Football Sports Photography Uncategorized

Fayetteville Beats Valley

The Valley Greyhounds traveled upstream to play the Fayetteville Pirates. One of my favorite things about photographing football on Friday nights is that I once again get to feel that pre-game excitement. It’s game time. All of my practice time is going into effect and this is when it all goes down.

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Fayetteville Quarterback, Tristian Coots, leads the Pirates on to the field. Chad Foreman for the Register-Herald.

Being assigned a Fayetteville game is a home game for me. I live 10 minutes down the street from the football field. I am going to know some of the fans in the crowd and maybe a few of my friends’ kids are students. It’s really exciting and the only thing better would be if I got to photograph my Alma Matter, the Bexley High School Lions.

There are only 23 players on Fayetteville’s team. I was talking with someone before the game who said that consolidation of schools is inevitable. It’s a hot topic of discussion around here. People who grew up here are loyal to the school where they learned. But numbers are shrinking year after year and there’s not enough money to keep them all open. There may come a day when these small-school rivalries don’t exist. Players may be driving an hour to play a Charleston high school like George Washington or even a school up in Morgantown.

I show up an hour before the game to get some ambiance shots. They like those at the newspaper because they really round out the whole high school football experience. Things like band pictures, cheerleaders doing their thing, majorettes, fans in the crowd. It’s all about the total experience.

football high school fayetteville band
Jordan Scarborough leads the Fayetteville High School band on to the field.

It had rained all day Friday as the remnants of Hurricane Harvey made their way through the area. I was looking forward to some muddy, sloppy pictures but we haven’t had that much rain recently and the ground soaked it all up.




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Valley Greyhounds defender attempts to bring down Jordan Dempsey with a diving tackle.
valley high school running back
Valley Greyhounds running back charges over the Fayetteville defense.

Unfortunately, I can’t stay for the whole game. I have to leave at halftime in order to get all of my pictures to the paper before 10 pm. The first half was a pretty good match. It was a low-scoring, defensive game with a few breakout plays. Fayetteville led 8 to 6 when the teams left the field at halftime. They held off the Greyhounds for a final score of 22 to 14.

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Quick Football Photography Selfie
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Fayetteville head coach, David Moneypenney, congratulates John-Daniel Franklin after he recovers a fumble in the first half.
football high school fayetteville big hit
A Valley Greyhound pops Jordan Dempsey up off the ground.


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The Fayetteville Fanatics cheer on their team.
Kayaking Sports Photography Travels Uncategorized Whitewater

My Path to Totality

Path To Totality

As a photographer, I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to record events. To document them, record them visually, to put them in the archives, to make something that will outlast me, that is a cool feeling.

The Total Solar Eclipse sounded like an event that I needed to document. I may only get one opportunity to see it. I remember a partial eclipse in elementary school. I remember the entire school going out on the playground in the afternoon. It got a little cloudy, so I don’t think we really got to see it. I don’t remember it getting dark. This was maybe 1984 or 1985.

In my typical fashion, I started planning my trip about a week or so before the big event. I messaged my friend, Crystal who lives down in South Carolina and mentioned to her that I was thinking about heading her way for the eclipse. I knew she was close to the path of totality. It turns out she was right in the middle of it. She is also a kayaker and is a team Jackson Kayak paddler. It just so happens that my Jackson Karma Unlimited, the boat I kayaked down the Grand Canyon, I purchased from her. Good opportunity to enjoy some Southern-fried kayaking.

Jackson Team Kayaker Crystal
Jackson Team Kayaker Crystal

The day before the eclipse we went out on the Chattooga River. I’d never paddled that river before so that was fun. Other than the Grand Canyon, I hadn’t kayaked a new river section in years. When you live around America’s Best Whitewater, it’s hard to leave and kayak a new river so I don’t get to kayak new rivers very often.

Long Creek Falls Waterfall
Long Creek Falls Waterfall

Along the Chattooga, this little gem pours in from river-left.

Milky Way Camping
Milky Way Camping

Crystal is friends with a park ranger who hooked us up with the absolute coolest campsite ever. Sorry, I’m not privileged to release information on the location. It must remain top secret because of the 2024 eclipse. It had a splendid view of the Chattooga River Valley.

On the morning of the eclipse, we got up and hit the river early so that we would be back in time to enjoy the 2 minutes and 36 seconds of totality. I got to admit, it was one of the most unique experiences of my life.

Whitewater Kayak Boof
Whitewater Kayak Boof

Crystal gets a great boof in Sockem Dog Rapid on the Chattooga River. This has to be the best name for a rapid. Well, except for Hungry Mother. But it’s definitely my favorite rapid on the Chattooga.



Football Sports Photography

Photography Blog Kickoff

It’s that time of year again. The evenings are a little bit cooler, the days aren’t quite as hot. The school busses are running. Kids are in school. It’s a nostalgic time of year. A fresh start. Everyone’s ok with hitting the books because they’ve had a nice break.

It’s also time for football. Football means a lot of different things to different people. For me, it represents a growing up, a coming of age. Experiencing strength and a competitive spirit as a young man. The feeling of a desire to annihilate your opponent. It’s been there since the dawn of humankind. Football also makes me think of my dad. He loved football. It was something that brought us together, even though I didn’t like it when he coached me. I just wanted him to watch me play and tell me good job. He just wanted me to be the best I could be.

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It’s an honor to have my picture chosen to be on the front page of the Sports section of the Beckley Register-Herald.

There’s school spirit and a uniting of community. There’s a special feeling that comes from seeing the school parking lot full of cars, lined up to get in and get a good seat before kickoff. The high school kids, hanging out with all of their friends. The young kids tossing footballs back and forth in the grassy areas behind the grandstands.

The smell of popcorn in the air. The play-by-play announcer’s voice over the loudspeakers. The Dolby surround sound effect of a group of referees all blowing their whistles at the same time.

The smell of grass this time of year. I’m very thankful that most of the schools in Fayette County play on natural grass fields. It might be cheaper in the long run to use that new artificial surface, but nothing compares to that true bond with nature that comes from getting your face mask buried in the dirt.

sports football patriots mud
sports football patriots mud

It’s an honor for me to have the privilege of photographing high school football for the Beckley Register-Herald. It’s game time again for me, but in a different sense. My favorite part is feeling the pre-game excitement. People in this area love their high school football and I want to deliver quality images for them. I gotta have my game face on.

Before the play starts, I focus in on the quarterback. I have to read the play, just like I was playing outside linebacker for the Bexley Lions in 1992. If that play turns into a sweep in my direction, if the running back or quarterback are coming around the end, I’m getting a little rush of adrenaline. It’s almost as if a hole opened up in front of me in the line and I know, I get to make the tackle.

sports football patriots dash
sports football patriots dash

I may not get to crash into that running back, but if I get a good shot of that young man who just did, I’m excited. I’m almost as jacked up as if I just made the tackle myself! Well, maybe not. No, definitely not, but at this age, it’s the best I can get and I’ll take it.

I’m excited to start blogging again. There’s a lot more I could say about football and blogging and photography, but hey, it’s only the first quarter!

sports football patriots
sports football patriots
Graphic Design

Musings about design

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Designing a new website. It seems like every 5 or 6 years it’s time to design a new website.

This is an exciting time of website rebuild for me because I finally got

This is a bit of a writing from my last blog, published in November of 2015. I’m excited now to blog more about my photography work.

With this new website, I plan to write a lot about graphic design. There are so many fun aspects to talk about. Illustration is my favorite. Typography. How cool typography is. Photo manipulation. That’s a good one. It’s fun to talk about all of the fun things we can do with Photoshop.