Buncombe County Court House

From my camping trip last October(2014), I would like to share another photo. This was taken in Asheville, North Carolina during Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photowalk. What struck me most about this building is the fact that the shape resembles a judge’s chair. I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence or by design but the significance made me want to get a picture. A cooperative sky brought out some beautiful cloud formations, while the setting sun at my back provided warm light. The color version of this photo was good but it didn’t quite convey the impact I wanted. I decided to convert the image to black and white and that really brought out the textures.

Please stay tuned as there are more pictures to come!

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Please consider leaving a comment as I always enjoy hearing from my visitors! 😀

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The courthouse building located in Asheville, North Carolina.

The courthouse building located in Asheville, North Carolina.

The Calm Before the Storm

Back at the end of October I posted an image of a beautiful church in Gatlinburg, Tennessee with the promise of more pictures and stories to come. This post will bring you some of that.

Today’s image is from my camping trip back in October. I went to Calhoun Falls State Park in South Carolina. Upon my arrival to the campground, I setup my tent and got some of my campsite essentials setup as well. Table – check. Chairs – check. Cooler – check. Air mattress inflated and in the tent – check. Spectacular view of the lake – check! All that was left to do was to walk around the site, take it all in, snap some pics and just relax and enjoy the breathtaking beauty. Sounds easy enough right? Sure let’s go with that.

My specific campsite was surrounded by water as it was situated right at the edge of the lake. Rule number 1 when you camp in a tent: Anytime you are going to leave your campsite you should always zip up all open doors and windows to prevent water from entering said tent. Remember this rule and everything will be fine. So after taking care of that business it was time to explore the park as a whole.

I drove around checking out all of the other campsites so I could pick out my faves for my next visit. After that I proceeded to the day use area of the park for some exploration. This was such a beautiful park that I didn’t want to leave, but after making about a 10 hour drive to get there, all I could think of was getting some food. One of my favorite things to do is grill out. However I didn’t feel like doing that on this night so I had to drive over to the next town to hit a grocery store for some grub. Abbeville, South Carolina was about 25 minutes away from the camp. Insert rule number 1 here!

When I got there I located a nice grocery store and went inside. After perusing the store, I found some good-looking sandwiches in the deli, and a big bottle of tea. A perfect dinner to take back to the campsite and enjoy the beautiful scenery and sounds of nature. As I walked out the door and across the parking lot I was noticing how the full moon was illuminating the night sky. I thought to myself that would be so beautiful rising over the lake at the campsite. Again, we need to insert rule number 1 here.

As I started my Jeep I saw a flash of bright light. Surely that wasn’t lightning! I thought. Naw couldn’t be. I just saw the moon. As I made my way back down the road I saw light flashing again. Now I know that was lightning. Crazy! Then it started sprinkling rain. Do you remember rule number 1? “Anytime you are going to leave your campsite you should always zip up all open doors and windows to prevent water from entering said tent.” Yes, yes I remember that rule. I always practice that rule. Right?

Well under normal circumstances I follow that rule to a TEE. Except this time. Oh no! It absolutely did not look like rain when I left. I am still about 20 minutes away and by now it is raining so hard I can’t even see the road. I pull off into a parking lot to stay safe. I decided to check the weather radar. WOW! Heavy rain is just all over the place. I can tell by the map that the campsite is being hit really hard. I get back on the road and lightning is hitting all around me. I have to drive slow because of the deluge. I kind of figured by this time, what’s the point of worrying about it anyway. Whatever has happened is done and I can’t do anything about it.

As I finally pull in the park entrance, my headlights are no match for the driving rain pounding the darkness. I make my way slowly back to the campground and to my site. I pull into the driveway and just sit there. The rain is blowing sideways into the tent! The good news is that it is still standing. Only thing to do is sit and wait. And wait… After consuming my dinner in the Jeep, what seemed like hours of waiting, the rain finally quit. Once the lightning disappeared for good, I got out to survey the damage. My air mattress was covered in water as well as the whole tent floor. Looks like I’m sleeping in the Jeep tonight.

After a not so restful night, I awoke to birds chirping at the sunrise, signaling a new day. Looks like today will be awesome! Right after I dry everything off and get some breakfast. Now where did I put that towel?

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Please consider leaving a comment as I always enjoy hearing from my visitors! 😀

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This was taken at sunset right before I left to go get dinner. C’mon this does not look like a monsoon is about to let loose!

A beautiful sunset reflects upon the water in South Carolina at Calhoun Falls State Park.

A beautiful sunset reflects upon the water in South Carolina at Calhoun Falls State Park.

Trinity Episcopal Church

As a photographer I am always looking for awesome locations for taking pictures. Well I just recently participated in Scott Kelby’s Annual Worldwide Photowalk. This was the 7th year he has organized this and I am proud to say I have joined in every year since the beginning. Living in Florida I have just always found a walk down here. This year I decided to go a little further and see what I could find.

I ended up going to Asheville, North Carolina for the photowalk. However for the start of the trip I reserved a campsite in South Carolina. Over the next several blog posts I will share some stories and some pictures from this entire trip.

From the campground, the Smoky Mountains were only about 3 to 4 hours away. Since that is probably my favorite place anywhere, I knew a day trip was in order. Needless to say my day trip consisted of heavy traffic and even heavier rain. Arriving in Gatlinburg late in the afternoon meant I was not going to have any time to really do any serious shooting. So I did the only logical thing to do. I spent the night there!

The fall colors were spectacular in some areas while other areas hadn’t quite changed yet. Perhaps I was there a bit too early. Across the street from where I stayed I saw this church. The bold red door was calling my name, so I had to oblige and shoot it. The light hitting the tree in the background was intense against the darkening sky. All of the leaves on the ground definitely made it feel like fall, something I don’t really get to experience in Florida.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Please consider leaving a comment as I always enjoy hearing from my visitors! 😀

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Trinity Episcopal Church

A Day at the Beach

Today’s post was designed to bring a little warmth to what is a colder time of year for lots of people. This was shot the day after the photowalk in New Smyrna Beach where I shot this 1958 Cadillac.

After exploring the Daytona beach area for awhile I went down to Ponce Inlet to look at the lighthouse. Feeling a little uninspired with the shots I was getting (read not a dramatic view of a lighthouse with rocks and crashing ocean waves :(), I left hoping something would catch my eye.

I stopped at a little pull-off by the beach and walked down the ramp to see what I could find. I watched the waves wash up on the shore and immediately noticed the reflection. I moved around a bit to find a good vantage point to highlight the reflection of the clouds. Using the distant buildings on the left and the high waves on the right as a frame, I set my tripod down low to get closer to the ground. I had to be quick as the waves were coming in pretty strong. Luckily the water wasn’t too deep where I was kneeling down and I had enough time to capture a few frames before the next big wave brought a lot of water my way!

To enjoy a larger view, please click on the image below!

A Day at the Beach

As always, I hope you enjoyed today’s post and I encourage you to join the conversation by writing your thoughts below as I truly like to hear from all of my visitors! 🙂

Black Beauty

On Saturday October the 13th, I attended Scott Kelby’s Fifth Annual Worldwide Photo Walk. If you’re not familiar with this, it is a chance to get together with other people who enjoy photography and spend a couple of hours taking pictures. There is usually socializing in a local restaurant afterwards where everyone can share their shots for the day and chat. It occurs in cities all around the world and it is a lot of fun. I have participated in it every year so far and look forward to it for many more.

For this year, I chose to participate in the walk in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. This beautiful little ocean town is just south of Daytona Beach. As luck would have it, there was a car show on the same evening. No ordinary car show mind you, this one had hundreds of cars. And they do this the second Saturday of each month! The name of the club is East Coast Cruisers Car Club.

As I was walking around looking for photo ops, I spotted this fantastic looking car. A 1959 Cadillac Coupe DeVille. The finish was so shiny that it was reflecting everything around it. The owner was very meticulous about keeping it clean and polished.

The reflection in the trunk lid was what first caught my eye. After that it was pure excitement of just looking over the car and seeing what I could do to capture all of the reflectiveness!

For this shot I loved the way the lone cloud just kind of popped out. And the sunlight hitting the tree was perfect.

To enjoy a larger view, please click on the image below!

After shooting a few more shots, I ventured on down the road to see what else I could find. On my way back I had to stop by this car one more time. The sun was peeking through the palm trees and lighting the scene really nice.

To enjoy a larger view, please click on the image below!

The photo walk ended way too quickly for me. I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun!

As always, I hope you enjoyed today’s post and I encourage you to join the conversation by writing your thoughts below as I truly like to hear from all of my visitors! 🙂

The Glow of First Presbyterian Church

This is another image from Scott Kelby’s 4th annual Worldwide Photowalk. Situated in downtown Kissimmee, Florida is The First Presbyterian Church. It has the distinction of being the oldest church in Kissimmee and has been in continuous operation since it was founded in 1884. The cloudless sky lent itself to a very bright sun and highlighted the moss covered trees to the point that they were almost glowing. Capturing this in HDR was the only way to get all of the details in the scene.

For a little more history on this church check out their website.

The Pioneers of Osceola

I participated in Scott Kelby’s 4th annual Worldwide Photowalk on Saturday October 1st in beautiful downtown Kissimmee, Florida. It was an absolute treat to photograph an area that isn’t too far from me but yet I have never been to. I have joined all 4 photowalks and have always enjoyed doing so. On this particular day the weather was very nice and it was perfect to walk around and explore a new town. I am drawn to architectural elements and had researched this area to see what was there to shoot. I found out about this courthouse and where it was located and knew I needed to see it in person. After exploring every side and angle of this impressive building I came across this scene and was stopped in my tracks. The way the light was coming through the trees and lighting up the area behind the statue was amazing. The sun just in the corner of the scene was perfect!

For more information about the history of the courthouse click here: Osceola County Historical Courthouse.

For more information about the statue please click here.