Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Lakeland Power

As I came home from a friend’s wedding on Saturday night, I passed by a part of Lake Parker that I don’t normally pass at night. From this particular vantage point, the power plant that sits on the other side can be plainly seen from the road without obstruction. The one thing that stuck out to me that night as I drove by, was the stream of colors reflected on the surface of the lake from the power plant. I kept on glancing over to take in this unexpected beauty. I couldn’t believe how cool it looked. This otherwise unassuming structure created something beautiful to behold.

The problem though, was that I did not have my camera that night. The most I could do was just envision myself stopping to capture the light show.

That was until Tuesday night. Through some circumstances, I found myself on that side of town again, this time doing a photo shoot favor for one of my friends. I was going to be photographing some people indoors, so I had brought my tri-pod along. As I went to the shoot, the thought of the beautiful, power plant light show that I had viewed a few nights before had totally slipped my mind.

On my way home, I once again was drawn to the spectacle of lights on Lake Parker. This time though, I conveniently had my camera and tri-pod with me. As I began to pass the spot, I quickly decided to stop and capture this scene. There were no cars behind me, so I abruptly came to a stop on the side of the road. I was just past a boat dock area where I could safely park and photograph. So, once some cars passed by, I put my black Mustang in reverse and drove safely backwards to the parking lot which was just about 50 feet back.

Before too long, I had captured the image you see above. A shot or two later, the currents changed a little and the long stream of color was cut in half.

I had captured this just in time.

Monday, November 05, 2007


As I was listening to some tunes at the music store in Downtown Disney a few months ago, I looked up and saw these red signs hanging in a row. I had to photograph them.

It took a few tries to get them in this orientation though, as I had to wait for them to slowly rotate into the position I desired.

I made this image selective color to add to the effect.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Mysterious Shadow on the Barn

I captured this tree’s mysterious shadow while photographing with my cousin, Amy, a few weeks ago in Pennsylvania. She spotted the barn first as a photographic subject, then I spotted the shadow of the tree on the barn. She has a few images similar to this that she may post as well.

...Amy's friend, Sandy, has also posted some images of the barn that she has taken as well. Go give her post a look!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Vandal Bats

I captured this image last year at Lake Mirror in Downtown Lakeland. These bats were stenciled on the back of a stone bench beside the urban lake. I really dislike vandalism, but at least these stenciled bats provided me with an image to share with you in this last week of October. They were later removed from the stonework, probably by the city.

I left the cigarette in the image because I thought it added to the photo in some way.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Time Machine

This past Saturday, I attended the annual Lake Mirror Classic here in Lakeland, Florida. I didn’t capture much that I really liked that day, but I did come away with this image of a De Lorean’s logo on it’s brushed stainless steel hood. I loved the clean lines and simple look. After taking that photo, I knew that if I didn’t capture anything else that day, I at least had one image that I was pleased with.

The De Lorean DMC-12 was a car that was only produced for three years from 1981 to 1983 by the short lived De Lorean Motor Company. It’s forever typecasted as a “Time Machine” though, for the famous role it played in the “Back to the Future” movie trilogy.

As I was thinking about what commentary I would write for this post, my thoughts were geared towards the subject of time travel. At first it seems like a cool idea, if it were ever possible. But, as I thought about it just a little more, I realized that time travel would devalue time itself. The sacredness and rarity of our moments would lessen. How special would a particular moment be if it could be relived easily. As I thought more about time travel, the more I realized that the moments you may find yourself wanting to relive are special...because they can’t be relived. You may be able to recreate a moment in time, but it will never be exactly the same as the moment that preceded it.

I guess in a way, our photographs act as a sort of "Time Machine", don't they? They safely transport us back to other times and places without disturbing history.

What are your thoughts on “Time Travel”?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Leaf Filter

As I photographed with my Dad and cousin, Amy, this past Saturday up in Pennsylvania, creativity was flowing all around. At one point, I observed Amy holding a leaf up to her camera lens. With the bright, early evening sun shining through the leaf and her camera set on macro, I knew she would be capturing something beautiful and unique. I quickly termed her technique as using a Leaf Filter”. She laughed and agreed.

Of course, I had to do some shots of my own using this technique as well. So, I did, and the above image is one of the results. As I reviewed this image on screen at my parent's house that night, my Dad commented about how cool the patterns were in the leaf. Patterns that were usually too small to really notice or appreciate.

Go on over to my cousin Amy’s photo blog to check out more of her shots from that day as well. When I watched her taking the image of her boyfriend, Justin, through a hole in a leaf, I was impressed. When I saw the final product on her camera’s review screen, I knew it was one of the shots of the day. Go check it out!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Eight Fast Facts

My photo blogging friend, Barb, has "tagged" me to do a list of eight interesting facts about myself. So, I obliged.

Eight Fast Facts about Me:

1. I was born in Germany. My biological father was stationed over there in the US Air Force. We returned to the states before I could remember.

2. I drive a black 2000 Ford Mustang V6 that I've had since October 2003.

3. "Save the Best for Last" by Vanessa Williams, was my first favorite "Love Song" when I was 13 years old. It was just one of the most beautiful things I had ever heard and still is one of my most favorite romantic songs.

4. A girl named "Jennifer" was my first ever crush in sixth grade.

5. I like to keep things tidy in my apartment.

6. McDonald's french fries are my favorite fry in the fast food kingdom.

7. I'm more attracted to "Brunettes" than "Blondes". But, who knows, my future wife may be "Blonde"?

8. I've probably eaten at "Sonny's BBQ" around 200 times in the past five years.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Reflections of Magic part 3

Ok, one more mystery filled image of the Castle and one more part to my “Night of Joy” commentary.

Funny Story
As my cousin, Brittany and I arrived back at my car at the closing of Night of Joy 2007, we were extremely tired from standing and walking all day. As I climbed into my black 2000 Mustang, I overheard a woman’s voice say something like, “I don’t believe it”! Not long after I close the door, I hear a wrap on my window. I look out and to my surprise, I see my friend, Alexis, standing beside my car. So, I open the door to exchange “hellos”. Lex says that she has seen me multiple times that day and was beginning to feel like a stalker. She explains that she got behind me on the highway during the trip into the park that day and also spotted me at the Pirates of the Caribbean ride as well! I assured her that I never even saw her. I then proceeded to introduce her to my younger cousin, Brittany and vise versa. We then said our goodbyes and headed home.

Once I got back to Lakeland, my cell phone finally told me that I had a text message and voicemail (I sometimes cannot get good reception at theme parks). I had not had my phone on that night, so I wouldn’t had known that anyone had called me while in the park. Upon listening to the messages, I found that Lex had tried calling while in the park, but of course, I was not able to return her call anyway. This only added to Lex’s suspicion that I was trying to ignore her for some reason.

The next day, Alexis calls me. I then find out more detail of just how good of an accidental “spy” or “Ninja” that she was the day before. She proceeds to tell me that not only was she behind me on I-4, but that she had actually pulled up along side and honked her horn at me, but I did not even notice!

She then tells me that while in line for the Pirate ride, she actually came up behind me and touched my poncho, but I did not even feel a thing. After all, she was touching a bulky plastic covering. I told her that she should have grabbed my shoulder or something. I would have felt that. I think it had become a game to her at that point though.

She continues to let me know that she even rode the same ride boat during “Pirates” as Britt and I. We were in the front seat, Lex was in the back. Keep in mind that this boat is only about twelve feet long. I told her that she should have yelled out during the ride to get my attention. Once the ride was over, she said that her companions were taking their time getting off the ride and that she did not get a chance to catch up to me.

Then there was the phone call from her that I did not receive in the park, thus couldn’t return. All this led to her feeling a little paranoid that I was ignoring her for some odd reason. It just seemed too amazing that I had not noticed her in all those chance encounters that day. Encounters that I had no idea were even taking place. I assured her of this as we had a good laugh. What I did know, was that we now had a funny story to tell.

I hope you enjoyed my images and commentary from Night of Joy 2007.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Reflections of Magic part 2

The rain eventually subsided and after a few more rides, it was time to go see Mark Schultz perform in Fantasyland at 9:30pm. This would be my eighth time in the past six years that I’ve seen him play live. I guess you could say I’m a fan? When we got to the stage with 30 minutes to spare, there were already a multitude waiting to hear Mark. With five albums filled with Christian radio smash hit after hit, this was an example of how his music has touched many hearts and lives.

As we stood, waiting in our moderately good spot amongst the crowd, it just so happened that his song, “You are a Child of Mine”, was played by the radio station that was broadcasting through out the park that night. As the crowd began to sing along, I leaned over and said to Brittany, “I hope this isn’t the first song on his set list to play.” Brittany agreed that that probably wouldn’t be good since we’ve all just heard it.

Before too long, it was time for the concert to begin. After being introduced, Mark came out with an acoustic guitar (an instrument second only to his piano in this song writer’s repertoire) while being backed up by his band. I listened carefully to try and distinguish what song he was about to play since I know all of them. I said to Brittany, “I think he’s going to do it”, referring to “Child of Mine”, the song we had just heard on the radio. Sure enough, that’s the song he opened with. Actually, it was very cool that he did. The fact that we all just heard it had no bearing on its impact.

This being Brittany’s first Schultz concert, I could tell that she was quickly getting into it. Near the end, Mark performed one of my favorite songs of his, “I Am the Way”. His first ever single that talks about how Christ is “the Way”. My favorite lyric in the song is, “When you’re down / look around / and you’ll see / I Am with You“. After that song, Mark began to mess around on the keys momentarily, playing an unrecognizable tune as if he was deciding what song to do next. He appears to nod his head as if agreeing with himself and then leads into my most favorite tune of his, “He Will Carry Me”. At one point, Mark stops singing during the chorus and lets the audience sing a few lines. As with most all of his songs that night, the lyrics were already on the lips of the crowd including me.

Upon finishing his set, Mark climbs down off the stage and into the crowd. As he proceeded to shake hands, give high fives and hugs, the massive crowd began to push towards him. He had made mention during the show that he wished he was down there amongst all of us and now he was doing just that. Pretty soon I noticed two Disney security guards make their way to him and begin to escort him through the sea of humanity. Mark had good intentions, but he had gotten himself in a little too deep. The guards led him out and away from the Mob.

Much like most of the crowd who were pushing in to talk with Mark or grab a picture, I would have liked to had shared with him a little of how his music has touched my life. I know that it would had been difficult to get his full attention there in that mob anyway.

My cousin, Brittany, and I then went over to the stage in front of Cinderella Castle to see “newsboys”. A concert that was sure to be exciting, fun and inspirational. This would be my fifth time seeing them live. Unfortunately, we ended up having a bad spot in the crowd where neither of us could really see that well through the other people standing in front of us. This was mainly because of the slight incline that we were standing on. Add that to being squashed in between people as if in a can of sardines after standing on your feet for most of the day. I did get to hear them play my most favorite song of theirs, “Something Beautiful”, but I was only distracted by not being able to see or move that well. So, as you can image, this was my least favorite newsboys show.

I have a little bit more story left to tell you of that night, but that will have to wait until my next post.

One of the things I like about the image I captured above, is the glowing window. It’s kind of mysterious, don’t you think?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Reflections of Magic part 1

The second evening of “Night of Joy” (Saturday September 8, 2007) was a fun experience as well. However, I did not take my camera that night, but rather took my younger cousin, Brittany, who is 15. We headed to the park around 3:00pm which would put us in the park around 4:00pm. This was the time that Disney was allowing Night of Joy attendees to enter the park. The rest of the park guests inside who did not have Night of Joy tickets would have to leave by 6:00pm. The concerts would be beginning at 7:30pm that evening. There were only two artists that I really wanted to see that night, Mark Schultz at 9:30pm and newsboys at 11:30pm. The reason for going in so early was to allow Britt and I time to enjoy some of the rides before the concerts.

During the drive on I-4, we went through a patch of hard rain which subsided when we got closer to Disney. Once on the premises, we found a place to park, and began looking for a tram to come and take us to the monorail station. It wasn’t long though, until we began to feel rain drops falling on our heads. I told Brittany that I had a Poncho (from a Night of Joy a few years ago) in my trunk and an umbrella. The poncho is transparent with a Mickey Mouse printed on the back. At first, I suggested that Britt take the poncho and that I’d carry the umbrella. But, after Britt kindly refused to wear the Poncho because she said they bothered her when she wore them, I gave her the black umbrella just as the rain began to pour down hard upon us.

There still wasn’t a tram in site, but thankfully, we weren’t that far from the monorail station, so we just walked. As others walked past us, getting so soaked it looked as if they had taken a shower with their clothes on, we were staying relatively dry. Only my freshly shaved head was getting another washing, because the hood on the old poncho was no longer in working order. I tried putting it up over my head, but it didn’t seem to work quite right. Brittany observed and informed me that it was ripped. Damage probably done from years in the hot trunk. All Brittany had to make sure of was that she held the umbrella in such a way as to not get her “Sponge Bob” square back-pack wet that she was toting behind her.

After we arrived at the Magic Kingdom via monorail, we stepped out into a massive crowd of Night of Joy attendees that were trying to wait out the rain under the station’s pavilion. As for Britt and I, we were going to brave the storm with our protective rain gear. The only thing I wasn’t ready for, was the mini lake that was forming at the bottom of the ramp as we exited the station. Apparently, the drainage system isn’t that well engineered at that particular part of the grounds, which came as a surprise being on Disney property…everything there is supposed to be “Magical”! At first I hesitated, then I just went for it, taking high steps…as if that was going to help. But, it didn’t help at all. The water was at least ankle high and my feet were getting soaked. Brittany was wearing sandals, so it didn’t really bother her that much. She was just trying not to slip, because her sandals lacked good traction on the wet pavement.

After Britt and I went through the ticket area, we took refuge under the train station. While there, I took off my sneakers and rung out my socks. We then waited the monsoon out on the second floor of the train station. This vantage point over-looks “Main Street USA” which leads up to Cinderella Castle. A view I’ve experienced before when I was even younger than Brittany.

Once the rain had subsided a little, we went and found a bite to eat at a place called, “Casey’s Corner”. There was no room to sit inside, so we stood outside under an over hang while we partook of our fries and such. Upon finishing our snack, we decided to face the rain some more and headed over to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride. Thankfully, there wasn’t even a line at this particular time of the day! As we walked through the corrodores on our way to the loading station, memories came flooding back to me from my childhood. The ambiance is that of Pirate adventure. You feel as though you've been transported back to another time and place before you ever get on the actual ride. This has always been one of my favorite attractions at the Magic Kindom. They recently added some new elements to this ride, such as the character of “Captain Jack Sparrow” (whom my cousin, Brittany, is a big fan of). I must say, they did a great job on his “Animatronic“. He seemed a little more “Life-Like” compared to the older Pirate characters in this classic Disney attraction. After all, the movie was loosely based on this very ride.

To keep this commentary from being too long, I’m making this a multiple part story. So, please stay tuned.

I captured this image of Cinderella Castle during the first night of “Night of Joy” 2007.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Jaci Velasquez at Night of Joy 2007

After Brian Littrell’s concert was over at 11:15pm in Tomorrowland, I took the five minute walk over to Fantasyland where a very pregnant Jaci Velasquez would be performing her second set of the night at 11:35pm. When I arrived at the stage I was greeted by a very pleasant surprise, there wasn’t that many people there yet! I quickly placed myself right up front and anticipated the great images that I would be able to capture. I think the fact that this was Jaci’s “second set” allowed me such a great spot. Most of the die hard fans had already seen her within the hour before. The crowd would soon build for this set though.

Jaci’s band that night was “Salvador”, the band that her husband, Nic Gonzales, is lead singer of. Of course, Nic was on hand to play guitar and later sing a duet with his beautiful, pregnant wife (she’s almost 8 months!). That’s him jamming out with Jaci in the image above.

Jaci did a few songs from her latest album as well as a few “Jaci Standards” including her hit “On My Knees”, which she recorded 13 years ago when she was only 15. The song talks about getting on your knees before God in prayer and the freedom that God has given us to do that. In good times and in bad. She shared that when she first recorded that at 15, it was just a good song, but over the years, she has really lived the lyrics to that song and has experienced God’s power through it.

This was my fourth time seeing Jaci play live. In past times, I’ve heard her share different things about what God has brought her through in her life and the seasons that she was experiencing. To me, she really seemed to be the most happy in this season of her life.

You can read a little bit more that I’ve written about my celebrity crush, Jaci V, in my archives, by clicking here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Brian Littrell at Night of Joy 2007 part 2

As I neared the entrance to Tomorrowland’s “Galaxy Palace Theater” for Brian Littrell’s 10:30pm concert, I began scanning the venue for the best spot possible. This particular concert location was one of the few of the night that featured actual seating. At first I began to get worried when I realized that most of the front seats were already taken. But, I then noticed a small crowd gathering at the front of the stage, people who were planning to stand through the concert. Standing seemed like a very small price to pay to obtain the kind of images that I was hoping for. So, I joined the crowd up front and found myself right were I needed to be.

Brian began his set with “My Answer is You” and then donned a guitar to play one of my favorites, “Angels and Heroes”. I had just been listening to that in the car on the way in that evening, now I was hearing it Live! Brian continued with his praise anthem “We Lift You Up”. I heard an “Awe” from some girl when Brian sang the lyric about God blessing him with his wife, “Let me share with you just how I know He’s blessed my life / He opened up His precious hands and gave me a wife / And then He touched her deep down in her soul and gave me a son / For it is He that knows no greater love for He is the One / And at night when I pray to the Lord that I know / I thank Him for His precious blood He gave to save my soul / And that is why // We lift you up!…”

The stage seemed to be a second home for Brian as he glided around it as if to be in his own living room. At one point, someone threw a Donald Duck doll on stage which led Brian into a story about his son, Baylee, talking to a Donald doll the other day and telling him that he was his favorite. The next thing we know, his son comes out on stage! (see video here) Brian knelt down to let his boy talk into the microphone. I think the intention was to get Baylee to sing, but all he wanted to do was talk about the funny voices that his Daddy could do. Brian had just nailed a perfect “Donald” voice before Baylee had come on stage. Once Baylee said a few cute things, he ran back off with the stuffed Donald. I’m still trying to figure out if the Donald was planted ahead of time or what, but either way it was a cute moment between father and son. As Baylee was exiting, Brian said to the crowd, “Good thing this is ‘Night of Joy’, cause ‘Lord help us!’” referring to his growing son.

Brian then said that he knew he had some "fabulous memories" with everyone there (referring to his Backstreet Boys success) and proceeded into a two song Backstreet medley” of “I Want it That Way” and “As Long as You Love Me”. He performed it in a fun loving way that had the crowd singing along as he held the microphone out towards the audience.

The 45 minute set flew by. This was his first of two that he would perform that night, the other beginning at 11:45pm. Since I had captured the images that I wanted, I decided to venture over to Fantasyland to catch Jaci Velasquez’s second set…and I sure am glad I did. You’ll see why in my next post.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Brian Littrell at Night of Joy 2007

A few years ago, the Backstreet Boys were being interviewed and Brian Littrell was asked what he’d be doing if he wasn’t in the group. He said that he’d probably be a youth pastor. I took notice to that statement.

So, it wasn’t a surprise when it was announced that Brian was coming out with a solo “Christian” album of his own a little over a year ago. I knew that I would probably enjoy his music, so I purchased his album, “Welcome Home”, as soon as it came out last year.

I wasn’t disappointed. I was pleased to find lyrics that reflected the truths of Christ and a personal relationship that Brian has with Him. What a platform he has to share his faith! He’s a part of one of the most popular Pop groups in the world!

He's talked about how he’s taken a lot of flak from others who don’t understand why he’s doing what he’s doing. His song, “My Answer is You”, answers that question. He has said that he’s always wanted to be a Christian artist. That was always the plan.

His platform will continue to be built as the Backstreet Boys are scheduled to release a brand new album October 30th and go on tour.

Here are a few images of Brian Littrell’s Night of Joy Debut this past Friday night. He performed two sets at "Galaxy Palace Theater" in Tomorrowland. I’ll be sharing a few more photos from this concert in my next post.

You can find out more about Brian’s testimony by clicking Here and Here.

Click Here to sample some of his music. His song "Over My Head" is one of my favorites.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Night of Joy 2007

This past Friday and Saturday evening I attended the 25th annual “Night of Joy”. Night of Joy is a two night Christian music festival held each September at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. The park is only open to concert attendees during this event and is usually sold out as it was this year. Most of the popular Magic Kingdom rides are open for you to enjoy in between concerts, much to the delight of all the church youth groups there as well as all the young at heart.

There are usually three to four different concert locations throughout the park with Cinderella Castle being the stage for the “Headliners”. The smaller venues this year were "Galaxy Palace Theater" and “Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café”, both located in Tomorrowland. Fantasyland was also used for a stage location which was a change from using Frontierland in recent years.

The park hours for the event this year were 6:00pm to 1:00am on Friday night and 4:00pm to 1:00am on Saturday with concerts getting started at 7:30pm each night. There are usually two to three different artists playing at one time, so you have your choice of who you want to see. As you walk around the park, you’ll also hear modern Christian music being played through the parks sound system. It’s usually songs from all the artists who are featured at that year’s event. For me, it’s the greatest night to be at the Magic Kingdom.

This was my third Night of Joy and fifth of this type of event in the past five years. Universal Studios also holds the same type event the very same weekend called “Rock the Universe”. I usually make my choice by who’s playing at which park.

I had a great (and tiring) weekend to say the least. I took my camera on Friday night and captured some good images of some of my favorite music artists which I will be sharing with you this week. Saturday night I did not take my camera but will still give you some commentary on that great evening as well.

I captured the above image at the end of Friday night as “Third Day” was performing at Cinderella Castle. If you look closely, you’ll see a little glimpse of the sea of humanity that was in attendance.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Pop Gallery

I took this photo almost exactly a year ago. “Pop Gallery” is a store in Downtown Disney that features unique paintings, sculptures and the like as well as some artsy trinkets. The store is jammed packed with color and peculiar things to grab your attention as you navigate your way through the narrow isles as to not break anything. Most items inside feature a hefty price tag.

As you can probably tell, I did a little selective color here to add some intrigue to an image that didn‘t really have much to it. The two bulbs illuminated were the only ones on at the time I captured this image.

I was out with some really cool people on Saturday night and we spent a good amount of time in this store. As we all took our time exploring the establishment, I was surprised at the things I never even noticed before. There really is a lot to take in.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Shadow Play part 2

Another image from my archives. This is the first image to be posted twice on this Blog…but with a little twist…a little twist of lime.

I’ve talked about how shadows catch my “photographer’s eye” before, you can read more about that by clicking here, if you missed it. I got this image back out recently and did a selective color treatment to it. This photo was originally captured over a year ago at the Boca Raton Resort and Club in Boca Raton Florida.

What things catch your “photographer’s eye”?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Need to Phone a Friend?

As you may recall my earlier posts about “my little friend”, the cell phone, here’s an image from almost a year ago of another one of my little friends. His name is Kaa, and he was my house guest for a little over a year. I “snake sat” him while my friend, Jonathan, was away in Afghanistan. Jonathan’s wife, Patricia, didn’t mind me taking Kaa off her hands for that time period either.

This photo was taken during a shoot a few days before I had given him back to his owners. At one point, I decided to incorporate my cell phone into the scene. It didn’t take much coaching to get Kaa to wrap his body around the object. I think it may had been a comfort to him on that flat surface. Having the phone there also gives a sense of scale, though I think it’s still slightly deceiving, because he was actually about three feet long at that time. He won‘t grow to be many more feet because of the type of breed he is.

I’m surprised at how comfortable I was with him and he with me. I think it’s because of how calm and docile a Ball Python can be most of the time. Now, when it was feeding time, that’s a different story, but I‘ll spare you the details. You can see other images from this shoot and learn more about my experiences with Kaa by clicking here…if you dare?

To me this kind of a strong image, maybe even a little “surreal”. It’s probably even more strange and surreal to some of you. What messages or ideas come to your mind when you look at this?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Blogs of Note

Here’s an image that I took during one of my photo excursions in downtown Lakeland over a year ago. It wasn’t long after I captured this image that I began sharing my work on this Photo Blog. Looking at this image now, I can’t help but think about the style of my Photo Blogging friend, Anna. She recently made the comment that we “shoot alike” and I totally agreed with her.

On another note, my Dad, “Salty” (Formerly known as "Salty Dawg" in Blog land), as moved his Photo Blog to a new address, He made the change to keep consistent with his new Blog title and theme. He’s doing a lot of great stuff over there, so be sure to check him out.

Another Blog of note, is one of my cousins up north, Amy. She also captures a lot of great country and nature themed images. Her "Frosty Mountains" image will cool you off on this hot summer day. So go check out her photos and let her know what you think!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Antique Dish

This is another object from my Gram’s house that I photographed over a year ago. This candy dish of sorts originally belonged to my Great Grandmother at one time. It’s amazing how it can still capture the eye and imagination.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Blue and Green

This is a vase that I bought for my apartment a few years ago. I have it sitting in the middle of my dining/kitchen table. It catches the evening sun as it shines through the window. The vase features two of my favorite colors, which is what drew me to it.

One of my favorite parts of this photo is the piece that is distorted by the other piece of glass at the bottom right of the image.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Gram's Shade

Here’s an image I took two years ago at my Grandparents house. It’s of a lamp shade in their guest bedroom. I’ve always loved the stained glass in it as well as the frosted white glass you see there.

I had this image on my computer as a part of a framing project I’m doing for one of my friends. This image may be used in collaboration with some other images. In trying to think of what to post, I spotted this fond image and decided to share it with you all.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Rise of the Silver Surfer

This is an image that I captured a few months ago at the best theater in town, the “Cobb”. You’re looking at a life size model of the “Silver Surfer” from this Summer's hit “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer”. This is one of 400 made for promoting the movie at a theater near you.

So far this Summer, I’ve taken in most of the really big blockbusters; Spider-Man 3, Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Fantastic Four 2, and Transformers. All four films were visually stunning and great stories, but I think I was the most impressed with Spidy and Transformers out of this list. I’m getting ready to see the third installment of the “Bourne” series, The Bourne Ultimatum, next weekend.

What about you, have you seen any of the “Blockbusters” this summer? What was your favorite? Have you seen this silver guy at any of your theaters?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


At times, it feels as if it’s staring me down.
Time used to crawl when I was a child, now it jogs. A year no longer feels like the eternity that it did when I was a boy. 12 months seem to feel more like six now. It’s as if time has doubled it’s pace. I can’t believe July is almost gone! “Attention, this is your captain speaking, we’re about to begin our decent into the Holiday season.”

As I stood listening to some good music on headphones at the “Virgin Records Megastore” in Downtown Disney Saturday night, the numbers above the CD selections represented something to me. Their intended purpose was to indicate where that particular album ranked on a “Top 40” list, but to me, they represented ages. I knew then that I wanted to capture an image with these numbers.

For the most part, I haven’t been effected that much by turning any age. Some of my friends have spoken about how turning 25 or 27 was hard on them, not me though. The only thing that has gotten to me in recent time is how much faster time is going. It was just yesterday that I was 27, now I’m almost half way through 28 and 30 feels very close.

A wise old man named Bob Snyder once told me that “it’s a blessing to grow old”. I took stock in what he said that day, it brought comfort to me. I surely hope and plan to grow old and wise like him.

It’s odd to think that my twenties are waving good bye and that I’m about to begin a new decade of my life. I want that decade to be really good.

Have any birthdays affected you in some way? What advice do you have to offer this 28 year old?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Wall of Blinding Lights

This past Saturday evening I…you guessed it…went to Downtown Disney again to photograph. This visit however, went a little different than planned...

As I was contemplating going there again, during the day, one of our daily thunderstorms arrived outside my apartment around 3:00pm. I thought I’d give it an hour or so and see if the sky looked promising later. Well, around 5:00pm, it was still cloudy with a bit of drizzle. I decided to still venture in there with hopes of getting some post rain shots of the location later in the evening. Images of neon lighted reflections on the sidewalk filled my head.

As I drove the 40 minute trek on I-4, I was met with spots of rain and an endless overcast sky. Once at “DTD” I realized that I may have to wait to shoot for a while until the conditions became more friendly for my expensive little sidekick. So, I decided to kill some time at the mammoth Virgin Record store. I walked along the massive wall of listening stations and found a CD to demo. As I jammed, I began to notice “shots” that I could capture if only I had my camera with me. Once in a while I would glance over to a window area only to realize that there was no end in site for the rain.

Before too long, I decided to brave the falling water and jogged back to my car to get my camera and salvage this otherwise photoless night. I ever so carefully shielded my investment with my umbrella on the way back to the media store. I then returned to the same listening station and jammed once more but with my camera now around my neck and my trusty umbrella drying at my feet.

As I stood there, I took in the almost endless wall of light that was before me. The way it curved in the distance and resembled something from a U2 concert captured my imagination. The only problem was that the shot I wanted to get was one without any people in it. Let me tell you that this store is crawling with tourists and Floridians alike. I would only have a small window of opportunity to get a shot of the wall without anyone blocking the view that I was envisioning.

The image above was about as good as I was going to get that night. There’s really a more impressive view that shows just how far this wall stretches, but I was never able to catch it completely alone…maybe next time.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


As I was photographing the light show that “Stitch” was providing for me at Downtown Disney, I looked down on the ground and found this little guy at my feet. It’s a Mickey Mouse that has a spinning light apparatus attached to the top of his head. As the three stranded rubber propeller spun, Mickey would slowly rotate as he wobbled from the movement of the propeller above him.

Mickey Mouse is such a worldwide icon, did you still recognize this “blur” as “Mickey”?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Warp Speed

Yesterday evening, I made another trip to Downtown Disney to look for some good images. After walking around for a time, I passed by a Disney street vendor who was selling glowing sticks for the forthcoming night as well as a few character specific souvenirs. One that caught my eye was of “Stitch” the alien from Disney’s “Lilo and Stitch”. He was in his racing style space craft that featured three rubber strands of different lengths with lights at the end of them, serving as a sort of propeller. It was getting near dusk and I immediately thought of doing a slow exposure to capture a cool light blur.

At first, I walked on by, not wanting to draw attention to myself by photographing this toy that the vendor wanted to sell and that little children wanted their parents to buy them. But, I stopped in my tracks, thought for a moment, then turned around and walked up to the guy manning the cart and said, “I have to photograph this thing”. He very accommodatingly replied “Sure! Go right ahead!” So, I tried a few shots and as I began realizing that it was still too early to get the desired effect, the guy working the station said, “Are you gonna be here for a while? You can Come back later once it’s darker.” I thanked him and told him I’d be back.

So, I eventually returned and began shooting this little alien with spinning lights in front of his space ship. Once I thought I had captured what I needed, I thanked the vendor once again and went on my way, knowing I had probably gotten my “shot of the night”.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Say Hello to My Little Friend part 2

Well, I definitely got some interesting feedback on the topic of cell phones! Thanks everyone for contributing to the discussion.

I must say that I was a little surprised at the number of you that do not have one yet. One things for sure though, it sounds like you all would be or are among the “considerate users’’ practicing proper “cell phone etiquette”.

As I shared in my previous post, I’m quite happy with my mobile friend. I love receiving calls from the people close to me. I would say my phone gets moderate use, not nearly as much as some of my friends' cell phones. When I don’t want to be bothered, I just turn the power button off.

My biggest piece of advice for any cell phone user out there, is know when to turn it off. If you’re out on a date with someone special or just spending some quality time with a good friend, do both of you a favor and turn that thing off for a little while. Choose to “be there” with that person.

Above is another one of my favorite images I captured of my cell. There’s something significant to me in this image. Just a subtle tie-in to my life right now. Can anyone guess what it is?

Answer revealed in the comment section!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Say Hello to My Little Friend

Almost everywhere I go, this little guy tags along.
Within the last 10 years, the cell phone has made it’s way into our everyday lives and has made itself an necessity for most people.
Because a good percentage of people own at least one now, you need to have one of your own if you’re going to “stay in the loop”. Whether it’s on the job or just hanging with your friends and family, cell phones now play an important part in our lives.

I must say that I really enjoy this modern technological wonder most of the time. A cell phone makes “making plans” a lot more “spontaneous”. I can be somewhere out and about and receive a call from a friend who’s inviting me to dinner. At the trade show that I was just involved in, cell phones were a very valuable tool utilized by everyone in my company to communicate with each other across the vast show floor. Because of the great calling plans that are now available for cell phones, I was able to get rid of my long distance land line plan all together. In fact, my land line is hardly used now except to receive those pesky “telemarketing” calls for me. So far, my cell phone number has not been “compromised” that much. The list of benefits of cell phones keeps going, not to even mention the capabilities of some to surf the web, play music or capture images etc. etc. Capabilities that I’m sure will become more standard as time goes on.

Like with mostly anything, there are some negatives that we have to deal with as well. For instance, when you’re spending time with someone, trying to have good conversation, maybe at a restaurant or book store…and then your companion receives a call disrupting the flow of your evening. Another frustration are the hands free ear pieces that some have, although great safety devices for talking while driving, are deceiving when you see someone walking down the street seeming to talk to themselves. Maybe you begin to talk to them only to realize afterward that they are already having a conversation with someone else. Ok, just a little venting there.

I think the bottom line is, cell phones are wonderful tools (and toys) that have improved our lives in many ways, but we need to practice “cell phone etiquette” and “use responsibly”.

What’s your thoughts on everyone’s best friend, the Cell Phone?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

"Last Ride" by Dozer Cycle part 3

One More View.
Ok, I had to give you one more view of this frightening ride.

I guess when it comes to “Bikers” having a sometimes scary wrap, this bike is the ultimate ride for that stereotype.

In the words of “Joel Reynolds”, “Ghost Rider called - he wants his bike back.”

Thursday, July 05, 2007

"Last Ride" by Dozer Cycle

Yeah, I thought this would get your attention.
You’re looking at the front of a Motorcycle that is known as “Last Ride”. It’s a bike that sports a human skeleton made of steel that covers the length of it’s body. It literally looks like a skeleton on two wheels. I overheard a show patron say that if he saw this bike pull up beside him, he’d probably pull off the road.

I’ll be showing you a few more views of this unique machine and the man who built it, in the next couple of days.

I'll borrow an idea from my photoblogger friend, Carmi, and ask you a question. What first came to mind when you saw this image?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Show Time

I just photographed the annual trade show that the company I work for puts on each year in Orlando, Florida. The show consists mainly of automotive tools and equipment with the occasional cool bike or car to look at. We had a few special guests at our show this year, one being “Dozer Cycle” company. They brought a few of their motorcycles for all the show attendees to enjoy gazing at. As I was photographing the great bikes, I aimed at one of the mirrors to see if I could get an interesting reflection of the girl working the booth who was sitting about 15 feet away. I was able to see her in the mirror, but couldn’t capture her smiling. So, I went over to her and showed her what I had photographed so far and explained why I needed her to look my way and smile. Once I grabbed this image and showed the result, she said, “Wow, that’s amazing!” She made me feel like I had just performed a street magic trick for her.

This was one of the many images shown in a slide show on four huge screens during a 2,000 attendee dinner Saturday night. As everyone enjoyed their meal, some of the 600 images I took from the previous two days were on display. Later that night, one of the vendors complimented me on my photography and mentioned this shot as one of the ones that stuck out to him.

I hope you all enjoy the new look of the photog blog. The phrase “every image has a story” is something that came to me recently. I think it applies well to photography and what my Blog is all about. Not only does an image “tell” a story itself, but there is always a story as to how and why that image came to be. At this Blog, I hope many stories are enjoyed; the stories that the images tell and the stories that I tell of how those images were created.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Traveler

I wonder how many places she’s seen? How many times she’s been rained on? How many sunsets on the open road she’s taken in?

How many car shows has she been on display at? How long does she now have to sit in the garage each week?

I wonder.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bel Air

Another image from my “Old Town” archives. A 1957 Chevy Bel Air this time, taken at the beginning of my “Auto Art” craze in 2004.

Growing up, I remember my Grandfather mentioning “’57 Chevys” on numerous occasions, I think he owned one “back in the day”, before this car was a “legend”. I think it’s safe to say that it’s one of his favorite cars of all time. I’ll have to ask him if that’s a true statement.

I remember a time a couple years back, probably seven years or more, before I began photographing these cars. Me and my Grandfather were checking out all these classics one Saturday night at Old Town. Pap knew a lot about these automobiles and was sharing all sorts of tidbits about them with me. It’s amazing how he could tell what year many of them were built in.

I love the tail fins. Just thought I’d “pop” the red tail light on this one.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Alien World

Here’s an image from my archives, it was taken at least two years ago. I had noticed these flowers while walking around "Lake Mirror" in downtown Lakeland. As I was shooting some macro images of them, this bee happened upon the scene, being busy about his business. It was a chance encounter with this life form from a tiny world that ended up giving me a great image.

His world is alien to mine and mine to his.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Warning To Humans

About a year ago, not long before I started sharing my photography on this blog, I captured this image in downtown Lakeland. I was wondering around trying to find something “photo worthy” when I looked up and saw this sign warning pet owners to clean up after their furry companions. I couldn’t resist. So, I captured it in the way that I saw it.

I finally felt like posting this one. Though it’s quite in contrast to the feelings that the flower in the previous post evokes.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Flower 2.0

I was messing around with an image I took the other day of a beautiful flower, trying to do something selective color. I wasn’t crazy about the rest of the elements in the photo except for the flower itself, though. So, I just created a black background and composed the flower where I wanted it. Nothing fancy, just something quick and easy.

There’s a quote that I wanted to share with all of you. I think everyone will relate to it, especially all you photographers and artists out there. It was at the bottom of an email I received from a business associate the other week.

"When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world."
- George Washington Carver (1864-1943)

When I read that quote, I first thought of photography and how a creatively composed image grabs the attention of others. I also thought of my favorite athletes, like Michael Jordan. He’s someone who revolutionized the game of Basketball with the way he played it.

Of course, this quote can be applied to any area of life. I just thought you would enjoy reading it and thinking of it in terms of photography as I did.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Orange Camaro

The color and lines on this Chevy Camaro attracted me to it.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

An Interview

One of my PhotoBlog friends, “Anna”, an American in London, has offered an “interview challenge”. She recently accepted it from someone and then offered it to anyone else who wanted to be interviewed by her. I immediately obliged. She said I could answer five or as many of the ones she asked that I wanted. I liked all the questions, so, I chose to answer all eight!

What are you most passionate about in your life?
Being creative. I can be “passionately creative” and “creatively passionate”. As I’ve said before, I just find that I’m most happy when I’m being creative. Creativity can show up in every area of life. Equal to this passion would be my faith in Christ.

Pick a song that best describes you.
This is difficult because I love music very much and have “many” songs that are like “theme songs” for me. I’ll just have to pick one. I would say, “I Owe It All” by Paul Colman. It’s really a song that describes my relationship with God and how I “owe it all”, everything in my life, to Him because He has given me every good thing in my life. As the bridge of the song says, “You always lift me when I fall, You always hear me when I call, and you forgive me, Lord, and in your grace I am found”.

In a quiet moment you get to yourself, what do you do?
In this season of my life, I have a lot of opportunities for “quiet moments”. Really, I always have. Once I step out of the work environment, I have the opportunity to go create a “quiet moment” if I like. I guess it’s a matter of when I choose to have a quiet moment. I would say a true moment like this would be when I read or pray.

What surprises you most about other people?
The amount of hate that some people can have.

Who has made the most impact on your life? Why?
That’s a very difficult question. So many people that I have known have shaped who I am in some way or another. I’m going to have to say my Grandparents and Parents. No matter what, they’ve always been there for me to fall back on.

Share one sure fire way to get to your heart?
Love, Hope, Beauty, and Adventure speak to my heart.

What is one thing you own that would be hard for you to give away?
My laptop computer.

Share something that you hope to do one day.
Share the beauty of the Grand Canyon or a walk on a sunset lit beach with someone I love. I would be taking in a little bit more of the greatness of God and experiencing “Love, Hope, Beauty, and Adventure” all in that moment.

If you are also interested in being interviewed, leave me a comment saying, "INTERVIEW ME." Then, I will respond by asking you at least five new questions. You will then post on your blog your answers to my questions. The fun continues when you include this explanation and an offer to interview one of your readers in your post. When they comment requesting to be interviewed, you will ask them at least five new questions of your own.

The image above, was captured at “Old Town” last Saturday night.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Lollypop Of Light

Here’s another image from Saturday night. It’s a ride that consists of a giant, spinning beam with a riding apparatus on each end. The beam is covered with lights which created this humongous, multicolored lollypop when it was photographed with an exposure of eight seconds. My aperture was set at F8 and virtual film speed was set to “50” to limit as much “noise” as possible.

I would have liked to have gotten the whole radius in frame, but I was up against a building just to get this perspective. The two multicolored beams behind the circle are a part of a “reverse bungee” riding attraction. I’ll probably be trying more shots with this subject the next time I go to Old Town.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Old Town, Kissimmee, Florida

Yesterday evening, I took the 30 minute drive to Kissimmee Florida. You’ve heard me talk about this place plenty of times in the past, but just incase you've missed those posts; “Old Town” is a tourist attraction with lots of “unique shops, restaurants and rides”. Every Saturday night, it hosts a classic car show called "The Saturday Night Cruise". The "Cruise" averages around 300 vehicles each week and is the largest "weekly show" in America. You’ve seen some of the best images I’ve captured there of those cars from previous visits. Last evening though, I came prepared with my tripod in tow, to do some long exposure shots of the Farris Wheel and swing ride located at the entrance of this attraction.

Above is one of my favorites of the night. I’ll be posting more images from this outing, so stay tuned.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

"Bond...James Bond"

Above is an image I created earlier this week for a prize give-away promotion that the company I work for is doing. It’s an “Omega” watch that is themed after the Omega watch worn by the latest “James Bond” in the film “Casino Royale”.

I wanted to emphasize the fact that this was a “Bond” watch, so I placed a pamphlet that came with it, featuring “Bond” himself, in the background.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Sonny's BBQ

Ask any of my friends and they will tell you, that I love Sonny’s BBQ. About four years ago, my friend, Tim and I started going there on our lunch break occasionally. Sonny’s has a lunch special called “The Big Deal”, that has become one of my favorite lunches (or dinners for that matter). It consists of your choice of sliced beef, sliced pork, pulled pork, beef brisket, or sliced turkey (I usually get the sliced beef or pulled pork), on garlic toast (or regular bun, Tim always gets that) with a side of fries or beans. There are a few other sides, but I only choose one or the other of those two. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, your drink, which is a massive refillable cup, is included in this, making it the “Big Deal”. 99 percent of the time I get “Sweet Tea”.

I have frequented this eating establishment so often with Tim, that there are a few waitresses who usually know exactly what we are going to order. There have been times when our “Sweet Teas”, already in “To Go” cups, have been delivered to our table before we ever placed our orders.

I think the big draw for me is that “The Big Deal”, really is a great lunch special, only around seven dollars. That and the fact that I’m a “Meat and Sauce” guy. Give me some good meat and lots of spicy sauce to dip it in and I’m happy. The meat comes out dry which allows you to add your own sauce and choose how much is applied to the meal. Which brings me to the choice of sauces that Sonny’s offers. They are as follows: Mild, Sweet, Sizzilin Sweet, and Smokin. My favorites are the latter.

I definitely have a “process” to the way I go about eating “The Big Deal”. I usually always eat my fries first, as to avoid having cold fries, which are not good. Of course the fries have ketchup applied to them before they are consumed. I then take the top piece of garlic toast off of the sandwich and apply “Smokin” sauce to the meat. Put the bread back on, flip, and apply “Sizzilin Sweet” sauce to the other side. Then, pour “Smokin” sauce off to the side on the plate. I proceed to cut the sandwich in half and dip it into the sauce on the plate. Once I’ve finished half of the sandwich, I’ll pour some “Sizzilin Sweet” sauce onto the plate and dip the other half of the sandwich into it. So good!

Mix all of this with great conversation and you have a wonderful lunch! Once finished, I’ll leave the friendly waitress a nice tip and go pay for the delicious meal I just enjoyed.
I’ve had to have eaten there around 100 times by now, or at least it feels like I have. I was just talking with some friends the other day (while at Sonny’s), that I’ve probably used up the equivalent of one of the sauce bottles.

One of the tokens you usually receive at the end of a Sonny’s meal, are “Moist Towelettes”, so your hands don’t smell like a BBQ sandwich after lunch. Above are some extra towelettes that I’ve stored in the glove box of my car.

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name…or at least what you order.