Wednesday, October 30, 2013

North Carolina State Fair 2013

The North Carolina State Fair this year was marred by a tragic accident October 24 that seriously injured five people. Still, roughly a million people attended between October 17 and 27. I shoehorned two visits into my busy schedule. The first was the evening of October 20, when I met with a group of professional photographers, all members of the Photographic Society of the Triangle. I hoped to create some photos that would be a little off the beaten track. So of course my first shot was from the railing of the heavily travelled path into the Fair from Gate 8. Tens of thousands of people walked by this scene each of the eleven nights of the event.

After we PST members met at the waterfall, we more or less wandered around together, trying to inspire one another, or at least amusing each other. Here is Dannie Daniel lining up a shot, while being watched from behind by a severely painted lady.

As usual, I wandered off on my own at times, listening for the beat of a different drummer, who was hard to hear over the roar of the midway barkers.

I created two images that evening that I think have some individuality.

The moon was two days past full, but still made a dramatic addition to this view through a Ferris wheel and another ride.

I tried to add a note of mild humor to the fireworks by juxtaposing two signs that seemed like commentary.

On a second, even briefer, daytime trip to the fair I perused the horticultural exhibits, allowing myself to be distracted by bees, fallen leaves, detritus and rides.


A walk in the park, some autumn leaves

This afternoon I returned from a brief road trip, and discovered that the leaves in our neighborhood had literally changed overnight. Although I was tired, I set out for a walk on the Raleigh Greenway to see what I could see. My immediate goal was a bridge over Crabtree Creek that I knew potentially offered a good view. However, in the course of the mile walk to that point, there were lots of diversions.

Above and below, leaves in a small tributary that had become stagnant (probably choked by more leaves at a narrow point).

I've always liked the filigree of dark branches amid bright, colorful leaves.

Quite a few falling leaves were caught by spiky bare branches. This one was so perfectly positioned that I couldn't resist a shot.

Bright reds are not in abundance (at least not yet), but it's fun to catch them where they find the light between the green, yellow, and orange leaves.

Finally I got to my goal, and after a little experimentation, composed this image. I shot between the periodic vibrations caused by joggers.

The light was fading, without promise for sunset colors, so I packed up and made the return walk a lot quicker than the amble outward.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013


This section of stone wall would probably not be an ideal place to plant one's behind for a rest while hiking.

This barn looks somehow forbidding. And are those "Hitchcock birds"?

The interior appears to be out of reach.

But it says we should enter!

For those curious about the technical side: the first two shots were done with a 100-400mm zoom, and the last two with a 24mm tilt/shift lens.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Triangle String Quartet - a two part portrait session

When the newly formed Triangle String Quartet asked me to create publicity photos, my first thought was that we might try to get some casual outdoor shots if the weather cooperated. Of course, arranging a time that four busy musicians could meet with me for a morning that fit in my busy schedule was not an easy thing, but we found a day. Then with the confluence of Tropical Storm Karen and a strong approaching cold front, we worried that the whole day would be a washout, leaving only studio shots as a possibility.

We were lucky, and there was a break in the rain perfectly coordinated with our timing. We wasted no time getting out to the park, and began with some get-acquainted-with-the-camera-man-and-relax-and-be-yourselves photos.

With everyone warmed up to the occasion, we created what became the cover photo for the quartet's website and their Facebook page.

I went for a bit of a nostalgic look here:

To finish the project, we ducked into my studio. The group changed into formal concert clothing, and we caught their formal PR shot.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Autumn sneaking in?

Fall colors are apparently going to wait until at least late October to really make their mark on the Piedmont of NC, but the signs of autumn are sneaking in.

In the way of hints, you can spot isolated leaves with patches of red and yellow. This one was more brilliant than the ones around it, and seemed to shoot out of nowhere into the light.

Both shot with 50mm at f/1.2 to isolate the subject and preserve the dreamy background.