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.


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.

Creeper Trail

Writer Brent Wells and I took an overnight trip to Damascus, Va., last month for a story on the Virginia Creeper Trail, a 35-mile bike trail that follows an old railroad line. We wanted to scope out the trip that tens of thousands of riders take each summer: riding in a van to the half-way point, saddling up on rented bicycles and leisurely winding 17 miles downhill through the woods back into town. With lots of little stops and sights along the way, it is easy to spend several hours on the trip; even more if you are an easily-distracted photographer (sorry, Brent). We met lots of great people on the ride, including a local legend who has logged over 175,000 miles on the trail (photo 9) and a fun group of young families that invited us to crash their house party afterward (not pictured).

Bogotá, Armenia, Salento

Selection of photos from Colombia, during a week-long trip I recently took with my parents. Our long-distance friend, Diego Mendoza, was marrying Angelica Bonilla in Bogotá and they invited us to attend. We took the opportunity to spend a few extra days visiting Armenia and Salento, also hiking a day in the Cocora Valley. The food was wonderful, the weather cooperated when it really mattered, and the people we met were all very patient and helpful.

I took all of these with an iPhone or Canon G10, a refreshing departure from the 5-lb Nikon and bag that I haul around for work. I wanted to both test the range of those cameras as well as force myself to experiment with a different shooting style.

Old Time Railroad

The Appomattox train station hadn’t seen a passenger arrive in over 20 years until earlier this month when nearly 1,000 visitors rode the railroad into town and spent the afternoon soaking up some history. I was let on the train while they were out and about. I walked through the train of extravagant old cars, a hodgepodge of carriages from rail systems across the country.

Strange Street Scenes

I’ve had some interesting luck feature hunting lately. Fall brings out the weird, it seems. A few weeks ago I came across Bobby Jefferson making repairs to his sister-in-law’s Ford Taurus on Pierce Street in Lynchburg. It looked a lot worse than it was.

And last week I was about to give up and head back to the office when I noticed a hot air balloon descending on the Lynchburg suburbs. I chased it for about half an hour before it finally touched down in the middle of a neighborhood. The balloon pilot said he was aiming for a field about 150 yards away but in ballooning that’s about as close as you can get.