Street Photography from the Iron Bowl 2013

Well what can I say about this one? A picture speaks a thousand words. I asked if they would let me take a quick shot and the rest is history.

Somebody’s not going home happy tonight, but if you give it a seconds thought, there’s always next year.

Oh behave………..

I just love YETI coolers

I convinced this young lady to do a quick pose in front of the vendor stand she was working in. The background was a little burned out, so I fixed that quit easily.

This young lady was promoting Chevy trucks under a small tent with this wheat field as a backdrop. She readily agreed to pose for a few quick shots after I showed a little interest in the display truck. She might have posed for more if I had told her that my truck is 18 years old and the odometer stopped at 175,000 miles four years ago.

Until next time

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South Palafox Street

This is an image I shot just after sunset on a Friday night looking down South Palafox Street in Pensacola, Florida. I set the camera on a tripod in the median on the north side of Garden Street, which gave a perfect view looking down South Palafox with all it’s busy night time activity. I shot three different exposures of this image and combined them to make one HDR print. The long exposures are the reason for the horizontal streaks across the bottom of the image, which are the lights of cars as they passed. I had planned this shot for quite a while, and just happened to catch it at the right time after our afternoon trip to Fort Pickens.

Prints of this image can be ordered by clicking the link just below the image.

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Fort Pickens

I shot this HDR image of the interior of Fort Pickens yesterday, while exploring the old fort just like any other kid. It was very hot, but really fun to walk and climb around this place. The first time I visited the fort, I was about 5 years old and I’ll have to say I’m still just as amazed now as I was back then. This place has survived a military bombardment, numerous hurricanes, and the general wear and tear of the ravishes of time and weather. All things considered it’s still in pretty good shape. Maybe we have a few things in common.

Prints of this image may be ordered by clicking the link below the image.

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A Quick Before and After View

I posted this image on my Facebook page last night and it seems to have drawn a little bit of attention, so I thought I would write a blog post about how it came about. I was passing by the Brewton City Park a couple of nights ago and decided I would take a few night time shots of the park and nearby areas, all the while trying avoid looking like ……uh, a fool carrying around a tripod with a camera attached at 8:30 on deserted city streets. At least I wasn’t questioned by the local authorities or reported as a bigfoot sighting.

Now to a bit of technical stuff. I set up for this shot across the street from the park with the camera mounted on a tripod and the self timer set for 10 seconds. I had the aperture set to 16, which is the best way to get the starburst effect from the lights without using a filter. The camera was set to record 3 exposures of the same image, a normal exposure, a 2 stop over exposure, and a 2 stop under exposure. I ended up using the over exposure for this image and discarding the other two.

The first thing I did was remove a utility pole that was in the center of the image and a couple of lens flares. It gets really deep at this point, but I will say I ended up using 4 different software programs and finished with a 7 layer, 256 MB PSD file. The total processing time on the computer was about 80-90 minutes.

This is the starting image straight out of the camera:

Until next time

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Just a Little Street Photography

I had the opportunity to get out early this past Saturday and hit the streets of Auburn before the 11:00 kickoff of the Auburn vs Lousianna Monroe football game. Things get started pretty early around town on gamedays like this. I stopped at one of the art galleries downtown just as this young lady was hanging a few works outside. After a brief conversation I asked if she would mind if I took a few images of her in front of the shop and she asked if it would be alright to get one of her and her coworker together. Why not, the more the merrier, especially when I’ve already had my morning coffee.

Next I spotted Wayne and Darsey sitting outside of University Barber Shop waiting on the next customer and enjoying the early morning air. I really love this place, not only can you get a great hair cut, but the conversations are always amazing.

I followed a similar routine on Sunday morning, but just walked around the campus watching the cleanup effort from all the activities of the previous day. One thing that caught my eye was the striking colors of the new AU logo on the east side of the stadium and the beautiful early morning sky. I set the tripod up and did a series of 3 different exposures that I later turned in to this HDR image.

Later I stopped and remenienced in front of Thach Hall, remembering that my very first pharmacy class was in this building. I guess it may be fitting that my official introduction to pharmacy occurred in the Business School building. I didn’t linger very long for fear that I might still hear Dr. Hocking’s voice mumbling about leaves, bark, roots, twigs and all other things related to Pharmacognosy.

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That Magic Moment When the Camera Finds It’s Subject

Street photography is a sport as much as it is anything else. To walk around with a camera, photographing interesting people, places, and things opens ones eyes to the everyday world that surrounds us, a world in which we often ignore the obvious. The thrill of capturing a special moment in someones life and preserving it forever is hard to describe if you’ve never tried it.

Yesterday I was in Destin, walking around looking for something interesting to photograph and there’s no shortage of interesting subjects in Destin. I soon encountered a young lady named Miranda down by the harbor and a short conversation led to a quick 3 minute photo session. It’s really fun when you find someone who is not only very photogenic, but also comfortable in front of the lens.

The thing that I find really amazing about these three images is her eye contact with the lens. It’s very intimate, as if there’s nothing else in the world but her and the camera. That’s a very rare dance between the model and the camera that would even get a 10 from Len Goodman.

By the way, all of these images were shot over a period of 2-3 minutes in direct sunlight at 2:40 PM beside the harbor. I asked her to turn away from the sun and just let the wind work with her hair. I love the way the sun highlights her hair and I always love a windblown, natural look.

Until next time……..Peace and Love

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Just A Little Picture I Found

What a Saturday this was. I’m nursing an cold and decided to just take it easy this weekend, not stress myself to much, and certainly not get outside and do something foolish like yard work. Sounds like a great plan for any weekend, especially a Saturday filled with great college football games.

After much anticipation I settled down to watch the Auburn vs Georgia game. Well at least we played one good quarter of football before our youth and lack of experience took it’s toll and we experienced a beat down like nothing since Custer decided to visit Sitting Bull. What can I say, aside from throwing toilet paper in trees, we Auburn fans win with dignity and lose with dignity. Tomorrow is another day.

Having quickly satisfied my thirst for football on a Saturday afternoon, I started looking at old picture files and found some prom pictures I had shot a few years back. After looking over the file I decided to rework a few of the images and choose to start on one of Jessica.

I remember the day I shot this one quite well. As we were shooting the images at the local college before the prom, my sister introduced me to Jessica and informed me that she is one of my neighbors. She lives about a mile from us and there are two houses in between. I just love the coziness of country living. At least you can’t hear the neighbors dog bark at 4:00 in the morning.

Jessica is currently a Pharmacy student with a bright future ahead of her in what I’ve been told is a very noble profession. I’m sure she’ll do very well and will probably be able to provide excellent health care to old dirt clod kickers like me in the future.

Ok, back to the picture. The original was shot from the waist up and was a bit flat looking, although 3-4 years ago, I thought it looked pretty good. That’s what improvement in your work flow will do, you begin have higher expectations for your results. I decided to do an extreme crop and use some of the newer processing techniques I’ve developed over the last year to enhance the color, add some contrast and a little selective sharpening. I hope you enjoy the results.

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Tailgating Weekends

We’ve really enjoyed some perfect weather, friendship, good food, and great football on the last few weekend trips to Auburn. I love these night games much better than the early games we started the season with. It gives you much more time to socialize and enjoy these wonderful fall afternoons. Enjoy the images.

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Samford Hall

What does it mean to be an Auburn man or woman? It’s very difficult to put into words, even for someone like me who seldom knows when to shut up and listen. It’s a feeling deep within your heart that has grown there for years, influenced by others with a love of Auburn and the sometimes long ago experience of improving ones education. Auburn is a place of many memories that grow better as the years pass just as fine wine ages in a dark cellar, some day to see the light of day and savor the rewards of time. Just a return to the campus is enough to refresh the mind and the spirit of those who love and cherish Auburn.

In 1945 Professor George Petrie wrote the Auburn Creed, which has since been recited and lived by Auburn Alumni throughout the world. Dr. Petrie is very well known in Auburn lore, being the first Alabamian to earn a PhD degree, a Professor of History and Latin, and organizer of Auburn’s first football team among other things. I like to imagine that Dr. Petrie may have initially scribbled the Auburn Creed on the back of a church bulletin on a Sunday morning, because the message of the Creed comes directly from numerous books of the Bible. The Creed is as follows:

I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work, hard work.

I believe in education, which gives me the knowledge to work wisely and trains my mind and my hands to work skillfully.

I believe in honesty and truthfulness, without which I cannot win the respect and confidence of my fellow men.

I believe in a sound mind, in a sound body and a spirit that is not afraid, and in clean sports that develop these qualities.

I believe in obedience to law because it protects the rights of all.

I believe in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with my fellow men and mutual helpfulness and brings happiness for all.

I believe in my Country, because it is a land of freedom and because it is my own home, and that I can best serve that country by “doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with my God.”

And because Auburn men and women believe in these things, I believe in Auburn and love it.
-George Petrie (1945)

I’m certainly far from perfect, but I believe in that Creed and the principles stated within. I try my best to live daily by the words in that simple statement. There are those that’ll say I fall short of that goal and I wholeheartedly agree. We are to strive for perfection, but it’s a goal that’s never obtainable, the best that we can do is make the journey one that best fulfills the Auburn Creed and the parallel truths of the Bible. Knowing that we have done our best and imparted these truths upon our children and grandchildren is, in the end why we were placed on this earth.

That’s not to say we can’t have a little bit of John Wayne or Teddy Roosevelt in us when defending the integrity of our family, friends, or Auburn University.

The image above is of Samford Hall, one of the oldest buildings on the Auburn campus. The famed Toomer’s Corner Oak’s are just off camera to the right. This image was taken on the morning of January 22, 2010, as many Auburn fans gathered on a cold, windy day to celebrate Auburn’s victory in the BCS Championship Game twelve days earlier. It was a very good day to be an Auburn man.

War Eagle

Auburn University Class of 1975

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Just playing around in Photoshop during the late hours of the night

This is an image of the very beautiful Chyna Roman which I shot in 2007 at a Super Shoots workshop in Nashville. I stumbled upon it earlier tonight and thought I’d try a little something drastic like a rather unique black & white conversion with an extreme crop. I hope you like it. Here is the original straight out of the camera image.

BTW, if you ever get a chance to attend one of J. T. Smith’s Super Shoots workshops, jump at the chance. You’ll learn a lot about photography and have a great time in the process. Until the next time, here’s a toast to peace and love.

War Eagle

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