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 Tracing

Carriage Hill Farm-2015--1037

Do you remember tracing pictures onto paper when you were a kid? I would take the original and lay a fresh sheet of paper over it and then run to the window. The brightly lit glass was the closest thing I had too a light box. Pencil in hand, I would outline the drawing until I had a near perfect copy. That’s when the crayons came into play. On the table, I would fill in the tracing with color until I was sure I had yet another masterpiece on my hands. That’s when my finished art work would go to the refrigerator to be held in place by a banana magnet…the sure sign of success.

Seeing Jen tracing a drawing using the very same method brought back a lot of wonderful memories for me. Thanks Jen.

Have a wonderful Sunday, folks!

Carriage Hill Farm-2015--1041-P

all about Gabe



That there handsome face belongs to our friend Gabe. The man is one of those people that put you immediately at ease when you first meet. Here are some interesting facts about Gabe, the Man, the Myth, and the Legend:


  • He is so cool that beer mugs become frosted the moment he sits at the table.
  • Queen Elizabeth once offered to knight him because she liked the cut of his cod piece.
  • He once broke up three marriages simply by jogging through the neighborhood without his shirt on.
  • The Most Interesting Man on Earth bows down to Gabe and utters the words "I am not worthy" when in Gabe's presence. 
  • He is so kind that Sister Theresa looked up to him.
  • Gabe is so smart that Google comes to him when they get stumped. 
  • Gabe is so masculine that Clint Eastwood once whined that Gabe was making him look bad.
  • Cat's secretly wish they could be as cool as Gabe.


If you know Gabe, leave a couple of your favorite Gabe facts in the comments.


t gets a tat

Friday night, my sister-in-law got a tattoo. This is her second and the occasion was my first trip to a tattoo parlor.




To her, it was no big deal. She just sat back and relaxed while the artist buzzed away with her needles and ink. What better than to kick back in your favorite kicks? T's biggest worry? "Don't take a picture that shows my bra strap!"


Kicking Chuck Conners


What you can't see, because of the skin irritation is that the tatoo is a gradient of 5 colors from red at the bottom to yellow at the top.


DMB Flame Dancer Tat


If you recognize the tattoo, tell me what it is in the comments.

Happy Saturday.


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.