To Infinity

I was sent to photograph some new solar panels at a company just outside of Lynchburg, hoping that the owners would be out cleaning them so I wouldn’t have to make a portrait. As it turned out, a rainstorm the previous night had left the 15-ft high panels sparkly clean. So I got out a light, put it on a stand and took a couple “standard” shots of John Langford standing next to the panels. I hate knowing that a photo is boring before I even take it but I really didn’t have any other ideas for this one going in. (I was half expecting the panels to be tiny or on a roof, thank goodness they weren’t.)

After hopping a small fence I got right down next to them and found this angle, certainly cleaner and more interesting than the eye-level pics I had just taken. I asked John if he wouldn’t mind trying a few more before we lost our light. Using my one flash, I tried to find a happy medium that minimized both the glare from his glasses and the shadow from his hat. I snapped a few frames and then he told me his wife wasn’t feeling well so we called it done.

Train Time

Mickey Lugar’s model train track is a work-in-progress, with some sections more finished than others. Although some stretches of the track pass tiny towns or industrial areas, Lugar is clear that they are not meant to be replicas of real locations. “Mine is totally freelance,” Lugar said. “I don’t even have a plan.” He also said it’s a good thing he’s not in charge of a real trainyard because he just runs them however he wants. And judging by how often his cars got stuck or derailed, I think that’s a good thing, too.

(the title is a reference to one of my favorite comics)

Apple Orchard Falls

After a wet couple weeks, the waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains have been at their very best. Liz Barry put together a nice article reviewing several of the waterfall hikes in our coverage area. I hit the trail to photograph a couple of them and Apple Orchard Falls was much bigger than I expected. A couple I met at the base of the falls said they usually come out a couple times a year and it’s usually closer to a trickle; they’d never seen it this full.

True/False 2011

The sum of any collection of parts from this past weekend do not come close to adding up to the experience of True/False. I don’t want to sound pretentious or braggy but, like several of my friends, traveling to Columbia, Mo., for the True/False film festival has become a not-to-be-missed annual tradition. We had rain the first day, but despite colder than normal temps and overcast skies the thousands of pedestrians enjoyed walking downtown from theater to theater all weekend. This, I feel, plays a big part in my enjoyment of the event; I ran into several people I didn’t expect to see, and the friends I hoped to see and I crossed paths many times. I feel very fortunate to have been a part of the festival’s photo team for the last two years, allowing me access to all the events and workshops, plus a pass to see some docs (space permitting). Here a few of the shots that I hope capture some of the joy and excitement I witnessed and experienced. And if you have the means and interest, seriously consider attending or volunteering for T/F 2012. And say “Hi” to me when you’re there.


I went on a very nice hike (beautiful weather) with Sarah and Marley up to the summit of Flat Top last weekend. Although the temperature was well into the 60’s, we came across some interesting ice formations on parts of the trail that don’t get much direct sunlight. I liked these leaves, trapped in a frozen creek.