Sunday, December 23, 2007

Night Life

Recently I had a chance to go hang out with one of my roommates and take some pictures at night in downtown Chattanooga. We decided to be a bit creative and try light writing. We were both interested to see what we could come up with. These images are the first of what is sure to be many series concerning light writing techniques. Anyways, here's a look at what I've done:

I'm getting the hang of it! I know that a lot of people use these images in stop-motion animation sequences (example: Sprint commercials), and I think I'd like to do that eventually. If anybody has got any good ideas please let me know. With this type of photography my only limitation is the cover of darkness, and night shots in Chattanooga are beautiful as it is...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Birds, Bugs, and Flowers

Thoughts on the pictures shown above:

I rarely get a good shot of a bird soaring, so when I get close enough, I do what I can to take advantage of the moment. To date, this is the best "flying bird" image that I have.

Praying Mantis
Do they really pray, or do they simply look the part until they get their victims close enough to kill?

I hate flowers, but I tend to take some decent pictures of them, so I post them in hopes that some girl will like them and think they're cute.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Signal Point at Sunset

Sunsets are always beautiful. This one was no exception. I really enjoy driving up to Signal Point whenever I get a chance. The lights in the distance are that of Chattanooga. The mountain on the other side of the river is Raccoon Mountain, and the one farther in the distance is Lookout Mountain. These mountains make Chattanooga such a beautiful city. They're part of what first drew me there, and they will always be a great place to go whether to get away or to enjoy the tourist traps.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Letter to America

I can now say that I've experienced the magic that is Letter to America (LTA). Recently I got to spend some time with internet podcaster Jett Loe. I've never done any podcasting, so it was neat to see how it all works. Jett has been doing a podcast out of Belfast, Ireland for the past few years and recently decided to travel to Nashville to experience life in Belfast's sister city. I shot him an e-mail to invite him to see the sights in Chattanooga, and he decided to come down.

He came in and we visited some of the lesser known site in Chattanooga. We didn't go to Rock City or Ruby Falls. We ended up visiting the Dragon Museum and the Tow Truck Hall of Fame. It was a fascinating side of Chattanooga that I don't often see. The podcast will be airing in about a week or two. We were so busy talking that I really didn't have a lot of time to take pictures, but I'll include some of the interesting ones that I got. (Above: Jett reviewing pictures from the Tow Truck Hall of Fame; Below: Memorial to Fallen Towers)

I'll leave my story of the adventure to the LTA podcast. There was so much that happened, I don't know that it could be described vividly enough in this plog. I had a good time though, and I'm looking forward to hearing the end result.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Natural Bridge

"I'm not going to stop until I get there," I thought to myself as I started the hike. "After all, it's only a 3 mile hike out there... If I don't stop I'll get there in an hour... I wonder what a Natural Bridge looks like anyways." Those thoughts started my hike that Sunday in June. I had just failed an insurance test about a week before and I was feeling pretty down about having to work the entire month without pay. It would just feel good to get away for a bit.

I hiked the entire three miles solo. When I had hiked this way before I had done it with an iPod and took numerous breaks. I made it out to Snoopers Rock that time. I love that place. This hike started from Snoopers Rock. It took me further south, along the ridge where I had a good view of the river the entire hike. It's amazing what some peace and quiet will do for you. Hiking with nothing to do but think. Nobody to talk to, no cell phone, no iPod.

It was quiet. It made me think. It forced me to take a good hard look at what I was doing in this internship to begin with. I had failed the test and I thought that maybe if I stuck it through, I would see the light at the end of the tunnel. That's what this hike was about: picking a destination and not stopping until I reached it. I knew if I got there, I could make it back out. I wanted to get there because I thought that maybe, just maybe, it would mean that I could be just as determined to do well in my job.

"Who am I kidding? I don't want to be an insurance salesman, much less a financial planner. Who would trust me with their money anyways?" Never mind, it was a stupid thought, I would just stick with it for the summer and see where it took me. I pressed on until finally I reached my destination.

"Wait, this is it?" I thought to myself. I looked at the two foot gap between a standing rock and the ground I was on. "I hiked all this way, and this is all it is?" Some great wonder of the world this was: A natural bridge that didn't even connect. Oh well, I guess the adventure was in getting there, not really being there. This I soon found out in my job as well. I worked hard through the summer for minimal pay (while being promised the grand Natural Bridge). In the end I got to the destination and thought, "Wait, this is it?"

Sometimes things aren't all they're cracked up to be. This was the case with the Natural Bridge; however, I got a lot of things out of that hike (including three ticks!). I learned that I need to press on with goals I've set for myself even if I'm unsure of the end result. If I hadn't been out there I would talk about going out there, wonder what it was like, and always wish I would have taken that lazy Sunday and done something more productive with it. Since I did it I can say I've been there, done that, and that the journey was worth it, but the destination left something to be desired. Similarly, I found this to be true in my job as well, but I at least I can say I've done it. I tried. I made it to the bridge and found it disappointing, but I learned a lot on the journey.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Children Of Sugarcane Fathers

Baharonas, Dominican Republic. In the spring of 2007 I traveled there with a mission team from The House (a campus ministry at UTC). Our mission there was very simple: Play with the children and show them love. Upon arriving in Baharonas, I realized why. Baharonas, DR, sits only a few hundred miles away from Haiti, the children we were going to be working with all week were refugees from that country. Their families had, of course, fled Haiti to find a better life in the DR.
A better life for them meant working in the sugarcane fields. Their fathers work for plantations where they work from dusk 'till dawn and only earn about 100 pecoes per ton, which is equivalent to about $3-5. Needless to say, the villages are very poor and are in dire need of support. That's where groups like Children of the Nations come into play. They come into these villages, provide the children with education, food, clean water, clothes, and toys. In addition to this, they also bring in students to interact with the children. At almost any given point in time there is at least one group of American students in Baharonas.
Support for these children is important. I wish I could afford to support the children that I was able to interact with on a daily basis, and, for now, all I can do is pray for their safety and hope that someone out there has had compassion on them and has chosen to support them. If you want to support a child go to their website linked above and choose one of the children to support.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Photography. I take pictures, people look at those pictures, people enjoy my work. I want it to be more than that. There is so much more to a picture than merely the image that you see on the screen. Behind an image there is a story. I don't just take pictures to please people, I don't take them because it makes me money; I take pictures because it is part of how I tell the story. Until now, my images have been the only story, but now that is no longer true. I can finally relate the full story to you, the reader and viewer of my work. I'm trying to find a "happy medium" between my photography and the blogging. It's not enough for me to take a picture every week or post a thousand pictures online for people to view, I want people to know the other side to the story. I'm sure you know the saying, "Every picture is worth a thousand words," well, this is true of my pictures, and especially of the first picture on this site.