Monday, June 30, 2014

Summer Is Here!

After a busy winter and spring, I started off the month with my first early morning session of 2014.

Feeling recharged, I got back to work on last month's weddings. I worked non-stop the rest of the week and started to pack for a weekend camping trip on the Outer Banks. I took my nephew with me and we met up with a good friend of mine and his son. 

On the first day the wind was blowing onshore so there wasn't much to ride except the shore break. The kids took advantage of that and I fired a few frames from the comfort of a beach chair.

 After a full day on the beach, we headed back to the campsite for dinner and hoped the winds would switch offshore like they were forecast to.

We woke up early the next morning to find a light offshore wind and a clean, knee to stomach high wave in the water. Not wasting any time, we packed up our stuff and drove back out on the beach. My buddy worked with his son on surfing, my nephew played on his bodyboard, and I spent an hour picking off anything I could ride.

My nephew asked me if I'd teach him how to surf. The conditions were perfect for learning so it was time for his first surf lesson. He picked up sitting on the board with no problem and we worked on a few of the fundamentals. The hardest thing was getting the "pop-up" right. It takes a little time but he was able to get to his knees a few times. With a little more practice he should catch on.

After a fun weekend it was time to get back to editing for the rest of the week. 

The following weekend I was in Doswell, VA to photograph the Tough Mudder race. I was contracted to shoot the race as part of GameFace Media's photography team. GameFace is the nation's top provider of free race images. Nearly 12,000 people ran the 10 mile obstacle race that weekend. I was stationed at the Warrior Carry for those two days. It was a long weekend of shooting out in the sun but I really enjoy shooting action and GameFace is a great company to work for. I shoot to their cards, so I don't have race images to show but I did take a selfie with my GoPro.

I delivered the last of May's wedding packages and prepared for my first wedding in June. Back in April I had an engagement session with Katie and Donnie and now their big day was finally here...the first day of summer!

Katie and Donnie's wedding was at the Chestnut Hill Bed and Breakfast in Orange, VA. Orange is about halfway between Charlottesville and Culpeper. The day started out with a few sprinkles here and there but nothing major. Later in the afternoon we managed to sneak in their first look.

Shortly after the first look, there were rumbles of thunder and the sky was getting dark. The rumbles became more frequent and it started to drizzle so we headed inside to check on the weather. There was a single, slow-moving thunderstorm heading directly for Orange. The ceremony wasn't supposed to start for another hour and a half so everyone waited it out. A lot of brides would be freaking out at this point, but not Katie. It is always amazing to work with such easy-going couples like Katie and Donnie!

The thunderstorm fell apart as it approached but there was still an on and off drizzle. About twenty minutes before the ceremony, the sky cleared up and the sun came out. The last few drops of rain ended (you can see a few rain drops still coming down in the photo below) and the ceremony started right on time. 

When the ceremony ended, the clouds moved back in but the rain held off for the rest of the evening.

It turned out to be a beautiful night and it was a great setting for an intimate reception with their family and friends.

Katie and Donnie made the walk through the garden from the reception tent and back to the house at Chestnut Hill. I headed back into the tent to pack my gear. As I closed my camera bag the sky opened up and it started to pour. It stopped raining just before the ceremony and held off until just after the reception ended. You couldn't ask for better timing!

I really didn't have any free time since the start of the month so I decided to pick up in the middle of the week and headed down the Outer Banks for two days. There was a moderate onshore wind, so I wasn't able to surf, but it was a gorgeous day on the beach and I took my GoPro 3+ out in the water to play around in the impact zone.

Late that afternoon I grabbed a campsite. Before I made camp, I decided to set up
my GoPro Hero 2 to shoot a time lapse of the passing afternoon clouds. I set it on the roof of my truck, under my board, and planned to let it take a photo every two seconds until the sun set. About an hour and a half later, I got everything ready to make dinner. 

Then I realized I didn't have enough charcoal. No problem, I'd just go across the street to the fishing center and get a bag. So I hopped in the truck and did just that. 

As I was leaving the fishing center with the charcoal, it hit me...I left the GoPro on the roof! I stopped and looked. It wasn't there. Further down the road I saw the waterproof housing lying in the intersection. The housing was there but the camera wasn't in it. A few feet away, face down, I saw the mangled piece of plastic that was the Hero 2. It must have popped out of the housing when it hit the asphalt.

The camera was destroyed but all of the images on the card were fine. Here were a few of its last moments as I drove off. It slid across the roof and shot one last frame before it hit the ground. The camera was run over by a vehicle behind me:

In the future, I will make sure to tether the camera so this doesn't happen again. The next day it was back home to edit for the rest of the week and get ready for my next wedding.

This past Saturday, Keith and Suzy were married in Virginia Beach. The ceremony site was on the beach right smack dab between 4th and 5th streets. This is a very busy part of the beach and tourist season was in full swing.

Earlier in the day I mentioned to Suzy that, in most cases, it would be pretty easy to remove beach-goers from the photos. She said, "No, I think it would be hilarious to have people walking around or laying out in the background while the ceremony is going on." 

Keith and Suzy have a great sense of humor and were really fun to work with. So keeping with that sense of humor, when I was shooting the dress, I noticed a warning sticker on the balcony's sliding glass door and I couldn't resist.

In the next two photos, although this is a really busy part of the beach, you really don't notice any people but wait until you get to the third shot...

They had a mini-beach ball send-off as they went down the aisle! 

We did some fun shots at a couple of the landmarks along the oceanfront and we did a few serious ones too. In the photo above, we are at the intersection of Laskin Rd. and Atlantic Ave. There were a lot of people waiting to cross the street on both sides. As we waited for the crosswalk signal, I was hoping the crowd of beach goers would end up crossing all around them. We ran out in the middle of the crosswalk to shoot and everyone stopped even though I kept telling them, "It's okay, we want you to walk through the shot." It was very courteous of everyone and the shot still works.

Around sunset we did a couple more serious shots while the guests were served the wedding cake. Suzy and Keith wanted to do one last fun shot and then we needed to get back inside. I was pacing around the dock brainstorming. Get them on the back of a boat? No, hopping on a stranger's boat isn't a good thing to do. Then it hit me, "Well," I stopped because I didn't want either of them ending up in the water. Suzy pressed me a little and then I told her I thought it would be funny to make it look like she was pushing Keith into the water. So we worked it out in a way everyone stayed dry...

You can't tell now, because I took it out in post production, but about a foot and a half below Keith was the dock and Suzy was on a slightly elevated portion of another walkway.

Then it was back inside The Water Table on Rudee Inlet so they could enjoy the rest of their reception.

It was another fantastic month working with great people and it was nice to have an opportunity to start enjoying the summer. See you next month!

1 comment:

  1. Always amazed at your photographic talent Brian! Keep up the good work!