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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It’s Been Awhile

It’s been awhile since I’ve tried to post on this blog due to the fact that for the last two years I’ve been spending a lot of time traveling to work. Now that I’m working back closer to home I should have much more time for little things I like such as photography and writing. I’m looking forward to some really exciting projects in the coming months.

The above image is one I shot of Lucy a little over two years ago after our grandson’s Baptism and just before a family dinner.  She was going up and down those stairs that morning and having a grand time turning the lights on and off after being told not to. I’ve been going through the image files on my computer to organize them in a more logical system and stumbled upon this one in the process. It kind of appealed to me for some reason, maybe due to the fact that I didn’t didn’t spend hours doing layers and adjusting this and that on it like some of the more colorful images I’ve processed in the past few months. Maybe I’ll do a future blog post giving the basic outline of my rather colorful Jerry Garcia processing workflow, but then maybe I’ll do like Col. Sanders and keep those 11 herbs and spices to my self. Just a note, those should not be confused with any of the herbs and spices the real Jerry Garcia was fond of.

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Dining out at Pensacola Beach

After a flying trip (well we actually drove rather quickly) to Pensacola for a Doctor visit Donna had scheduled today, the usual question about were to eat came up. We were torn between eating quickly and cheaply or splurging on a good meal. Well, it didn’t take much convincing to go all out, so we decided to drive over to Pensacola Beach and eat at Flounders, which is one of our favorites. The atmosphere is great, right there on the sound side of the beach with a beautiful sunset and open air dining.

Flounders has a lot of character to the building which is highlighted by quite a few old boats hanging from the ceiling and dozens of antique outboard motors around the edge of the interior. For a man my age (39, I’m not kidding) pictures begin to dance through your head of a hot, humid day bent over a torn apart motor saying “we’ll go fishing as soon as we get this thing running again, son”.

The food is really good there and they even offer a $0.18 cup of gumbo with your meal. Did you hear me I said EIGHTEEN CENTS? You can’t get anything but memories for eighteen cents these days. Well it’s April 13th, so in two more days we probably can’t afford the cup of gumbo either. Actually, I just talked to my accountant and I owe the government the equivalent of 4200 cups of Flounders delicious gumbo. Come on down to Flounders Mr. President and bring a few friends, the gumbos on me.

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Spring is Here

Well, I don’t just write about photography here. This is not even a new image, just one I found on the hard drive of our bike. It was a very pleasant weekend in South Alabama, which often means we may hop on the Harley at some point and take a ride. Our first ride of the new year was two weeks ago to Destin and resulted in a broken connector on the battery ground cable about 25 miles from home on the return trip. After nursing the bike home, repairs were in order.

I got a new cable this week and installed it on Saturday after several yard projects…..ugh. This afternoon we rode to Brewton to print some images and visit my mother. After leaving her house we rode to Berrydale, Florida and down Hwy 4 to Baker, Fl. From there we traveled to Wing, Al. and Pleasant Home, before returning to Damascus and home sweet home. It was nice to get out and enjoy the spring like weather, see the sites, see a lot of other bikers doing the same.

Until next time…..

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Blue Angels Airshow 2009

I decided to post a few images from the Blue Angels Airshow on Pensacola Beach in July 2009. We decided to go the night before the show and made the choice to ride the Harley down because it would be easy to get around in the congestion and because…..well, it’s fun to go that way. Needless to say, the saddle bags and back pack can fill up in a hurry, leaving little room for camera gear. Enter the photographers derringer:

It fits neatly in a shirt pocket, so when space is short this is the baby.

This guy was pretty amazing

And no Blue Angels Show would be complete without Fat Albert

The speed and precision is beyond description

I try to never leave home without a camera, even if it’s an inexpensive pocket model

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A Different Time

I shot this image last October, while out rambling around in South Alabama. I ended up in the little rural community of Burnt Corn in Monroe County and found several beautifully painted old buildings. I don’t remember Cokes being a nickel, but I do remember them being a dime when I was a child (boy, I hate to date myself like that). We lived in a small town and there was a store about half a mile from our home. I can remember one of my friends and me walking to the store in the afternoons, each with a dime to buy a coke. The big debate we always had was, which was the real dime, the one with Roosevelt on it or the one with Mercury. They were both a dime a dozen at that time (I can’t believe I’m resorting to cheap puns like that this early in the day).

At one time there was an old general store in Burnt Corn that had an unbelievable amount of old, hard to find items that are probably no longer made. Unfortunately, it closed about 5-10 years ago. I would have really liked to have gone to that closing sale, but missed it for some reason or other.

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Anna Kate

Announcing the arrival of little Anna Kate on September 3rd. She surprised everyone by being about 3 weeks early, but she is a healthy beautiful little girl. She weighted 5 lb 10 oz at birth, which is a pretty good size to be that early. It has been 28 years since I last held a newborn and I had forgotten how tiny and fragile they can be, but it all comes back pretty quickly. Since this is a photography blog, I guess I should talk a little about the images. The above image is Anna Kate and her grandmother, who is much to young to be a grandmother. It was shot as a jpeg color image and converted to black and white in Photoshop, using my favorite ultra secret action. I then added some grain and vignetting for that old film look.

This image was shot in her crib with only a bit of late afternoon window light coming through some shears. This was a hand held shot with my elbows braced on the crib rails. ISO 3200, f5.6, 1/6th second, image stabilization. I actually shot this at f2.8, 1/30th second also, but the sweet spot on this lens is f5.6 and there was a significant improvement even with the much slower shutter speed.

Until next time…….rock-a-bye baby, in the tree top……

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Once Every 14 Years

With temperatures averaging in the mid-90′s all week, I took a look back in the hard drive and found this image from February of this year. Having lived most of my life in Southern Alabama, being a student of history, and not being completely senile…..yet, I thought back on the most recent history of snowfall in Southern Alabama. Of course there’s this one…duh, then the big one in 1993, before that the big one in 1977, and drum roll please… the great southern blizzard of 1973 when I was a student at Auburn. I’ll bet the snow was every bit of 8 inches deep, just enough to get your bell bottoms wet to your kneecaps. If my knowledge of averages and trends serves me correctly, we are about 10-14 years away form this scene again. Would someone please pass me a cool drink and point me to some shade.

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Sepulga River

This is an image from about 3 years ago of the Sepulga
River and Bottle Creek in Brooklyn, Alabama. The Sepulga is one of the must beautiful rivers in the South and a great place to spend a day floating in a canoe. You can travel for miles and not see a sign of civilization unless you happen upon others enjoying a float trip.

This panoramic image was created by stitching together two smaller images.

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