MAY 13, 2016 – This was our Mitchell Family trip to the NC Outer Banks for a chartered fishing trip. The weather was unbelievable, as was the local food and scenic views. After stopping by the Bodie Lighthouse, we all elected to walk out on the beach for a bit. This was my first sight and encounter with NC’s Barrier Island sand…gorgeous and peaceful.

Kannapolis, NC’s, Gem Theatre! For those in the region, this is as common a sight as anything. But for folks outside these parts, it’s highly unlikely you’ll find an old theatre in as good as shape as this one here. Endless stories of matinee visits during the week, school trips, first dates or just a solo trip to catch a first run show, the Gem Theatre is hard to beat…and so is the buttered popcorn!

Been several weeks since my last post…I gotta step it up, y’all! It’s been a busy number of months, though…thankin' the Good Lord! I’ll definitely be posting some of that excitement in the future!

In trying to choose what images to post is difficult for me. For one, I have a. lot. of. them! =) Secondly, I try and post images that have some “weight” with me. And, being from Kannapolis, NC, and seeing our “town-then-city," go through the changes that it has, it’s pretty clear cut with me that it deserves recognition here.

As many a citizen here can tell you, we all had family and friends that worked for Cannon Mills, Fieldcrest-Cannon Mills or Pillowtex (same thing, just multiple buyouts). Once a world leader in bath and bed linens, this place was certainly a brag point. But, as choices and economies go, sometimes things fall flat and thousands of hardworkin' folk lose their livelihoods. But in time, as evidence shows with the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) and the City of Kannapolis' "buy back” from its billionaire owner, we’re definitely looking up now.

Here are five images from "back-in-the-day," a few years before the mill demolition and NCRC construction. Most of these images were part of my 1.5 year photo documentary of the mill after it’s close.

As a springboard from my first post, this seascape was an example of a learning moment. Family vacay at the coast and I had been taking sunrise pics most of the week. My nephew has a desire to learn more about photography, so we head down to the Cherry Grove Pier to snap some there, timed night images, blurred water, the whole nine…

What I didn’t check, however, was the weather. After 30 minutes of “calm," we had lightning out front over the ocean. Sweet! Along with the night fishermen and their boats trolling along the horizon, the lightning was moving with them, slowly from right to left. Already equipped for night shots, we moved the tripod away from the pier and planted ourselves between dunes and played off the nearby hotel lighting to illuminate the backside of the dunes. We were set for 30-second exposures and dialed in the aperture as the lightning became more frequent and prolonged. I shot several dozen images, teaching as I went, which was a lot of fun. Jokes in between, photographic factoids afterwards. I kept thinking, "don’t give too much info too quick, Uncle – keep it fun and interesting.” Then, we nailed this shot down and the next hour felt like 10 minutes.

This image seemed to be the best looking in terms of lightning streaks and the overall lighting it produced. Reflecting on the ocean, sand and throughout the clouds, this was my winner. I’ve since printed it to a metallic print (pearlescent paper) and am happy with it.

The following day’s sunrise would prove to be fun, too. Who says learning (and teaching) isn’t fun…

For a while now, I’ve been meaning to carve out time to post images of things I’m fortunate to get to do or have done, that have substance, are funny or cause you to think after adding quips of fun dialogue. I found that, after switching over from film-to-digital a decade ago, I’ve enjoyed adding my own little creative, adlib verbiage as subtext to certain, choice images. Maybe a quick story (I’m full of those) or just something that’s funny to me. (Yes, I laugh at my own jokes…)

Anyhoo, I’ve taken tens of thousands of photos of numerous things and have been thinking of which one to lead with on this “newbie” page. The decision was short order…gotta be those folks that live with me, watch after me, depend on me…and vice versa, Jen and The Twinz. This hobby-turned-living is in part, for them, with them and because of them. This photo/design gig I have going sure helps take care of schtuff sometimes.

So, if you see a photo or composition that you like, let me know, and let me know why. Hopefully, we all learn something from it…

Thanks, y’all,