Driving my favorite part of Ga. Highway 83, it’s easy to lose track of time. With only an occasional house or rusted fence to break up the miles of pine trees, irrigated cornfields and rolling pastures dotted with anthills, driving easily takes a back seat to my thoughts.
Vladimir Voronen, tea grower at Dagomy’s tea plantation near Sochi.
My assignments here in Sochi have been vastly different than I ever anticipated. I never thought I would be covering dog shelters, or a gay bar in Sochi. And I never thought I would end up at a place like Dagomys tea plantation, on the side of a mountain near Sochi. This place was spectacular, simply beautiful. It was so far away, so removed from the concrete, mud, and hustle of Olympic Park.
I grew up pretty close to Shady Dale, Georgia, but I didn’t attend my first Shady Dale Rodeo until I was well into my 20s. It was about 6-7 years ago, when I was working as a photographer for the Griffin Daily News. I was blown away that this had been going on right up the road from me for most of my life and I had yet to attend. I immediately fell in love with rodeos and the people who attend them.
I was never very good at sports. I didn’t pick up any girls because of my athletic prowess, I didn’t grace the local weekly newspaper’s sports headlines, nor did I make the rosters of the all-star or traveling teams. But I did have a lot of fun playing sports. Baseball, in particular. And a lot of that fun was experienced on a little dirt patch where I grew up in Bostwick, Georgia. For those of you not familiar with this quiet place, it’s a small, small, town between Madison and Monroe on Georgia’s scenic Highway 83. Population, 366.
So today, I really wanted to take someone’s portrait. I wanted to find someone interesting and put some light on them. It didn’t take me long, riding around East Griffin, Ga., before finding this guy, 58-year-old Mickey Arnold. Yes, that’s a grown-up tricycle. And yes, it has an engine (no, it’s not a Hemi).
My good friend Jordan Murph and I wandered out to the beach today here in Ft. Lauderdale to play with his new speedlight soft box made by HonlPhoto. The soft light provided by the overcast and the textured clouds made for a perfect evening for portraits, especially on the beach.
The Heads Creek Reservoir near Griffin, GA has yielded me a couple of photos (this one, for example). The above photo was taken this past Saturday, June 16, while headed to the Atlanta airport for an early flight. I had noticed the amazing colors in the sky a few minutes earlier, but had no idea that I would find a couple fishing from a jon boat nicely silhouetted against the sky. Luckily, I had my D700 with a 50mm f/1.8 lens attached sitting in the back seat, because you just never know when you’ll spot a cool photo.