Sheep teach photojournalism!

Baby sheep move up to get there dinner on a Virgina Farm.

Baby sheep move up to get their dinner on a Virgina Farm.

Dinner time was calling these sheep, all only a few weeks old, to come with their mothers to dinner on a Virginia farm.  The sheep were pretty well mannered about everything….although some did find a way to get more than others!

After dinner my children held several of the lambs, helped get their water ready and did a few other tasks for their aunt and uncle who raise them.  When we were done, the babies were left in the heated barn to protect them from a strong cold front that hit that night.  The little lambs needed the extra protection, just because we don’t want to lose any of them!  Just minutes after we left I missed an opportunity I’d wanted to capture for years on the farm, the birth of a lamb.  The last pregnant mother gave birth to two more lambs.

I have to say that is one of the hardest sets of challenges facing photographers wanting to capture a realtime photojournalism story:  We have to be there, the conditions need to be “right” and we have to be prepared for those two conditions to collide before us.  This gets even harder if you want to make that moment art.

I think that is why, even though I love all types of photography, trying to capture the beauty of life in its own moment is my favorite type of photography bar none.  I love the challenge and the reward that comes from these adventures, and I say quite a few prayers of thanks when I see the moment captured in my frame.


Virginia Farm Sunrise

I received a quite a bit of grace last week visiting my parents…

Great family times, great children, extended family visits and quite a lot of photo opportunities.

Of the five days we spent on the farm only one gave me good morning light.  It was a chilly morning, but don’t those always seem to be the best?  The chill making you remember you are alive and better move quick?!

Well my mother was feeding my youngest and said. “I love sunrises.”  So I grabbed my camera, and a final sip of coffee, before I jumped out the door camera in hand.  My mom did not know I was out the door until my 10 month old spotted me out by the barn working the scene trying to find a shot.

I hope it brightens your day!  It sure did mine! It ended up being one of my favorites from the week.

(For the techies: In Camera HDR, supported on a makeshift bean bag of potting soil, edited by a quick trip through iPad Snapseed. Pentax K-5 with a Sigma 18-50 EX F2.8 OS)


Chasing Dreams


My Dad had a dream all his life to own a farm and a Model A. He’s worked hard and planned well so he now has both. He’s finishing his fourth year out there the wine and horse country of Virginia on a farm. He grows his own vegetables, and hay for lambs now while still working his day job. This fall he finally found a Model A. All weekend long he had guests to the farm riding around in the little 1930 Model A truck. I of course recorded each visitors ride. It was fun to see their smiles and amazement at how different travel would be if we went back 80 years to that small little truck.

Today on our ride back to Georgia my wife and I discussed the value of dreams. We see their benefit in providing purpose to our frenzied lives. We see the dispirited nature of those without dreams, just waiting to be lead by others to a promised land. We also discussed that sometimes our dreams need to change because who we are does not really line up with what it takes to get make the dream reality.

In the end we determined for us achieving dreams by leaving faith in God and family behind were just too much for us to bear. We also examined our own lives, and realized how by listening closely to whispers of the Holy Spirit, we changed course several times to bring us to where we are today. We agreed that it is very good for us that we did acknowledge and discern what those whispers had to say. Our current dreams are very good ones indeed, and have our little family in their circle.

So chase your dreams, but don’t be afraid to look and see if other chapters may be a better fit for you!

PS If any photos on this site touch you, please let me know. I am now able to sell them as part of my photographic dream!

Let angels guard your way home!


A lot of traveling this weekend…so here is a little angel from my Roswell walk last week…to hope you have someone else looking out for you on your trip home.

A bit about the photo. This was an exercise in depth of field for me. I took two photos at two different apertures to see the effects of depth of field on the angel. It turned out I used the one with a slightly larger depth of field for two reasons.

1) I had more of the angel in focus…but not the whole angel. I wanted to focus eyes on the details you see here. It was a conscience decision.

2) The smaller aperture also created a harsh octagon shaped bokeh. I knew this might happen because it is a know characteristic of this lens. In certain conditions when used below F2.8 you can create octogons instead of pleasing round dots in the bokeh behind your point of focus. I learned one situation when it happens. You can still see some it behind the angel to the left.

We’ll be safe going home…and I hope you enjoyed the photo.