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Capturing the Moody in Photography

One of my favorite things about photography and capturing a great image is being lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. I also like to hear about what is takes to capture a great image that has a moody feel to it. In this post I will let you know what it took to get one of my favorite images of a farm in North Carolina. I call the image “Storming Morning on the Farm”.

Morning Storm on the Farm

Morning Storm on the Farm

A few years ago I had to travel to a location to work about an hours drive from my home. I had to make the trip ten straight days. Along my route I had the joy of seeing different landscapes, including country sides, and farms. While on my drive I was looking for potential photograph opportunities. The only site that interest me was a small farm off the main road. I was interested in farm, building, and landscape surrounding it. I loved the way the farm was secluded from the surrounding area. I was taken by the composition and the surrounding elements of the location.

Each day I traveled by the old farm I told myself I was going to stop and get an image of the farm. For nine days, I did not. I was lazy and kept telling myself I would get it later. Finally, on the tenth day, I knew I had to get the shot no matter the conditions. On the final day, I did stop. Once I stopped, I realized the conditions were worsening due to an approaching storm entering the area. The cloud cover was low, and dark, and the rain began to fall. At one point, I figured the photo would be terrible due to the conditions. However, I continued to get as many images as I could before the conditions got too harsh.

Little did I know the conditions played a major role in capturing the moody of the day. The clouds and rain provided me a photo that I could have not gotten nine straight days earlier. I was very lucky to get the photo of the old barns and farmland. I did not get the shot I originally wanted. I got the shot I was unknowingly hoping for. I was so glad I stopped.

Until next time!

Roger

Social Media Platforms Vs Having Your Own Website

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As most people know that read my blog regularly, I am not a real fan of social media platforms even though they are extremely popular in our society today. Just because a social media platform is popular doesn't mean it has real value. Three of the most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. In this post, I want to express my views on the three platforms and explain why having your own website can be much more beneficial for one's business and even one's personal life. But first, I want to share my views on the top three social media platforms.

FACEBOOK

One of the biggest social media platforms is Facebook. Facebook has been around for a long time and over the years has had its problems with security issues, privacy issues, content bias, and poor leadership in how the platform was being run. I remember back in the day when the use of Facebook was fairly innocent. Families and friends could post articles and express themselves on a regular basis. It was fun. But today Facebook has become a platform to post content that is, in my opinion, brings no real value to my life, especially if I want to use it for my business or to advertise my content and brand. It is not a place to express one's thoughts, ideas, and creative processes. It is limited and greatly controlled. Post on Facebook is never current. Think about it. Have you ever liked a post on Facebook and went back to find a post a week or later and it took you forever to find it? That can be very frustrating and total waste of my time.

If you are a creative person who likes to express yourself, Facebook is not a great place to do that. You are limited by what you can put on Facebook. Besides, most people are not going to read a long article listed in a post on Facebook. Facebook is not made for that. Thankfully, one can visit an external link on Facebook if Facebook does not block it. Depending on who reviews content, information is routinely blocked by Facebook. They can do that. It is their platform. I understand why content may need to be controlled, but I don't like the idea of someone else deciding what should be controlled and limited when it comes to my content. With my own domain, I get to decide what content can be posted, when it can be posted, and how much. As the owner of my site, I am in control.

Facebook is a good platform if you want to see what others are doing and to be kept updated with friends and family. However, it is also a place to waste a lot of time and energy on mindless content. Facebook is also a place to be bombarded with advertising you really don't need or want. If you have your own website, there is no advertising that needs to be ignored or blocked. Better yet, with your own website, you can put as much advertising as you want for free.

Facebook does have some useful attributes but for me, it is a waste of time, energy, money, and productivity. If I want to hear from family and friends, I can always pick up the phone and communicate as we did back in the good old days. There is nothing truly social about Facebook in my opinion.

INSTAGRAM

Instagram is a different beast from Facebook. Where Facebook provides you with the ability to post more content, Instagram is all about photos, favoriting post, likes, and followers. If you have the need to be liked and followed it is the place for you. But not for me. I do enjoy the ability to get feedback on the content I post. When I post a photo on Instagram I am looking for feedback and not likes or followers. I could care less about how many followers I get and I am not going to buy followers and many Instagram user do. Like Facebook, Instagram can present the illusion that people on Instagram are popular and successful, but the reality is many are not. I have followers on Instagram. Do I personally know them? No, I do not. Are they real? I have no idea. Do I care? Not really. That is why I do not spend too much of my time on Instagram. Instagram, like Facebook, provides me with no real value in my business and personal life. However, if you like to spend most of your day looking at other photos, it is the place to be. For me, I would rather be out taking the photos.

As for me posting content on Instagram, I am limited. I cannot post active links to my Instagram post. No one is going to copy a link I post on an Instagram feed to get to my website no matter what click bate image I use for a photo. Having to copy a link is too much trouble and a waste of others time they are not going to do it. However, Instagram is good for posting images. As a photographer, I like that. What I don't like is how the quality of my photos are presented on Instagram. As a photographer, I want to present my images that I may want to sell in the best possible way. Facebook and Instagram are not the best resources for showcasing my images. By using my website, I can present my images more effectively.

Instagram is a better platform than Facebook in my opinion. Facebook, in my opinion, is losing ground in the social media platform arena. Instagram is growing more in popularity for the masses, but I am becoming less-and-less a fan. I can post photos on Instagram, but I can't post my content. For example, even with this post, I would not be able to express myself or provide information the way I would like on Instagram. Instagram was not created to do that. Instagram has limits. Limitations are not a good thing for a creator. That is why I rarely use Instagram today. I prefer my own website with no limitations.

TWITTER

Oh, Twitter. How I hate Twitter. Of the main three social media platforms, I hate Twitter the most. The reason is that Twitter over the years has become a place where a lot of people like to complain, harass, attack others, and post some of the most useless information on the Internet. I rarely visit Twitter or post there. If I do, I post on photography related topics. I do have followers and I follow a selected few. In other words, I don't follow or care about others that don't have similar interest. I don't care about retweets or random followers. I do enjoy blocking followers that want to follow me and really don't know me. Blocking Twitter followers in one of my favorite activities when I do go on Twitter. I do have to give Twitter a couple of thumbs up. Twitter has increased its character length and allows me to use hashtags. But most importantly, it allows me to create active hyperlinks for my website. So I can redirect people to my site. Which is where I want my followers, customers, and future subscribers to go. The goal for me is to redirect my visitors to my website. As I mentioned earlier, I hate Twitter.

WHY I LIKE HAVING MY OWN WEBSITE

There are a variety of reasons why I enjoy having my own website over using social media platforms to distribute my content. One of the main reasons is I like owning my own website. I am the owner. By being the sole owner I get to create my own content. I get to decide what I want to put on the website, how much, the design of the site, who can post to it, when I want to post information, and I can express what information is important to me. I get to share my interest with others and hopeful, over time, meet others who share the same passions. If I want to advertise anything I can do it and it requires no additional cost to me. I can get analytical data, reports, site activity information and even sell my products online. I am the creator of my website and that is very important to me.

Having my own website allows me to build my own brand. I understand that building my own brand takes focus and time. It is a process. If you took a hard look at many successful creators, you will find they have developed there own brand and utilizing a great website helped them do it over time. Building my own brand is a continuing process and over time my brand, views, and photography business may change. That is okay with me. I like "change". I like the journey and looking forward to new experiences over time.

Owning my website allows me to be more creative with no limitations like having to adjust to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter company policies. I get to be creative in what I want to develop as far as information, products, and additional content. As a creator, it is important to have no limitations. Creators who are limited cannot create or express themselves when using Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. When using any of the three social media platforms, creators can only provide a snapshot of their ideas during a specific moment in time. Over time, their information gets lost within the garbage the social media platforms collect and propagandizes.

Another important reason that I like having my own website is I have the ability to collect feedback on my website. I can collect and review productive feedback for others. I also have the ability to control feedback that is useless. For example, I can review feedback before it is posted to my website. I get to choose if I want the feedback to be public. On many social media platforms you don't have to the ability to remove replies from trolls that love to post stupid replies to get attention. By having my website, I get to decide if the feedback provided within the post will benefit others in their growth as a creator. My goal for my website is to build a great community. I cannot do that on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It may sound like having my own website sounds like having the power to control others. It is not. Having my own website allows me the ability to control what information I allow in my life without being limited by others. Trolls are not allowed on my website. Just the "Cool Kids".

If you don't have your own website and have considered it before, I suggest you go for it. Having your own website can be a learning process but well worth it over-relying on social media sites and apps to share your thoughts, ideas, and views. My advice is if you are considering getting your own website (I use Square Space), do your research, buy your own domain, evaluate your website features, and then get to work. It can be a lot of fun.

Until next time!

Roger

The Importance of Capturing Images of Yourself

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Isn't it crazy how a tragic death of a friend or family member can put life into perceptive and remind us of how important memories of a friend or loved can be? Sometimes we lose a special person quickly and without notice and wished we had spent more time with them. Not spending more time with family and a friend is something we seem to regret when we find out that special someone has passed. We long to hear them talk, see their expressions, and to be able to go back and capture those special events and days with them all over again. The sad reality is, we can't.

Remembering an Old Friend

I recently had an old Air Force buddy pass away very quickly and suddenly. It was a shock to many people. My friend was actually pretty young. He was one of the kindest and most caring guys I had ever met. He loved life and he was loved by so many. I was fortunate to have lunch with him about 10 years ago and it was the last time I actually spoke to him. However, I was able to follow him on Facebook for the last few years. It was a shock to hear of his sudden passing.

Collecting Memories

After being notified of his passing I scrambled to find photos and videos of my friend. The sad reality is I had very few photos and no videos of my buddy. This was not the first time I had a friend pass away quickly. I had another Air Force buddy who passed away and I learned a valuable lesson from that experience. That lesson was to collect and keep as many photos and videos of old friends and family members so I could remember them in the future. So, every opportunity I could get, I would download images and videos of my friends and family in case they passed away suddenly. I wanted to be able to look at old photos and videos so I could remember the days we spent together. Today, each photo and video are priceless to me.

Recording Yourself

Thankful, I understood quickly how important photos, audio, and video can be when it comes to remembering someone, special memories, once-in-a-lifetime events and other special moments in my life. But, have you ever thought about how important it is to record video and photograph yourself? For many people having a photo or video shot of them is something they don't like to do. They feel they don't look good in videos and photographs. Many people fail to realize that when you are gone your loved ones and those that cared about you could care less how you looked, what you were wearing, how you sounded, how old you are, or anything else superficial. They just want to be able to see you again or at least an image of you. Today, that is very easy to record and photograph yourself. It just takes the willingness to do it. If not for you, at least for those that care about.

Leaving Your Legacy

I feel images, either photos or video is very important. Simple imagery help remind others of who you were. For example, I have 2 grandsons that I want to remember their "Pappy" long after I am gone. I don't know how long I will be around and I want them to have something to remember me by. Having images of parents and grandparents are important. I wished I had more photos of my grandparents. I have only a couple of photos and videos of one of my grandmothers that I cherish. I have no images of my other grandmother or great-grandparents. It would be so special to have just one image of them today. Of course, I can't have that but I can leave my own legacy for my grandchildren.

Taking Action

I can make a conservative effort to record myself, either through photos or video. A video is the best way for one to leave a part of their legacy. A video is very nice because one can leave a recording of their voice and those that love and miss them can hear their voice for years to come. Shooting your own videos allows you to tell others of your thoughts on a variety of subjects, your likes, dislikes, and you can ever share your life's story. You cannot do that with a photograph. In the future, I will record more of me. I will create videos of myself talking about things that are important to me. It will be a way to share a part of who I am and who I was. I will leave photos and videos for my wife, son, and my two little grandsons. Recording myself is something I have control of and something I feel is very important. I just need to sometimes remind myself how important photos and videos can be for others.

Thanking My Old Friends

I would like to thank my old Air Force buddies for reminding me how important images and memories can be. I will always remember those that were a part of my life, even if was only for short time. RIP, my friends and thank you for the memories.

Roger

Understanding Your Drones Capabilities

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How well do you know your photography gear? I was thinking about that and realized I don't know everything I need to know about my drone and its capabilities. I am pretty familiar with camera settings but I wasn't too impressed with my drone shots. To me, they seemed sorta flat. My first reaction was the drone camera was not that great. Then I started thinking, maybe it is me. So I started doing a little "Youtubing" and found I was not as familiar with the drone camera settings as I should be, especially the photo settings. I was finding that many of my photo images were not good at all and I needed to get a better understanding of the settings and learn more about how to more effective usage out of the available manual setting options.

Most people that have a drone that has a camera normally know enough to get the drone in the air and have the auto setting do all the work. That is not knowing your drone and its capabilities. Many times you end up with bad photos and sometimes those photos are unusable. Unusable photos equal a waste of time. I don't like wasting my time when I flying my drone. Those that know about drone batteries understand you have a limited time when it comes to battery life and time is important when trying to get good images.

It is important to understand how your drone works. You can't always blame poor quality shots on the drone. It is good to dig deeper into your drone settings. All photographers must fully understand ISO, shutter speed, types of formats, and aperture settings when using a camera. That includes the drone camera. Yes, auto settings are cool but that is also the lazy way to do. Manual settings can be very cool and produce some amazing images even when using a drone. You just have to be willing to dig a little deeper if you want to improve as a drone photographer and get great quality shots.

Knowing how your gear works are so important when it comes to doing photography. That is equalling important as a drone pilot. As a certified drone pilot I understand no one is going hire me if my images and videos are not a good as they should be. It is very important to embrace seeking knowledge of my gear. Knowledge is cool and never-ending. That also applies to any drone that has ability to shoot great images. What I have learned is not to blame my gear when it come to photography. It is me that needs to put in the work and learn as much as I can about all the gear I use, especially, when it comes to my drone.

Until next time, keep shooting!

Roger

Photographers Who Inspire Me

Do you have a photographer that inspires you? Most creatives have those they admire. I have some people that inspire me to become a better photographer, try new things, get out of my comfort zone, and explore different types of photography and creative adventures. 

Today I want to tell you about four creatives that inspire me every day to become a better photographer. 

Nick Page

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One of the first photographers I learned about when I got serious about becoming a photographer was Nick Page. Just about every photographer knows about Nick. Nick is a unique photographer that has humble beginnings. He is actually a self-taught photographer. He is from one of my favorite states for photography, Washington. He is from Southern Eastern Washington. He is a very talented and well-rounded photographer. I have always admired his landscape and travel photography. I love his images because no matter what the subject is, his images have a moody feel to them. I love his amazing coastal images the most. He is also a world traveler. His has visited many locations including China. It amazes me how he has learned so much on his own. He's also very humble and that is many times rare in the photography world. To learn more about Nick check out the links below;

Nick Page Website: www.nickpagephotography.com
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxv1rK6prSp2aoNqNyxD_Vg
Facebook: @nickpagephotography 
Instagram: @nickpagephotography

Thomas Heaton

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Another great photographer that inspires me is Thomas Heaton. Thomas is also a landscape and travel photographer from the UK. He is a very popular Youtuber. I really enjoy Thomas’s work because not only is he a great photographer he is one who likes to explain his shots and is a very patient photographer. It is not unusual to follow Thomas on one of his travels and find out he never took a photo. He is one to live in the moment and enjoy the journey and the beauty of the location he is in. Thomas is also a minimalist when it comes to his photography. I like that. His work can also be described as abstract. Thomas’s Youtube channel is also a lot of fun to watch and very popular. I admire his love for photography and his simple approach to it. To learn more about Thomas Heaton check out the links below;

Thomas Heaton Website: https://thomasheaton.co.uk
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfhW84xfA6gEc4hDK90rR1Q
Instagram: @Heatonthomas

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Brendon Porter and Aaron King (Photog Adventures)

Not all the photographers I admire work alone. Two of my favorite photographers are Brendon Porter and Aaron King from the beautiful state of Utah. Brendon and Aaron are masters at the art of night photography. Both guys visited my state of North Carolina last year to see the Autumn colors and visit the Blue Ridge Parkway. Both Brendon and Aaron have their own business and very popular Podcast called the “Photog Adventures”. As you can guess from the title they travel to various locations to take photos not only in their state but all over the country. I admire both guys because of their knowledge of night photography but also their love of landscape photography. When I got the chance to hang out with them I was blown away about their love for photography and the desire to seize every moment to get the most out of their adventures. I was also blown away at the friendship and how they feed off one another. 

What makes their adventures so unique is when they record their adventures they tell you everyone about what went right and what went wrong. Their adventures are very entertaining and I always learn something from them. Brendon and Aaron inspire me to enjoy photography and take advantage of every photography adventure. To learn more about Brendon, Aaron, and Photog Adventures check out their links below;

Podcast: https://soundcloud.com/user-407436417
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/PhotogAdventures
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/photogadventures/

Jordan Younce

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As you can guess from the name, Jordan Younce is my son. He is also one amazing real estate photographer. Every time I see his work I am amazed at how talented he is. I also have no idea where he got his talents from. Jordan is a great NC real estate photographer, podcaster, trainer, videographer, and manager with of Sleeklens. Jordan’s love has always been real estate photography. He loves residential and commercial photography. 

Our relationship is unique. We love photography and going on photo shoots together. I really enjoy going with him when he does a real estate photo shoot. I love so much from him. 

Jordan’s residential interior photos are the best I have ever seen and in my opinion, no one can match his interior home images. I would describe his interior images as fresh and clean. He as the ability to make a routine reality location come to life. I admire Jordan’s desire to go the extra mile for his clients. He offers additional services such as video and drone services that blows me away. I know by watching Jordan, I will become a better real estate photographer. He inspires me to become a better “all-around” photographer. To learn more about Jordan check out the links below;

Jordan Younce Photography: http://www.photographynorthcarolina.com
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH6ISG59IG_yg75x3_n2mXg
Instagram: @jordanyounce

There are so many photographers that inspire me. The four photographers I mentioned produce so much great content and have very impressive photography skills. Their adventures are fun to watch too. They truly do inspire me. So do have a favorite photographer that inspires you? If you do, who are they? I would love to hear your stories and why they inspire you.

Until next time, keep shooting! 

Roger

Do You Really Care About Your Old Images?

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In this post, I want to do a little ranting about a subject that drives me crazy. That is the subject of people not preserving their own photos. For the life of me, I cannot understand why people don't take the time to find their old photos, digitally scan them, and properly back up the photos to a secure location. I know people say they are busy with life but aren't one-of-a-kind photos important too? I believe that it is not that people are so busy they don't have time to preserve their old photos. It is that they don't understand how truly sorry they will be when their old photos were lost, damaged or destroyed. Then it will be too late. 

A few years ago I started thinking about how I would feel if I lost all of my old photos. Then I decided to take action before it was too late for me. I gathered up every photo I could find that was not digitalized and I began scanning them. As I was scanning them I realized that many of the photos consisted of only one copy and there were no negatives or backups. I realized if I did not take the time to scan my own images a part of my own life's history would be gone forever. I would not have images that my son and his family could keep and share for many years long after I was gone. That was my motivation for scanning my own photos. 

I talk to a lot of people that say they need to have their photos scanned and preserved, but never take the time to do it. I often wonder how they would feel if they lost their old photos due to a house fire. I am pretty sure they would have many regrets for not having their photos scanned and backed up. It is pretty easy to take action and preserve old photos. All that is required is locating all the old photos you can find, gather them up, have them scanned, put the images on some storage device, and back up the images to an off-site location. It is also a good practice to have multiple copies of the files. Having photos scanned and saved have other benefits too. All your precious images can be printed, shared, enhanced and restored. 

I have personally asked members of my own family if I could get a copy of an old image to find out no one knew where the images were and the only copy that once existed is now gone. That drives me nuts. I would love to see a photo of my late grandmother who died many years ago when I was a small boy. I really miss that lady and I have actually forgotten what she looked like. Having an old image of her would be priceless. Unfortunately, no one took the time to preserve her image and no one has a photo of her. 

Do you have old photos lying around your home stuffed in cabinets, drawer, folders, or other parts of your home? How would feel if you lost those photos in a house fire? Do your old photos mean a lot to you? If they do, I highly suggest you take the time to have your old photos scanned, stored on some type of backup device, and have the files backed up. You will be glad you did. I know I am. 

If would like your photos scanned contact me. It would be an honor for me to help you preserve your precious memories. 

Until next time, keep shooting!

Roger 

Drone Images of the Furniture Land South Building

Well, this Sunday morning was pretty fun for me. My photography goal for the day was to take some drone footage of a unique building that is not too far from my home. The building is called the Furniture Land South Building in High Point North Carolina. Actually, the building is less than a mile from my home and I have always wanted to photograph it but never really got around to it. Of course, since I now have a drone I finally took the time to go get a little drone footage this morning and finally shoot the building. It is funny how one becomes more eager to get out of bed to shoot drone video footage when they have a drone. 

The building is massive and used when the furniture market that comes to our town. Visitors from all over the world come to look at furniture in the showroom throughout town and the Furniture Land South building is stop that all visitor makes. What really stands out about the building is the large dresser that leads to the entrance of the building. You can't miss it. I wanted to do two things this morning. I wanted to get both still photos and of course, videos with the drone. I was pretty lucky this morning. I actually thought I would have some issues with getting a good location to launch the drone and getting some good angles for my shots. Even though the place was closed on Sundays I was still able to launch the drone and get some nice images from a variety of angles. That is the beauty of drone photography and videography, we have better access from above our subjects and the skies are unlimited (unless you violate FAA guidelines). If you are a drone pilot, don't do that. 

I was able to get some nice still images and a nice "pull away" shot of the Furniture Land South Building. Below are the images and video. 

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This morning I was able to accomplish the goals I set out to do. I try to establish daily goals when it comes to my photography and building my photography business. Now, I need to decide what's next on my agenda. 

Until next time, keep shooting!

Roger 

Preserving Your Old Photos is So Important

I have always loved old photos. The types of photos where there is only one original copy that still exists. One-of-a-kind photos are special and many times are irreplaceable if they are lost or damaged. The sad part is many people don't think about very old photos until they are lost or damaged. Many historic and family photos are usually located in old boxes or still in an old glass frame where the old photo is usually stuck to the glass and can be damaged if you try to remove it. Believe me, I have had my share of photos that were difficult to remove from an old glass frame and several times the print was totally destroyed. 

Today, people don't think too much about photos because we live in a digital world where current photos are easily taken and shared. But for many old photos that are printed and where is only one copy that is not the case. Old photos need to be taken care of, restored (if possible) and most importantly digitalized. If an old photo can be digitalized it can easily be shared and treasured for years to come. Sadly, some people don't think about it until an old historic or family photo is lost forever. 

Below is an old photo I restored for a friend that is no longer with us. He was a mayor of a small town in North Carolina who truly wanted to help preserve the town's history and had me restore several very old photos that were over 75 years old. He only had the originals and wanted the old photos digitalized so they could be shared for many years to come. He understood the importance of restoring old images of the past and took steps to do that. If you look at the old photo and think about it, those people are gone forever and that photo help preserves their life's history and legacy. That is a power of an old image one-of-a-kind image. 

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Do you have old images that need to be restored and digitalized? If you do I suggest you take the time to gather up those old images and have they scanned, enhanced, and stored away. It is important to take the time to do that. I personally gathered up every photo I could find and scanned them so I could preserve them. The tasked took me over 5 days to sit down and scan every image I could get my hands on. It was tedious work but it was worth it. Now I have all my photos backed up and I can share them. Just remember, once an old image is damaged, destroyed, or lost you can never get it back. 

If you have old images you would like restored or if you have old photos that you would like scanned just let me know I can do that for you. I would love to help you preserve your photos and history. 

Until next time, keep shooting!

Roger

The Car Hop

Sometimes as a photographer I get lucky and get to photograph subjects that I normally don't have access to. My passion is photographing landscapes, nature, wildlife and some portrait work, but I like to try other forms of photography when I can. About 2 years ago I attended a local car show in my town. I have always like photographing old cars. On that day, I was fortunate to be able to photograph a model that was there.

While walking around the car show I noticed that a few people were gathering around a car and I became curious. My wife and I went to the location to see what all the fuss was about. It turned out that people were gathering around to watch a model get her photo taken with some old cars. I noticed a photographer taking his photos and how the photographer seemed to be working together to get a few shots. My guess was the photographer was working on some type a pin-up calendar by the way the model was dressed. Of course, I did not want to interfere with the photographer and model but I thought it would be cool get a few images of the model since she was willing to pose for the shots. She seemed to not mind other photographers taking photos of her and providing several poses for the shoot. What was cool was the photographer planned his shot very well by providing the model with a variety of nice props to use for the shoot.

What is cool about having a model is that a model is someone that willing to pose for photos. It makes taking photos so much easier for the photographer. A good model pretty much knows the shots the photographer is trying to capture and goes through a variety of poses for the photographer. I was not her photographer but it was fun to try to capture a few images as she posed for her photo session with her photographer. I call my photo of the model the "Car Hop". I don't know who the model or who the photographer was but I do appreciate them letting take my photo. I think it turned out pretty nice.

The Car Hop

The Car Hop

Until next time, keep shooting!

Roger

Beautiful Looking Glass Falls

Every year I am always looking for places to visit and photograph before the crowds start arriving. I love to photograph waterfalls in North Carolina. Of course, I have my favorites. One of my favorites is Looking Glass Falls in near Asheville. It is a beautiful 60 ft waterfall and people come from all over the state to visit the waterfall. It is also a very popular summer hole for many people, including photographers. Looking Glass Falls is not like some waterfalls that are difficult to access and may require a lot of hiking. It is actually located roadside which makes it pretty easy to access. I had no problems taking my image because I chose to photograph the falls during the off-season. There was no one there. It was pretty nice to have the waterfall all to myself.

Looking Glass Falls

Looking Glass Falls

It's pretty easy to access Looking Glass Falls by traveling on U.S. 276, Forest Heritage Scenic Byway, near Brevard in the Pisgah National Forest. To get to Looking Glass Falls, take U.S. 276 North from Brevard about six miles. Or take U.S. 276 South from the Blue Ridge Parkway for about 10 miles.

Directions from Downtown Asheville (about 36 miles): Take I-240 West / I-26 East. Continue on I-26 East to Exit 40 for Highway 280 (and the Asheville Airport). Take a right onto Highway 280 West and go 16 miles toward Brevard. As you enter the Brevard area, you will see a big shopping center on the right (with Wal-Mart). Just past the center, turn right onto US Highway 276 North (Forest Heritage Scenic Byway) to enter the Pisgah National Forest. Go 6 miles.

What is very cool about the waterfall is it is always open. If you go in the summer, be prepared to deal with the crowds. Getting a great image of the waterfall is very difficult in the summer months due to the volume of visitors at the falls. If you are a photographer that loves to photograph waterfalls in North Carolina, I highly recommend visiting Looking Glass Falls.

Until next time, keep shooting!

Roger

 

Biker Portrait Photo Shoot

Just recently I had the honor to photograph a biker friend of mine. I had been wanting to do a portrait session with my friend, Buster for the last few weeks. The weather was our biggest factor to deal with. I was pretty eager to do the portrait session for a variety of reasons. Not only was I looking forward the shoot, I was eager to test out my new camera body. I recently upgraded to a Canon 80D DSLR. I also purchased a new Rode microphone, and I was still testing my new Tamron 18-400mm zoom lens. So I had a lot to look forward too. 

Besides the weather, I had an issue with finding a good location for the photo shoot. I always like to find locations that are a little rundown or bring a historical feel to the photos for my biker shoots. Most of the time selecting a location can be a challenge. I have to factor in the look of the biker, the type of bike, lighting, weather conditions, accessibility, and safety. The place I found required me to contact the owner to get permission for the photo shoot. It is always a good idea to seek permission to conduct your portrait sessions if the location is not normally available to the public. The place I chose was an old gas station in historic Jamestown North Carolina. The owner was very nice and allowed me to shoot my session there. 

The biker I photograph was my friend Buster. Once Buster arrived for the shoot we discussed some posing options. I always like to discuss with my client what type of photos they would like taken and not base the images on my option. Getting feedback from the client is very important and makes the client part of the overall process. I believe that is very important for a successful portrait session. If you have never shot biker portraits it can be difficult to choose the proper poses for a biker. However, Buster was a great guy to photograph. He had the type of biker look I like to photograph and my options to photograph him were a little more flexible. Bikers like Buster allows me to create biker images that can be nostalgic and some images can be more modern. I had to consider Buster's look and the even the type of bike he wanted me to photograph. He has a beautiful Honda Goldwing that was great to photograph. Below is an image from my biker portrait photo shoot with Buster. 

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I really enjoyed my photo shoot with Buster. He was a great guy to photograph and was easy to work with. I look forward to more biker portrait photo shoots this year. 

Until next time, keep shooting!

Roger 

Colors of Spring are Coming!

Well, it is that time of year when the great state of North Carolina and other surroundings states get to enjoy some much-needed rain. Some people don't like rain but I do. Rain is vital to our area producing some of the most beautiful colors in Spring. I created a simple slideshow of some my images of flowers in the Spring of last year. The images are part of my SquardUp Collection. For those that don't know, the SquardUp Collect offers some beautiful metallic prints in three sizes, 10x10, 12x12, and 16x16. Most people that purchase the SquardUp prints use them to brighten up there homes. I actually have 3 prints for my home. 

Below is my "Colors of Spring" slideshow to help get everyone pumped up for Spring. 

Until next time, keep shooting!

Roger Younce

I Finally Got the Chance to Photograph Linville Falls!

Well, I finally got the opportunity to photograph the Linville Falls in North Carolina. It is hard to believe I live in North Carolina and haven't photographed the falls before now. I have been through the area many times and never had the chance or time to visit one of the most photographed waterfalls located on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. The Linville Falls located near milepost 316.4 or about 66 miles from Asheville North Carolina. There are a variety of locations to photograph the falls but I was looking to photograph the falls from a familiar location to others that have photographed the falls before. 

When I arrived the visitors center was closed and there were a few people there. After doing a little exploring of the area map my wife and I started our hike. The hike to the spot I wanted to photograph the falls was not very far from the visitors center. Actually, it was only about a mile to the overlook I wanted to do the photoshoot. The overlook I chose to photograph the falls is called the Chimney View. The Chimney View Overlook would allow me to photograph the upper falls and the lower falls. The view also had some very nice cliffs. So, I knew from some of the photos I had seen before online, that was the location I needed to find. 

One of the main things I wanted to do was to experiment with my new Tamron 18-400mm lens and see how well I could zoom into the waterfall. I had seen many other photos of the Linville Falls that were taken from the Chimney View Overlook and many of them were taken from a distance. I wanted to see how well I could zoom in with my new Tamron zoom lens. I was very impressed with how well I could zoom into specific spots throughout the scene. Having a new zoom lens for such a shoot provided me with a variety of options to find specific shots and allowed me to be a little more creative and seek out unique compositions. End the end, I found that a vertical shot of the upper and lower falls was my best option. 

I was very happy with the photo I got from the Linville Falls. It was nice to finally get the shot that I wanted to get for several years. In the end, it was all worth the wait. If I had taken the same shot without my Tamron lens, I would not be able to get the shot I got. Sometimes waiting for the right time is worth the wait. 

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If you ever get a chance to photograph the Linville Falls, I suggest to select a time in the middle of the week and not wait until the peak season. Even in the middle of February, the place got pretty crowded and the Chimney View Overlook is pretty small and it will be difficult to set up your gear to get a great shot. 

Until next time, keep shooting!

Roger Younce 

A Beautiful Beaufort Sunset

One of my favorite things about photography is the opportunity and many times luck of capturing a photo when it was not expected. Part of capturing a great image is capturing the correct light without to use of external man-made lighting. As most photographers know the best time to capture beautiful light is usually in the morning or at sunrise. I watch a lot of photography videos and it is funny to me to see a photographer spend all day talking about capturing a great image and he or she actually waits until sunset to take the image. There is a good reason for that. Sunset can provide the best lighting for an image. 

One of my favorite images was taken on the coast of North Carolina in Beaufort, North Carolina. The image was taken right before sunset near a dock with sailboats. My original plan was to take some photos of the boardwalk and the bridge in the area. I was set to take some photos of the bridge and happened to look behind me and noticed a very beautiful yellow and golden sunset behind the sailboats. The reflexion of the boats in the water also made the view very special. I learned a long time ago to always look around for unique images. I learned to always look behind you to see if a nice image is there. Actually, some of my favorite images came from looking behind me and was not my original goal for some photoshoots. 

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The Beaufort Sunset in one of my favorite sunset images. It is not the traditional sunset image but it is very special to me. I love the boats, reflections in the water, and beautiful colors of the sky right before sunset. If you are interested in ordering a metallic paper print or metal print visit “Beaufort Sunset” on my website. 

Until next time, keep shooting!

Roger Younce

Video Biography Memories

Today the use of video is everywhere and that is a great thing. But have you ever thought about how the use of video can change a person's life or how a legacy can be carried on with the use of a video? I love photography and taking photos to capture special moments in my life and the lives of others. Photos bring back memories and special moments in life because they capture life as it once was; good and bad. As I have gotten older I have developed a better understanding of the importance of using video to capture special moments along with photography.

It is true that it is easier than ever to use video to record all types of events. But, I believe the most effective way to record moments in others lives is through the use of a video biography. So what is video biography?  A biography is "a biography, or simply bio, is a detailed description of a person's life. It involves more than just the basic facts like education, work, relationships, and death; it portrays a person's experience of these life events. A video biography is more powerful than a written biography because it is a recording of person's life that is told by a person using video to record person life experiences. By using video, the stories become more personal and powerful.

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Several years ago my son and I set out to record a video biography of my wife's parents. I wanted to hear their story and record their history using video. Both parents were eager to share their story because they understood that long after they are gone the video would be very special to their kids, grandkids, and even their great grandkids. I want to record a brief history of my wife's mother and father separately and then together. I wanted to find out about their childhood, how they met, their kids and what family means to them. By asking questions to them during the interviews I was able to hear stories about their lives that even their own children had not heard before. After the video was post-processed my wife's parents and all the kids and grandchildren gathered to watch the video. Everyone seems very pleased with how it turned out. After the showing, I told everyone that the video will become very special in the future as the video will be a part of the families legacy. I provided copies to each member of the family so the video could be shared in the future. The Turner Biography video is a little grainy and was shot with equipment that was available several years ago. To see the sample video of the Turner Family Biography, click {Turner Family Bio).

What I learned from producing the video is how little members of a family knows about their elders. They do not know how they grew up, who were special in their lives, special events throughout their lives, and other life experiences. That is sad. It seems that people take for granted that people in their lives will live forever, then one day they are gone and then it is too late to sit down and ask them about their lives. I remember I listened to a testimonial of a man who participated in his own video biography. He was asked why he wanted to have one done. He stated he knew how special it would be for others in his life once he was gone. He wanted to tell his story in his own words and for people he loved and even the people he would never get the opportunity to meet. He stated that he would have loved to had a video biography of his great-grandmother, who was native American. He would have enjoyed hearing her story in her own words.

It is unfortunate that people do not take the time today to sit down with loved ones an ask about their lives before they are gone. It seems people think they are too busy. Actually, creating a video biography is not that difficult to do. It does take a little planning, coordination, preparation, software editing skills and patience. I personally, would have loved to have sat down with my grandmothers to find out more about their lives before they passed away. A video biography can be very powerful and is one way to capture other's life and stories that a simple photograph cannot do. 

Until next time, keep shooting!

Roger Younce

The Value of a Priceless Photo of One's Life

Do you have a special photo that means a great deal to you? Is that image the only one you have? I personally have many one-of-a-kind photos that mean the world to me. At one time, many of my images consisted of only one print. One day, I started thinking, how I would feel if those special images were lost or destroyed. I would be devastated. I realized a long time ago how important an image can be and how special they are in my life. I do not take any image of my life and the lives of others in my life lightly. That is why I took the time to gather up all the images I could find and make copies of every one of them. The project took me 4 complete weekends to copy over 2000 images, store them and back them up. For me, images represent a moment in time that is captured and will never be repeated. So capturing a special moment in time is very important to me. 

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In my life, I have had some photos that are very important to me. For example, one of my very special photos is of me and my son. I was a young 23-year-old young man and I was a new father to a very special little boy. As a father, I wanted to spend as much time as I could with my little boy. I enjoyed playing with him, putting him to bed, feeding him, and being the father to him that I never had growing up. My favorite photo of me and my son was me holding him and him mocking me. It is a simple photo but one I truly do treasure. At one time, the image was the only print I had and I had lost the negatives. If I had lost that image, it would have been terrible.

Of course, I have other images that are very special to me. However, I have very few images of my own childhood. I do have many images of my family and special moments of my life. Most importantly, I have images of those that are no longer with me and that has passed. One special image of mine is a very old photo of my grand mother before she pasted away. My grand mother was responsible for getting me and my wife to together. Sadly, I have very few images of her but the ones I don have are very special to me and my wife. Photos of those that have passed are very important because I understand some of the members of my family will never get the chance to know them and their images is all that is left of their lives. 

It really amazes me how some people take their own photos are granted. They do not take the time to store them, safe guide them, and make copies of images when there is only one original print. An image takes on a whole new meaning when the only photo of someone special has passed away and the print is the only thing you have left. It is important to never take photos of one’s life for granted. We all can replace other possessions in our lives, but we can never replace our special photos if they are not preserved. Never take an image for granted because they are truly special. 

One last thought; take as many photos as you can throughout your life. Be that annoying family historian and photographer that drives everyone nuts. As time goes by, those that complained about all the photos you took will be glad you did. 

SPECIAL NOTE: I do offer photo scanning service, if needed. Just contact me for details.  

Until next time, keep shooting!

Roger Younce