Monday, December 14, 2009

2009 Winter Concert

TC Roberson High School held their 2009 Winter Concert this evening. It was conducted by Aleisa Baker, the music director. A very enjoyable evening and just the thing to get the holiday spirit going.

Attached is a link to the album.
TC Roberson Winter Concert 12-15-09

Thanks to Aleisa and all the chorus students.



Saturday, August 29, 2009

Have a plan, and be prepared to change it.

Once I've dedicated some time to do some landscape photography, I will make a plan as to how I will approach the shoot. Either on paper on in my head, I make a plan on how to approach the first sequence of images. If I'm photographing a sunrise I'll decide on which lens to start with, roughly where I'll position the tripod, and if I'll fully extend the legs or not. Generally I'll sketch some hand drawings on paper to stay on track to shoot some key images. As everyone knows, things rarely go as planned. This morning was one of those days. I traveled up the Blue Ridge Parkway to photograph early morning light and valley fog around Looking Glass Rock. Rain was in the forecast so I was looking forward include some atmospheric images as well. While there was valley fog, there were no high clouds and very boring color as the sun began to rise. Trying to fight through my disappointment I kept shooting and moving to different spots to get a new look. My dance with the tripod, and of course Oliver our big white dog, seemed to catch the attention of a couple in a car that passed by and circled back a few times. They eventually pulled along side and started a conversation. As we talked about the Parkway and how much we enjoyed it he introduced himself as a board member of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. I looked up his name later and discovered he is the Executive Director of the Foundation...what a great morning. And the rest of the day continued as I had originally planed.

Dr. Houck M. Medford, thank you for helping make this day everything I had planned.



Saturday, July 18, 2009

Photographing with a purpose

I knew my favorite local band, Brushfire Stankgrass was performing at the local ribfest last Saturday afternoon. They were scheduled to start at 5:30pm. Knowing the orientation of the stage I was quite eager to photograph them. The band would be looking into the sun as it was setting that afternoon. Which means great warm lighting and the band would probably be wearing sunglasses, which makes them look cool. Also, I would have unlimited access all around the stage. I photograph these guys every chance I get, I enjoy listening to their music, and being able to photograph them and hear their music is a plus. Needless to say I have a fair collection of images of the band. So instead of just taking another group of pictures I decided I would photograph this performance with the purpose of putting the images into a musical slideshow, using their music as the background. One week later...I've given up. I've fought with my computer, more than just a few times processing the RAW images. I ultimately had to remove Nero 8, slideshow software and more, from the computer because I couldn't keep it from reading all the jpegs on my computer, a process I prefer my Photoshop 7 program to do. And,while Picasa is a very handy package, really does not do all that much. So here are some of my favorite images of the band, in a regular slideshow, in Picasa Web Albums.

Brushfire Stankgrass

Friday, June 19, 2009

What camera should I buy?

This is a question I get asked frequently. My first response is usually; What camera do you have? Next question, do you use it? Next question, what do you use it for? Next question, do you know it inside and out? At this point people are either confused and walk away or are intrigued, and want to hear more. My point is, if you had a 35mm, and are ready to change to the dark side (digital world) start with a camera that does what your 35mm did. If you have a point and shoot digital and want to move up to DSLR, try to understand what it is about photography that you like. Take the P&S off PROGRAM and go into the woods and make pictures. Go to your downtown and make pictures of people, buildings, crowds, traffic, etc. Photograph things at night and inside buildings.

By shooting various objects with various settings you'll understand your camera better. You'll understand what it can and can't do. You'll understand what you want it to do. This will help you understand what kind of photographer you are and help to make a decision on what camera to buy.

$5,000 worth of camera gear doesn't automatically make you a better photographer. It does automatically make you a poorer one.

One of my favorite local bands happened to be playing at a downtown event today. I didn't have all my camera gear with me but I always carry my P&S, a Canon A720. With that I was able to make some nice pictures and shoot about 30 seconds worth of video.

Downtown After 5 6-19-09



Monday, May 25, 2009

Animazement 2009 Saturday and Sunday

Animazement 2009 is here and gone, thankfully there are thousands of images to remember it by. I'd say it was a good inaugural year for the convention at the Raleigh Convention Center. I believe the tally was just under 6,000 participants at 5,800.

So here are a few hundred of the images from Saturday and Sunday.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Animazement 2009 Friday

Animazement is here, and at it's new location the Raleigh Convention Center. While I've heard mixed opinions about the new location, I personally like it. It definitely provides the much needed space for the ever increasing volume of con-goers to AZ.

Something new this year is a live band performance by NOIZ. Unfortunately, only those approved by the bands producers could take pictures during the performance. So instead we took a trip to Cary for an incredible Sushi meal at Little Tokyo (1401 J SE Maynard rd, for those whose care).

And here are the pictures from Friday;


Monday, May 11, 2009

My old blog

I forgot to provide the link to my old blog
Looks the same only no "The" before Scenic.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Which ISO are you

As anyone who as been on Facebook knows, there are an endless amount of "Which_ _ _ _ are you..." You fill out an application and you become a generation, quotation mark, tool, movie... the list goes on beyond the imagination.

So my question is which ISO do you use? This is obviously rhetorical, but think for a minute about your approach to a scene. Do you think about your ISO setting as well as your aperture and shutter speed? If you don't, you should. Not only is it one of the three controllable components of making images, it may make the difference between "getting the shot" or not.

I recently photographed a High School musical, performed in their theater, with very low lighting. I had to use a 70-300mm lens to photograph from the back of the theater, so my fastest aperture was f/5.6,leaving me with no option but to photograph at ISO 3200. Will there be noise (grain) in the images, of course. But it also made for 185 images that I could post online for the cast/crew and parents to view and enjoy.

Don't hesitate to practice using the range of ISO settings that your camera offers. Photography is usually a system of trade-offs anyway, so crank up that ISO and get that shot. And if you don't delete the image and adjust it again.

From The Sound Of Music

From The Sound Of Music



Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Sound of Music - T.C. Roberson HS production

Below is a link to the T.C. Roberson High School Production of The Sound of Music. My compliments to all the performers, it was a very enjoyable show. Another fine collaboration with Ryan Ledwig, and Alicia Baker.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A new blog with the right name

I've recently made the domain name of, in doing so I've change to this blog of the same name (old one was Scenic Photographer). The domain name will be the eventual location of my website, if I ever actually put one together.