Salt Life

Sand bar in the Calibogue Sound
Sand bar in the Calibogue Sound

One of the cars I frequently see in our neighborhood has a sticker on the back that says “Salt Life.”  I’ve seen it in other places too, but never really knew what it was all about.  Remember that I live a sheltered life, with no advertising and stuff, so bear with me.  The other day going to work I followed an SUV that was sporting a “Salt Life” spare tire cover.  Finally getting the better of my curiosity, I turned to The Google to see what this was all about.

Sand bar in the Calibogue Sound
Sand bar in the Calibogue Sound

So as it turns out, Salt Life is a company that sells stuff that says Salt Life on it.  According to their website, they are “an authentic, aspirational and lifestyle brand that embraces those who love the ocean and everything associated with living the “Salt Life”.”  So in other words, according to the cynic in me (me, cynical? :) ), they sell stuff to people who are too busy living some other “authentic aspirational lifestyle” to actually go to the beach and enjoy “everything associated with” being at the ocean.  It’s a fantastic business model – get people to pay for the privilege of advertising your brand.  One of the oldest models in the world.

Sand bar in the Calibogue Sound
Sand bar in the Calibogue Sound

 Don’t get me wrong, I’m good with it.  I ain’t judging.  But the whole idea strikes me as kind of shallow.  I mean, if we really aspire to living at the beach, then we need to get our a$$ to the beach.  Don’t just buy stuff that makes other people think you went to the beach.  Besides, the real beach people can tell.

Sand bar in the Calibogue Sound
Sand bar in the Calibogue Sound
Sand bar in the Calibogue Sound
Sand bar in the Calibogue Sound

Have a Fifth on The Fourth!

Queen Anne's Lace, Torrence Creek Greenway, Huntersville North Carolina
Queen Anne’s Lace, Torrence Creek Greenway, Huntersville North Carolina

One of my former bosses had a bunch of “Bob-isms” that we heard holiday after holiday.  I think a few of them may have ultimately gotten him fired.  But this was one of the tamer and sillier ones, and I felt like using it as the title of this silly post.  Accompanied by a couple of my “nature’s fireworks” photos.

I hope everyone has a weekend that allows you to do whatever makes you happy.

Seed or fruit of Yellow Goatsbeard aka Jack-Go-To-Bed-At-Noon growing on the Torrence Creek Greenway, Huntersville, NC
Seed or fruit of Yellow Goatsbeard aka Jack-Go-To-Bed-At-Noon growing on the Torrence Creek Greenway, Huntersville, NC

July 2014 Wallpaper

Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve in Alaska from aboard Sea Princess
Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve in Alaska from aboard Sea Princess

I decided to make a bit of a change from the blurry water photos I’ve been using for my calendar lately and try something a little “cooler.” This photo is from our trip to Alaska a few years ago. It still somewhat fits the abstract theme, although it certainly isn’t blurry!

I hope everyone has a great July and manages to stay cool!

Claim to Fame?

Evening on the Beach, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Evening on the Beach, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Kathy & I attended a fantastic concert last evening by guitarist Tommy Emmanuel.  For those who aren’t familiar, look him up and check out some of his recordings or videos.  Regarded by many as the greatest living guitarist on the planet, his resume includes over 20 record albums and two Grammys.  The dude can play!

Today, I got an e-mail from the concert promoters thanking us for attending  and wanting to make sure we were aware of another acoustic guitar player that would be performing there soon and hoping we would attend.  I’m sure he’s an excellent guitar player and I am fully aware that everyone needs to start somewhere.  But this guy’s claim to fame, at least according to the promoters, is that he has received “over 20 million views collectively for his Youtube videos.”

That’s a lot of views, certainly.  But I’d love to ask, “so what else has he done?”  I suppose I’m missing the point, but it’s pretty amazing to me that someone’s Youtube videos qualifies him as a successful musician and one worth paying money to hear.  I suppose we might decide to go, but at least I know I can see his videos to help me make the decision.

Evening on the Beach, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Evening on the Beach, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Kill The Clutter?

Evening on the Beach, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Evening on the Beach, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Samantha Chrysanthou and Darwin Wiggett recently posted on their blog that they had decided and agreed (it was Samantha’s idea and Darwin decided to go along) to a June 30 deadline to either process their unprocessed files or delete them.  Delete as in gone.  Forever.  Their reasoning is that having so many unprocessed images was limiting their creativity by creating “clutter” and that Samantha “CAN’T STAND the idea of going out to shoot with hundreds of images just waiting for me back home.”  Samantha had 89+ folders and Darwin nearly 200 folders dating back to 2005.  Rather than me copy and paste their comments, you need to read the several (so far) posts on the subject to get the whole idea.

Evening on the Beach, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Evening on the Beach, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

 In their posts they refer to the concept of Minimalism, which is one that Kathy & I have been exploring lately.  Part of the goal of downsizing to our new home was to rid ourselves of physical “clutter” that we had been making space to store and making time to think about.  There’s nothing like facing the prospect of moving all that “stuff” to make one wonder how much of it is really necessary.  And parsing all of it down to just the essentials for living in an apartment for 6 months really made us think about how much of that stuff would ultimately survive the move.  Suffice it to say that we’re glad to have a Goodwill store close by.

Evening on the Beach, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Evening on the Beach, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

I’ve never given all that much thought to my digital backlog.  I have a very well thought out method for sorting, categorizing and rating my photos so I always know the status of a given image based on the Pick status, color label and star rating.  Having unprocessed files doesn’t bother me.  In fact, I will sometimes go back into the archives and see an image that, for one reason or another, I missed or passed over the first time or two through the folder.  I’ve reasoned that as long as I have captioned and keyworded my photos, if I ever needed to process one I would, and if I never did?  No big deal.

Evening on the Beach, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Evening on the Beach, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

For a while I felt like I needed to have a goal of processing every single one of my “Picks.”  And I actually have processed many of my files from the early digital days, starting around 2004.  What I have done, though, is when I’ve gone through and made my Picks I remove the non-Picks from the Lightroom catalog while leaving them on my hard drive.  I have nearly 32,000 images in my Lightroom catalog, but many multiples of that number reside on my hard drive.  It’s not that I think all of those “rejects” might be valuable as much as I figure with as cheap as hard drives are there isn’t a lot of point in deleting them.

Evening on the Beach, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Evening on the Beach, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

So I’m not judging anyone else’s decisions or their workflow, but I’m pretty comfortable with my “system” and it doesn’t bother me to have unprocessed photos.  But it was obviously something they considered to be important, and more power to them.  Not all “clutter” is visible, and if something is hampering their creativity, addressing it in the way that works for them is the right approach.  I’ll be interested to see how they did come June 30.

Evening on the Beach, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Evening on the Beach, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Evening on the Beach, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Evening on the Beach, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Evening on the Beach, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Evening on the Beach, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Playing Catch-up

Fishing boats in Swan Quarter, North Carolina
Fishing boats in Swan Quarter, North Carolina

My typical practice when I get back from a trip and am going through photos to process for my blog is to toss some of the picks into a Quick Collection in Lightroom.  I’ll process those and when I’m done I’ll have a little group to go with whatever words I’ve had bouncing around in my head.

Fishing boats in Swan Quarter, North Carolina
Fishing boats in Swan Quarter, North Carolina

These photos have been sitting in my Quick Collection folder since we returned from our visit to Belhaven in late March.  I think 6 out of the 8 were done, I just hadn’t finished them.

Fishing boats in Swan Quarter, North Carolina
Fishing boats in Swan Quarter, North Carolina

I thought I had better clear them out before I start posting more Hilton Head photos.  So here they are, better late than never, I guess!

Along the Pamlico River waterfront in Washington, North Carolina
Along the Pamlico River waterfront in Washington, North Carolina
I guess her tripod didn't come with a manual.  Points for the Holga, though.
I guess her tripod didn’t come with a manual. Points for the Holga, though.
Along Main Street in Washington, North Carolina
Along Main Street in Washington, North Carolina
Along the Pamlico River waterfront in Washington, North Carolina
Along the Pamlico River waterfront in Washington, North Carolina
Along the Pamlico River waterfront in Washington, North Carolina
Along the Pamlico River waterfront in Washington, North Carolina

June Calendar – Abstract from the Beach

Evening on the Beach, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Evening on the Beach, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Kathy & I spent the week leading up to Memorial Day at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.  HHI is our “go-to” beach for a nice, relaxing vacation.

As I had hoped to do, I bribed Kathy with good food and some wine from home to convince her to eat in a couple of evenings so we could enjoy – and I could photograph – the beach at sunset.  She’s such a good sport! ;)

Capturing the water in the evening light often results in images like these that just ooze peace and quiet.  I had a little extra incentive to come up with some good images this time, as we have a few walls in our new place that need some art.  I even made a few verticals with that specifically in mind, but those will need to wait for a blog post since not too many people I know use their monitors in the vertical position.  Although it might make a nice phone or tablet wallpaper.  Hmmmm…. :)

I was a little slack with my posting and processing the last few weeks, but I have a lot of new photos to process and a number of them that I am looking forward to sharing!

It May Be May

Flat Rock, Morning
Flat Rock, Morning

This month’s wallpaper continues the abstract theme.  I don’t have many landscape motion abstracts, and the ones I do have tend to be vertical images.  Those would make good tablet or phone wallpaper but not so much on the computer screen.  I do have a lot of moving water abstracts that I really like, primarily because I spend a lot more time shooting water at the beach than shooting mountains.  Plus, making good motion landscapes is hard!  It seems that I have a lot more luck getting water abstracts that I like.  But no matter.

This image is titled Flat Rock, Morning, was one of my first print sales a few years ago and continues to be one of my most popular photographs.  So out of the archives it comes to live for a month on your desktop if you so choose!

Kathy & I will be headed to the beach later this month, so don’t be surprised to see some more moving water photos in June!

Familiar Territory

Outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina
Outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina

One of my favorite places for wandering around with my camera is downtown Charlotte.  Because it is close to where Kathy has a parking space, I especially spend a lot of time in the area around the NASCAR Hall of Fame.  It’s just an interesting building, especially the metal work over the main entrance and all around the outside.  I think it is supposed to represent a high-banked racetrack, but to me it just looks cool, especially at different times of the day as the lighting changes.

Outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina
Outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina

I’ve never been inside the building, although if someone came to visit who was interested, I would certainly consider going.  While I have given up following auto racing along with all other professional sports, I still have an appreciation for the history of the sport as it existing before money spoiled it (IMO).

Outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina
Outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina

So Thursday evening before the baseball game, we wandered around this area killing time.  I have photographed this building numerous times, but I never get tired of it, since there is always another shadow or angle that I haven’t seen before.  Just the color of the sky can change how the metal reflects the light.

Outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina
Outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina

One of the advantages of visiting a place repeatedly is that there is always something new to see, another angle to explore or a different way the light and shadow plays with the subject.  In this case it is the shapes and lines of the building.

Outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina
Outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina

Did I end up getting anything that I haven’t gotten before? I did.  I found another interesting section that for some reason I had never seen.  Many of these photos are of the same views as before, but one or two of them are a fresh look at something I have been looking at and photographing for several years, and which I will hopefully be photographing often in the years ahead.

Outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina
Outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina

Play Ball!

Charlotte Knights baseball game at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Knights baseball game at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, NC

Kathy & I are having a little “stay at home vacation” this weekend as we have Bill & Cathy, our friends from Ohio, in town for a few days.  Thursday evening we ventured downtown to check out a baseball game at BB&T Ballpark, the brand-spanking-new baseball stadium here in Charlotte.

Charlotte Knights baseball game at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, N
Charlotte Knights baseball game at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, N

I’ve never been a huge sports fan, but I do like baseball.  And while Major League sports in general have lost their appeal to me, there’s something enjoyable about heading to a minor league ball game on a chilly spring evening.

Charlotte Knights baseball game at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Knights baseball game at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, NC

I called ahead to confirm, but they do allow cameras in the stadium.  Big yay!  So off we went, and I got a few shots to show for it.  I think we’ll probably head back there soon.  It was a great deal of fun and is a beautiful place to watch a ball game.

Charlotte Knights baseball game at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Knights baseball game at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Knights baseball game at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Knights baseball game at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Knights baseball game at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Knights baseball game at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, NC

Photographs and stuff!