Rescued and rehabilitated, feathered symbol of America

This little guy was laying unresponsive from poisoning in a local landfill, but fortunately for the 7-month-old bald eagle, landfill workers discovered him and rescued him. He was treated by a team of veterinarians and wildlife rehabilitators for a full a recovery, allowing the folks of the Wildlife Center of Virginia to release him back into the wild less than two weeks after he was found.

The release was open to the public and a crowd of about 75 showed up to hear about the history of the bald eagle in the United States, the conservation efforts to bring them back after their severe decline, and of course, to see this symbol of America be released back into the world. Seeing this powerful and large bird of prey up-close was pretty magnificent, and the release was quite dramatic and moving. Ohhhs and ahhhs and gasps came from the crowd as the bird was thrust into the air, finally able to spread it's huge wings to fly away and over the trees.

Portrait of the new Jax E.D. for The Roanoke Times

I got a call to take a super quick assignment for The Roanoke Times this week to photograph the new, incoming executive director of the Jacksonville Center for the Arts in Floyd. For the last decade, Jeff Liverman has been the executive director of the Danville Science Center, a division of the Science Museum of Virginia. Originally coming from Richmond, Jeff has a background squarely in science with both a BS and MS in Physics. I figured I'd use the opportunity to try a nice one-light portrait, but once I got on-site, setting up the gear was a no-go and time was extremely limited. When I asked him which part of the facility he liked the most so far, he mentioned the pottery studio and metal smith studio because those are places where you can really form and create things with your hands--physics of another form I suppose. So we headed around the back of the main part of the building into the pottery studio, where the sun was spilling through two single windows onto the pottery wheels and light concrete floors and bouncing light back into the room. Seeing a stool in front of a chalk board and not having too much time, I went with it. You can read the Q&A with Jeff in The Roanoke Times here: Connecting with community’s ‘creative culture’Jeff Liverman for The Roanoke Times

Fashion & Film Short

We took a flying leap into the realm of video recently by creating a short film to submit to Charleston Fashion Week's first annual Fashion + Film contest, and we're happy to announce our piece was selected as one of the winners! It was a ton of fun to make, was a great learning experience, and will hopefully lead us to doing more video work in the future. Thanks to David Verde and Kaili Crumpacker for being awesome and being good sports about standing out in the cold without coats as we tried to make it look like not-winter. Thanks also to Jessica O'Connor for lending a hand on one of our shooting days.

So here it is, enjoy!

The Black Twig Pickers

Way back in 2012, December to be exact, we photographed The Black Twig Pickers for their latest album release, Rough Carpenters, on Thrill Jockey Records. We'd been trying to get together for this shoot for a while, and finally, after playing a local show on a freezing Saturday night, we dragged them outside with no coats on. They were up for anything--which was pretty amazing since they had just played for several hours and it was after midnight--and they kept warm by continuing to showcase their energetic talents out on the sidewalk. Fully expecting our group (of under-dressed musicians, photographer on a stool, guy holding a 5-ft octa box and friend holding a tree branch out of the way) to be gawked or yelled at, passers-by and drunk college students instead stopped to listen with genuine appreciation of their music, nodding, clapping and dancing along. The whole night was a ton of fun, even though the shoot itself was quite a whirlwind.

If you haven't heard The Black Twig Pickers, definitely check them out. They serve up a boisterous and energetic collection of old-time music that will get you up and moving and listening to their albums over and over again.

Here are some others we took that evening--including a couple taken during their show and in the beer shop next door.

Ian the bagpiper

While on assignment for the Roanoke Times to cover the Radford Highlanders Festival on Saturday, David and I thought we'd take a strobe along and grab some portraits of folks donning their Scottish garb and perhaps of some of the athletes participating in the Scottish games. We ran into several members of various pipe and drum groups who were happy to pose with their instruments and even play some for us, including this young lad, Ian. Read the story that ran in Sunday's edition of the Roanoke Times and see some more of the photos there too.

Rediscovering analog

We recently had an urge to add analog/film cameras back into our workflow, to get us thinking differently about photography and also just to have more tools in our toolbox. Our past experience with film has mostly been with 35mm, which feels very similar to current digital cameras. So to change things up a bit we jumped into two platforms we have much less experience with and picked up a Century Graphic 2.25"x3.25" view camera (with 120 roll film adapter), and a Polaroid Model 100 Land Camera (using Fuji Film instant film). These cameras both feel so different from a DSLR, making you slow down and approach photography from another angle. Here are a couple images off the first roll/pack for each, be on the lookout for us to use them in upcoming work.