A Man and His Tools

Our friend Jim is quite a man. Kind, slow to speak, strong, and steady. And man does he know his tools. He not only knows how to use them, but he knows how to build them, fix them, and hone them. His tool shed was a treasure trove of "tools of the trade" images for me. We had a wonderful time on his farm early saturday afternoon. Megs picked raspberries, green beans, pears, tomatoes, and onions - I shot some photos. Thanks Jim for the visit!

Organs and Things

I have been enjoying taking pictures of "tools of the trade." When taking some pictures that set the scene for Erin and Derrick's wedding, I was drawn to the organ in the church and all the beautiful sheet music that seemed to lay about waiting to be played again.

Indoor Panoramas?

Pretty fun applying my landscape work in the church before the ceremony!

Peace and Beauty

Picture rain. Lots of rain. Hardest rain of the season. Well the weather was not speaking peace that day, but their faces sure did - our good friends Erin and Derrick walked in wonderful peace and beauty on their wedding day. What a joy it was to be there with them to document the first day of their marriage. Here are a few of our favorites :)


My Grandpa (Papa) has given me a lot of things. He has given me fun rides on his golf cart, fishing trips beyond number, many adventurous drives through Sandusky, and countlesss hours watching birds on the feeders from his kitchen window (and bb gunning the squirrels and cats that intrude!). For our wedding he gave us a wonderful set of cast iron skillets. Now, I have been becoming quite a foodie in the wake of our marriage - as any of you know Megan might expect! Couple that with my love of all things "gear," and you have my (personally unexpected) appreciation for fine cookware. So, these skillets are awesome. I think they may be older than my grandpa and they are seasoned to provide non-stick ability that probably beats teflon. The other thing they have going for them is durability. This pan is equally at home on a clean gas range as it is laying in the smoldering coals of a Smoky Mountains fire while searing some 2"-thick New York Strips. Thanks papa for another wonderful gift!


I often find myself a bit frustrated with the inherent limitations of this blog to show the depth and breadth of detail in my landscap panoramas. They are meant to be seen big (5, 6, 7 feet long) in print format, not as 1000 pixel wide digital images. Nonetheless, the digital images are great and surely convey the overall mood of the scene. So, I figured I would share a small 100% view of the last panorama I posted in order to give a perspective of the detail that is available for perusal when they are printed large :)

So here is the whole photo:

and here is a 100% view of the mountain ridge detail from the red box:

So, imbedded in these massive panoramas are details like individual tree limbs on the distant ridges. The details allow for the prints to be appreciated as a mood from 10 or 15 feet back, and as treasures of small scenes at close inspection.

Country Side

The country side shone with the light of the dawn and a cool, blue morning breeze swept across the land.

This shot was taken about 10 minutes after the previous panorama I posted. The light sure was beautiful for that short while. This photo was not manipulated in photoshop. The clouds were very dimensional in appearance. The grass was well lit, and both the clouds and the sky happened to fall tonally between white and black on my camera's histogram.

Down that Old Rusty Trail

"Down that old rusty trail . . . in the morning rays - not perfect, but just right. Down that old rusty trail in the pale summer sun. Down that old rusty trail in the fall morning gone, and cold apple rain. Over the hill(s) and back to me again."

What a beautiful morning in the Smoky Mountains! The rain the day before lent fog, thick and lit-up, to the following morning. Alarm did not work. I knew it was time. Sure enough, 6:30. 15 minutes 'till sunrise. Bathroom, Larabar, water, in car. Photos. Sunrise . . . still lots of fog. 30 minutes. Light! Lots of light, but subtle and golden. Light streaming laterally across the fields, the fog like low lying clouds capturing sunrise in their mist. What a beautiful moment to stand there and sweep my camera across this panorama. Enjoy!

Photo Info: Usual ISO 100, f/13. About 105 mm. 9 or so vertical photos stitched in CS4. Beautiful colors straight out of the RAW files. I am really meticulous about this. I have calibrated my camera with a colorchecker chart in Lightroom, and then shoot all these panoramas with that neutral profile at 5000 K (daylight color temperature). What results are colors that (in my opinion) are better, more subtle, and more beautiful (my main goal) than anything I could create (or re-create) in photoshop. So, I let the scene be the scene and I capture it faithfully with great quality, and I am than proud to say "it really was that beautiful." I am still amazed I saw this scene.

Foggy August Evening

Megan and I recently watched Becoming Jane, which I then bought for the cinematography. I love that romantic, kind-of proper, yet very alive era. Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains often takes me right back there.

A little after a parting afternoon rain, the sunset lit up the fog that resulted from the moisture in the air. This photo was taken from the edge of this old gravel road called Sparks Lane. I positioned the camera between the barbwire of the fence that lines the road and took this panorama. I love thinking back to how beautiful the cove must have been back then and how the humble inhabitants of the cove saw these scenes, in color, every day.

Photo info: ISO 100, 6 seconds, f/13. 80 or 105 mm. About 7 or 8 vertical shots stitched together in Photoshop CS4.


All the way from New Zealand! Olivia and Stu came to our wedding with quite a wonderful present for all to meet - a beautiful baby daughter (my niece!). Saffron is a really peaceful young lady who has seen a lot of the world in her first few months. I was really thrilled to get to photograph their young family after Megan and I got back from our Canadian honeymoon, and I could not have been happier with how the photos came out. What a wonderful couple, and what a wonderful baby. Bundle of joy all around :)

Chicken Soup

Megan is a true chicken soup connoisseur. She said this is one of the tastiest chickens she has ever had the privelege of turning into soup :)

Canadian Fashion Show

While in Canada one morning we took a short walk through a rainy, drizzly morning to the lodge for a fine breakfast. The best french toast, bacon, and egg I have ever had. Beautiful views of the lake, and just a sense of relaxation as there were no sunny-day outdoor activities calling our name. On the way to breakfast, the cloudy-day light was nice to work with so I took a picture of Megan in the dress that she designed and made for her graduation this last June.

Photo info: No lighting, 85mm 1.8 about wide-open. I like the exposure in this photo a lot - straight out of camera - and achieved it by spot metering on her skin and calling that about a half-stop bright. Thanks for looking; have a great day.

A Healthful Heart

Recently, one of our good friends described Megan as having a "healthful heart." I could not say it better. There is something about Megan that just makes you feel a little extra at peace when you are around her. I think that is what struck me about this scene on the dock - a visual of that heart. When I came back from fishing one morning, Megan was reading her bread baking book in a white adirondack chair; I got my lights and camera out and captured this image:

Megan and I had a wonderful honeymoon at Elmhirst's Resort in Keene, ON. My family and I went there each summer during my childhood, and we could not have picked a better place for our honeymoon. Relaxing, beautiful, boating, fishing, tubing, movies, GREAT food . . . I cannot recommend them enough.

This photo was taken at 1/250th f/13 or so and ISO 100. I shot an SB-80 at 1:1 with a 1/4 CTO gel through a 43" white shoot-through very close to her camera right. The 1/4 CTO changes the 5500K flash to 4500K and I therefore set my camera's manual white balance to 4500K; this makes the skin tones perfect but pulls a slight bit of yellow out of the sky (which I figured would make the blue of the sky subtly more intense). Hadn't tried it before but I love how it turned out.


Megan and I are married! We had a beautiful wedding and could not be happier with the arrangement :) The day after the wedding, we had the pleasure of seeing our family and friends for a send-off brunch and then we we went to Canada for our honeymoon. One of the best things about our accommodations in Canada was the fully-stocked kitchen - and therefore Megan's cooking! One evening Megan made a wonderfully flavorful meatloaf, and I made this photo of our rings.

This photo is basically straight out-of-camera. The ring is on a white porcelain plate and lit by a SB-80 at 1:1 through a 43" white shoot-through. The background was created by shooting a crimson-colored Rosco gel (at 1:128) through the bottom of a "bubbled" drinking glass. 150mm macro lens at about f/13 or so.

Hurray; we're married!