Tuesday, April 8, 2014

THE WHITE CAT Shenandoah Valley of VA 1979

This image was made along one of the many back roads of western Virginia. I was working with the landscape when the cat suddenly jumped out of the bushes on the right and started to run across the highway. I made a chirping sound as the cat crossed the road and it quickly stopped to see where the chirp was coming from. This was the decisive moment, and I was ready to make the exposure. The cat disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. This image was exposed on Ektachrome 64, 2 1/4 roll film. It was a popular commercial film used back in the 1960's and seventies.

This is another example of what is often referred to as the "Decisive  Moment".  Being in the right spot at the right time and knowing when to press the shutter button.

For a larger view, click on the above image.  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


This image was made while visiting one of the first Amish and Mennonite relief sales which was held near Waynesboro, VA. during the fall of 1972.

I still vividly remember making this image and it was totally spontaneous. Some photographers might refer to it as a  "grab shot." Of course we all know that it is not a shot, but a photograph. I detest the word shot. It makes me think of guns, not a camera. Ditto for "take." We used to make photographs, but it's funny how some of these meaningless words become common language.

Anyhow, these two young boys just glanced up at me and I made the exposure. I have always liked this one, and it was one of my first images in the Amish/Mennonite portfolio.

To view a larger image, click on the image above.

Sunday, December 29, 2013


I'll let the viewer figure this one out.  Mother Nature will often place a nice image directly in front of you, and the hiker will just step right over it.

To view a larger image, click on the above.

To view larger image left click on illustration

Friday, December 6, 2013


This snow was made for photography, and I took full advantage of it. When you live in the midst of such beautiful scenery, you often need to go no further than your yard, and that is how this image was made. I simply stepped out on the front patio and the composition could not have been any better. I then spent a full hour walking through the forest making one nice image after another, and there wasn't a bad image in the lot. This is one of my favorites. Oh yes, always use your tripod just to make sure the image is sharp.

This was a snow that stuck to everything it touched, and when the wind let up, it just got better. In all, we had just over a foot of fresh snow and this morning (two days later) the temperature was minus nine F. Make sure you keep your camera and battery reasonably warm. I keep my camera in an insulated shoulder bag, and after I have made my exposures, it goes right back into the bag. Sub freezing temperatures will drain the battery rather quickly so always keep a spare in your shirt pocket. Your body heat will prevent it from rapidly loosing it's charge.

I also like to work with a pair of insulated mittens, and having a finger slot in my trigger hand is most handy.  You would be surprised at how fast your finger will lose it's sensitivity when the temperature is down in single digits or below zero.  As you age, your hands become even more sensitive to cold weather. I will be eighty in a few weeks, and I can tell you for sure that my right hand started to hurt this morning, even after a few minutes of  handling the camera and metal tripod. At least the temperature had gone up to zero when I went out after breakfast.

Never, ever misjudge the temperature when going out on a cold day. You could pay dearly for that mistake. I have been seriously making photographs in cold weather since the mid fifties. Ditto for a pair of insulated boots. Your feet can freeze up faster than you might believe.

To view a larger image, left click on the above image.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Of all the waterfalls that I have photographed over the years, this is my favorite. It was in a remote location and not too far off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Some of my most memorable back packing trips have been to this site. In fact, I often set the tent up about ten paces to the right of where I placed my tripod to make this image.

This photograph was obviously made during fall color, and yes, there were native trout in this stream. I used to grapple for them by hand and corner them under the rocks. I often counted on having at least one for dinner the first night out.  

I was using a 35 mm film camera at the time, and this image was exposed on Ektachrome film. A few years ago, I scanned that transparency, and it is now in my computer, along with a number of other memorable images from the old days.

When photographing scenes such as this, I always preferred cloudy or slightly foggy days. This eliminated the many hot spots that often showed up on the final image because of direct sunlight. And it is obvious that I used a rather slow shutter speed to soften the water coming through the rocks.

To view a larger image, left click on the above illustration.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

STILL LIFE AND BLIZZARD circa early seventies

I can still remember the day I made this image back during the early seventies.  Shortly after chopping up and splitting some wood for the wood stove, a blizzard roared through the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and it dumped at least a foot of fresh snow on top of what was already on the ground.

The seventies provided me with many fine winter images, but the winters were already in the process of warming up and the snow storms became less severe. Today, we use the term Global Warming. And it is a perfectly natural sequence of events which takes place between ice ages. Unfortunately, Homo sapiens is much to blame because we have been pumping far too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. I first noticed the change in temperatures when I was a young boy back in central Virginia. Now, it is starting to present a major problem as glaciers are rapidly disappearing and the Greenland ice cap is in the process of a rapid meltdown.

I've been repeating the same wood cutting process at our new home here at the 7,000 foot level along the Uncompahgre Plateau in western Colorado. We cut the wood with a bow saw, and the ax and chopping block still serve as the primary support props. Life is good up here in the high country, but the weather has also changed here. We have noticed the gradual changes since we moved to the Rocky Mountain area in 1997.

It's images such as you see here which bring back old memories and remind us of how different things were when we were much younger. I was well into my photographic documentary of the Appalachians when this image was made.

We had our first snow of the season a couple of weeks ago, and I have one posted on this blog. It was one of those nice heavy sticky snows that every outdoor photographer loves to capture.


To view a larger image of the chopping block, left click on the photograph.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


This image was made several days ago along a canyon west of Delta, Colorado. It was one of many canyons which can be found along the UNCOMPAHGRE PLATEAU. The last thing I expected was to find cottonwoods in full color, but this landscape justified a photograph. The touch of yellow simply adds that little extra color to an otherwise mundane image.

This is also one of those images which should be viewed at a larger size to fully appreciate the depth and beauty of the canyon and the cottonwoods.

To view a larger image of the above, left click on the image.