Sunday, December 28, 2014

Downtown with the Step Bro

Today, Sam and I went downtown for around three hours, photographing and just walking around. I expected to get a lot of cityscapes, and other urban shots... however, Sam proved to be a worthy subject and I based many of my photos off of him! In the first two photos, Sam and I are at an abandoned building near Church Street. The next is just a cityscape of downtown Asheville during sunset, and the last two are photos of Sam that I took with a macro lens, external speed flash, and a portable softbox.

Recently, I have become interested in photographing extreme sports, and just any sort of outdoor adventures... specifically rock climbing and bouldering. If anyone knows of any opportunities, please send me an email at! Thanks so much!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas is in the Air!

Tonight we finally put ornaments on our Christmas tree! I always love Christmas, not because of the gifts (while yes that is awesome), but it just feels cool and relaxing. There always seems to be a warm atmosphere and the lights are the perfect shade of orange/white and it feels very comfortable. Even if you aren't Christian, I'm not, I think that you should still celebrate it! Call it something else! It is a nice time to spend time with family and think about and reflect upon the happy times and good feelings inside of you. I just hope it snows! It just doesn't seem right without at least a couple of days of snow... huddled inside the warm house drinking whatever hot beverage one might prefer.

Here, I have two photos. The first one is an ornament that kind of shows how even though some people aren't here with us right now (Sam will be soon!), that we still think about you guys all of the time. Lindsay is probably digesting some sort of strange animal's body part in the Czech Republic... but Merry Christmas to you and Merry Christmas to you, Sam.

The second photo is just a generic looking Christmas photo that I thought looked neat.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Night Sky on the Parkway

This isn't the sharpest photo but it certainly is beautiful. I took this at f4 with a 30 second exposure and 200 ISO. I like this one because if you look close enough, you can see small star trails due to the extensive exposure time. Technology has really been able to show us things that us humans can't see with our bare eyes, such as the nebula on the right hand side of the photo, and the faint appearance of a part of the milky way galaxy in the center. You can also see that I picked up a shooting star near the bottom of the photo just above the trees. I was trying to get as far away from light pollution as I could so that I could get a clear night sky, but in this photo, the light pollution in the lower right corner gives the picture better, more complex coloring. My dad drove me up to the parkway, and while we were up there (two weekends ago), it was 12 degrees! Being outside of the car for only a minute froze our ears off!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Light Painting Photography

Last week, I went up to the Blue Ridge Parkway with my dad to do some astrophotography. Unfortunately, we got TOO elevated which put us in the dead center of a cloud, blocking out all of the sky. However, it was high enough up that there was minimal light pollution, which makes for some good long-exposure shots! Instead of doing astrophotography, I decided to try out light painting photography for the first time. Light painting is basically where you set you camera to a long exposure (I used 30 secs) and you wave light around in front of the camera to make patterns and trails of light. Since it is so dark and you are constantly moving, the camera only catches the light and whatever the light illuminates. In the picture below, I used the highest f-stop my lens would allow (12-22mm ultrawide), an f4 aperture. I set my exposure for 30 seconds and got my dad to stand still for that time (which was quite difficult considering it was literally 12 degrees up there). I waved the light around and this came out.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Ghost Town

This photo is a composition of seven different photos, stacked using Adobe After Effects. I shot at f4 with a 1/10 second exposure using my wide angle lens at 12mm.

Gram and I were in the river arts district a few weeks ago trying to find something to shoot. We couldn't find much, and so on our way home, we saw an interesting bridge with a place to sit in between the two lanes. I shot about 10 photos in a row with continuous shooting mode on, and stacked the photos in After Effects. What I originally intended on happening was for the photos to look normal and just be stacked, but what happened is that the light apparently combined and created extreme highlights. I think that this looks really neat but I needed to crop out half the photo because the rest of it is just white. It looks like there are four clones of Gram and I like how everything is just a little transparent, the car being the most. It's a photo that is unique to my typical styles and I really enjoyed having this produced!

P.S. I edited very minimally beside lowering the exposure just a bit (the brightness) and adding some grain to create more texture in the spaces that are just white.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Intense Focus

     This is a photo of Kaylee, she is in my group along with Daisy (in the background). We are working on an English project where we are required to construct an epic poem and create a brief film from it. Kaylee and I make a great team, as she is interested in filming and I am interested in photographing. I took this photo while I was messing with the school's digital media equipment and surprisingly took this picture with a low-end camera. Kaylee at the time was editing and piecing together our clips that we recorded earlier that day, which made her a great model as she was being moderately still.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Even Bugs Can Love

This picture means something to me, with a totally vague representation of what it looks like. Bugs aren't really... a concern to us humans, and I'm not saying that's wrong. For me, the bugs holding on to each other, on to love, represents us as people, trying to hold on to our culture as it is lost. The bugs are very insignificant, and that is the same way that we as people are thought about to many high social class businessmen that run the world. We are just bugs to them, as are actual bugs to us. I'm sure I could find multiple things that this picture represents to me, this was just one that popped into mind when I first saw it. I also just think it's a beautiful photo that shows love in the most profound, and tiny places. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Grumpy Frog and the River Arts District

I was playing pool Thursday night, and I came upon an enormous toad whom I picked up and placed on the pool table. I got my new macro lens and took some pictures of it before it hopped away. We have tons of toads and frogs that just hang out on our front porch and sidewalk and stuff at night! It's pretty cool. The other picture, Gram and I were at the River Arts District trying to get pictures of trains. We walked down the train tracks until we got to the train parking area. Being a photographer is sketchy business! It's fun though.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


    Yesterday, the 23rd, was my birthday! I had asked for only a macro lens but it was too expensive so I wasn't expecting it. On Sunday, I celebrated my birthday at my dad's house. We went out to Wasabi, had fried cheese cake, went to the Chocolate Lounge and it was great. I got an awesome camera bag which can hold all of my camera equipment and more. It also has a laptop slot, a place to put a tripod, and a waterproof cover to wrap it in if it starts raining. I got a 64GB SD card (which is enormous!), and also a $25.00 Google Play card from my sister.

     Yesterday, I celebrated my birthday with my mom. We went to Tupelo Honey and had Cookie Cake afterwards. I opened the first present which was a 90mm AF 1:1 Macro f/2.8 lens! I was a little concerned at first because my old camera couldn't autofocus on AF cameras. Luckily, I opened my second present. It was the Nikon D90!! This camera has the autofocus motor in it, so I can now use the macro with autofocus, AND my older ultra-wide angle lens on autofocus! We basically didn't pay for the camera though, because we are going to sell my old camera on Amazon and get a little less than what we got the [refurbished] D90 for. Today I tested the macro and my new camera out for the first time. I just went walking around my yard and I got this picture of a spider hanging from it's web (it was a TINY spider), and my dog's nose. Both shot with my macro.

     I want to thank my Mom and Dad, Jimmy, Hillary, Bob, Gram and Pop, Maya, and last but not least, Callie, for making my birthday so amazing!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Abandoned and Creepy

     Last weekend, gram and I went to the Warren Wilson barn that is very old and spooky. We went inside and took a couple of photos and then left. The next morning we came back to have some more time, and we spent about an hour there. On our way home, we went to an old Tuberculosis Hospital on the VA hospital campus. It was really creepy and I had to sneak past the workers to get this picture.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Beaver Lake Photos

       Today, we went out to try and get some photos of beaver lake while there was still fog lingering on it. Unfortunately, we arrived a little too late and missed it. The sky was full of grey clouds and it was a pretty boring scene. We canoed our way over to a little cave-looking site, completely shrouded in trees and bushes. Inside, there were all kinds of plants and organisms and birds. I didn't get to photograph much but I do feel like I captured the mood of the morning; gloomy and heavy. The first picture especially captures this feeling, but the other two are just some simpleton photos that I took that I like. Other than missing the fog, it was a good day.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Bamboo Forest

Apologies for the delayed posts, school just began and it sure is a handful. Definitely an upgrade from freshman year. Now, thankfully, I have a long weekend due to "labor day" to go out and photograph. 

Anyways, Gram and I were out on the Warren Wilson campus trying to get some shots of an old torn down house/barn. Unfortunately, I couldn't get any good shots because there wasn't enough contrast between a small, torn down chimney, and the woods behind it. Fortunately, however, on our way back we came upon a small bamboo forest in a neighbor's backyard and it was great contrast, and I didn't have to stop up too high to get the shutter speed fast enough (about an 8 f-stop). This one is an HDR photo also, and the photo below that is a butterfly (obviously) that I took in a field with my telephoto lens (50-200mm), and the bamboo was taken with my ultra-wide angle lens (12-22mm MF). Gram drew also, so go visit her blog at Real Life Journals


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Warren Wilson College and the Silo

Aujourd'hui, Gram et moi as alle a Greenlife a manges dejeuner et parler du francais. Apres ca, nous allons alle Warren Wilson College a photograph. C'est une HDR photo et je pense c'est un du mon mieux.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Picture At My Mom's New House!

     My mom just started moving into a new house this week! It's a very nice house with a huge yard and a cool trail that goes down behind the yard. Down that trail are two abandoned tractors that are covered with ivy and bugs and stuff. This picture is an HDR photo of the first tractor. The tractor behind this one wasn't as "photogenic". I was standing on top of the other tractor trying to find a different vantage point to shoot at when I saw a tall exhaust pipe sticking out of the top of it. On top of the pipe there was a bucket looking thing on top of it. I was standing inches from it lifting it up to see if there was anything interesting under it when I thought to myself, "hmm... maybe I shouldn't do that". I just had a gut feeling. So I stepped down off the tractor, pick up a brick, and chuck it at the bucket just to make sure nothing is living under it. Sure enough, a big wasp/hornet nest is brewing underneath and they start swarming around and darting back and forth heading towards me so I bolt through the woods and made it safe and sound back to my front yard. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

New Ultrawide Angle Lens!

Last week I bought myself a Tokina 12-22mm f/4 AF Ultrawide Angle Lens for about $350.00 with the money I got from my internship at Mission Hospital. It is a really hard lens to learn how to use which is why I haven't posted in a while because I wanted to post my next picture as an ultrawide angle picture! It's hard to use because everything in the picture is exaggerated a bunch. The corners of the pictures are pulled out and it is about a 160 degree angle of view. The best pictures are pictures with lines in the framework of the picture like this bridge, or something that you want in the foreground to be exaggerated from the background and seem much bigger than it really is. There aren't many situations where it's a viable lens but it is really fun when you can use it. It won't autofocus because my camera is an older camera without an autofocus motor in it and the lens is newer without an autofocus motor either. The newer lens' have no motors because the newer cameras do. Since my camera is an older version, there isn't an autofocus motor. It works perfectly well with manual focus so I just need to learn how to perfect my usage of that, which shouldn't be too hard. Please excuse my lack of crisp and focused pictures for a few weeks while I get the hang of this new lens!

I took the picture of the bridge and car in the river-arts district in Asheville and the other one at the Battery Park Book Exchange downtown. The Book Exchange one has my grandmother in it, please view her art blog where she posts upwards of everyday at Real Life Journals.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bee Sting

A couple of days ago, I was walking back from the pool and I got stung by a bee for the first time this summer. It was terrible. I had no shoes on and I was walking through grass and stepped on a flower that must have had a yellow jacket on it or something because when I stepped down it was the worst pain I've felt in a while. The funny thing is, I saw the bee subconsciously before I stepped on it! Right before I stepped on it I knew what was going to happen but it was such a quick thought that I had no time to react before I stepped down. Last July 4th, I stepped on a Black Hornet nest and got stung on my toe by that. My mom put some tobacco on it and it healed instantly. This nasty yellow jacket stung me and the stinging didn't go away until the morning after when it turned white like this flower. I took this the same day as the sting because it reminded me of my white toe.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Sunset in the Marsh

    I'm not completely sure what type of plant this is but it sure looks cool at sunset. The silhouette really creates a dark and soothing feel to the image, where if the plant had been fully shown with plenty of light, it would look dull and boring. I like this one because each spike on the plant is entirely defined and the whole picture has an orange glow to it. I took this one a few minutes before I took the photo of the mallard.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sleepy Ducks

    Today, Gram and I went to the riverside trail (opposite side this time) and took some photographs. On our way there, next to the parking lot, there was an enormous flock of wild ducks and canals near the lake. I took some mediocre pictures of them at first, but after we returned to the car at sunset, I got this photo. The sunset was really pretty at the water and I got another shot that I'll post tomorrow so be sure to come back and see it! Anyways, I was pretty grumpy most of the trip because it was so hot and humid outside so to cool off, I jumped into the river and swam around in there for awhile and then, voila, I was in a great mood! That's when I started getting good shots too! However, I did have to change clothes due to le poisson smell to them.

Saturday, July 5, 2014


    This picture, as can most likely be assumed, is from July 4th. We went to Chimney Rock, and to a waterfall near there, and then when we got home, we had a small family cookout in our fire pit in our back yard. We shot off fireworks in the grass near the fire pit too. Here is a picture of one of the fireworks we shot off.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Waterfall Portrait

    This is my step-sister Lindsay in the waterfall near Chimney Park, North Carolina. Chimney Rock itself was a bit ridiculous, there were way too many people and most of the people were a bit icky. Anyways, after we spent an hour up on the overlook, we went down to a waterfall about 3/4 of a mile away. It was much less crowded and we got to cool off in the water so it wasn't too miserable anymore. I saw the photo opportunity of the waterfall and also thought that Lindsay would like a quality portrait of herself so I told her to stand in the waterfall and I started shooting. I really like this picture and the mysterious yet glowing characteristics. Overall it was a great day!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Drum Circle!!!

     Tonight, I went to the drum circle after going out to eat. It was cool while it was still light, but when it turned dark, it got crazy. I used flash in these photos and it really brought out extreme contrast. The energy there is incredible! Nobody is embarrassed to let out there true emotions and DANCE! This guy was the leader this time and he was really eccentric to be around. This baby was there too!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Macroish Dragonfly!

    Last weekend, my Mom and I went over to the Botanical Gardens and shot some photos. I went not really knowing what I wanted to shoot but I finally found some cool stuff next to the river. This dragonfly was really hard to get in focus. It is constantly moving with very fast and sharp motions, and it never sits still. Good thing I was using my telephoto lens (oh wait, that's all I have!), I was about three feet away from it and got this close-up, pretty good for a max f-stop of 5.6... These things are nasty little creatures, they look harmless, but if you hit it or something, it'll bite the heck out of you!

Superman's Heat Vision... or car trails...

     Tonight, my dad and I went around searching for a place to take some pictures of Asheville's skyline (not much of one however). We went up to Town Mountain, around Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, and almost to the Parkway! We couldn't find a single place that had a clear view of the city from afar. Finally, as we were heading home, I remembered that I had been wanting to try out a new type of photo, light trails! Basically, you go out at night and set a really long shutter speed. Click the shutter right before a car passes by and the camera can't really see much of anything in the pitch black, so the camera doesn't capture the car itself since it is too dark to see, but the camera DOES capture the headlights/brake lights of the car. This makes light trails. I think they look similar to Superman's heat vision! I took a lot of pictures because getting it right is mostly an experimental process... tried a lot of different settings and got a few good ones after about ten minutes of tweaking settings. Still not perfect, but this is what I got; Not too bad for my first try!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Mission Hospital Internship

    This week I've been at a Mission Hospital internship called Mission Possible. We basically go tour different departments of the hospital and have people present to us about what they do in the hospital. It goes on for another 2.5 weeks (total of 3.5 weeks) and at the end we get paid $600.00. I haven't had much time to do much of anything because after the internship, I get home and I'm just worn out. I took this picture this morning. It's a day lily and I found it very pretty!

    If anyone knows of any jobs/photoshoots I can do for anyone, please message me on Facebook. I need to buy a macro lens! Thanks!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Praying Otter!

    Gram and I went to the nature center today and took some shots of the animals there. I got a few pretty decent shots but this one was exceptional. I was shooting through thick Plexiglas and somehow managed to get this. I was also using manual focus because the camera's automatic focus wouldn't stop focusing on the glass! The otter was moving constantly and I think it was just a stroke of luck that let this photo happen. It was cleaning itself off but to me it looks like it is praying or making a tough decision... either way, I like the completely blurred out background and sharp subject. This is one of my favorite shots that I have taken so far!
    Gram drew some awesome things while I was photographing too, check out her art at Real Life Journals

Friday, June 13, 2014

Evaporation's Coffee Break

    This picture is just some leaves with water on it, sure it's a cool picture, but what really interests me is that this plant had water droplets in exactly the same place yesterday and it hadn't rained yet... The water just sat there for 24 hours and never evaporated even in the killer heat. Luckily, I just moved into the basement of my house where it is constantly cool. The only downside is that if I am in my room for extended periods of time, I tend to get a little cold. However, it's great for spending time outside photographing in the hot weather and coming into my cool room to edit the photos! "Always look on the bright side of life!" ~ Monty Python

End of School!

    Sorry I haven't posted in four days, it's been the last week of school! Really hectic and tiring. First, on Monday, I had my French 2 Final Exam. On Tuesday I had my World History final exam. and on Wednesday, I had my Science final exam. Yesterday, I had $80.00 to turn in to the school for my laptop fees and I was in line getting ready to do it when somehow the money (all cash) fell out of my pocket and I guess someone picked it up and left with it. It was awful! This is the only picture I have gotten this week unfortunately.

Monday, June 9, 2014

1960's Gas Mask Ghost Incident

     Alright, before you see this picture, I'm just letting you all know that this picture was edited no more than a few brightness and black and white tweaks. I am not sure how but this picture showed up on my camera but here it is;

     Today, I was thinking of a picture to create because there wasn't much of anything outside that was worth photographing. I had recently acquired a Czechoslovakian World War 2 gas mask with a working filter and all. I thought about making a weird photo so I took this painting that was on the wall and sat it down behind me, put on my mask, and lit some Sage to make a smoky foreground. I also recently got a wireless shutter release so I can now click the shutter and be over 10 feet away from the camera; this reduces blurry (wobbly) photos, and is a great convenience to the photography (me). I was testing it out when I took this picture. It seems like two pictures were merged into one, the way the painting is basically halfway inside me. The outline of the painting is crisp, while the outline of me is also quite apparent. I had been clicking the shutter button quickly and I got up to see the photos while this picture had been taken. I was using a 1 second shutter speed (so slow!) and a f-22 stop. I am not sure if the camera momentarily malfunctioned or if I'm just so ninja that I can instantaneously teleport out of my camera's also-instantaneously sensor.    

Friday, June 6, 2014

Baby Birds With Mohawks and Their Possible Demise

     Today, I was wandering around tracking this bird who was abnormally friendly, taking pictures. I followed it around until it flew inside a large gas tank beside the house. While it was flying, I noticed a worm in it's mouth. I went a little closer and heard high pitched squeaks and whines. Meanwhile, my cat Steve was prowling about, he looked like a tiger ready to pounce. I followed his line of sight and saw a bundle of sticks and leaves. Sure enough, I see three baby birds and it's mother inside! The mother flies away, however, since the babies can't fly, they stayed put. I took out my camera and started taking pictures. I had to guess a little on the focal point because since it was so dark inside, I couldn't use auto-focus. While I am trying to focus on the babies manually, the mother is sitting nearby in a tree screaming it's butt off at me! I finally get the picture I want and get ready to head inside. Steve, aloof as always, is getting ready to slaughter the birds like it's his morning routine. He jumps in mid air and I catch him right before he gets inside of the gas tank (about four or five feet tall). The birds are safe now and here are the shots I got of the birds and of Steve;

This one has a mohawk! ^

Steve getting ready to attack ^

Monday, June 2, 2014

Cool Construction Site Downtown

     This weekend, Gram and I went downtown to look at an interesting construction site. They were leaving half of the old building standing but had torn down the rest of it and made it look really quite creepy. It was hard to get a lot of good pictures because there was an inconveniently placed fence in our way, obstructing our views. Luckily I managed to slip through the fence while the worker (there was only one worker on duty that Saturday) and took a few shots before he/she came back. I took three shots of different exposures and combined them in HDR Efex Pro, this is the result.

     Here is Gram's site, go check out her amazing artwork.