Categories
Wedding Photography

Charleston Wedding Expo

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Civic Center Full of Brides

The Charleston Wedding Expo was this past Sunday at the Charleston Civic Center in beautiful, downtown Charleston, West Virginia. This was my first year renting a booth for the event and I must say it was a very exciting day. Winter storm Grayson didn’t detour any excited brides-to-be. The temperatures felt pretty warm compared to the bitter-cold days before.

The past two years I have gone to shows as a spectator, walking around, pretty much the only single male in the entire place. I was scouting out the other photographers’ booths as well as talking to venue proprietors and other wedding professionals. Those shows were a great introduction for me into the world of the professional wedding vendor lifestyle.

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New Player on the Field

This year I was a player on the field. It felt awesome. The energy was much different. I had my booth to set up and lots of brides to chat with. I’m a very outgoing people person so I knew I would be in my wheelhouse. I have spent almost 20 years selling commercial whitewater rafting videos for jimminy crickets’ sake! I can talk to anyone.

My presentation was pretty good, I thought. I was happy with my display and my take-home literature for the brides. I have been making my own custom frames in my wood shop and this was the test. I cranked out 6 frames at once. They came out pretty good. Lots to learn on making frames and I’ll always be improving them, but that’s always the case and that’s why I love doing what I do.

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Learning by Experience

The biggest advantage of the day was that I was placed directly in front of hundreds of potential clients, right there in person. This was huge because a living, breathing personality trumps a front page google ranking any day. I spoke with one young lady who said she was frustrated with facebook searches because she couldn’t discern the difference between true, professional wedding photographers and “someone with a nice camera who photographed their cousin’s wedding.”

Next year I would like to get there and get set up earlier so that I could have a little time to walk around and look at the other vendors’ booths. Some of them are really extravagant. Some were so fancy they obviously took a lot of time and money and years of experience to refine.

Thanks for reading and if you were one of the brides at the show, please comment below and let me know how I did. If you have any suggestions for improvement, I would be grateful for that.

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Categories
Sports Photography

Olympic Weightlifting Meet

Olympic Weight Lifting is a sport. Also called weightlifting, it has been an olympic sport since 1896. In today’s society we typically think of sports as team sports. Football, basketball and baseball are regulars on the television. These sports are extremely popular and thus can generate a lot of revenue in advertising that both takes advantage of their popularity and perpetuates it.

CrossFit Coach, Kristen is always in perfect form. Here she is in her Snatch movement during the meet.
CrossFit Coach, Kristen is always in perfect form. Here she is in her Snatch movement during the meet.

Most people don’t typically think about individual sports until they’re watching the Olympics or flipping through the X-Games. However, sports like weightlifting are popular, not just as a sport alone, but as training exercises to condition athletes for power and strength in other sports.

Coach Cary looks strong during her Clean and Jerk lift at the meet.
Coach Cary looks strong during her Clean and Jerk lift at the meet.

Competitors are scored on their ability to perform 2 movements, the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk, and compete with others in their given weight class. They get 3 tries at each weight to successfully complete the lift. Their score for the meet is the combination, in weight, of the two lifts.

This olympic weightlifter expresses power and control during her lift
This olympic weightlifter expresses power and control during her lift

Active Fitness Center CrossFit in Oak Hill held their first-ever Olympic Weight Lifting meet on October 28, 2017. This was a non-sanctioned event. Olympic Weight Lifting meets can be sanctioned by USAW (United States of America Weightlifting) and if they are, results can count towards national competitions.

Six women and six men participated in the Halloween Havoc at Active Fitness Center CrossFit in Oak Hill. While there weren’t enough competitors to fill multiple weight divisions by each gender, the lifters joined in together in the spirit of friendly competition and camaraderie.

CrossFit Coach Eric with the power tongue
CrossFit Coach Eric with the power tongue

Some talked about the difficulties and challenges presented by lifting in a competition. When lifting on your own, you have as many attempts as you want to get the weight up over your head. In the competition you only have 3. Another factor is the crowd factor. There was a nice-sized showing of fans for the event. All of them were seated right there in front of the competitors, watching. It can be quite intimidating to try to perform the lift in front of a crowd of spectators who are all looking at you.

Seth Gunnoe lifted more weight than anyone. Here he is with 300 pounds above his head.
Seth Gunnoe lifted more weight than anyone. Here he is with 300 pounds above his head.

Seth Gunnoe, who won the award for “most weight moved” told me he and Waylon, the owner of AFC CrossFit, plan to go to Columbus to compete in a USAW-sanctioned event. One interesting thing Seth mentioned to me was the accessibility of this type of competition. In more mainstream sports like football or baseball, it can be extremely difficult to get your chance to play in the big game. However, in weightlifting, all you need to do is show up and perform the lifts. You lift the most weight, you can move on to the national events or even the Olympics. Just that simple.

Camaraderie in the competitive spirit. The Halloween Havoc olympic weightlifting meet contestants.
Camaraderie in the competitive spirit. The Halloween Havoc olympic weightlifting meet contestants.
Categories
Football Sports Photography

Fayetteville Football Senior Night

Fayetteville Football Senior Night Game was last night at Fayetteville High School. The Pirates hosted the Summers County Bobcats. It will be my last night shooting high school football for 2017. Rain was in the forecast. It was unusually warm. I dressed for cooler weather and was surprised at how warm it was well after the sun had set and rain was approaching.

I spent my Friday daylight hours kayaking the river, collecting photographs of the colorful leaves in the New River Gorge. Add on a football Friday Night and you’ve got a great photography day.

If Fayetteville doesn’t make the playoffs this year, it will likely be the last time these seniors ever suit up for a football game. I still remember being in the locker room my senior year and listening to our coach tell us that we need to recognize the importance of that moment.

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Fayetteville High School quarterback, Tristan Coots plows through the Summers County defense.

You don’t think about that kind of thing until you’re older. Those memories get more and more valuable because they become further away. The stresses in life at that time, the things I was worried about, I don’t even remember. If I was upset with somebody, I don’t know now, but I do know that I’ll never get to be in that moment ever again and the truth is, we don’t really know how special an occasion is at that time.

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This Fayetteville defender will probably remember this sack for the rest of his life

It is entirely possible that I may never photograph a high school football game ever again. Hopefully not, but we never really know what the future holds. That might be one of the reasons why I’m a photographer. A picture lets us capture a moment in time that we will never see again. The styles of the clothes, the hair, the weather on that day, they all play a part in our memories and have a strong effect on our nostalgia.

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The Summers County ball carrier is brought down by a host of Fayetteville Pirates.

Fayetteville’s head coach, Coach Moneypenny, approached me during the game. He says “You take 9000 pictures at every one of our games and I haven’t seen a single one.”

I laughed and said “Yeah, I wish I could take more.” I didn’t have the heart to sound patronizing to the head coach by saying “The best ones are in the newspaper and the rest of them are on the Register-Herald website.” Not cool.

Coach asks “You still live on the corner of Maple and Sarah?”

“How do you know where I live?” I didn’t even think he knew me at all.

“I’ve been tracking you for years.”

“Uh oh.” I semi-joked. Not sure what that means.

This town is even smaller than I thought.

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Fayetteville High School head coach: David Moneypenny
Categories
Kayaking Sports Photography Whitewater

Bridge Day 2017

Bridge Day 2017

Bridge Day is a celebration of the New River Gorge Bridge. The bridge was completed in October of 1977. Every year, on the third Saturday in October, they close down the bridge to vehicular traffic and for one day it is legal to BASE jump from the bridge.

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A Bridge Day jumper guides his deployed parachute from the New River Gorge Bridge

This is a big deal for a couple of reasons. First, the completion of the bridge meant that traffic no longer had to go down the steep, winding roads into the New River Gorge, across the “Tunny Hunsaker Bridge” and then back up the other side. That journey can take up to 30 minutes or longer. Bridging the enormous gap reduced that commute to 30 seconds.

Building the bridge now made route 19 a major throughway for shipping and travel between I-79 North (heading to New York and Canada) and I-77 South, heading to Myrtle Beach and Florida and I-64 East: Washington D.C. and I-64 West: St. Louis Missouri. This has brought a lot more traffic to our area and also boosted tourism, West Virginia’s greenest economic resource. Coal produces the most money but we won’t talk about that right now.

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Most BASE jumpers land on river left in the New River Gorge after they jump from the bridge

Second, BASE jumping is legal for one day. BASE is an acronym for Building, Aerial (as in antennas), Span (bridges) and Earth (like cliffs.) Ordinarily, it is illegal. Gee, can’t figure out why? But for one day, it IS LEGAL. This is celebrated by many BASE jumpers who travel great distances to be here. Many skydivers make their first BASE jump off the bridge because of the controlled environment. It helps prevent accidents.

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Some BASE jumpers touch down in the New River after their jump from the New River Gorge Bridge

In my opinion, BASE jumping is like drugs. People are going to do it regardless, so you might as well make it legal and save the police some work.

Bridge Day brings hundreds of thousands of people to our small little town of Fayetteville, which is largely dependent upon the tourist dollar in a seasonal area. It’s a nice little booster shot in the pocket book right before the winter break.

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River rescue crews, who are raft guides on the New River Gorge collect wet BASE jumpers

Bridge Day is also the unofficial end of the commercial rafting season here. Temperatures are starting to drop and the kids are back in school. People just aren’t coming down here for a winter wonderland whitewater adventure.

To me, Bridge Day is a fun day to reflect upon this season, but also seasons past. I think about all of my fun memories. I’m always going to see friends out on the river. That’s a fun time too.

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Me, hanging on my favorite Bridge Day rock, checking out the jumpers, enjoying a frosty beverage

This year I hung out on my Bridge Day rock. It will be my 3rd year in a row on this particular rock. It’s a great vantage point to watch the action.

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Kayaking with my friend, Mariah on Bridge Day in the New River Gorge.
Categories
Wedding Photography

Whitewater Family Wedding

Wedding of Kaisha and Jon in the Whitewater Family

My earliest memories of Kaisha are her and her brother Braden, hanging out in the parking lot of Mountain River Tours. Kaisha’s father, Bruce was a fixture at that rafting company. I don’t know when he trained or how long he’d been there before I got there in 1997, but he had been there for a while.

The parking lot of Mountain River Tours, affectionately known as MRT (pronounced “Mert”) was a unique place. It’s where the raft guides hung out in the evening after their rafting trip video had been played. In the East end of the parking lot were some large pine trees. There were various campers and tents hidden within the branches of those trees. The Pines, it was called.

Bruce and his wife Kelly had a pop-up camper embedded in the pines. I had a tent on a platform. Bruce and Kelly drive in from Wheeling for the weekends. I remember Braden and Kaisha bopping around the parking lot when they were children. Look at them now.

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The Wedding Family Picture. Kaisha, Jon, the wedding party, including Bruce and Kelly.

It’s an honor to be the photographer at a wedding such as this. To people outside the whitewater world, it’s difficult to explain the “family” feeling of, not just working together, but living to be a part of something. Something fun, something big. It’s really about how we choose to spend our time on this Earth. That’s really what it comes down to. The choices we make and the things we do with our time. People in the whitewater community have chosen to spend their time having fun outdoors. Not just that, but showing other people a fun time in the outdoors. That’s the bond that brings us together.

Certainly, I will blog more about the whitewater lifestyle in future blogs, this just happens to be a contingent part of this wedding.

Earlier in the week, we did an engagement shoot. One reason I like to include an engagement shoot in my wedding packages is that it gives the bride and groom an opportunity to practice posing in front of the camera. It gives me an opportunity to work with them and get a feel for their comfort level in front of the camera and work on any aspects that might help them pose easier if need be.

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Engagement Photo of Kaisha and Jon at Beauty Mountain, New River Gorge, WV

The wedding itself was a lot of fun. The ceremony was held at Burnwood. What a great place for an outdoor wedding. I saw a lot of MRT (don’t forget, say it like “Mert”) friends there and it was pretty darn awesome.

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Wedding Portrait of Kaisha and Jon at Burnwood, New River Gorge, Fayetteville, WV

One of the highlights of the ceremony was when they announced that they are expecting! Jon whips out a roll of ultrasound pictures right after the “announcement of husband, bride, and baby.” It was awesome. That’s how we make a big announcement in the whitewater world.

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Wedding Ceremony of Kaisha and Jon. Out comes the big announcement!

Lots more photos to come of this beautiful event! We had toasts, food, friends and fun. Oh, and a sparkler send-off to boot! Complete with footy-pajamas for the little ones.

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Wedding Reception sparkler send-off. Complete with footy-pajamas.
Categories
Football Sports Photography

Oak Hill homecoming

Last night was homecoming for Oak Hill. You gotta love it. As I walked into the stadium and across the football field, the floats were lined up on the track, on display for all the fans and the community that wasn’t able to see them in the parade.

There’s something about the fall that brings that sense of nostalgia. The warm sun and the cool shade. The crisp, Autumn evenings. The scent of the trees as they loose their chlorophyl and begin to change color. The earth is more pungent. One thing I like about shooting football games in Fayette County, West Virginia, is that they still play football on natural grass. There’s nothing like the smell of the grass and the dirt below it this time of year.

The band marches onto the field and makes a hallway for the players to charge through on their way out on to the gridiron. Gridiron. What a great word. It sounds just as tough as football itself. When I was in New Zealand, the Kiwis all called American Football Gridiron, because, well for some odd reason they call soccer, football. Weird.

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Oak Hill band members make the tunnel for the players to run through.

Football season makes me think of my coach, Coach Podlasiak. Plaz for short. Coach Plaz was awesome. That man had a greater effect on me than just football. Coaches tend to do that. They’re that adult, outside the family, who helps you learn stuff and apply discipline, yet, there’s a factor of friendship and respect that is unique to that relationship. Coach Plaz was also my track coach. Track was my other favorite sport. I was a pole vaulter. From my youth, growing up next to Capitol University, I used to watch the collegiate pole vaulters and I knew one day that I was going to do that.

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Coach Blankenship instructs a player. This coach will have a huge effect on this player’s life.

These days there aren’t as many pole vaulters as there once was. My own alma matter, Bexley High School, doesn’t even have pole vault. Neither does Oak Hill. It’s sad. The remains of a pole vaulting program are still on the field of Oak Hill. That’s a disgrace. We used to haul our pole vault pits in and out of the shed every day because we didn’t have a cover to leave them out overnight. It made us stronger and better vaulters.

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The remains of a pole vault program that no longer exists.

Back to the football game. I’m not really a sports reporter and I have to leave at halftime to get these pictures to the Beckley Register-Herald before 10PM. Unfortunately, it appeared like Princeton was going to run away with more than the ball. They were up 21-7 at the half.

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Oak Hill Red Devils, Vincent Lopez and Khalil Gray, put a stop to Princeton’s Devon Sibley.

Princeton didn’t just dominate the game, they dominated the stands. Their band was every bit as good as Bexley High School’s band, and we have a GOOD band. A band that’s a college-level marching band type band. Princeton’s band was that good too. They were playing Green Day’s “On Holiday!” I couldn’t believe it when I heard it. Cracks me up because when I was in the high school band, we played songs from my mom and dad’s generation. Oh goodness.

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Ta’than Gray of Oak Hill pushes forward for a few more yards.

There is only one grand stand at Oak Hill, another cool thing about local, small-time football. When Princeton scored, it was every bit as loud as when Oak Hill scored. Between the cheerleaders, dance team and drill team, Princeton must have had 50 high school girls cheering on their team and doing coordinated dance routines while the band played. It was almost as if Oak Hill surrendered the “Home Team” advantage.

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Princeton defenders tackle Oak Hill’s Ta’than Gray.
Categories
Kayaking Whitewater

Gauley Season

For a kayaker in West Virginia, Gauley Season is a special time of the year. Those who have never touched whitewater are unaware of the significance. However, in the whitewater world, everyone knows about Gauley Season. From the Kennebec and Dead Rivers in Maine to the Arkansas River in Colorado to the banks of the Kern and the American Rivers in California, people are singing Gauley praises and spreading the lore of Gauley Seasons past.

Most rivers in America, and the world for that matter, are getting low this time of year due to seasonal lack of rains. Yet, the Gauley River is fed by Summersville Lake, a manmade lake. In the Summer, the lake is for recreation but after Labor Day the lake needs to be lowered to the winter pool in preparation for winter rains. The dam was built by the Army Corps of Engineers from 1960 to 1966. When it was completed, an agreement was made that the whitewater industry would be guaranteed releases every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday for a 6-week period beginning the Friday after Labor Day. This 6-week period is known as Gauley Season.

What makes the Gauley River so special?

The Gauley features 5 big, bold, class V rapids: Insignificant, Pillow Rock, Lost Paddle, Iron Ring and Sweet’s Falls. Rapids are rated by degree of difficulty from class I to class V. Many other rivers have class V rapids, but one thing that makes the Gauely’s class V rapids so good is that they are just challenging enough to be difficult, yet not too overpoweringly intimidating to scare people away.

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Rafters drop Sweet’s Falls, class V rapid on the Gauley River in West Virginia.

The adrenaline rush and satisfaction from successfully negotiating a Gauley class V rapid is exhilarating. Yet, those rapids are also very forgiving when your line is not as tight as you wanted. Swims and flipped rafts happen a lot out there, but the Gauley is forgiving. She allows you to learn from your mistakes so that you can return a better boater. That’s not to say that she is without her dangers. The dangers are real, but life has inherent danger too.

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A rafter takes a swim at the bottom of Sweet’s Falls, a 14 foot, near-vertical waterfall on the Gauley River in West Virginia

The Gauley also has lots of class IV and class III rapids interspersed between the big 5. These rapids maintain the flow and rhythm of an upbeat river trip. They keep things happening and give you plenty of enjoyment in between the biggies. They also provide contrast in a way that is not dissimilar from the slower, quieter parts of a song to emphasize the loud, screaming guitar solos. It’s interesting that the big 5 have a nice spread between them. It’s an ideal pace. There are pools of water in between the rapids but a steady current moves your boats through them at a pace that is just slow enough to give you time to catch your breath, take in the scenery and enjoy a group laugh or chat about the big rapid you just ran.

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Stephen Wright, of Jackson Kayaks, performs a “Loop” at Geek’s Wave on the Gauley River.

Epic Kayak Play

Kayakers flock to the Gauley because of the epic play. “Play,” in kayak terms, refers to river features that are ideal for freestyle moves in a kayak. Most common form of play is “surfing.” The river creates hydraulics that are formed when water fills a hole in a riverbed and then curls back upstream. This upstream force will hold the kayaker in the hydraulic. Add more water, or a differently shaped hole, and that hydraulic turns into a standing wave. Much like a wave on the ocean, a kayaker can surf the wave. The Gauley has some really nice hydraulics and surf waves. What makes them nice is that the features are very distinguished and consistent. This allows you to “get to know” the hole and learn to use it’s features to your advantage.

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Crystal Gustin, of Jackson Kayaks, surfs her kayak on “Geek’s Wave” on the Gauley River

In addition to the magic of the Gauley River itself, the season brings it’s own splendor. It’s like a big family reunion. Friends who only come in for Gauley Season are in town. You get a chance to catch up with these friends and enjoy the Gauley together. Many people we don’t know show up to enjoy the Gauley. On Gauley Fest weekend, the banks of the rivers are lined with boaters from all over. That’s just a good reminder of what an amazing place we have here.

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The Animal Upper Gauley Race. The 25th Annual race brings kayakers and rafters from all over.

This picture is from the Animal Upper Gauley Race. That race is special to me. I’ve raced maybe 10 times since 1998. Nowadays I try to go every year. Racing is special all in its own right.

Categories
Art 452 Advanced Digital Photography WV State U

Back To School

It’s that time of year again, back to school. As a 43-year-old college student, it’s that time of my life. Only 1 semester and 9 weeks to go until I complete my Bachelor of Arts in Art with a specialization in digital photography! I get to enjoy that “Back to School feeling” once again, possibly for my last time. Hopefully not. I enjoy school so much I would love to go to grad school.

In January of 2017, after an 8-year break from last school, West Virginia University Institute of Technology in Montgomery, I started at West Virginia State University. It’s located just West of Charleston in Institute, West Virginia. On my first day I discovered there were lockers in the hallway. Not only that, but we can sign up for a locker and use it. So I did. The first time I opened that locker door, I was instantly transported back to 1992. That is the year I graduated high school and the last time I have looked into the open door of a hallway locker. It was a strange experience. I wanted to attempt to document that sensation with this picture.

This picture is a class assignment for Art 452 Advanced Digital Photography. One great thing about this class is that I get to make up my own curriculum. Seeing as how I have a desire to work as a professional photographer, I already have a pretty good idea of what I want to do. The main goal of this class is to prepare work for my senior show. This includes documenting my progress on this blog. Subscribe, for updates!

Something I am working on is creating unique environmental portraits with dynamic lighting. To do this, I first come up with a plan. After I have a plan of what I want to create, I choose a strategy for how I want to light my scene.

Here is the plan and strategy for this picture:

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Starting with correct exposure for the scene.

First I get some general light readings of the scene as it occurs so that I could set the exposure for my background. I wanted the scene to be dark for a mysterious look. So I chose to reduce the exposure of the scene by 3 stops of light. I wanted a narrow depth of field so I set my aperture at f1.4. The hall is actually pretty bright so I had to use a fast shutter speed of 1/1600 of a second. ISO 100.

Next, I set my key light. I wanted the light coming out of the locker to be the brightest light in the scene. There are 2 speedlites in the locker. One in top, one in bottom. They were both on group A, set to the same output power. Using my light meter, I reduced the output until it matched my camera setting.

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Measuring light output from key light.

For my fill light, I wanted to go one stop lower for my fill light. However, my light meter only goes down to f1.0. How could I get a lower reading? I needed to stop down to f5.6 on my camera and then slow my shutter speed by two stops to maintain the same exposure. Since we are dealing with ratios and they are scalable, I would just change the aperture back to f1.4 and the shutter speed back to 1/1600 and everything will remain the same. I softened the light with a little 8 inch soft box from “Life of Photo.”

Determining exposure for the fill light.
Determining exposure for the fill light.

Finally, I added my kicker light. I used a standard 7″ reflector with a 30 degree grid and a set of barn doors to focus the light.

Adding the kicker light for a rim light effect against the dark background.
Adding the kicker light for a rim light effect against the dark background.

The “smokey-looking” purple haze is chalk dust. I wanted to use it to add some substance to the light beams coming out of the locker. In the Spring of 2017 I took a film photography class. The film photography professor, Molly, likes old fashioned things. We even made hand-churned ice cream in class because the whole class went the entire semester without mixing up the chemicals in the dark room. She uses chalk boards in her class. I thought that was fitting for the whole “throw-back” theme of the picture.

Categories
Football Sports Photography

Oak Hill Football hosts Mount View

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Oak Hill hosted Mount View for the third week of High School football. It was a warm evening compared to last Friday’s chilly temperatures from the remnants of Hurricane Harvey. It’s weird that a hurricane coming from Texas can bring cooler temperatures up North but it did.

Oak Hill has a very impressive band and drill team plus cheer leaders and majorettes. In a county of small towns and small schools, it’s interesting to see the size of the football teams and bands and drill teams and cheerleaders fluctuate in size, strength, and ability.

Another interesting observation about West Virginia football is how far the teams will travel. Mount View traveled an hour and a half drive to get here. They had a large fan contingent too. I was impressed with how many fans made the drive.

One other thing about small school West Virginia football is that there oftentimes isn’t enough bleacher space for both sides of the field. So the away team’s fans will sit on the far end of the home team’s bleachers. It makes for an interesting sound of cheering for either team.

It’s a bummer these pictures have to be in to the Register-Herald by 10 pm. I wish I could have stayed for the whole game. This was a really good game. It was back and forth in the lead for the first half. Oak Hill came out strong with a touchdown, but then Mount View answered with two. Then Oak Hill scored. Then Mount View scored a touchdown. Mount View doesn’t have a field goal kicker so they went for two and got it both times. Oak Hill answered with a safety to tie it up at the half.

I’d say the energy of the fans rooting for their teams has got to be the best part about high school football. It’s really got a special feel to it. These are people’s kids and their friends and their friends’ kids and people they all grew up with. It’s neighborhoods of friends and neighbors and people they’ve seen around town their whole life. It’s bigger than just the game of football.

 

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Categories
Landscapes Whitewater

Same Bridge Different Days

In July and August of 2017 I decided I wanted to photograph the New River Gorge Bridge from the exact same spot on different days. This idea came to me based on the fact that the New River Gorge Bridge is always there. The Gorge is always there. But the weather is always changing.

I noticed this after 20 years of whitewater kayaking the New River. Yes, it took me that long to make that observation. Lol. The New River Gorge is an amazing place. No other geographic location has had a bigger impact on my life than the New River Gorge. I even moved to Fayetteville, the town closest to the gorge, and built my life around kayaking. The New River is the most consistent, year-round river to kayak, that I know of. Plus, the people in this community are awesome.

New River Gorge Bridge sunset. Long exposure.
New River Gorge Bridge sunset. Long exposure.

The New River Gorge Bridge is the Western Hemisphere’s longest, single-span arch bridge. It spans one of the oldest rivers in the world, the New River. The bridge sits 876 feet above the surface of the river. It was completed in 1977. Before then, people had to drive down to the river and cross that small bridge you see in the foreground. That bridge is commonly called the Fayette Station Bridge but it is officially named the Tunny Hunsaker bridge. Tunny Hunsaker was the Fayetteville police chief for a long time who was also a boxer. He actually fought Muhammad Ali.

As I have been transitioning from a video boater to a graphic designer I realized just how photogenic the Gorge really is. There are so many amazing places to photograph. One could spend an entire life time photographing JUST the New River Gorge.

new river gorge bridge sunset
new river gorge bridge sunset

As I mentioned, one of the great things about Fayetteville is the river community that has sprung up around it. The local kayak shop even provides a free shuttle on Wednesday night! It’s kind of a regular thing for the local boaters here. Nowadays, I take my camera on the river with me. Each Wednesday, I took my camera on the river to see what I can get.

These pictures were all shot from my new favorite location to photograph the bridge.

New River Gorge Bridge sunset after rain.
New River Gorge Bridge sunset after rain.