Monthly Archives: April 2008

Celebrating 25 Years of Marriage

On April 19, 2008 Lynda and Lee Knox celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.  This was a joyous gathering full of family, friends and special memories.  A lot of us get excited when we see a couple getting married but for me seeing a couple celebrate 25 years is even more exciting.  It becomes even more special when you see the two of them still in love and looking forward to 25 more years.  It was an honor to have the opportunity to capture these memories and I thank them for trusting me with this once in a lifetime celebration.  Below you will find a short video clip from their DVD and a few photographs.  












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Duke University’s Bon Appetit “Eat Low Carbon” Day

On April 22, 2008 the Bon Appetit cafeteria at Duke University observed “Eat Low Carbon” Day.

Low Carbon day brings attention to how our handling of different foods can contribute to global warming. This could be a result of unused food being discarded in landfills or it could be directly related to how much fuel is burned to transport food to various locations. “Did you know, the food system is responsible for 1/3 of global greenhouse emissions? With every meal you eat, you have the power to reduce climate change.” (quote from

The goal of this photoshoot was to capture the food, surroundings, students and staff members as they were educated on how our everyday choices can impact greenhouse emissions.

(Below is one of several large posters that greeted students as they walked into the cafeteria)


(This apple display caught my eye as I walked past the signs)








In the full gallery there are more pictures of the various foods that were served.

Below you will find a few captures of the students and staff members.




(This lady was just as sweet as could be. She was very easy going and enjoyed having her picture captured. She shared with me that she wanted a few photos so that her grand babies could get to see where she works. When I dropped the DVDs off with the director I also brought along some 4 x 6 prints for this woman. The director jokingly said that I was about to start a ruckus with the rest of the employees lol.)


This group picture came as a surprise for me because it was a spur of the moment request. As I was capturing photographs of food and people the director asked me to capture a group photo. Normally I request 30 minutes before a group photo to get the lights setup and metered. However, they were only giving me 5 minutes to get setup. To add to the challenge I only had one studio light and a large umbrella to work with but in the end we got the shot.


(Below is a slideshow that I created for directors over at Duke)


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Paper Thin

When a person thinks of toilet paper the last thing that comes to their mind is art. The purpose of my liquid vision series is to photograph common objects in an interesting way. Therefore, I guess that you could call this “Bringing Sexy Back” for toilet paper.




The Photography of Christian Watkins – Age 9

NOTE: In the pictures below there are some that I took to help tell the story which are followed by Christian’s picture from that scene.

Read slow so that you can distinguish which pictures were captured by Christian.

It is not a secret that I love photography. The more I learn the more I realize what I don’t know. One thing that I love more than me doing it is to teach my children about it. For right now I’ve taken my youngest son Christian under my wing and I’ve been sharing with him what I’ve learned. For the past 1.5 months I’ve really been drilling Christian on aperture fstops, shutter speeds and ISO sensitivity, the color of light, depth of field, composition as well as using creative angles.

Today I planned a project for him that would stretch his imagination and force him to think in a creative manner. I took out my Mole Richardson 750 watt spot light and I gave him the task of photographing his drum set and his brother’s guitar. Here is the catch. He has to use his camera in 100% manual mode. Also, he couldn’t use normal angles and he had to produce an image that was unlike anything that we would see from a normal vantage point. To get him thinking outside the box I had him close one eye and simply move around and look at objects at various heights, angles and distances. By using the one eye approach he was able to see how shapes and visual relationships can be exploited and manipulated to create a visually interesting photograph.

In a nutshell, the most strict requirement was that he have fun and that the photographs be captured with artistic vision. As his 9 year old mind starting churning I ran to grab my other camera so that I could capture him with his thinking cap on. So here we go…

Drums first.

Here is an angle showing the spot light illuminating the drums and if you look close enough you can see Christian behind the drum set trying to setup his shot.


Below is another shot looking over Christian’s shoulder to try to anticipate what he’s trying to do.


Here is the photo that Christian captured with the Sony A100 and to spice it up a bit he turned on the flash to add some blue highlights to the chrome. I was very impressed when I saw this shot but it gets better!


The next task for Christian was to capture his brother’s guitar. We put the guitar on the stand and he went to work.





Here comes one of my favorite photographs from his entire series.

He plopped down on the floor. He placed the guitar on his snare drum ……..


And here it is.

A very sweet shot captured. If he can visualize this at age 9 I can’t imagine what he will be capable of if he sticks with this until he’s a grown man.


When everything was said and done he had given me what I was looking for which was his creativity. Right now I’m a proud papa because he did it all by himself. He had to work the camera in “M”anual mode, figure out white balance, shutter speed, aperture, ISO, depth of field, as well think about how to achieve the picture that he saw in his mind.

What I’m trying to provide him with is a base from which he can build upon. He needs to know that it’s okay to think outside the box because the world is a much more visually interesting place when we look at it from severely altered points of view.

As you can imagine, Christian now has his own set of pictures printed with his name on them and for historical purposes we have another copy in our family photo album for generations to enjoy.