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Bourbon’s Warm Glow

So here I sit this morning waiting for a weekend photography workshop up in the Smokies to be cancelled as it, of course, will be because it is most apparent that no last minute sweeping deal with instant results for park reopening. It’s enough to drive one to drink.

And that brings us to my favorite southern solace. Can’t say as I am still a southern boy (if I ever was one) but the warm glow of straight bourbon has its enduring appeal. That called for a stop at a fine Kentucky distillery a couple weeks ago when on our way to Ohio.

And now I am sitting here with Dee encouraging me to send out this image of expectant bottles all ready to be filled. Dee asks me if our drop dead time of noon has produced a cancellation announcement yet. Nope – but wait I have email! Our workshop is on. It seems “local authorities have pulled together to fund the reopening of Great Smoky Mountain National Park through this weekend.”

Good enough. And now we can enjoy another reason to indulge that warm glow.

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Anticipation

 

Early morning in Charleston–gallery windows.  Was this the Orient Express?  Was she waiting for you?

 

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IR Time

It’s a scene I have shown a couple ways so now let’s change the tempo. We’ll do this nice walk of Charleston style urban seclusion in infrared. Changes the story. The image now sings a different song if you will.

And why do this scene this way? Some would say, “Well I have a vision.” I say, “Because I must. Can’t leave well enough alone. Got to experiment. Got to find out.”

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Our Buddy

I had to make a quick run to Florida this past week. Could have rocketed down, attended to my business and rocketed right back to Charleston. That’s no fun as in really no fun. So I recruited a shooting partner to go back to Kanapaha Botanical Gardens to spend a morning wandering and shooting. Glad I did as it was Steve who saw this shot of a Gecko buddy. They are all over the place in the South but not often do they offer up compelling images. So thanks go to my various buddies.

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Our fundamental approach to these Post Cards is a realization that the world around us is fundamentally more interesting than we are. This approach is obviously flawed because we only show what interests us. At least you folks get no shots of us in front of some random ice cream shop or, worse yet, by some random piling. That said  here goes . . . us. Rub A Dub Dub. Three old timers in a yellow tub.

And there’s a story behind all this. Last year on Labor Day Sunday we went up to the Olympic whitewater course in Tennessee to see what was coming down the course. It was a day for thrills and lots of spills. Clay brought his crew through Humongous and Godzilla sets on the course with apparent ease. At lunch we got to hang out with him and his crew. Locals, who come out regularly to see who gets pilled, told us his company was good and Clay was really good. That was enough for us, let’s do it next year.

And so we did. Signed up and ran the Upper and Middle Ocoee this year, a total of 10 miles. Ran the upper section, the Olympic course, stopped for lunch and then swept on down. The run has multiple Class 3 and Class 4 rapids with interesting and intimidating names like the Washing Machine, the Roach Motel (as in you go in & don’t come out) and Table Saw. Running with Clay was great. We were never threatened. He made sure we got plenty wet. Oh yes, certainly in no part because we had two 13 year girl first timers. He would take us back into rapids, jamb us there and hold us almost going over, totally swamped and then off we would go.

As Clay was senior guide for Quest Expeditions, we often went first and then would hang out off to the side making sure everyone came down safely. Taking a break to watch others run rapids was a bonus. And I am here to tell you that, even with uncoordinated giggly girls, being in a raft with a good crew makes all the difference. Some crews looked a bit like a drunk spider.

Wet and wild. Great fun.

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