Heavy Metal

For an upcoming story on music venues in Lynchburg, I was tapped to photograph the Sevendust concert a couple weeks ago. I literally did not know any of their music, or the music of the two opening bands, Avatar and Lacuna Coil, but I figured live music is a good assignment no matter who it is. With hit singles such as “Enemy,” “Bitch,” “Denial,” and “Unraveling” you get the idea what I was in for. I elbowed my way through the crowd for a few shots, careful to protect my gear from moshers, crowdsurfers and raised beers. Then I got a few from the edge of the stage and finally up on the VIP balcony. My ears were ringing the next day but it was a fun gig, definitely not my typical Saturday night in the Burg.

The End of Bad Beer

Doug John has been refining his beer recipes in small batches for almost 25 years and he has finally decided they are good enough to share. His new brewery, Apocalypse Ale Works, just opened twenty minutes from my front door and I could not be more excited. The new brewing facility and tasting room are next door to “Pints-O-Plenty,” the craft beer store he runs with his wife, Lee, making it a one-stop hops hotspot. I was with them a few weeks ago while they brewed the first batch and again during their opening weekend when I got to enjoy a glass of it. They will have their beer on tap at restaurants throughout the area and hopefully in bottles next year. A preacher who blessed the space (and then had some samples) must have done a good job. They have two beers available right now and four more will be rolling out before too long. It’s a good time to be here.

Charity: Blast

I was invited by charity: water‘s multimedia director, and my good friend, Mo Scarpelli, to help photograph the organization’s annual charity: ball fundraiser in New York City a few weeks ago. Happy to help and even happier for an excuse visit friends in Brooklyn, I hopped on the Amtrak and braced myself for a fast-paced weekend in the city.

When the guests started to arrive on Monday evening, seven photographers and I did slow circles around the event space for almost five hours, taking photos of everything and everyone. All told, the event raised 2.5M by the time the lights came on at 11. My camera didn’t come along to the after party (for better or for worse…) but here are some shots from the gala, held at the 69th Regiment Armory building in Manhattan. More info and photos on their blog.

Cav Cup

For 22 years, The Cavalier has hosted a one-day pool tournament featuring the best shooters in Lynchburg. Beers are $1 and they bring out buckets of delicious, seasoned peel-and-eat shrimp starting at five. Kim Raff tipped me off to the event and recommended I arrive around 3:30 to stake out a seat. We found some empty stools at the bar with a good view of the table and hunkered down for five hours of beer-drinking, shrimp-eating, and “nice shot!”-yelling.

Soul Food

I concluded a long day with an assignment to photograph a local singer/songwriter performing at one of my favorite bars. I was running behind schedule and my previous assignment (a public meeting) hadn’t produce any great shots, so I arrived at Jimmy’s on the James feeling a bit frazzled. As soon as I entered, Renee Ruth came to meet me at the door, saying she was just about to play a second set and that she was grateful to have me there. My nerves eased a bit as I took out my camera and she took a seat at the piano, and my stress disappeared when she started singing. I realized that I haven’t seen any live music (apart from a few amateur bands and informal jams) in a LONG time. The bar was mostly empty so I had free reign to move around the piano and utilize the limited light available. I shot through several songs and then, as my shift officially ended, took a seat at the bar to enjoy the rest of her set.