Charley’s Lambs

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Some of the ewes at the farm had twins and that means a few extra lambs that were not getting fed by their mothers. That’s where a team of workers stepped in with their giant bottles of milk and hand fed them until they were old enough to eat on their own. As you can see, Charley has taken to a few of them. Or is it the other way around? Either way, there is plenty of affection going around.

It’s the first time that I’ve seen lambs act like dogs.

Here are more images of sheep to get you through the weekend.

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Joshua Thomas McMurdo

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Josh recently surprised me with a week visit. You can safely bet that I was out of my mind with excitement. He and I share the passion of photography and we spent the week shooting all over southern Ohio and parts of Kentucky. Here he is ready to roll before one of our daily adventures. Yeah, I think I’ll claim him.

The New Mustache and the Agony of the Selfie

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It’s been a while since you’ve had a good look at me and I’ve grown a mustache since I created my last self portrait. Sounds like a good enough reason to set up the tripod and take a selfie.

I’m not one to take a lot of portraits of myself. It’s hard. There are the technical issues of setting up the gear and using a light stand as fill in so that I can set the focus and the exposure manually. The need to stand in the right spot and make adjustments until I am happy with the results. Then come the truly difficult parts of creating a self portrait. How do you stand, what kind of expression do you wear. How do I avoid looking like an idiot and make my personality come through? What should I do with my arms? What should I wear?

Twenty or so shots later, I have the image you see above and I am fairly happy with the results. And then the t-shirt begins to bug me. It pops out and draws my eye. It’s stark white in a portrait that is made up of gorgeous greys and charcoals. The eyes are not quite sharp enough. Did I say the t-shirt bothered me?

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Change out of the t-shirt, get dressed again. Re-check the gear Try to remember where I was standing, make adjustments. Try to not look like an idiot again and you can see the results above. Not as much personality, but by this time, I am tired and want to move on.

What do you think? Does the t-shirt bother you in the first image? Are the images too dark? I never question my judgement when I am creating portraits of others. Which is the keeper? Is the mustache a keeper?

This is one of the few times that I open my work up to your suggestions. Let me know what you think.

 

Helton Creek Falls

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Just north of Walasi-Yi at the bottom of Blood Mountain, flows Helton Creek. Following a gravel road filled with ruts and rivulets leads to Helton Creek Falls. I’ve been to the falls on a handful of occasions, but only in mid summer. During the warm season, the creek is well behaved and though great to visit, the falls themselves are not awe inspiring. However, during my visit in December, the rain was relentless for several days before the sun came out.

With the sun cooperating, Josh and I drove over the blood to see the the water and hike a little on the Appalachian Trail. As you can see, the upper falls were spectacular. The water flew over the top and thundered into the pool at the bottom. Josh pointed out the sun caught in the mist and we both started shooting.

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Just as wonderful were the lower falls. While the upper falls are vertical, the lower falls have a shallower slope. However, they were just as amazing as they roared by. We had better access to the lower falls and I could feel the strength of the water as it flowed by.

I’m glad we had the day together.Getting out with our cameras is always something that we both enjoy. Downtown, in the mountains, or in the forest, we always manage to have a great time.

Walasi-Yi

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In northern Georgia, at the top of Blood Mountain is one of the most wonderful views you will see in the area. The mountain is crowned by Walasi-Yi (pronounced Wa La See Yee and means The Big Frog), a small interpretive center and hiking supply store. It’s the only location along the AppalachianTrail  that passes under a roof. The area is also known as Neels gap (originally named Frog Town) and is just thirty miles or so from the beginning of the trail.

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Located in front of the store, is a massive oak with dozens of boots hanging from its branches. When I look at them, I wonder about the stories they could tell of the many thousands of miles they have seen along the trail. Some look almost new while others are patched with duct tape and are barely holding together.

If you’ve ever hiked the AT, let us know in the comments.