to let you know something else as well. I'm looking at developing a new blog (of a subject matter I will announce in the future) and am uncertain if I will keep this one up or retire it. I would love to hear everyone's thoughts and opinions so please email me here or at I will try to post with more frequency since I am back, so stay in touch for new cool developments on the horizon. There might be an opportunity or two to learn a little along the way, but I'm saying too much already.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Not the last photo you'll see from me

I just wanted the three loyal viewers I have to know I'll be going out for surgery on my leg next week and won't be able to post for awhile. I wanted to take this time to say thank you to those who have shared their comments and more importantly those who have shared their lives. I'll be sitting on a couch catching up on my "need to see" movie list, but I'll be itching to get back to shooting as soon as possible. So, just to let you know, this is not the last photo you'll see from me.

Pictures of pitchers

This may have little or nothing to do with the Riverwalk, although I could argue that you can see South Commons(where I made these) from the Riverwalk, but I wanted to share them with you. Columbus' Chandler Padgett, Northside's Haley Love and Melanie Trevathan, and Hardaway's Courtney Darr are considered the best fastpitch softball pitchers in the area. They were really fun to work with and were even willing to be silly as you see from the outtake. The lighting technnique was one light directly above me and stopping down the shutter speed to allow for the bold blue sky in the back. I will be posting more lit portraits hopefully in the future and possibly other projects. Until then...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Shades of Gray

I posted this in black & white because I felt the subject stood out better from the water rendered in gray rather then blue. Perry Hubbard shades himself from summer like conditions while fishing on the cement pier directly behind the Columbus Convention & Trade Center Wednesday afternoon. Boy, it felt like summer was coming back again, but I'm looking forward to a cooler weekend and jacket weather in general. While I was hiding in the shade and waiting for the perfect frame of Mr. Hubbard fishing to occur I heard what sounded like a 10 foot python thrashing through the tall grass when the culprit showed himself to me. Can you see him?? If not, double click on the image and you will.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Columbus Day is for lovers

Many people had off for Columbus day today, making for a romantic three-day weekend for some. Here Justin Love and Katie Yaniro share an intimate moment togethe along the Riverwalk in downtown.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tender, brave, and feathery moments

It has been awhile, and I am sorry for my six loyal viewers who had to look at the same page for two weeks now. I was blessed to capture this private moment yesterday evening while this couple was out walking their dogs. I love seeing people in love at the Riverwalk, but I am always careful not to impose on their private moment. It is a beautiful and challenging theme that I've witnessed on several occasions and I think I'll look harder for it in the future.
I've shot a few kayak pics since I started this blog, but when I saw Mitch Moore setting up to shoot the rapids on the Phenix City side it got me thinking about capturing the moment right before you hit the white water. I wanted to get the focus on his face and a sense of anticipation.

Finally, my little friend here managed to entertain me a little with his antics before I had to leave for my evening assignment.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Rumble on the river

I heard the rumble of diesel as I walked along the Riverwalk and discovered they were closing down shop from the two-day Infantry Warfighting Conference at the Columbus Convention & Trade Center. I managed to get there in time to watch Tony Caporaso, an employee for General Dynamics Land Systems, show me how to maneuver a Stryker MGS variant vehicle through the streets of downtown Columbus. And I heard Georgia DMV is allowing a few new rules due to the influx of military expected to fill the roadways with the arrival of BRAC:
Even if the light is green, the tank (or in this case the Stryker variant) has the right of way.
The other rule is that if you park downtown you are supplied with two valets and a trailer to help you parallel park. That way no one can complain that you hogged more then one space and you can quickly move your Stryker before going over the two-hour parking limit.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Day Tippers

I managed to catch Matt Vaughan bracing his canoe, on right, as his buddy, Matt Tolson, fell into the bow of the canoe before they launched off in downtown Columbus Sunday afternoon. It reminded me some of my best summers of canoeing and fly fishing on the Mohican in Ohio and reading a bent up copy of Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises", while sleeping in the back on an old red Chevy S-10 at night. Well, I'm gonna try my best to get out there again as soon as I can. I just want to thank the small loyal audience which keeps coming back to see a bit of Columbus' community by the river.

My apologies to all who have been looking for new work from me, but I have a good excuse, if such a thing exists. I've been working on a street bike freestyle video on Andy Gaetz (see photo) which you can see at the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer's video site by going to the address at the end of this post. Please email me (that box to the right on the blog is the easiest way) and let me know what you think or if you know of other stories that should be told with video or photographs.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

River of strings

I had the pleasure of meeting guitar lover Charles Fox along the Riverwalk today, and what a character! He had this brand new beautiful guitar with the tag still hanging from it Minnie Pearl style and was just jamming out on a bench. He had just bought it from Gorilla Guitars on Broadway and when I asked him if he had planned on buying a guitar today his answer was classic.

"I really planned on buying a bicycle," Fox quipped, "but when I get around a guitar I'm gonna buy a guitar everytime."

Fox said he's bought several guitars from Gorilla Guitars and they all play wonderfully, but his comments about the quality of Kmart's guitars were in line with Rainman's. I hope to run into you again Charles and we can continue are discussion on politics and the governments plans for our kind.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Attack of the killer helicopter bugs

UPDATE: It is a Robber Fly. Thanks to my best friend, Scott, who tracked the answer down. Robber Flies are quite capable of handling large prey, and they will even take on large, dangerous prey like bees and wasps. However, unlike bees and wasps, Robber Flies do not sting, and the "stinger" on this Robber Fly is actually a harmless ovipositor that she uses for laying eggs. Although they do not sting, Robber Flies do bite and their saliva contains neurotoxins to quickly immobilize prey and proteolytic enzymes to dissolve its internal organs so that they can later be easily sucked out. The proboscis of a Robber Fly is specialized for stabbing and sucking, and after one of these flies captures something, it will return to a perch in its territory to suck out its liquefied meal.

Robber Flies are highly beneficial insects because they prey on a wide variety of pest flies. Although they don't attack or bother humans, Robber Flies can bite quite painfully, so do not capture or pick up these flies with your bare hands.

Although some species of Robber Fly appear bee-like, most species of Robber Fly have a characteristic elongated shape, almost like that of a short, fat dragonfly. Robber Flies have a single pair of powerful wings, spiny legs that aid in grasping prey, a heavily bearded face, and large compound eyes that give them excellent vision for spotting prey.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Good day for hot doggin' and hot dogs

Matt Self is trying to start a revolution of freestyle unicyclers in Columbus. I ran into Matt and his $295 one motorcycle quality wheel ride($350 with upgrades he told me)called a Nimbus behind the Columbus Convention & Trade Center. He's only been riding for eight months, but he's already jumping up and down steps and all other types of tricks that require bravery when it comes to one's crotch area. In the photo he actually managed to balance the unicycle and let go before jumping on. Yeah, I'm thinking "Ouch!" too, but his shorts are also designed with reinforced padding. Viva la one wheel revolucion!

Poor Max, a 4-month-old West Highland Terrier, was taking a break from the heat and a jog in the shade of his owner, Erin Bowser, who was reading the Riverwalk map. Today was Max's first day for learning what jogging was like and if you're wondering why his face looks a little matted, he also learned what a fountain was today. Nervous little fellow until you let him lick you.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Photographing one's personality

CSU sophomore art major Gina Alberici was busy setting her camera to timer mode so she could run and take a self-portrait of her feet, so I had to stop.
I chose to focus of her hair which I thought was really a part of her personality. Anything that gets in the way constantly and doesn't bother you has got to be something you really like and therefore says something about YOU. So here you go Gina, evidence to show your professor that you were working. I converted the image of her working to black & white just because I thought it visually read better and I skipped on the feet and focused on the light patches hitting her face and her hair falling through the bench on the second. If Gina sends me her favorite self-portrait I'll post it so we can see how two photographers see the same subject differently.

And I wonder, still I wonder...

Everybody either loves or hates this recent weather we've been having. If you have to work in it it sucks, obviously. On my way to work the other day I saw two garbage men on Second Avenue near the JR Allen Parkway running behind the truck and continuing to make stops and perform their job. Poor guys were soaked to the bone and the misery was dripping from their faces.

But the fishermen and the kayakers are happy about this wet stuff everywhere. There was even a dry moment or two where I managed to catch this family of fishermen right before they ducked under Dillingham Bridge. I'm alright with some rain and overcast. I'll duck under a tree, shelter my camera in my shirt and hope these drops don't stop people from visiting the river.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Inflation can be fun

I was about to head to an assignment that had no deadline Sunday night when I thought I'd take a spin on Bay Avenue and pop my head out to see if there is anyone out on the Riverwalk. This is literally how I stumble upon most the moments I've managed to shoot. To my surprise I saw in the distance several crazy young adults toting an inflated raft on the Phenix City side, so I made my way over there to document their antics. I have to say I was worried for them for not having life vests or anything and I told them as much, but they laughed it off and said they'd be alright. They even tried to get me to go! Not happening folks. It was great to watch, and I have to admit it really looked like a blast, but I wouldn't recommend it. Certainly not without a life vest. Here's to being young and adventurous. It was nice meeting all of you and hope we'll meet again.

Chris Bishop and Heather Willis shoot the rapids below Eagle & Phenix Mill Falls Sunday evening. Along with several of their friends, the two had purchased a raft with the intention of shooting the rapids as a way to beat the heat and boredom.

Clay Plemons, far left, and Savannah Donahue took their turn down with Chris Bishop.

Brian Graves was the only brave one to run the river solo and he kind of looks like he's questioning his decision at this moment, but he made it out just fine.

Here's to you Mr. Williams

I met the very warm and humble Carter Williams the other day and I just wanted to thank him for the conversation. Mr. Williams you remind me that life is fickle and shines or pours on anyone. I appreciate your kind words about my life and work and I hope some day I can humbly and honorably shed light on yours.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Simply add water

I walked the Riverwalk north of the Dillingham Bridge and found Tyrone Walker Evan-Floyd cooling off Jessica Combs whether she wanted to be cooled off or not. Combs' son, 3-yr-old Marcus Combs, gets into the game of splashing on his own. But what really had me impressed was the way the little man gravitated towards my camera. I made this portrait of him without telling him where to stand or where to look or nothing. I think we might have a GQ model in the making here right in Columbus.

Sunny with a bit of wet dog in the forecast

I met the lovable 3-month-old Sunny, who is half German shepherd and half rottweiler, taking a dip in one of the fountains at the Columbus Convention & Trade Center recently. His owner, Neil Jones, gets a look from the edge of the fountain in this photo that suggests to me that Sunny is ready to come out of the water now.

Work hard, skate hard

I was fortunate to find Miles Ingram, 19, skateboarding below the Columbus Convention & Trade Center Thursday evening. He told me he had only been skating for a year and had just returned from a year off. You could of fooled me Miles. I was never this good even when I was skating during every waking hour. Ingram is a computer technician with the Lee County Board of Education and takes advantage of his early work day to skate in the evenings. Good luck to you Miles, you'll probably be making more then all of us at the paper before your 21st birthday.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Upside down, river you turn me

I caught Devin Mitchell, 13, ducking the backflip splash of his friend CJ Williams down on the Phenix City side of the Riverwalk Saturday evening. In the second image Williams looks like he's running on water, but really he jumped up while he was already in it and the water ran off him. It has been amazing weather the last few days and I'm so grateful for the break from the oven temps we've been baking in. I can't wait for fall, and foggy mornings, and cool evenings.

For all you Civil War history buffs

The Georgia Civil War Commission will be meeting at 10:30 AM on August 16 at the National Civil War Naval Museum. Part of their agenda is to discuss the sesquincentennial (the 150th Anniv.) of the Civil War. To find out more keep posted to Who knows maybe will get lucky and have a large reinactment here in Columbus. After all this is the location of the last land battle of the war. If I hear more I'll let you know.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Two silhouettes passing in the night

I caught janitor Eric Gunn, right, passing security guard Kelvinita Phillips in the hall of CSU's Corn Center for the Visual Arts last night after I noticed the light cast in the windows from along the RiverWalk and I had to go in and check it out. It's amazing how much starts going on in downtown from 6 to 9 at night. Hmmm...mental note.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Looks like it's kayaking outside

Chuck Armentrout and his fun wild tribe of kayakers were at it again Wednesday night. I decided to get something a little different and more artistic rather then the normal sports action take. It's a place to start. I captured these guys as they u-turn to get back in line to jump back into the waves below the falls.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The kids of summer

Well, I finally got back down the RiverWalk and I can't tell you how much it does for my soul. I love the community connection one can get if they come down here enough. You get all walks of life and people are usually pretty open to conversation. The peacful environment surely plays a large part in creating that mood. Here in this image Anna Davis, 7, and Teszai Munoz, 5 play in the water just below the falls on the Phenix City side just before sunset. I look at this image and I simply see the potential of the city and how great it could become. FYI: These kids are in 8 inches of water with a parent just outside my camera frame for those worried about their safety. And by no means should anyone swim in the river due to the dangerous currents and undertow.

I love the idea of shooting truly candid photographs where your subject doesn't know you're there. These images turn out to be less inhibited and less artificial. In the above, Cedric Davis, 5, right, and C. Jakes, 4, are just simply being boys near water. In the bottom photo, I really loved Teszai Munoz's body language below and how he was taking it all in.

Sunset worshippers

I caught a few of these guys bathing in the last hours of sunlight last night before going to cover the LOST vote. The last one in the grass thinks I can't see him. A sidebar: If anyone is interested in prints from this site or any of your favorites published in the Ledger-Enquirer, we will be posting a folder of best images to choose and order prints from soon on Pictopia. If you have questions about an image or getting a print made let us know by sending me an email here.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Yaking on the Hooch II

Chuck Armentrout came to Columbus again to host another kayak competition and to talk to a local engineer about ideas that could help the sport grow in Columbus. (More of that story to come here and via a column by our own Tim Chitwood.) Here are some of my best shots from the session. My apologies to anyone who didn't make the cut, but if you keep trying I'll keep trying too. Don't forget to click on the images to enlarge them. This is my favorite of the day. I got luck and caught Frank Norton just as he came to the surface and a sheet of water ran away from his face.
Kirk Robertson catching a gulp of air before he goes back under again.
Here's Charlie Simmons immersed as he pulls a trick to bring his boat upward towards the sky.
And here's Kirk again taking his turn on the wave.
I caught Chuck here in the middle of a 360.
Alex Rath as he rolls his boat upright again.
Zach Sanders caught through the spray.
Charlie Simmons catching a ride on the eternal wave.