November 16, 2011

My Gratitude and Thanks

   This picture is to express my sincere gratitude and to give thanks to all men and women who currently serve in our military and to all those who have served in the past. Unfortunately, so many of our soldiers are not given the credit they deserve or the help that some returning soldiers so desperately need. They and their families have sacrificed so much for our country and it's people.  They stand up for our beliefs and rights as Americans, and not only do they fight for them but they are willing to die for them. Those who are willing to lay down their life so that others may continue to live free, to me, are true Heroes.  Some of these men and women will tell you that their military experience was a good one.  However, many will say that it was many things but that the word good is not how they would describe their experience. Many that have sacrificed so much are returning to find that they fought for a country that isn't returning the favor. 

   Many documentaries have been made to bring awareness to this problem that no doubt brings shame on our government and military leaders of this country. These films interview soldiers that have returned home to find that their country has turned their back on them. Some have been injured and cant get the proper medical care for their injuries. Some have terrible P.T.S.D and don't get the proper psychiatric care that a war time veteran needs to return to civilian life safely and effectively. Some are even finding that after their time in the military they cant find work to support their families. No matter what terrible situation these men and women are returning home to,  there is absolutely no excuse for this kind of treatment. They are our country's Heroes. These are our freedom fighters. They deserve much, much better.  So I give any and all of you the utmost respect and gratitude. Thank you for your unmeasurable sacrifice.  I will never take what you do and have done for granted. May God bless you and your family, forever and always.

November 08, 2011

Taking Down Prey Like a Pack of Wolves

   Once in a great while I am fortunate enough to come across a spectacular display of nature in it's purest form.  A moment in time that can not be duplicated or constructed for the convenience of a photographer.  This is shot is an example of this one of a kind moment that as a photographer, you love to capture.  However, if you happen to be caught off guard and unprepared for the shot, the once in a lifetime opportunity will pass by, leaving you very disappointed in the whole situation.
   Actually, I didn't spot this prime example of nature's predator and prey system.  It was spotted by my daughter as we were hiking in Kingdom Come State Park in Cumberland, KY.  I always get hassled by my wife and daughter for taking too many photos while we hike. They say that I take too long and hiking should involve more walking than standing. .  To help solve this dilemma, I tell them to explore and look closely at their surroundings for something that would make a great photography subject and at the same time be very interesting to them. As my daughter was exploring she suddenly yelled with excitement and joy, "Hey dad hurry, come look what I found. You have  got to see this." So I have to give her credit for helping capture this spectacular image.

November 03, 2011

Patiently Waiting

   Dolmedes Albineus, a.k.a. the Withe Banded Fishing Spider, is the only tree dwelling fishing spider found in the United States. 
   I have always been fascinated by insects and arachnids. Basically any bug like creatures have always been very interesting to me as a child and as an adult.  They are amazing and spectacular to study as well as great photography challenges.   Their unique and individual complex body structures are one of my favorite characteristics.  Their wonderful colors and patterns help them blend into their surroundings for purpose of hunting or hiding but for me it makes for some very interesting shots.
  This spider was patiently waiting for the next insect to attempt to gather the rich pollen from the flower.  Awaiting it's victim, the spider was visually stunning, as it appeared to be so completely composed and present, ready to spring into action at the first sign of struggle from the unfortunate one who never saw it coming.

October 31, 2011

The Winows of Her Soul

   With eyes such as these, how could I ever not give her my all? So innocent and pure, these are the windows of her soul. This is a photograph that my wife and I will always cherish, because we know she won't stay this way for long.  Indeed, they grow up too fast.

Change Your Perspective

   This is one of my favorite type of shots to photograph. Although the composition has a vanishing point that clearly influences the shot, the subject of focus that I would like to draw your attention to is the perspective.  Perspective is very important in photography, as well as in our everyday lives. This is a simple and ordinary walk way of a bridge.  Nothing really too exciting or even really worthy of photographing, unless you change your perspective.  If you compose the picture as just an everyday shot with the predictable perspective, the results will likely not be pleasing to the viewer's eyes.  However, if you try a different perspective to compose the shot, the picture can suddenly become much more interesting to the viewer.
   Perspective in our lives works exactly the same way.  Personally, I have learned that if I go about my days with the same old mindset, things can become very boring and dull. It's as if I'm doing the same old routines and there is absolutely nothing I take pleasure in doing.  However, if I just change my perspective, as in the photo, my life suddenly becomes much more interesting, worth while and enjoyable.
   That is the point of this picture and what I am trying  to convey to the viewer through the composition. What is indeed a very ordinary bridge and walkway with dull shades of browns and grays, becomes a very interesting piece of architecture. Suddenly it's a river crossing with early morning blue sky filling in the symmetrical framework.  The purple tinted chain link fence  guides your eyes through the frame  by way of the horizontal and parallel lines of a vanishing point. The whole subject is transformed from dull to spectacular. So remember when life becomes repetitive and dull, change your perspective and see the beauty that is your reality.

October 29, 2011

In the Shadows of the Forest

   These two yellow beauties were reaching for the sun on a cool foggy morning in early Fall.  These are an example of the wonderful assortment of wild flowers in the central and southern regions of the Appalachian Mountains, known as Senecio Glabellus, or also known as Butter Weed.  I find it interesting that when viewed  up close, this flower's stamen(the upright parts in the center) has a part that resemble the eye of a needle.  Not all of the Butter Weed's stamen are shaped like this but when it's fully developed many have this unique quality.  I found these spectacular flowers hiding in the shadows of the forest floor in Pine Mountain State Park of Pineville, KY.

October 28, 2011

A Pile of Autmn Leaves Filled with Laughter

   It seems to be a family tradition in the making.  An event that our daughter looks forward to every time the Autumn leaves begin to fall from the trees.  As soon as our yard becomes covered in leaves, we rake them all into one giant pile to be used for play.  This is our daughter Ava Jane, as she played in the leaves this past Fall. I made her a deal that I would do most of the raking, if she would let me snap some photos while she was at play.  I took both, candid shots and a few wonderful portraits.  This candid shot however, was my favorite of them all because  I was able to capture many of her wonderful attributes.  Her wonderful laugh and beautiful smile shows just how wild and free spirited she truly is.  She is my heart and soul. She is my everything. She is my Ava Jane.