Monday, December 31, 2012


The Independence, from American Cruise Lines, was docked at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park for a couple of days while we were in Beaufort (bew-foot).

This was a 6 second exposure without a tripod.  It was in the van and I didn't want to walk back to get it.  I balanced my camera on the back of my hand and one of the piers that the chains are hooked to.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Brickyard Point

This is the place where I cut my knee a couple of summers ago and had to get seven stitches.  It was awful!!!!  Just ask me.

 I took this shot with a 10 stop neutral density filter and a circular polarizing for 61 seconds at f/11 and ISO 100.

Hunting Island Tooth

We weren't even looking for shark teeth when Molly glanced down and spotted this beauty.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Fripp Inlet...

...lit by the almost full moon.  The water there is full of dolphins and I could hear them blowing and splashing but I couldn't see them because it was a lot darker to me than to the camera.  It was really cool to be there listening to all the night sounds in the quiet darkness.

This is a two shot panorama taken about 9PM with an exposure of 30 seconds at f/5.6 and ISO 1000.  Click on the picture for a better view.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Nitro Fire Department

Nitro and Saint Albans firefighters worked to extinguish a fire in the 300 block of Main Ave. this morning.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!

A home made Christmas ornament cut from the pages of Harlot's Ghost by Norman Mailer.  :-)

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Junkyard Wall.  New River Gorge.

Tip Off

Justin Wojcieszak of Teays Valley Christian tips off against the Patriots of Calvary Baptist Academy Friday night.  The Lions beat the Patriots 82 to 51 giving them a 6 and 1 record.  Justin was the high scorer with 25 points followed by Elias Beacom with 22, Zack Moore (he lives just around the corner from us) with 15 and Ben Parsons with 11.  The Lions play Greater Beckley Christian this afternoon in the Hoops Classic at the Charleston Civic Center.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Charleston Town Center

Kim and I had to do a little more Christmas shopping this evening.  I got some pictures after we ate and while Kim checked some work emails.  This photo is composed of 10 vertical shots, handheld with a 40 mm lens at f/4 and 800 iso.  Click on the picture for a better view.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

23 More Days

A frosty fog shrouds the soon-to-be-closed Saint Albans / Nitro bridge.  More fancy talk!  ;-)  I  went over this morning to get a couple pictures of the bridge before it' gone.  While I was there, Bayer Crop Science came to the ramp and put their boat in.  I helped the operator tie up the boat and I stood around and talked to him while he waited for his passengers.  After a while, most of the fog burned away.  That's when the Drema G. Woods cut through the icy waters of the mighty Kanawha River beneath the worn and tired bridge.  Double fancy!

The top picture is a five shot panorama.  Click on it to get a better view.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Thurmond, WV

A CSX coal train heads northwest through the town of Thurmond,WV which is nestled in the heart of the New River Gorge.  Man, that's fancy talk.  ;-)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Teays Valley Christian

The Teays Valley Lions beat the Elk Valley Eagles this evening 68 to 47.  The new floor in the gym looks great.
Photo by Molly Mitchell

Sunday, December 9, 2012

28 More Days

The Saint Albans / Nitro Bridge is set to close on the 7th of January.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Tree Shopping

It was 67 degrees this afternoon when we picked out our Christmas tree at Capitol Market.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Saturday Afternoon

I went for a walk around Charleston while Kim and Molly did some Christmas shopping at the mall today.  The top picture is outside the Capitol Theater on Summers St.  Kim and I went to a bunch of movies there before it closed, but the first one we saw there was Private Benjamin.  That was a long time ago. 

Poor Ole Bob Cat...

...has been in another fight and had to go to the vet.  Booo!

Kim and Molly were watching Animal Planet the other day and saw a video about the Chinese Li Hua cat.  The Li Hua is a very rare breed of cat that's just making it's way to the United States.  Bob Cat was just a stray that adopted us, but  he matches the description in the video about the Li Hua to a tee.  Everything from his coat, to the shape of his head to his markings, to his demeanor are almost identical to the Li Hua. Click here to check out the video.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Before and After

The owner of had asked me a question about some my pictures.  Such as, what kind of lenses I use and do I use filters.   I listed a couple of my lenses and told her that in my opinion a polarizing filter was essential to a camera kit.  I also said that Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop play a part in the final look of an image and that I would post a before and after of a photo from a previous post.

The top photo is the raw image straight out of the camera.  I developed it in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and sent it to Photoshop for some final touches to get the "after" on the bottom photo.  I know that probably sounds like a lot of work, but it only took me a couple of minutes to get the final look I remembered seeing that evening.

The main things I did to the photo were to add some clarity, sharpening, contrast and saturation and work on the sky exposure a little.  All that took was moving some sliders and working with a brush on the sky 'til I got it to where I wanted it.  Learning to use Lightroom and Photoshop is far harder than actually using them.  Once you have the basics figured out you can really buzz through some photos.

As an aside, the photos in this post were shot in jpeg format and looked like that straight out of the camera.  The camera did the processing for me.  The raw file is like the camera saying, "here's your photo, I'm not going to mess with it.  You can do whatever you want to with it".

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Around The Water

A few more shots from our trip to Beaufort over Thanksgiving.  The top photo is at Gray's Hill Landing on the Whale Branch river.  The other two photos are from the Marsh Boardwalk on Hunting Island.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Angles and Blue

These photos kinda remind me of some of Pete Turner's photos, where color is the subject.

Run Forrest, Run!

Friday afternoon exploring.  It looks like the Forrest Gump road but it's not.  I talked to the caretaker of this plantation a few years ago (he was from Beckley, WV) and I asked him if this was the road in the movie and he said it wasn't.  I think I remember him saying it was in Beaufort County, but I can't remember where.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Port Royal Cement Company

We did a little Thanksgiving afternoon exploring.

Six People...

There are actually six people (including my shadow) and a dog in this photo.  The other three was just a family walking by during the long exposure.  This was shot with a 10 stop neutral density filter at f / 16 for 41 seconds and iso 100.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Chapel of Ease

Saint Helena Island, SC.  Click here to read a scary story about this area.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hunting Island

The light was too gold for my taste, so I had to go black & white.

City Java and News

I got the strongest and sweetest coffee they had.  It was gooood!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Big City Buildings

For some reason, when I was a little kid and my grandmother and I would drive by the now Huntington Bank building on Lee St, I got the feeling that I was in some large city other than Charleston.  I can't explain it.  I can still remember one day we went by there, I was probably about 9 or 10 and it was overcast, snowing and cold.  There was a little bit of snow on the sculpture making it stand out even more to me.  It's funny what you remember and how it seems just like yesterday sometimes.

The building poking out on the right side of the frame is the windowless Verizon building.  My mom worked in that building some during her 30 years with the phone company.

The tiny building is for the parking lot attendant at one of many of Spyros lots around town.  Spyros Stanley passed away recently.  He was a downtown Charleston icon.

Friday, November 16, 2012

All Crane

It looks like All Crane got a new, super cool, awesomely tall crane.  Frank and I saw it in their lot Tuesday evening, but it wasn't extended all the way.  On the way to school this morning it was extended so I had to stop on the way home and get a picture of it.  I'm not sure if it was out all the way or not, but it sure is tall.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

New River Rock

We were all off again yesterday for Veteran's Day.   It was a real nice warm day, so we thought we'd take advantage of it and head to New River to do some more rock climbing.  Molly was taking all the pictures yesterday (except the one of her hands) and she got some cool shots.  I even thought the picture of me was pretty good.  When she showed it to me I didn't have my glasses on, so I asked her if my gut was in or out.   She said, "in, I think".  Pretty funny.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Saturday Afternoon

The gals dropped me off downtown this afternoon while they went out to South Ridge to do a little Christmas shopping.  It was super nice out today so I messed around downtown for a while then walked up  the boulevard to the Capitol where they picked me up.

121 Summers St. is a very photogenic building.  I've got a few photos of it.  I liked the way the light was hitting the little tree out front today.

The Municipal Auditorium, with it's Art Deco style, never gets tired of getting it's picture taken either.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

48 Year Olds

I personally don't know any other 48 year old women that like to be outside doin' different stuff like Kim does (that's her in the top picture).  I think that's pretty cool.  That's Molly in the middle picture about halfway up Easily Flakey.  We were all off yesterday so we went to New River to rock climb a little bit.  On the way home we stopped at Frank's Pizza in Montgomery and then visited our cousins in Cannelton Hollow.  It was a great day, other than....  :-(