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Category Archives: Locations

Sweet assignment

I really enjoy opportunities to photograph people in their workplace, doing what they’re really good at and hopefully, doing what gives them a sense of fulfillment in life.

I very cool assignment came up recently for me and two of my co-workers at the University of Richmond. We spent some time with chef Tom Parfitt at UR’s Culinary Arts Center, interviewing, filming and photographing him as he made some delightful chocolate creations. We were putting together a story, along with video and still photos describing his journey from restaurant dish-washer to pastry chef, and his process of making chocolate ganache desserts (to view the story, video and more images, go here). Needless to say, we were all on board with doing this piece.

Tom with the final “plated” desserts: chai-infused ganache in a chocolate shell and espresso-flavored ganache in a teacup shell.

My awesome colleagues Kevin on video and Kim doing the interview with Tom. We would have had no problem staying the whole afternoon!

And yes, we sampled them … and they were really good.

Yeah, I’d be smiling too, if I were him! Tom is a fantastic teacher who makes preparing foods look a lot easier than you think.

If you live in the central Virginia region and want to learn any number of culinary skills, check out the Culinary Arts Program and see what they have to offer. Your taste buds (and your family and friends) will thank you.

Hoop dreams

Being someone who is 6 ft. 6 in. tall, every so often I am asked the question, “Did you ever play basketball?” Aside from informal pick-up games with friends on the playground, I never played organized ball in school. I was always drawn more to sports like baseball and cycling. But I’ve always enjoyed watching basketball and following the progress of certain teams and athletes, both professional and collegiate.

So I was very excited to have the opportunity early in 2011 to photograph a couple of University of Richmond basketball players at the campus’ Robins Center arena. Brittani Shells and Justin Harper were two standout players who’ve gone on to play for professional teams since graduating last spring, Shells with a team in Israel and Harper with the Orlando Magic of the NBA.

With each of them I wanted to create a portrait that was somewhat unique, and not simply a headshot of them holding a basketball. Way too many of those kinds of media shots out there. With Brittani, I wanted the camera to have a very low viewpoint, so that she would appear more prominent in the setting. This meant I had to be flat on my stomach with camera at the floor, looking up. Being a tall photographer, getting myself smaller is always a challenge I’m faced with when doing shoots. I also wanted dramatic light, so I lowered the ambient (available) light of the arena with the exposure and lit Brittani exclusively with off-camera flash, one to camera right through an umbrella and one to the left for a slight edge light. I may also have had the on-camera pop-up flash triggered for a slight fill light.

For Justin, I did some shots of him on the court with the basket in the background, but then moved to a second location, the seats near courtside. One thing I had underestimated with the 6 ft. 10 in. senior was getting his huge frame into a spectator’s seat (something I should have realized, as I am always apprehensive about things like movie theatre and airline seating myself! Where to put the knees?) This setting also required a step-stool for me to get up to his eye-level while shooting, always a handy thing to bring along on a shoot! I wanted his shots to be somewhat more relaxed and not as “game-time” intense, so I tried to keep up some light conversation as I shot, to hopefully, capture a genuine moment with him. The lighting setup was somewhat similar to Brittani’s, with the key light on the right and rim light above and to the left.

They were really great to work with during these shoots, and I’m so proud to see these two student-athletes go on to fulfill their dreams of playing basketball after college. Good luck Brittani and Justin! And go Spiders!

Camping and Ferryboats

Fall is now here, along with cooler temperatures and darker evenings. But as I think back to this year’s summer, I have wonderful memories of our time spent in a unique, fun-filled little community in Pennsylvania called Ferryboat Campsites. Kim and I spent a June weekend there photographing this riverside family getaway for owners Randy and Jane Wallis and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

It’s signature feature are the ferryboats that have been running between the campsite in Liverpool and the town of Millersburg across the river, since 1817. The two ferryboats that operate, the Falcon and Roaring Bull, carry vehicles and passengers on a roughly 30 min. journey across the Susquehanna.

Ferryboat captain at the helm.

Now, aside from the ferryboats, there are plenty of other means of transportation at the camp.

And plenty of things to do.

Anything related to grilling also is very popular with the campers.

And getting up early will reward you with a beautiful river view.

We were impressed by the community that has been formed there, with many folks coming back to the camp year after year. This place is a second home to many of them.

It was also hard to hear the news of the flooding that occurred since our visit from the huge amount of rain in early September, with the Susquehanna going far above it’s normal levels for many days. It wrecked havoc at the campground, but not before the staff were able to move almost all of the camper vehicles to higher ground. Randy, Jane and the staff are now in the difficult process of cleaning up with lots of support from their faithful community of campers who are anxious to come back for more memories.

Thank you Randy and Jane for your wonderful hospitality!