Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter Grasshopper

Did you know that even in December, you can find wildlife abounding in rural areas? While visiting my father's farm for our family Christmas party, I took a photo walk around the property. Among the dried up grass, weeds and branches were several beautiful grasshoppers. Here is one macro shot of this colorful "Winter" insect.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Carolina LifeCare Chopper at Night

Working at a hospital makes for unique oppor- tunities at certain times. One night, just before I was leaving my office, I heard the Carolina LifeCare chopper come in. Of course, it was already dark, but I waited for the paramedic and nurse to load the patient-- and ready for takeoff. I had to shoot without being sure of the settings. Ugh! So, what you see if what I got -- slightly edited for contrast, color temp and size.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Youthfest - Nate Sallie and Newsong

So many photos taken lately -- and so little time to update this blog. Argh! Well, here's one from my favorite area festival -- a Christian music festival. It's called Youthfest -- and it happens in Tabor City, NC every year, during the Yam Festival. This year, we were very blessed to have Nate Sallie and Newsong. Personally, I have been blessed to work with Youthfest for the past four years. AJ, our oldest daughter, helped out this year -- and received the only real perk some of get for working with the festival. Shhh... it's a well known "secret" that some of us serve dinner (prepared by the famous Todd House) to the performers.
This year, AJ got to sit beside, chat with and enjoy dinner with none other than Nate Sallie. Now, everytime one of his songs comes on KLOVE, she smiles and says, "I ate dinner with him." LOL! Speaking of Nate Sallie, here he is singing with Newsong.

Monday, November 24, 2008

2008 Loris Bog-off Car Show

Another shot from the 2008 Loris Bog-off Car Show. Today's shot: a 1940's Ford V8 Deluxe. Yes it was raining a bit, too.

Hopefully these shots will inspire you to look at automobiles in a new way - and photograph them from a different point of view.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Loris Bog-off Festival

Last year, I featured the Tabor City Yam Festival. This year, I am featuring the Loris Bog-off Festival. For nearly 30 years, Loris, SC has hosted the Bog-off -- a rural Fall festival where the "bog-off" parts mean "chicken bog" for everyone. We have lived in the area for more than a decade, but have never attended the Loris Bog-off, until now. My favorite part was the car show. So, today and tomorrow will feature shots from the 2008 Loris Bog-off Car Show. Today's shot: a 1950's Chevrolet classic. Yes it was raining a bit, too.

Hopefully these shots will inspire you to look at automobiles in a new way - and photograph them from a different point of view.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Huge Catepillar!

This past weekend, my son and I went fishing at a nearby pond. He was bored that we were not catching anything, so he started playing around the edge of the pond. All of sudden, he called me over to see a "huge catepillar". My first thought was, "Yeah right -- huge? Not." The catepillar was huge -- at least 3 inches long and .75 inch in circumference. Frankly, it was the largest catepillar I've ever seen. And, so colorful!

Here are two photos for you to review... and be reminded that you can find something interesting to photograph almost anywhere you go!

Click on each to see a nice large version.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Baby Tree Frog

Every now and then, when I'm out on a photo walk, I come upon something really cute or interesting. My last photo walk was rather uneventful. Then, some movement caught my eye, down in the grass. And what did my wondering eyes see? This cute little baby tree frog. I took 10 or so quick macro shots - and let him go on his way. Isn't it cool that he even smiled for the camera?

There are definite advantages to living way out in the country. :-)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Bumble bee macro

Here's another one of my favorite macro images -- a large bumble bee on the delicate petals of a hot pink zinnia. Gorgeous! I'm enjoying the Fall... aren't you?

Check out the large version. It has A LOT more detail!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hornet on a Golden Zinnia - Macro

I shoot flower photos as often as I have time... and sunlight. Going out and shooting pics relaxes me and helps clear my head. When a wonderful capture like this one occurs, it is such an awesome blessing. And special thanks to the kind anonymous person who told me that the flower shown here is a golden zinnia. The hornet looking insect lighted for a few seconds and then disappeared.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Praying Mantis

A curious little creature found her way into our yard recently. She was a beaut... and not nearly as aggressive as I thought she would be. When I asked NJ, my son, to get me something to put her in, he brought me the blue plastic pencil box. I could not have come up with a better background for the macro shots that followed. Here is one shot of the curious praying mantis...

Click on the photo to see a larger version. ENJOY!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Little Housekeeping...

I've been rather remiss in not keeping CharlieJ's Blog/o/Foto up-to-date. I really want this blog to be worth following. So... I give you my promise that I'll do my level best to keep the Blog/o/Foto updated at minimum twice per month. That's two photographs worth showing you -- the reader -- every single month. I hope to post more than two photos per month, but that's all I can truthfully commit to for now.

I hope you enjoy and learn and become inspired by something you read or see on CharlieJ's Blog/o/Foto. God bless and have a great Fall!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Myrtle Beach - Black-n-white

The dog days of Summer are over... and it's time to say goodbye to the beach and ocean dunes. This photo pays homage to one of my favorite places in the world -- Myrtle Beach, SC. Although Myrtle Beach is becoming more crowded and tourist-oriented, it's still a great place for family vacations or long walks along the shoreline at sunset.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

"California" Kingsnake

Guess what my son found in the back yard Saturday evening? Yep! A juvenile "Cali- fornia" kingsnake. We caught it and played with the little guy for awhile... and then let him go on his way. This shot was actually inspired by my son. As I was holding the snake, NJ said, "Daddy, he looks like your watch... see, black & white". I laid the kingsnake over my wrist and he curled around the wristwatch for a moment. Snap! Good shot!

While we're talking about snakes... if you don't know the temperament and species of a wild snake, DO NOT TOUCH IT. I have handled snakes and studied them for quite some time now. Therefore, I knew this little bugger would bite if he felt threatened - as well as knowing he couldn't hurt me more than the pinch of a mosquito. For the record, this kingsnake bit me three times while we were playing with him. All were slow, deliberate, moderate bites -- which meant he was checking me out, not feeling threatened or attacking.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Roadside Flowers

The last of the trio from the roadside flowers is a not really a flower at all. It's a weed! No, it's not a crabgrass yellow "flower", but looks kinda like it. I like the opaque look of the petals in the morning sunlight. Have a good weekend!

Friday, August 22, 2008

"Natural" Hibiscus Leaves

There's something about the leaf and flower buds of a hibiscus that intrigues me. Look closely at this photo, especially the large version, and I think you'll see why. I almost deleted this photo in the camera, thinking it was out of focus. But, when I looked at it on my computer monitor, I found that the soft edges were from the almost white shadow cast by water droplets. Not bragging, but it is a very cool effect, in my opinion.

This is a shameless plug -- when you look at my photos, keep this in mind: I don't use PhotoShop. I sometimes tweak contrast, brightness and hue or light saturation using Paint Shop Pro 6. However, most of the photos on Blog/o/Foto are as they were shot in the camera. Effects are not "man made".

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Green Leaf Spider Macro

The drive to work each day takes approx- imately 45 minutes. Along the way, I see many sights that are common to rural North Carolina. One thing I enjoy is that each Summer, starting in late June, a bunch of hibiscus flowers comes into bloom along a ditch bank on my route to work. Last year and this year, I stopped a few times to photograph the flowers. Recently, I decided to "focus" on macro shots of the leaves, insects and the flowers themselves.

Over the next few days, I'll post a few of the best captures from those morning stops along the road. Today, see if you can find the little green spider...

The large version of this image is well worth the download time.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ohio Lily

A few months ago, the Blog/o/Foto featured what is still my favorite photograph (of the ones I have taken). Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to photograph either the same lily or a like one -- in the same fish pond. The cool thing about this is the fish pond is in Ohio and I live in North Carolina. It was great to go back to the same spot and capture another image. Truthfully, I was hoping I could photograph the same (or another) lily -- and possibly get the same astounding result as the first image.

While not nearly as good as the initial capture, I really like this flower photo, too. Leave a comment and let me know what YOU think!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Say HI to AJ Everyone!

I just noticed that I've mentioned but not featured my oldest daughter, AJ. So, today is AJ's day on the Blog/o/Foto. While this is not the most technically excellent or appealing shot, I hope it gives you an idea for a different perspective when shooting pictures.

Truthfully, here's how this shot took place... We were on a trip recently. AJ was in the front passenger seat and I was sitting in the middle row, right behind her. While playing with the settings on the little P&S Canon A530 I keep with me at all times, I decided to pick on AJ a bit. I took the camera, held it over her head and then said, "AJ, quick, look up!" When she did, I hit the shutter button. Voila!

Try something different the next time you shoot. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. And remember, if you're shooting digital, you can ALWAYS delete what you don't like. THANKS for the cool POV shot AJ. I love you!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


It's odd what you will see when your eyes are opened to the world around you? After watching a bird "fuss" and fidget every time anyone or anything ventured near the rocks at Lake Tabor, I started looking to see what all the fuss was actually about. Lo and behold, what did I find? Rocks! Lots of them. Hidden right out in the open, among the black, white & gray granite rocks were three... no, four beautifully round rocks. Rocks, which weren't rocks at all -- but bird eggs.

How awesome our Creator to provide cover, protection and beauty among the ordinary sights of the day.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Lucky Tobie

If you look at the time in this post, you'll see I altered it -- just for fun. I don't believe in luck, but do believe in God's use of the number 7 as a sign on completeness. So, why not be completely, complete and have a Blog/o/Foto post on 07/07/08 and 7:07PM?!? LOL!

Actually, this photo was taken a little earlier this afternoon. My wife just received her lap dog, a Yorkie-Poo. She has always wanted one -- since she was a little girl. Our son requested that I take a picture of him, holding the pup (whose name is Tobie), as a "portrait". Aren't they BOTH adorable?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Shared Hobbies Are More Fun

I absolutely love it when my children develop an interest in hobbies we can enjoy together. Lyssi, my youngest daughter (we have two daughters and a son), has found that she likes photography, too. So today, I salute her for being interested in truly learning how to take good pictures, make good decisions on care of her camera and for not setting the blasted thing on P&S auto and snapping away. Here's to you Lyssi! Daddy is proud of you!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Red Bonnet - Super Macro

Looking at the red bonnet of yesterday's flower against the black background made me smile so much, I decided to add a super-duper, closeup, extreme macro of the same flower. FWIW, I have NO idea what the real name of the flower is. If you know, feel free to post a comment. I'll update the blog post and give you credit. THANKS!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Red Bonnet Macro

As you already know, macro photo- graphy is a passion of mine -- especially macro pics of flowers (my fav photographic subject). For some reason, this floral macro garnered a lot of attention from coworkers who use some of my photos as their computer desktop background. If you like the small version, click on the image to see the full-size photo.

BTW, the Nikon E5700 tends to blow out red in bright light, so please forgive the overexposure of the reds in the image.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Miss North Carolina - Jessica Jacobs

Just for S&G... I wanted you to see that our local fall festival, the Yam Festival, does include real cele- bri-tay. Haha! That's right, none other than Miss North Carolina 2007, Jessica Marie Jacobs.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Yam Fesitval... a little late

Dang it! I totally forgot to post at least one picture from a local fall festival. So, please forgive me and allow me to present you with a single photo from the Tabor City, NC Yam Festival 2007 - taken in November. I chose this pic because of the bright colors and movement of the majorettes' flags.

God bless and enjoy the Ides of March!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Favorite Mustang

February is much like January... only colder. So, in keeping with the "Think Spring!" motif, I am offering Blog/o/Foto viewers a shot of my youngest daughter's favorite Mustang -- from the Mustang Week 2007 photo set. She is all into yellow... and cool cars!

Monday, January 28, 2008

January is cold! Think Spring!

January is cold! So, instead of pulling out bleak, poorly lit photos from the dead tundra of the South, I'm thinking "Spring!" This example is one of the favorites for my coworkers -- who have some of my "flower photos" as their computer desktop background. I hope you enjoy it, too.

Click on the image, to see the large version. Stay warm - cuddle with someone you love. OH, and think Spring!