Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Hot Rod Dreams

Like a Pied Piper, a Hot Rod seems to lure people unto it. Isn’t it really the child inside of us that loves a cool looking ride? As I observed this young boy walking up to this beautiful machine, I wanted to capture the relationship between a cool car and a child. For it’s as a child that the love and appreciation for a great looking automobile begins. This rod seems to have it’s own unique personality as it sits there under the close observation and admiration of all who pass by it. “Come look at me” it beckons, and the boy responds.

I took this image almost two years ago during one of my Saturday night ventures into “Old Town” in Kissimmee Florida. I usually shoot a lot of up close “personality” shots of the classic cars, images that exclude the many people who view these vehicles every Saturday night. I had to capture this moment in more of an “environment” shot.

You can view more of my photos from Old Town in my June Archives under the “Auto Art” post.

Friday, August 25, 2006

What Will I Be Given Today?

You never know what each day holds. I read a quote recently by a famous photographer named Minor White who said “What will I be given today?” I think that’s a pretty universal statement about life. I remember stopping in a store at the Mall during one of my frequent trips to the food court for lunch. Me and my coworkers jokingly refer to it as our company’s cafeteria because it’s only two miles from our business and many of us go there a lot for lunch. Anyway, I had stopped in a store on impulse before we headed back to the office and found a cool clock that I had no idea that I would be buying that day. You can see a photo of this clock on my first post in the archives. Even though it was just a simple purchase of a small clock, I remember thinking how you never know what each day will bring.

The same can be said for photo shoots, you never know what image will come to you. Sometimes I find myself thinking “what can I photograph, I need to get a cool new image for my Blog” or whatever. I then think of how if I want to get some cool new images, I need to go on a shoot somewhere and let the images “come to me”. Another pic on my first post (check it out if you haven’t!), the one of the construction wheel, was another image that “came to me”, I wasn’t expecting to create “that image” that day, I couldn’t have predicted it. The same goes for the little guy on the flower above. I was photographing some flowers in a local public garden when this little bee happened to be on some flowers.

You never know what image your going to capture nor what each day holds for you.

“What will I be given today?”

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Swamp Thing

They say that if there is a body of fresh water here in Florida, there is a good chance that it is inhabited by the giant carnivorous reptiles known as alligators. There’s a park with a lake near where I live that is home to many “water birds” and of course alligators. At this park, you commonly see Great Egrets and Blue Herons stalking the shore line ever so stealthily to catch some dinner, but you won’t always see an alligator. The gators are more active in the evening and thus the park closes at sun down.

On one particular evening, as I was walking up to a foot bridge that crosses a small inlet of water, something caught my eye. A young alligator, probably around a foot in length, was peeking through the water near the bank on the “swamp side” of the bridge. I could not resist this moment. So, I “cautiously” moved down to the bank, trying to make sure there wasn’t any “BIG” gators around and trying not to scare the little guy away. I got within about five feet of him and zoomed in as close as I could with my camera. I just had time to take two shots when “plop”, he submerged beneath the murky water and was gone!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Fill My Cup

Here’s another image I captured while visiting my parents in Pennsylvania. I was wondering around trying to create something interesting one evening and saw this water faucet in my parents garden. Since the sun was beginning to lower in the sky, I thought it would be cool to capture a silhouette of the lone object. I had to shoot from a low angle and through the fence to showcase the faucet without including any distracting elements.

When I look at this image I think of a song that I’ve been listening to recently. “Fill My Cup” by Paul Colman. Paul is an Australian who was formerly of the “Paul Colman Trio” later went “solo” and is now playing guitar for one of my favorite bands “Newsboys” who are made up of a few “Aussies” as well.

The song just talks about Christ filling our empty hearts up with His “running water” of life. Some of the lyrics go “Fill my cup to the top, with running water, call me out and show me how”. There‘s so many times I need God to do that in me, that's why I relate so much to this song.

Paul Colman originally performed this song when he was with his “trio” of musicians. Follow this link to see a cool video of him doing a solo “acoustic” version of “Fill My Cup”. is so cool by the way, if you've never explored it by searching for whatever, give it a try!

Monday, August 14, 2006

My Own Little World

One of my favorite things to do is take a walk in the subdivision that my grandparents live in while listening to some of my favorite music. I get into my own little world as I walk among the beautiful houses with the occasional palm tree in view or the aroma of food on a grill that someone is about to enjoy for dinner. Surprisingly, the neighborhood is usually quiet in the evenings with few people outside. I’ll see a sign of life once in a while, but for the most part, I have the place to myself.

It’s an environment that I can go and get lost in the music and the beautiful Florida scenery that surrounds me. As I listen and let the lyrics and music envelope my consciousness I daydream about my life. Sometimes ways to pray about something will come to me because of a lyric in a song, or just because I’m a little more introspective during that time. I just feel good to be alive as I walk on the winding sidewalks that I’ve come to know so well over the years. Something within me is stirred with hope as I look at the glowing orange sky of a sunset behind the silhouette of a palm tree. While observing such scenes, I’ve thought at times of how God is the original artist, designer, and painter. He had created all colors before any man figured out what combinations would produce them. These amazing colors were in the sky and in nature from the beginning.

One of the musical artists that have been a good walking companion to me is Watermark, especially their “All Things New” disc. I have all five of their albums, but this one, their second album, is my favorite. So many of the tracks on that disc speak to my heart and Christy Nockels’ voice is that of an angel‘s. Their music with it’s great percussion and acoustic sound woven with lyrics that are beautifully intertwined with God’s word, make a great sound track for my walks.

You can visit Watermark’s website at

Saturday, August 12, 2006


This is another one of my favorite images from a shoot that I did with my friends David and Michele in 2002. Listing their names together like that reminds me of a thought I’ve been having recently of how married couples are usually referred to together. You know, like “Bob and Mary are such cool people” or “wouldn’t Joe and Kendra like that movie too?” It’s just something that I’ve thought about recently, how united a married couple really is that each person is forever referred to with the other. I guess it’s yet another way that the two really do become one.

The image above was taken with a 35mm Yashica camera from the early 1980’s. The camera belongs to my grandfather, but has served as a learning tool for me in the past before I went digital. Around the time of this shoot the old camera was beginning to show signs of needing repair. One of those signs was a black streak that would show up on random prints. I had it repaired and found that the steaks were coming from rubber seals inside the camera that were deteriorating from age and turning to goop.

One of the those annoying streaks originally showed up on this picture. I was able to remove it though in Photoshop and restore the image! Among other edits, I added color to Michele’s sweater.

The idea behind the shot was to show two different moods. David is blurred in the background with a crazy expression on his face, while Michele is in deep thought in the foreground with her cup of coffee.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Movie Classics

I rent a lot of DVD’s. I have the “Blockbuster Movie Pass” and am usually down there renting two at a time whenever I can. I like movies that have Adventure, Romance, Suspense, Drama, Comedy and especially ones that have everything I just mentioned.

I don’t really “buy” a lot of DVD’s though. I usually only want to “own” a movie if it really moves me or if it’s a “Classic” or “Modern Day Classic”. If I just have to share a film with people I know or people I’m going to know in the future, I usually buy it. It has to be "Widescreen" too, especially if it's an old movie. I like being able to see everything the director intended me to when he framed up the shot and not just what was "formatted to fit my TV". It's kind of special having a widescreen of a classic that was usually only viewed "square" on TV. Not to mention, TV's are all becoming widescreen more and more.

I remember my Mom and Grandma watching old movies when I was a kid. I also used to watch “Nick at Night” which reran old shows. One of my favorites was “Hitchcock Presents”, the black and white half hour show that would feature short tales by the master of suspense. I think I like old films because they’re usually “clean” yet still really cool. All the stuff you love without the stuff you don’t!

There are still great movies today though! Just view my “Favorite Movies” list in my profile and your see some of mine. “The Count of Monte Cristo”, Superb film with everything I love. “Napoleon Dynamite”, it’s weird I know, but I just love it! Anyone else who agrees with me knows what I’m talking about, “Gosh!” And yes, that is two copies you see up there. Once the special two disc set with never before seen features came out, I had to buy that one too! "It's Incredible!" I can pretty much quote any line from that movie.

I enjoy good cinematography because it’s similar to photography. A nice frame on screen usually makes a good “still”. Creative camera angles in films give me ideas for photos. I remember reading advice from a photographer in a magazine, who said to pay attention to how film makers make use of the horizontal “landscape” frame to compose each shot.

"Now imagine yourself floating weightless in the middle of the ocean surrounded by sea horses."

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Woodland Creatures

When I was visiting my parents in Pennsylvania this past April I spent an evening with my Uncle Willard. Willard is into wildlife photography and film making. He’s a Game Law Enforcer, also known as a “Game Warden” who used to hunt, but now only hunts with a video or digital camera. I’m not talking small stuff either, he’s invested in a lot of equipment to get the best wildlife documentation possible.

Anyway, Willard has a herd of wild deer that he feeds every evening. He’s befriended many herds over the last 10 years or more. One evening he took me to see his latest herd, mainly made up of does (female deer). He picked me up at my parents house and we drove over a ridge and down past the farm that he and my step Dad grew up on. We then had to cross a creek that was barely crossable with his sport utility vehicle. There’s a more dry entrance to the destination, but this was a short cut. It wasn’t long until we were entering the sacred place in which Willard communes with the creatures of the wild.

I could tell these deer knew him because of how calmly they remained as we drove into the field, normally they would have been running for their lives. As Willard got out of the vehicle and prepared the buckets of feed, I gingerly got out knowing that the deer were not going to be sure of me. They kept their distance from me as I watched one trot right up to Willard and his bucket of feed. He was also throwing feed into the field and the deer dined on their friend’s hand outs of kindness.

Willard then set up his “rig”, a Canon Professional Digital SLR with a Gigantic lens. There was a shutter release cable attached that was taped to the handle of the tripod. You could keep your hand on the tripod handle and shoot with with the same hand. As me and Willard talked about photography and what inspired each of us to pursue it, I was taking a few shots with his Canon. The above image is one of my favorites that I captured that evening. One of Willard’s woodland friends wondering who in the world I am.