A Change of Scenery

Today I am leaving my job at The News & Advance to hike a section of the AT with my brother, Samo. We’ve been toying with the idea for almost a year and I’m thrilled that it’s finally going to happen. My 3+ years at the paper in Lynchburg have flown by and I’ve learned more than I ever expected—about photography, about life and about myself. It’s no small decision to leave a great job, especially these days, but some opportunities only come once and I’m ready to start a new adventure.
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Coyote Hunting

Trudging through cowpies and creeks in the dark, hopping fences and ducking under thorny bushes, I went out with a couple guys who have taken to predator hunting. Standing in a field, they scan the treeline with night-vision and thermal-imaging scopes as a portable speaker blares animals sounds to lure in coyotes, foxes and bobcats. They have permission from dozens of farmers in Bedford County to hunt on their land. Although they killed over 20 coyotes during the winter, we went out twice and I didn’t see any action (I’m sure my being there didn’t help). I’d like to join them again in the fall when they coyotes are more active again and fill in the photos that are clearly missing.




O Christmas Tree

I can’t help but agree with comedian Jim Gaffigan a little bit: “The Christmas tree…where did that tradition come from? It sounds like the behavior of a drunk man. I can picture it now: ‘Honey, why is there a… a pine tree in our living room?’ ‘I like it. We’re gonna… we’re gonna decorate it… for Jesus. Then I’m gonna hang my socks over the fireplace.'”



Line by Line

The framed drawings hanging in Charles Worsham’s living room look like the most detailed scientific illustrations I have ever seen. They are nearly three feet tall and Worsham told me it takes him six months or more to make each one. Sitting at his drawing table, often in silence, he carefully observes and then draws each vein of a dried oak leaf or twist on a piece of bark with quick, confident strokes of his mechanical pencil. The subjects of his still lifes are propped up next to him, untouched for the duration of the drawing. His attention to detail and appreciation for nature were carried over from his former work as an FBI tracker, where Worsham traced the steps of people and animals by looking for broken leaves or disturbed twigs. He says he taps into an instinctual level of awareness that everyone has but most people never learn to recognize.

If his drawings weren’t terribly outside my price range, I would have loved to have brought one home.

Fields of Tie-dye

I spent two days and two nights at the inaugural Lockn’ Music Festival. There was no shortage of interesting things to photograph with 25,000 people camping, listening to music and opening their minds in the rolling hills of Central Virginia. Artists included Further, Black Crowes, Punch Brothers, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Zac Brown Band, Trey Anastasio Band and others. And all was groovy.

Batteaux

The 28th annual Batteau Festival is underway as participants float, paddle and pole their way from Lynchburg to Richmond on the James River. It is something I have wanted to participate in as well as photograph but until today hadn’t been able to do either. Today, the boats hit the half-way point, marked by a festival in the town of Scottsville, where they where they will spend the night.