December 08, 2009

Jeep Trails

We finally got our second snow of the year this past weekend. Stan and I checked out some nearby trails that we had been eyeballing for quite some time. They were well worth the wait, especially in the freshly falling snow. We'll be heading back there soon I presume.

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November 30, 2009

Jeff and Brandy's Engagement Shoot

Last weekend Adam and I had the pleasure of shooting engagement photos with a couple in Chapel Hill, Jeff and Brandy. We responded to an ad on Craigslist as we often do and they selected us for the shoot. While on the shoot we were amazed to find out that they had received over 100 responses to their ad!!! That info made us very thankful to have been selected! We are very happy with the results, a few of which you can see below. Jeff and Brandy were a very friendly, kind and gentle couple, making the afternoon of shooting truly enjoyable. We wish Jeff and Brandy the very best of luck!

November 18, 2009

Why did the turkey cross the road?!?

Probably because the FlyingRooster was chasing it around with a hungry look! I was headed out to Blowing Rock to take photos of a church for High Country magazine when I crossed under the Blue Ridge Parkway and happened upon about a dozen grazing turkeys. Pretty neat birds, I had no idea they could fly high enough to roost in the treetops...

November 11, 2009

Washington DC Outtakes

A few months ago when I traveled to DC to take photos of President Obama honoring the 2009 Stanley Cup Champions I took a bike and spent some time before and after the press conference photoing monuments. I assumed this was an appropriate Veteran's Day post. Thanks to all of the members and families of our Armed Forces for keeping us safe! (Pretty happy with the results of these, especially the night time ones as I was using my bicycle with my camera bag on top of the seat as a tripod)... Enjoy!

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November 10, 2009

App State stays out of Mocs' reach 35-20

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After starting the game with two huge interceptions (D.J. Smith and Jacque Roman) on the Mocs' first two possessions and a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, the momentum shifted. In the second quarter Armanti Edwards was picked off twice and Devon Moore had an unfortunate fumble to record three Mountaineer turnovers. Edwards had a streak of 141 pass attempts without a single interception before the first pickoff Saturday. The defense stood strong in the second quarter, allowing the Mocs only one score before heading to the locker for half time.

In the opening kick of the second half the Mocs kicked an onside kick and recovered it, much to the surprise of all. The only thing more shocking was when they successfully repeated the move on their their next kickoff. The Mocs hustled a twenty unanswered point streak before the Mountaineer offense could regain focus.

In the fourth quarter Devon Moore ran for two of his three touchdowns in the game. Mark Legree sealed the Mountaineer win by pulling in an interception with less than ten minutes to play(the defense's third of the game). The offense moved the ball to the end-zone for the final points of the Mountaineers 35-20 win.

Saturday the Mountaineers travel to Elon University to play what will ensure for the winning team a SoCon Championship crown. The match-up will end one of the two undefeated teams' dream of a loss-less 2009 conference record. GO APP STATE!!!

November 04, 2009

Soaking the Studio

Water Pour into Wine Glass

Started on a story about a church recently and one of the photos I want to incorporate has a water pouring element. I decided it would make my life much easier on the day of the actual shoot if I went ahead and did a little practice work lighting this portion of the shot. After trying the shot several times and getting the lighting the way I envisioned it, I decided the only issue was the water wasn't dramatic enough. I hopped up on a chair and poured the water from about 5 feet above the glass; it certainly did the trick (when it actually landed in the glass).

For the Photogs:
1 AB-800 camera left behind glass w/ red gel
1 SB-600 camera right behind glass w/ white umbrella

October 29, 2009

A Brief October Parkway Visit

Headed out with my friend Mac to the Blue Ridge Parkway for an hour or so to try and catch the last of the fall leaves. We didn't get as extravagant of a display of colors as we have in the past (I believed they were deemed "muted") but it was quite a sight none the less. The horse was clearly quite the model as well...

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October 28, 2009

Appalachian State punishes Georgia Southern 52-16

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Winning by 36 points only displays the surface of the beat down. A closer look at the game stats show that the Mountaineer offense moved the ball 712 yards while the Mountaineer defense was able to hold the Eagles offense to a measly 171 yards. Quarterback Armanti Edwards not only posted 381 offensive yards in his less than three quarters of play, he became the second player in Division I history to pass for over 8,000 yards and rush for over 4,000 yards.

The defense has had some trouble earlier this year putting all of the pieces in place but quickly quieted criticism with this win. Cortez Gilbert lead the Mountaineer defense with nine tackles. Jabari Fletcher's two sacks and two and a half tackles for loss improved the coverage.

ASU, currently undefeated in conference play, heads to Furman University to defend their sixteen conference game winning streak Saturday at noon.

October 23, 2009

A little white color

The first snow showing of the winter season has struck the high country! While the fall leaves begun to reach their peak colors, we received a dusting of snow early Saturday morning. The temperature reached a chilling twenty seven degrees. However, it seems that this was just a brief introduction as temperatures have returned to the seasonal norms for the remainder of the week.

October 18, 2009

Paul's Triumph Tiger

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My good friend Paul and I raced out to catch the last hour of sunshine before the rain and cold weather was due to hit on Thursday. I took photos of him with his Triumph Tiger motorcycle. Unfortunately he had a little incident during the shoot when he hit a crest in the middle of the lane (see skid mark photo) but luckily wasn't seriously injured. As Paul would say..."Good clean fun."

October 14, 2009

Fall Outtakes

These photos are a collection of outtakes from recent shoots. It appears we have pretty much skipped over fall and are headed straight for winter as high temperatures of upper 30's and snowfall are already in the forecast for this weekend. We didn't really get an overall amazing peak leaf season but as you can see from the photos we certainly had some isolated areas that were breathtaking.

* Sorry for the lull lately, look for more frequent blog updates in the near future :)

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September 28, 2009

Meeting Doc Watson

David Holt, Doc and Richard Watson-25

It's not often that I find myself at a loss for words, but you can bet I was a nervous wreck prior to the Doc Watson photoshoot. After collaborating with David Holt, we were all set to have a 10 minute window to photograph Doc with David and his grandson Richard. The photos with the colorful organic backdrop were done on the stage that Doc performed on.

Sitting backstage before the show, collaborating with my friend Cameron, I see David Holt poke his head out from behind the stage and call out "Adam, come back and sit with us".

Sitting backstage with Doc Watson is something I will never forget. Doc has a way of speaking to you that you can't help but become engrossed in the conversation. The photos with the wooden backdrop are from the backstage session.

The actual show itself was as amazing as always. The pictures speak for themselves.
A big FlyingRooster thanks to David Holt for setting up the photoshoot and Cameron for helping me with equipment.

September 27, 2009

App State Style

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Southern Conference defending champions Appalachian State picked up their first win of the season yesterday after going 0-2 in the season's first two games. Saturday's duel with Samford marked ASU's start to their 2009 SoCon season. The Mountaineer defense played a rock solid game, allowing Samford less than 200 yards of total offense and only one touchdown. Offense was not to be overshadowed, gaining 283 yards and 20 points in the first half.

Star quarterback Armanti Edwards' play in the second quarter where he avoided one sack, lost control of the wet football, snatched up the ball, avoided a second sack and completed a pass to Cedric Baker while being tackled to bring up a Mountaineer first down was recognized by ESPN as the weekends No 2 play. The video can be seen here.

Rain and more rain fell as the game went on at Kidd Brewer Stadium, making it difficult for the players on the field as well as all of us trying not to ruin our fragile camera gear. An astonishing 22,139 fans braved the elements to support their Mountaineers. It was chilly, rainy, and mostly a little uncomfortably comfortable... App State Style.

September 22, 2009

Horror/Halloween Shoot

Rain, Rain Rain. It rained for seven days straight as of yesterday, so I decided to make the best of it and use the foggy result as a backdrop. The Halloween show at the Nth Gallery is coming up soon; in case you were wondering why the bloody knife. The Flat Top Manor or Moses Cone Manor property on the Blue Ridge Parkway made a perfect location, as the house was built in 1901. All of the umbrellas we found out shopping looked too modern and were gigantic, but luckily we found the umbrella in the photos in my house that had been left behind by the previous residents. Adds a necessary touch I believe...

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September 20, 2009

College Place Flood

Residents of College Place apartments in Boone, NC were awoken around midnight (Wed) and instructed to move their cars across the street to avoid having rising waters destroy them. The heavy water flow was a result of some form of water valve/piping failure a little ways up the road. Many of the residents were out in the parking lot playing in the impromptu pond and taking pictures of their flooded cars. Eventually the Town of Boone came through and shut down the water system, allowing the parking lot to return to normal.

September 18, 2009

ECU Marching Pirates

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A major part of the reason I headed down to Grenville a few weekends ago wasn't just for the Battle of the Beards (App State vs ECU) but to visit my younger brother. Pat is a tenor drummer with the ECU Marching Pirates, who were very impressive on the field. A lot of dedication comes from these band members as they were on the field at 8:30 in the morning and didn't finish up until almost 5 pm. I followed them from the practice field up to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium where they played a pre-game "Call to Port" show, and then after game followed the drumline as they played cadences throughout the tailgating fields. I was sure to include the drumline's number one fan at the end of the slideshow (in the black shirt) who loves to chant "Give me the bass! Give me the bass!"

September 13, 2009

Pittsburgh Penguins visit White House

President Obama welcomed the 2008-2009 Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins to the White House this past Thursday. The ceremony was held in the East Room of the White House, where Obama joked with team captain Sidney Crosby about the fact that "Sidney must be pretty fast, cause there are some big hockey players and he's not one of them." Crosby is however (as Obama also pointed out) the youngest captain in history to win the coveted Stanley Cup.

On a side-note, it is a really surreal feeling to walk right through the front door of the White House???!

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September 08, 2009

My Numer 1 Fan!

Ever have one of those days where someone comes up to you with your face on their tshirt? Me either...until recently! A special thanks to FlyingRooster fan Dawn Gregory for showing her support via custom clothing. Keep up the crafty support, Dawn!

FlyingRooster #1 Fan

FlyingRooster #1 Fan

September 02, 2009

New Website Design

We are very proud to announce our newly designed website at . With integrated slideshows from flickr and a twitter feed on the home page, we hope to keep you informed with FlyingRooster news and the most recent photographs. Hope on over and enjoy your stay at


August 31, 2009

BPL Album Release

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Several of my friends are in a funky hip-hop group known as BPL. Friday night they played a show to celebrate the release of their first album, "Higher." They spent a great deal of focused time recording the album and then had it remastered. These guys are all extremely talented musicians, many of them members of the Appalachian State Univeristy Broyhill School of Music. To hear a few tracks, pick up the new album and learn more about BPL visit their web-page here.

August 26, 2009

Scattered Sunshine

As I mentioned in the previous post I had intended to shoot waterfall pics yesterday but headed to the parkway when I noticed the weather. Glad I changed gears, as I was headed back down the parkway and came around the curve to see the sun fragmented by the slowly lifting fog in this field. Oh, the title also relates to the recent weather. The scattered sunshine was very welcomed after a week of rainy days.

August 25, 2009

Oh Deer

Got up dark and early around six with intentions of going out and shooting some waterfall photos. When I peaked out the window and realized it was going to be a foggy morning I decided to head towards the Blue Ridge Parkway instead. Along the way I stopped by a few fields where the deer and their fawn were grazing on the moist overgrowth and I snapped of a few shots seen below... Photos from the foggy parkway morning to come tomorrow, check back!

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August 18, 2009

August 12, 2009

Arnone Wedding

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Congratulations Steve and Lauren Arnone, married August 9th, 2009! The wedding was held at East Wind in Wading River, NY. The ceremony was held on a beautiful outdoor patio, filled with an enormous amount of bright flowers. Luckily the rain held off just long enough for the outdoor ceremony to be held and the reception to get under way. Congrats again and have fun on the honeymoon!

August 08, 2009

High Country Magazine Cover Photo by FR

For about a month or so I worked with the staff of High Country Press on a story about the incredible volunteer firefighters that serve our neighborhoods. I couldn't have been more overjoyed when the editor informed me he was using one of the photos (above) for the cover of the August magazine! To check out the magazine, visit the High Country Press website. Let us know what you think!

August 02, 2009

Tater Hill Open

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The 4th Annual Tater Hill Open wrapped up yesterday with some pretty decent afternoon weather. The property owner Bubba was gracious enough to let me come to the top of the hill and take some photos of the event. I had never really seen paragliding up close until the Tater Hill Open and it was quite intriguing. The take off seemed to be pretty complicated, keeping yourself from getting all tangled and catching the right wind. Anyhow, to learn more about the Tater Hill Open, visit their website

August 01, 2009

Chicken Coop

In the garden my housemate Will has built a pretty sweet passive solar chicken coop. We currently have 4 hens, who were laying eggs consistently for several weeks but have now stopped laying all together. The farm fresh eggs are tastier than the store bought ones. Hopefully they will start again soon, if not perhaps a little rotisserie action?

July 27, 2009

Linville Gorge

I hadn't been back to Linville Gorge since a backpacking trip earlier this year until today. I've backpacked most of the trails in the gorge and somehow have never stopped to see the more touristy Wiseman's View (panorama). This reveals one of the best views of the gorge. Also pictured is Linville Falls (arguably NC's most popular waterfall) as seen from Erwin's View overlook.

July 23, 2009

Blackberry Season

I went fishing earlier this week with my friend Whitt and we came across some blackberry bushes. We picked a few handfuls before we headed to our next fishing spot (you don't expect I'll actually say where do you?). They were really ripe and therefore, sweet. Really good blended with Vanilla ice-cream. The rhododendron blooms are gone and the blackberries are ripe meaning only one thing... summer is almost over.

July 22, 2009


An outtake from a house fire yesterday for the free lance firefighting story I'm working on...

A quick change from the cowboy boots to the Fire bunker pants and boots and the fight was on

July 20, 2009

Knee Deep

When I got off of work this morning I stopped on Highway 105 because I spotted a patch of Bee Balm (one of my favorite wildflowers) that looked easy to get to. It wasn't bad, just down a short slope and I was right at it. I took several shots and then...

stepped to the left to take one more. The grass was apparently growing in mud soup, as my left foot sank down to almost my ankle. After I retrieved my shoe from the sinkhole I I walked back to my car as everyone on 105 questioned why some barefoot vagabond had a camera.

July 19, 2009

The Big Toss

Yesterday Adam and I headed to the Benton Convention Center in Winston Salem for the annual International Jugglers Association festival. The festival is a week long and offers a variety of activities, workshops and shows. Adam and I were challenged with the task of shooting the annual Big Toss photo. We were up on a scissor lift shooting down towards the huge crowd of jugglers. If you have any interest in learning more about juggling check out the IJA.

July 16, 2009

Serene Scene

This past week or two I've been working on a story for High Country Magazine all about the vast amount of dedication it requires to be a firefighter. Monday I was given the task of listening in to a scanner for fire calls to chase down and capture these men and women at work on scene. No fires so far, but Tuesday I did follow them to two car accidents. The image above was taken at the second accident, while there was complete controlled chaos of firefighters and trucks, ambulances and paramedics, police and tow trucks all trying to frantically help clear the wreckage and victims of a head on collision. It was a deeply calming feeling to turn around and see the warm late afternoon sun glowing in the meadow.

Outtakes of the story to come after its published...

July 13, 2009

Bombadil CD Release Party

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Bombadil has released their third album "Tarpits and Canyonlands". The release party took place at my previous residence: the Golden Belt Lofts in Durham NC. The atmosphere of the lofts really complements Bombadil's style. Altho they did not perform, there was live music by:

The Tender Fruit
The Scene of the Crime Rovers

If you have not checked out the album, I highly recommend you do so. More information on Bombadil on their myspace:

July 06, 2009

Independence Day

I hope everyone had a glorious July 4th, filled with parades, grilling out, fireworks and lots of red, white and blue. I was reading about July 4th on wikipedia and they have this quote from a letter John Adams wrote to his wife on July 3rd:
"I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."
Glad to be in America...

June 28, 2009


My plan was to head out to Grandfather Mountain to try and use the Rhododendron to capture a few nice landscape shots, but the weather had it's own plans. As it started to rain as I was heading for the door I stuck around the house instead and ended up just taking a few shots of the Rhododendrons in the backyard. The Rhododendrons are in full bloom now around most of the High Country. Check out the High Country Press magazine online for a story full of info and photos of the "Rose Trees."

June 27, 2009

Fay Washington Sibling Trip

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After many hours of editing, I finally made it through all of the Washington trip photos. We had an awesome time and saw lots of amazing things. I'll let the photos do most of the talking but I thought I would post a few excerpts from our trip Journal:

May 28th "Saw Mt. Rainer, awesome, stuck out like a sore thumb. Weather in Seattle was ~80 degrees, sunny, clear...Drove Hyundai Accent a.k.a Clown Car to Olympic, made it to Kaloch just it time for sunset. Beautiful, touched Pacific Ocean."

June 1st "The first .5 mi was straight up and intense. Then we were on the ridge, saw great views. Then we hit a snow field & lost the trail."

June 2nd "Stopped at Deception Pass State Park for lunch. We made fried bologna & cheese sandwiches. It was great!!! There were lots of fighter jets flying over the water because there was a Navy Base on the island...We stopped at Cascadian Farms which was lovely. We got homemade raspberry chocolate chip ice cream (organic)."

June 4th "Suffered through another oatmeal breakfast. Luckily the bears didn't get to ur bear bag 30ft up in a tree...we descended ~1000 feet down in .8 miles. At the bottom were two old miner/fur trapper cabins from the early 1900's. They are called Meadow/Swamp cabins...there are signatures on the wall from the 1920's and on. It seems that these cabins are not frequented as there were only 3 journal entries from 2009."

June 5th "Caught the bus back from Seattle to the hotel for the best night of sleep ever. Softest pillows ever made (esp. after 9 days w/o a pillow).

June 6th "we went to Pike Place market... There is a fish market there and the guys throw the fish over the counter to be filleted. They got Pat to go behind the counter and threw him a big fish, which he caught and everyone cheered...Took off for flight home! Great Fay Sibling trip!!! '09!

Note about the slideshow: If you roll your mouse over the slideshow you can adjust the speed, pause etc. at the top.

June 26, 2009


On Wednesday a new member was added to the Fay family, Montauk. My mom has wanted a Newfoundland since she was nine years old, and this past fall my Dad suggested she get one. Montauk is a Newfoundland puppy from Warrior's Newfoundlands in Kannapolis, N.C. Warrior's, established in 1992 breeds very beautiful, healthy and friendly black and brown Newfoundlands. For more information e-mail Shirl at Newfoundlands are known for their loyalty,large size and water rescue ability. Montauk seems to be adjusting well and we're all glad she has arrived!

June 05, 2009

The Decemberists - Raleigh NC

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I had heard of this band but never really listened to them much. When I got called to shoot on assignment for the INDY Weekly, I figured this was a good opportunity to check out the Decemberists.

The show was at the Progress Energy Center for Performing Arts in Raleigh NC. I had previously photographed the Smashing Pumpkins at this venue, so I kind of knew what to expect in terms of where I could shoot from. The Decemberists brought a whole different light show than I had expected. They seemed to use a lot of fog machines with low positioned lights, which really made for some cool shots. I am very pleased with the results.

The only disappointing thing about the Progress Energy Center is the fact that photographers can only shoot from really far left or right, so it makes it a little difficult to line up a good photo. I used a Sigma 2.8 80-200mm lens, and I still had my ISO up around 1000-1250.

All in all, from what I saw I enjoyed the show. I ended up buying the "Always the bridesmaid" 12" Vinyl set at the merch table.

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May 27, 2009

The Evergreen State

In about 14 hours I'll be on the plane to "The Evergreen State", aka Washington. More specifically I'm headed to Olympic National Park for almost a week and then to North Cascades National Park to do some camping, hiking, and backpacking with my brother and sister. We've never been all the way to the Pacific Coast so the first day we are going to head to the portion of Olympic thats on the beach an touch the frigid waters of the Pacific. Olympic is unique in that besides the coastal portion of the park it also boasts glacier capped mountains and a rainforest portion. We plan to wrap up the trip in North Cascades with a two night backpacking trip on the Thunder Ridge trail. It's going to take some serious engineering to get 3 people, 3 full packs, food, camera gear and day packs into a rental Chevy Aveo! Check back to the blog while I'm out for a few posts by Mr. Hajnos and then lots of photos when we return home. Woohoo here we come Washington!

Pittsburgh Steelers visit Barack Obama at the White House

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Thursday, May 21st. The Pittsburgh Steelers players and coaches teamed up with Barack Obama in assembling 3,000 USO care packages that will be sent to the troops overseas. I was thrilled to be a part of this project. Talk about tight deadlines, I found out I had press credentials about 20 hours before I was suppose to be at the White House.

Waking up at 5:30AM, I began driving (in the dark) to Washington DC. Arriving around 11:30, I ifound myself in a sea of media from ESPN, NFL Network, and more that a dozen news stations.
I tried to hold my own space as Barack Obama joined us on the back lawn of the White House. Fighting off other photogs, I managed to snap several pictures of Obama and Heinz Ward working side by side.

Other players who were there include Big Ben Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu, Jeff Reed, and Superbowl MVP Santonio Holmes.

After the hour long event, the media was released into the city of Washington DC. I had met up with my uncle to do some sight seeing, which can be viewed via FlyingRooster flickr. You'll find photographs of the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Roosevelt Memorial, and the White House.

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May 26, 2009

The Drums Are Like The Lettuce

Next Friday, the Nth Gallery in downtown Boone will be hosting The Drums Are Like The Lettuce, The NonPortrait Show by Jonathan Ryan. (Jonathan was previously on the FlyingRooster blog doing a little painting for the show) All the info is on the flyer above, as well as on the Facebook event page. The gallery will display over 100 paintings, be sure to go by, let a little art fill your head and support a very talented artist!

May 25, 2009

Paleface in Boone

I was first introduced to Paleface and Mo in Bristol at the Rhythm and Roots festival about a year and a half ago. When Adam and I went back to the festival this year we spent a little time shooting a few promo shots with Paleface while they had some off stage downtime. With Paleface's new album "The Show Is On The Road" released, the press has picked up for the duo. With some of the articles, photos from the photoshoot we had with Paleface this past fall in downtown Concord have been published. The two links below will take you to stories from The Epoch times and The Charlotte Observer.

The Epoch Times
The Charlotte Observer

Paleface will be having a show here in Boone on June 4th at the Dragonfly. I hate I will be out of town for this show! Check out their Myspace Page for more info and to hear a little music. Don't miss the show!

May 24, 2009

Setting Sun

To keep our outdoor activity week going, my roomates and I headed out to the parkway to throw a little disc and catch the sunset, but not before stopping at Woodlands BBQ for dinner. When we sat down our server let us know that the daily special was a chicken plate with all you can eat pit cooked chicken for $5.25. We all went for it with the house sauce, a sweet and spicy mix. Woodlands serves some of the best BBQ and chicken I've ever had, if you're ever in the Blowing rock area check them out.
Out on the parkway we decided to hike the popular Rough Ridge trail (milepost 302.8), one we hadn't visited together since 3 years ago. The parkway is still fairly vacant this early in the summer which is a great time to hit the more popular hikes. The sunset was nice from the top of the ridge, although we weren't really facing west. I really like the perspective of the photo of Will I caught when I turned around to put the camera back in the pelican case. Now off to try and find a good spot to catch the sunrise.

May 22, 2009


Yesterday around noon Will and I loaded up the boats and headed for the Watauga River to do some paddling. Neither of us are by any means expert kayakers but we enjoy heading down some fun class II or maybe even class III- rapids. We put the boats in at the Watauga River Rd bridge just past downtown Valle Crucis, near the Dutch Creek Trails horse farm. We rode for nearly 4 hours with no complications, enjoying the amazing mountain scenery and the perfect weather, such as the photo with Will and the cows.
Then we went under the 321 bridge and neared the Snake Pit swimming hole. We could see some rapids ahead but they didn't look all that big...until we got really close. I tried to stop myself against a small rock long enough to zip my life vest all the way up and put on my helmet. While I wrestled with the life vest zipper before I knew it I was heading into the rapid, backwards. Awesome. I got myself turned around pretty quickly after the first small drop and then SPLASh! I got tossed over a bigger drop, flipping my boat over and forcing me to bail out. Then I proceeded to be thrown around by the violent water, around boulders and logs until I finally popped up at the bottom. Whew!!! I looked upstream to see my boat wedged between two rocks being pounded by water. Some other students who were out enjoying the sun on the rocks unwedged it and sent it downstream for me to catch.
When I got back in my boat after a little while to finish the run of river we passed a guy fishing, who soon explained that we I had gone down a class IV rapid known as "The Clog" Read the description in the link. Great. He told me that he has run the gorge section of the Watauga River as well as the Green Gorge, and he doesn't like to run that rapid. Well glad to say I survived unharmed and will be out to do some kayaking again soon, just this time smaller rapids, with my helmet on and hopefully facing downstream.

May 21, 2009

Lost Cove Waterfalls

LinkThese are from the same day as above out at the Lost Cove area of Pisgah National Forest. The top photo is an unnamed waterfall off of FS road 981. This was still early in the morning and standing in the brisk water trying to get my shotty little tripod to stay standing was a bit painful, but worthwhile. In the middle is Huntfish Falls. To get to Huntfish Falls take the 0.7 mile downhill trail 263 from FS road 464. This area is fairly crowded, especially on the weekends with campers and day-hikers, understandably so. The last shot is of a creek that flows down into the Huntfish Falls waterhole. I didn't really take any shots at North Harper Falls because we didn't go all the way to the bottom this time. Hopefully I'll be back that way soon, but earlier next time...

May 19, 2009

Lost Cove

Tate and I decided to explore part of the Lost Cove area of Pisgah National Forest today. Much to Tate's dismay I woke him up at 5am so we could get there in time for a few waterfall shots before the sun got up too high (will post those tomorrow, too tired to be happy with the editing of them now haha). First we spent a little time at Huntfish Falls until the sun quickly got above the ridge and I couldn't shoot any more waterfall shots for the day. We'll have to get up and leave a little earlier next time I guess.
After Huntfish we headed over to a part of the area I've never been to before today, North Harper Falls and the Little Lost Cove Cliffs. The trail begins at FS road 58 heading directly downhill along some slippery wet rocks, until you reach the magnificent N. Harper Falls (trail 266). We didn't climb all the way down the waterfall as you can't really climb directly down the rocks, you have to take the trail around. We instead got onto trail 239, which seemed to be an old logging road. This 1.3 miles of trail had some really nice forest that was fairly free of Rhododendron and had some large Oak and Maple trees. We headed up the Little Lost Cove trail 271A which leads up to an old apple orchard on top of the knoll. We were somewhat disappointed at the view from up top, but maybe we didn't search around enough off the main trail. We wrapped up the hike with a brief walk back up FS road 464 to FS 58, then lunch and a campfire on the creek. (All trail directions/numbers are based on US Forest Service Wilson Creek Area Trail Map)
The top photo is of the trees in the early morning golden light at Huntfish Falls. The bottom photo is of Tate crossing over a little bridge on Trail 239. It was the only bridge we saw on any of the trails all day, and looked like a hiker had spent a little time piecing together the branches it was made of. Check back tomorrow for waterfall photos and more info about the Lost Cove area.

May 18, 2009


Well the blog posts have been lacking lately I know, its been a busy week and a half with graduation (more on that later this week) and camping out with a few friends. I'm also working on a story for High Country Magazine's June issue. I spent the afternoon paddling across part of Watauga Lake in my kayak. Watauga Lake is man-made, constructed by the Tennessee Valley Authority in the 1940's. The Watauga Dam generates hydropower, using water from the Watauga and Elk rivers. With all of the recent rainfall, the lake is at its highest level since 2006. It is rather humbling to be floating around in a 5 ft river kayak on a 6,430 acre, 265 ft deep lake.

May 07, 2009

Z.S. Thomas

For the past few days I've been working away on some commissioned work for a nice fella named Seth Thomas. Seth is a fellow graduating senior up here at Appalachian State in Boone, N.C. For his senior project as a design major, Seth designed a guitar in CAD and then constructed it. The guitar is absolutely beautiful, as I hope the photos do it justice. Seth is now going to pursue guitar making as a career, starting a company called Z.S. Thomas, hand-crafted electric guitars. Check out his website link here and be fortunate enough to own one of his finely made guitars.

May 04, 2009

Tweeeet Tweet!

One of the ways I know summer is finally here is when I hear that whistle whine from over the mountain. The whistle I'm talking about is from the old Engine #12 of Tweetsie Railroad between Boone and Blowing Rock. The steam engine was originally run on the East Tennesee and Western North Carolina Railroad, running from Johnson, Tn to Boone, NC. It began operation in 1866, hauling iron ore as well as passengers. In 1940 a large flood wiped out much of the ET & WNC railroad tracks, and considering money was still owed on the railroad they were never replaced. The engine #12 that was in operation at the time was built in 1917, by Baldwin Locomotive Works. It is the last of the 15 coal-fired steam engines that were run on the ET & WNC railroad. It was sold to a group of collectors, then to Gene Autry. Later real estate developer Grover Robbins bought the engine and built Tweetsie Railroad amusement park. Tweetsie gets its name from the high pitched shrill the engine's whistle gives. To learn more about the park and the Tweetsie history, visit the Tweetsie Railroad website. The photos were taken as my first assignment ever for The Appalachian newspaper. It is probably my favorite story I had the chance to shoot.

May 01, 2009

MerleFest 09 (Part 2)

We also had the opportunity to take a few quick shots of The Greencards between their two Saturday sets. The progressive bluegrass trio is composed of Englishman Eamon McLoughlin, and Australians Kym Warner and Carol Young. They originally began playing together in Austin, Texas and have since relocated to Nashville, Tn. Adam and I first saw the Greencards in concert nearly four years ago (at one of the best shows I've ever seen) when they opened for Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan in Greensboro NC. To learn more about them or pick up an album of their fine pickin', visit the Greencards' Website. To see the rest of the photos from the shoot, see the Greencards set on our Flickr page.

April 30, 2009

Merlefest 09 (part 1)

This past weekend Adam and I had the luxury of going to Merlefest with photo passes to see (and of course photograph) lots of amazing musicians. We did two shoots off the stage, David Holt and the Greencards. The photo above is from the David Holt shoot. David was kind enough to come straight from playing a set to hang out for a few photos. David explained to me how when he was in his early twenties he moved from California to Asheville, NC to learn how to play music and utilize his teaching degree. Forty years later as Holt was picking on stage with Doc Watson at Merlefest, it is clear he made the right move. David couldn't have been kinder or more of a joy to work with, even being willing to go along with our crazy idea of shooting while standing in the creek. To see the rest of the photo set, check out the Flickr Page.

April 22, 2009

Acorn Hat

Yesterday when I read the forecast I wasn't convinced that it would really flurry overnight, it felt too warm outside. Last night when my roomate told me it had been flurrying and I went outside to see the stars shining, I thought yeah, right... Well good morning snow! As much as I thought it wasn't going to snow I was hoping it would and am glad it did. I'm assuming this will be the last one of the season, but who knows in these mountains. Sweet acorn hat Frosty is rockin' eh?