The Experience of Joy


Sometimes it is possible to experience another person’s joy just by seeing them doing something that they love. A sort of happiness by proxy. When Mary dances, I often wonder what is in her head. But, I don’t want to dwell on the thought for fear of losing that sensation of enjoyment of the moment.

We Had a Ball

New Years ball 2015-3850

Last year was the first in a number of years, that I was not able to shoot the New Year’s Eve Grand Ball, held in South Charleston, OH. The ball raises money to preserve the local opera house as well as a number of other local landmarks. You can imagine how excited I became when I found that I could make it to the ball this year.

New Years ball 2015-3890

This is a stunning event. Live music, gorgeous dresses and uniforms, wonderful ball room, and more. For a photographer, the event is also a real challenge. The lighting is dim and the dancing means plenty of motion. Bring your fastest gear because you will need it. I struggle with the low light. Most of the night, I shot with an 85mm prime set around f1.7, ISO 1600 and speeds in the 1/30 – 1/80th of a second. Unfortunately, my camera body can’t create usable images at higher ISOs.

New Years ball 2015-3899

Want to see the rest of the pictures from the ball?
I thought you might, so I created a Flickr album. You can find it here.

the big ball – 2013

The Waltz King of South Charleston


New Year's Eve means the big charity ball in South Charleston, Ohio. Every year, a Civil War period ball is held to benefit the South Charleston Opera House.

I've shot the ball a few times and every time, I struggle to take good images. The light is low and there is a lot of motion. Still, it is beautiful to see and one of my favorite events of the year. Those of you with very good eyes might notice that my good friend Debbie is playing in the band. That woman has skilz!

You can see the entire set of photos at this link.


old dogs

For Posterity

Jodi (not pictured) and her troupe danced for the veterans in Dayton to help celebrate the Memorial Day holiday. There were several WW2 veterans in the audience and they all had a great time. There was a lot of smiling and winking going on. It seems that these 80 something "kids" have not changed at all over the years. A pretty girl is a pretty girl as far as they are concerned. Cameras in hand, they recorded the entire event.




dance interrupted


In keeping with Jodi's full dance season, she had a performance on Saturday night. Unfortunately, in the middle of the performance, the sprinklers came on and soaked the audience. The lawn seating cleared in an instant.


The Sprinklers Cleared the Audience Out

Not to be deterred, the troup simply moved to the parking lot where the audience gathered around and watched the girls finish dancing. When you are a photographer and a dance hsuband, you never know what you will see. Life is certainly interesting and full of surprises.


waiting in the wings

Waiting in the Wings


Do you think you can handle one more dance recital photo? This one is a crop from a much larger image. However, I fell in love with the light and decided to see what I could do with it. Before processing, the image had reall noise issues and was very dark. First task was to re-size the photo and tackle some basic spot healing and cloning to remove a few odds and ends. Next came curves adjustments. I also used some selective sharpening, blurring, and dodging to bring the image to where it is now.

I kind of like the resulting impressionistic feel of the final image.


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