Studying Abroad in France

Time flies! It’s been five years since I studied abroad in France. Back then I was in a less serious phase of photography but I made sure to snap what caught my eye. After that I kept the photos in cold storage and just rarely thought about them. I’m glad I revisited and edited them, even though they’re JPEGs ;-). Europe has a scenic nature about it that basically always looks awesome, so I’m happy to look back and see a handful of images I’d still take today. I stayed in Metz, but also visited Reims, Strasbourg, Normandy (Bayeux and Mont-Saint-Michel), and Paris.

On an art history note, I always wondered where Claude Monet got his color inspiration for Le Grand Canal. When I saw the sun setting over Paris from Montmartre, I finally understood. Perhaps the sky turns this color in Florida on occasion, but I’ve never seen it blanket a city as beautifully as it did in my only evening in Paris (below).

Additionally, my business student cohort visited The Louvre but it seemed only a couple of us knew what we were actually looking at. It really made all the difference to have a studied background, not just in the museum but during the entire trip. It’s a shame how much you miss in plain sight without basic art history knowledge… so if you’re planning a trip, brush up!! You’ll be glad you did.

Yosemite National Park on film

The Great Yosemite! This was one of the highlights of my trip. I was fortunate to be there in a "less" busy season because during the summer it gets totally packed. But even then, it was still pretty busy! Going on one of the more secluded trails is really the only way to get some solitude. It was still pretty foggy in the afternoons but I was happy to get some sun in between.

On day 2 we went for a hike through the meadows in the valley. I love the mid-morning light on film. It was so peaceful and pleasant. The birds are so different than the birds in Florida - so many colors and songs. Just watching them alone was a great activity. Now that I've seen Yosemite with my own eyes and heart, I'm looking forward to reading the works of John Muir and how he processed the valley almost 100 years ago.

All images were taken with the Hasselblad 503CW and the Carl Zeiss Planar T* 2.8/80 on Kodak Portra 400. Scanned and processed by Richard Photo Lab.

Sequoia National Park on film

My trip to see Sequoia was short but sweet. We stayed at Lodgepole Campground and were lucky to not have any bear invasions! The initial shock of seeing the sequoias left a lasting impression on me. I gasped! They really must be seen in person to grasp the massive size...so tall... so thick... like wise, patient giants.

There was fog for most of the stay but it felt like walking through an enchanted forest. It added a level of mystery to these already mysterious trees. All of the trees in the area are astoundingly tall, but the sequoias are like none other. Some of them have been around since the time of Christ. What a thought.

007674-R1-006.jpg
 Do you see the crowd at the bottom? (General Sherman Tree)

Do you see the crowd at the bottom? (General Sherman Tree)

007674-R1-005.jpg

All images were taken with the Hasselblad 503CW and the Carl Zeiss Planar T* 2.8/80 on Kodak Portra 400. Scanned and processed by Richard Photo Lab.

Death Valley on film

My dad and I kicked off our great California Road Trip of 2018 in Death Valley! We got there close to evening and left early in the morning so we missed the scorching afternoon heat. My main concern was getting to Mesquite Dunes before the sun set so I could get a variety of shots.

007676-R1-003.jpg

Man, those sand dunes are tall! After setting up camp at Stovepipe Wells, we raced back over to the dunes to get into position. I was in the beginning stages of a cold and I think I had a mild fever - but that wasn't going to stop me! 

We ran and power-walked through soft sand over dune after dune. When we finally reached the top of the first larger sized dune, my face was beet red. I probably should have stopped for water breaks, but sunlight waits for no one! I was so out of breath and so thankful to be on DayQuil. 

After I got some final intense sun shots, I used a tripod to get some early evening shots which gave more emphasis to the pink and purple tones. 

Once I was done shooting, I laid my head on my backpack and just relaxed as we watched the sky turn a variety of pastel colors. The nearly full moon lit up the desert beautifully. We were the last ones that far out into the dunes but we didn't mind. The desert at night was worth the climb. The next day we headed for Sequoia National Park.

All images were taken with the Hasselblad 503CW and the Carl Zeiss Planar T* 2.8/80 on Kodak Portra 400. Scanned and processed by Richard Photo Lab.

Small Town, USA - Fuji X100F first images

I had an opportunity to take a small road trip to Gainesville today, so here are a few of my favorite snapshots. I brought along my Fuji x100F which I LOVE!! I ate lunch at Satchel's, a local favorite for pizza. You can even eat at a table in their VW bug!

We took the scenic route which had a lot of farms and horses. I tried getting these beautiful award winning horses to come over to me... but they were more interested in their lunch. ;-)

Most people describe the back-route from Orlando to Gainsville as a whole lotta nothin'. Living in city/suburbs my whole life made the farms and plains an exciting change of pace for me, however.

DSCF0522.jpg

Easter Baby Reveal at Kraft Azalea Gardens

Easter Baby Reveal at Kraft Azalea Gardens

Hippity hoppy, a baby's on the way! I had a great time collaborating with the Morales family for their baby announcement. It was a pleasant coincidence that Becky's 3 month mark was right near Easter Sunday so we made the most of it! I love Spring! We went to Kraft Azalea Gardens and it didn't disappoint. Congratulations Becky, June, and Alysia!

Read More

"Yahweh" Single by Jameil Walls

Jameil's new single, "Yahweh", is coming out on March 30th. Him, Olivia and I collaborated on a project to get some promo material and it was a lot of fun! We did it at the church and it was my first time working with lighting. We used a large box light and I was able to take my time to experiment point it just right. Here's one of my favorite shots.

"Yahweh" is now available on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon.

Falcon Heavy Test Launch at Kennedy Space Center

After years of development, it was finally time for SpaceX to send a Tesla Roadster into space. I got "Feel The Heat" tickets and waited my way through lines of people at Kennedy Space Center to get a front row view. Bill Nye was the guest speaker.

falconheavy
DSC09530.jpg

As a rare and special treat, we got to visit the KSC landing strip. Even the bus driver was excited. Then we made our way to the viewing area. It was a beautiful day out and I had plenty of good conversation with fellow photographers. A few bald eagles flew by as if it was a sign saying, "AMERICA" and also, "yes, this rocket will launch today and you won't have to come back tomorrow".

When it launched, everyone was so excited. It was slow moving - an illusion of the angle and a reality of it's size. It was loud. It was awesome. I didn't "feel the heat", which was actually a relief. When the Falcon Heavy was mid-air, the entire viewing area got quiet... because after all, this was a test launch and the safety message was replaying in our heads about how we are in an inherently risky zone. Oh right...

DSC09533.jpg
DSC09556.jpg
DSC09601-Edit.jpg

Once the rocket disappeared, we waited a few minutes for the booster landings. The sonic boom happened right about the time they landed and it sounded like loud fireworks in the distance. Mission accomplished!

DSC09560.jpg
 Biker taking a break from traffic on the NASA Causeway

Biker taking a break from traffic on the NASA Causeway

Lower Antelope Canyon revisited

_DSC4850.jpg

Usually I don't like moodiness when it's muddy or sad feeling. However, when I experimented with these images, I was in awe. Yes, changing them to black and white removes the gorgeous orange color. But this time, I'm okay with it.

It's been a couple years since I visited Lower Antelope Canyon in Arizona. There is an opportunity for me to head out West again this year so I looked back on old photos for inspiration. Lately, I've been feeling a shift towards experimenting with moodiness. 

_DSC4948.jpg
_DSC4840.jpg