Staring Into Space

Randolph College, located four blocks from my apartment, announced this week that it will be opening its observatory to the public for monthly viewing nights. Although there was literally not a star to be seen on the night that reporter Liz Barry and I visited, we found plenty of people excited just to see the computer-controlled 14-inch telescope.

Sharp Top

If you take U.S. 501 about 20 miles northeast out of Lynchburg, you’ll cross the Blue Ridge Parkway, which winds over 450 miles through the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina. Motorists on the Parkway encounter countless signs for vistas and hikes and other turnoffs. This year the Parkway turns 75 and the News & Advance put together a multimedia package highlighting things to do and see along “our” section of the road. Needed from me were photos from five different points of interest, and, if possible, I was to position myself somewhere with a good view of the Blue Ridge Mountains at sunset. I gambled that the summit of the creatively named Sharp Top Mountain would be such a place and crossed my fingers that it wouldn’t be hazy.

I got an eyeful.

The second shot above was edited much like an HDR image, to retain highlights and shadows. Right-click on the last photo to view it larger. (control-click for Mac users)

Festivals

Last week I shot two major Lynchburg festivals back-to-back (Friday and Saturday), “Get!Downtown” and “Day in the Park.” Weather was great and thousands of people came out to each. As a newcomer, it was a nice treat to get these assignments and see Lynchburg at it’s most outgoing.

These shots are a mix from both events. Please forgive me for all the “cute kid” photos.

Powerless

When a storm knocked out power at the News & Advance the other night, photographer Jill Nance just undocked her laptop and kept working in the dark. THAT’S dedication. (Although it turns out she was actually editing baby pics of her nephew…)

On Trail (live)

I spent all of last weekend (including my Monday off) editing together this video from clips I took on my G10 while hiking the PCT. It was great to re-live the trip while working on it and I hope this final piece gives a sense of what it is like to be out wandering in the woods for two weeks. The only aspect of the trip I feel is missing is how exhausting and strenuous the trail was some days. But looking through my footage I realized that I forgot to shoot anything of Sam and I out of breath, drenched in sweat, airing out our feet, on the verge of passing out. So you can use your imagination for that.

Comments and critiques are very welcome. Enjoy!

…or watch it on YouTube here.

Re-Connected

I am sitting in my new bedroom in a new city in a new apartment with a new internet modem and wireless router. Twenty minutes ago, after much toil, I finally got all six lights to come on, signaling that my connection to the World Wide Web was secured. (Just in time for The Current‘s “Chart Show!”) Being without this for a week meant checking craigslist and gmail from work, trying to track down furniture and set up utilities accounts on my lunch break. But no more of that. And also no more slacking on this blog. I have been shooting every day since I got here, with more photos still to share from August.

I have a four-day weekend starting Saturday and I just got a table and some chairs for my patio. Sounds like blog time to me.

Boxes and Boxes

Tomorrow morning at 7am I will start my drive to Lynchburg, VA, where I will join the photo team at The News & Advance. Twelve months in Minneapolis have had their ups and downs, many of which were are documented on this blog, but I always intended to work for a newspaper again, even if that meant moving away. And sadly, it does. I will do my best to remain open-minded about the experiences and opportunities I find in Lynchburg but I can’t deny that I am excited. My time has come.