Night Photography & Effects

•October 21, 2014 • Leave a Comment

This is a quick and short one, but thought this had some fun ones to share.


This shot is up there as one of the coolest photos I’ve ever taken. As with most night photography, this was taken on the Bulb shutter setting.  I held it open for about ten seconds at 70mm, zoomed out slowly and then held for another 10 seconds at 300mm. So you essentially get two shots superimposed, with the streaks between the two. I absolutely love the way this turned out.


Icehouse is a local restaurant in Southend (the Southend area had become a recurring shooting location for me.. it was close to my house) and I really like how this turned out. Bulb setting, held on the close up, then zoomed out before releasing the shutter.


The surrounding street had a lot of different light sources on it, so the streaking cars effect is a little washed out with all the diffused sources. I needed more traffic to make the car streaks standout more, but the overall aesthetic works ok.


The clouds were moving rapidly over the moon, so the blurred clouds in this photo were actually much better defined to the naked eye, but are streaked in this photo, which makes for a nice moody picture.


From the Shoebox – Random Shots on Film

•October 19, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I recently went looking for some older family pictures, so I pulled out all my old negatives and prints and found some shots I thought worthy of posting, so I scanned these in to share. Not sure where the artifacts are from. My scanner seems pretty clean (and new for that matter!), and I don’t recall seeing much on the prints, but maybe the scanner is picking up some dust on these? Who knows.

But there is a noticeable character that film adds to photos that you don’t get from digital. I think all of these have that intangible quality that only comes from the chemical process of film. Makes me want to go back and do more with it!


From Charlotte –  A friend used to own an events company, so I went and shot this rooftop plaza and street level entrance for his promotional materials back in 2001 or so. Tony’s Oyster Bar is no longer there.






From Wilmington, NC – Loved the light in these. This is taken from Downtown Wilmington’s Riverfront. The battleship is the decommissioned USS North Carolina. This is is from sometime in 1999.





From Los Angeles – Summer of 2003

Nighttime from the hills overlooking the city. Might have been the famous Mulholland Drive, not sure.




These were taken on Hollywood Blvd. The building had a TV company’s logo on it that was familiar, but now I can’t remember. Anyway, this is just fun with reflections. The differences between the two photos are a rotation of the polarizer filter I had between shots, and I also zoomed in slightly on the second to crop out the edge of the floodlights on the bottom left of one of the tree’s reflections, and the slight encroachment in the upper right corner of one of the actual palm fronds of one of the trees. Kind of a neat contrast, and it’d be better if the pictures were the same, structurally speaking… but really cool to see the difference in optics.



Who doesn’t love palm trees? The Roosevelt is a famous hotel in Hollywood, and chances are you’ve seen it in a movie or show. My wife and I had not met when this was taken, but we stayed there a few years later on vacation. Beautiful old hotel.




City shots

•October 17, 2014 • Leave a Comment

A winter’s day a few years ago. I remember it being cold, but not too windy.




Fall leaves 2011

•October 12, 2014 • Leave a Comment

i’m starting by cleaning up my drafts box. Today, Just a quick homage to the soon to arrive autumn leaf season. One of my favorite times of year.. if only winter weren’t right around the corner!

Blog Update

•October 12, 2014 • Leave a Comment

If you’re one that was hoping to follow and/or see more out of this blog, I’m sorry for the lack of posts. Life gets in the way of our hobbies sometimes, and I really just haven’t had the time to update, or to take pictures like I used to. That’s not to say I’ve stopped taking pictures, but it has slowed down a bit.  Most have centered around our son, and my wife and I have decided not to post pictures of him for public consumption. I’d certainly love to share them… he’s such a great subject for obvious and biased reasons, but it’s just a personal choice. But in the process there are often incidental shots that I try to take that can be shared, so perhaps I’ll pull from some of those and post them here.  Lately I’ve been busy perusing my hard drive, and there’s plenty to post.. so maybe I’ll find some time to drop some into a post or two.

Couple of past post related topics… I’m sad to report the old Queen Park Cinema was torn down to make way for the future of the property it sat on. I’m glad I got to photograph it when I did, and its demolition certainly brought some traffic to the blog last June.

On a happier note, for those who saw the previous post of Jim Avett’s show at the Evening Muse, there’s something of a follow-up. Some colleagues and I were happy to spend some time with Jim Avett on his farm in conjunction with some volunteer work we do. Jim was a gracious host and has so much to offer in the way of life experience and his anecdotal stories are just so wonderful. He played a bit for us too, and that was pretty special, and so here’s a public thank you to Jim, and a photo of us all on the day we visited. I may post our follow up to that when I get it done.



Once again, feel free to drop a comment into a post.. I’d love to hear your thoughts.



Jim Avett & Friends (& Family), CD Release show for ‘Second Chance’, February 3, 2011 at the Evening Muse

•February 5, 2012 • 1 Comment

I contacted Jim Avett to ask if I could photograph this show, and he was happy to say yes. I’m not sure permission is needed for a show at the Muse, but I always like to ask. I much prefer shooting artists I’m interested in, and certainly Jim is in in that category.

I was a little late to The Avett Brothers party. I’ve lived in Charlotte for close to 15 years, and didn’t know about them until about 3 years ago and they are one of my favorites now. I soon discovered that their Dad was making music as well, and when I got his CD’s it instantly took me back to the music and sounds of my childhood. My family used to gather around and play country and gospel songs when I was young, and Jim’s voice and playing reminded me so much of those gatherings.

So I couldn’t resist when I heard he was playing the Muse last Friday. The Mrs. was kind enough to give me a pass from my duties of tending to our 2 month old, so I grabbed the camera bag and headed up. Jim brought out a bunch of different players, and as a nice surprise Scott and Seth came out to sit in on a couple of songs. So I’ll start out with my favorite shot of the night, four Avetts on stage about to play and sing together and Seth sharing a greeting with his sister. I presumed they had not seen each other in some time. Great stuff, I must say. (click on the picture below to enlarge).

I’d never seen a crowd that big at the Muse. Jim is a local treasure for a lot of people and he had quite a crowd out to support him and to hear his new songs, which were fantastic by the way. Pick up his new CD, ‘Second Chance’ at his website or on Itunes. To hear Jim talk about life, music and what it takes to be considered a success, go watch this outstanding piece by UNC TV’s ‘Our State’.

Ok, back to photography. Technically speaking, what can I say? The stage lighting at the Evening Muse continues to be difficult to work with if you want a proper White Balance, but what you see is pretty true to what it looked like while there and I thought it worked out fine despite the heavy color saturation. I don’t intend to insult the venue when I say that, it’s the nature of the beast with stage lighting. The Evening Muse remains the best place in Charlotte to see live music in my opinion. In the end I was happy with the setting I came up with.. I think it served the aesthetic well. I would prefer that skin tones not appear so red, but it really turned out to be an accurate depiction.

So it’s a long post, but there were so many I liked, it was hard to narrow down. Perhaps I’ll throw some more up down the road.

“This song sounds like Bob Dylan on Bad Day”

The night started off with just Jim and guitarist Ray Morton

Diane Reed Cox on Cello.

The “Apple of Jim’s Eye”, his daughter Bonnie

Scott said “I’m not used to having someone in between me & Seth”

Jim said “When they were little, I’d have to sit in between them at church so they’d behave”. Or something like that.

Here they’re playing Tom T. Hall’s “That’s How I Got to Memphis”

Another photo similar to the one at the top of the page.

Bonnie claps for her Aunt, who is in the audience.

For four people that have pretty different vocal styles, they sure do sound great when they sing together. They’re singing a fantastic version of gospel classic, “Angel Band”.

David Childers opened the show, and here he and his guitarist Randy Saxon sit in with Jim & Ray.

There are some alternate photos (and perhaps a few repeats) on Facebook.

Gareth Asher & the Earthlings at the Evening Muse, October 13, 2011

•January 3, 2012 • 2 Comments

I shot Gareth and his band at this venue previously, and you can check that out here. I noted a number of problems I had in that shoot, but still thought I got some good enough shots to use. This time went much better. Still not perfect but I’m pretty happy that I used the focus better, got the right white balance and got rid of the lens filter flares. The venue varied the lighting a little more in this show, so it makes the variety of shots a little more dynamic. I had more room to move and get different angles for the pictures, and I think that helps tremendously. I went for a slightly granier texture with a higher ISO setting. I think these photos are much better in just about every aspect. Color saturation is what it is, but for some reason I thought it looked more appropriate to the aesthetic in these shots, and did not look as garish.

Where you can find Gareth:




Get it Right Campaign

On a separate note the Evening Muse’s house sound man, Rodney Lanier recently passed away unexpectedly. I didn’t know Rodney personally, but saw him at the Muse at all the different shows I went to there. He and the venue frequently won the ‘Best of’ award for the best sound in Charlotte. He was a big part of my favorite music venue in Charlotte. Rest In Peace Rodney.

Check out more photos from this show at the Gareth Asher Community.


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