The Undocumented Legend of the Chair Wars

June 03, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Many, many years ago,...

Before people, before animals, before life as we know it, Chairs were the primary species of this great planet. They lived open and free. There weren't any need for possessions or fuel for energy. They just existed, and they were happy with their lives, until...

One Chair stepped out and proclaimed their craving of purpose. It wanted to have a meaning in its life rather than the typical day to day roaming about without a care in the world. As much as the other Chairs tried to keep it quiet, the more pronounced the Chair became. Soon, there were other followers, buying into the idea of purpose. Those that were interested in a change were curious of exactly what purpose they could have. How could their lives have meaning and purpose.

The conflict that began, between the Chairs, began small, but escalated over years. As their feud continued, people began populating the planet. The Chairs that wanted meaning in their lives began fulfilling the purpose of aiding humans with a resting place; allowing the humans to pin them down while they relaxed. The opposing Chairs saw this as an insult. The constant argument between the two factions of Chairs quickly led to the Chair Wars. 

The Chair Wars ended almost as quickly as they began, leaving many so battered and broken that their only purpose was to be discarded at nearby Chair cemeteries, usually marked by a tall standing structure or a mound of dirt. The purposefully-driven Chairs won the war, and today, many humans use them daily. Most of the fallen Chairs have broken away and decayed into new earth, but there are a few, like this one pictured above, that remain as a testament to a war that really didn't serve any purpose. It was kind of ironic, in the end. :)

Seriously, this photo shows the garbage that was left behind by a business that failed. Most everything was stuffed into this old barn, save a few items used by those that have found it. The barn is structurally failing now, and it won't be long before it falls and becomes one huge pile of of forgotten items that once, long ago, had a purpose. 

I hope you enjoyed the trip through my imagination, sparked by this one picture.

Have a great day!

Everything Encompassing

June 02, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

A beautiful setting while seated in a tree stand. The month is October and the leaves had only started changing. The temperature was still tolerably warm, and the mosquitoes were thick. The farm field was full of soy beans, however far from harvesting. Sounds in the area were filled with song birds which were often left unheard over the song of the sandhill cranes and geese as they prepared for a migration. Occasionally, a gunshot could be heard from the neighboring properties, but all-in-all, this was an awesome evening. To top it off, the view was phenomenal as the sun set; its beams illuminating the leaves of nearby plantlife, streaming through the branches and touching the earth for the final few moments of that day. Yes! This is exactly where I wanted to be at this specific time.

Photography has grown to be a huge part of everything I do. It's no longer a hobby that I set some time aside for each day. Instead, I carry my camera from location to location and attempt to capture some part of the event I am participating in. Through these pictures, I am taken back to these places. Every element that was experienced from sight to sound to smells to feelings are remembered in such a vivid manner that I imagine I am there, right now, in that place. Like a song can take a person back to a time in their youth, triggering memories long forgotten only to realize that the block was temporary, these photos will always take me back. 

Today, the day I took this photo, I was sitting in a tree stand alongside a bean field, waiting for an elusive whitetail deer to make a presence. Whether it was nearby or far away, I am thankful for any encounter I can witness. The beans are a great lure, no matter the frustration of the farmer that put them there. On this particular day, in October of 2014, I did not see any deer, but I did get to enjoy the sounds, the weather, the smells of this evening,...and yes, this delightful sight. Because I took this one picture that night, my memory is triggered, and I am there, right now, able to explain the entire setting to you.


Have a great day!!

Carousel of Wonder

July 27, 2015  •  Leave a Comment


     Want to see something neat? Have you already seen it? This carousel sits on the edge of the Detroit River on a walkway that borders it: The Detroit River Walk. I've spoken of the circumstances of why I was there before, but to reiterate,... I was provided an opportunity to hang out with a couple of professional photographers for a workshop that featured the exploration of some really cool places in Detroit Michigan. The professional photographers are Olympus Trailblazers Jamie MacDonald and Mike Boening. Mike is from the Detroit area, so he knew some really cool places to hang out and get some awesome photo opportunities and work on fine tuning the use of our cameras.


     The part of the river walk we were in housed some really great pieces to photograph. Not only was there the river, which was covered in fog, but there were man-made water features, a big top tent that covered an eating area, and people fishing from the dock. Occasionally runners would come through, and they made great photos as well. Included in the features of the river walk was this carousel. 


     The carousel was interesting to me because of the unique riding pieces attached to it. They seemed mystical, and nearly magical. A frog, a mermaid, a bird, etc.; all something to look at and capture for everyone to enjoy. Along the edge of the carousel was one of the water features. A crystal clear pool of water and a step for the water to fall down. I wasn't quite able to capture the waterfall to my liking, but the reflection of the carousel across the pool made the opportunity achievable. The cool fog that was beginning to extend from the water to the river walk completed the scene. 


     A great fog, an awesome carousel, and a reflecting pond made this photo something I will reflect on for years. Add that to the great photographers I got to spend the day with, and that makes for an even greater experience in the city of Detroit, Michigan. Thank you.


July 24, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

     This image is intriguing to me. I actually edited the color version to this black and white, high contrast photo. The Jackson Michigan Hot Air Jubilee is still a recent topic for me as many photos were taken and memories were made. From this picture, I cannot tell which balloon it was, but to be honest, they all rocked out the event and put on a splendid show for everyone in attendance. 


     The photo was captured as the sun was setting and the pilots were preparing for the night glow. This is when all of the balloons are inflated to a standing position. Then, as influenced by a DJ or by music, the pilots blast bright flames into the balloon to illuminate everything through its envelopes. Imagine 30 balloons sitting in an open field in the dark, and as the music plays, they shoot yellowish flames into the balloon to the beat. It's quite a spectacle to behold, and really makes it a lot of fun for everyone watching. 


     Each balloon is anchored to a vehicle just in case a gust of wind or an itchy trigger finger on the propane blaster wants to take the balloon in a direction that wasn't intended. This balloon was anchored to a large pickup truck. The seams on the balloon reflected off the windshield and even onto the hood of the vehicle. The lines were what caught my attention as I stared at them, trying to match them up to the seam of the balloon. Off to the left of this balloon is another balloon that is being inflated. I don't know, but this picture stuck out at me, and has me staring at it still.


     By the way, I was at this event with my son, and had handed him one of my cameras to photograph anything that was interesting to him. I want to encourage him to do what he wants with his life, but while we are hanging out, I really want to make memories with him. This was an impressive photo captured by the camera I had let him use, and therefore, he has caught an image that is keeping my attention thoroughly. This photo was taken by David IV while spending time with me at the 2015 Jackson Michigan Hot Air Jubilee.

An Eventful Event

July 21, 2015  •  Leave a Comment


The Jackson Michigan Hot Air Jubilee is an event that is a must for the community. Laid-back, interactive, and entertaining events are going on all weekend long during this event, typically held in July. The weather is usually warm and the storms are unpredictable. It's always a 50% chance that the balloons will get to fly, but the other things going on around the event can make those times of non-flight interesting. From the nearby carnival to music and car shows, there is always something to do throughout the entire weekend. 


     On July 9, 2015, I was blessed to be a part of the media event which occurs about a week and a half before the actual event. It really holds the attention of those of us that have the ability to reach out to the population in and around Jackson. On that evening, I was paired up with a pilot, Tyler Jaques, of the Post (TM) team. I was able to tumble into a basket and fly for nearly 50 minutes over the southeast part of Jackson County. The flight was calm, relaxing and full of photographic opportunities. Mostly, because of the excellent pilot at the burst and vent controls.


     The big weekend of the event was July 17-19, 2015, and boy, was I looking forward to it. Although I wouldn't be flying during the event, nothing could have kept me from attending it. My first contact would be the Post (TM) balloon due to the fact that Tyler provided me with an experience I wouldn't ever forget. This picture (above) was taken on the launch field as the balloon was being inflated. Many hands are helping with this job, as it seems to go up effortlessly. Everyone knows their position, and they all do their jobs well. 


     I especially like the dual saw blades at the top. I'm not sure why, exactly, but it captures my attention every time. This shot was taken with the camera sitting on the tipped over basket as it was receiving gusts of air from a nearby fan. It's just one of those shots that can't typically be taken from someone along the outside of the launch field, and I hope this allows those that are interested to get a better view of what the pilots and crew get to see every time it inflates. Sometimes, those details are lost in the ritual of ballooning. I still find every aspect of the possibility of flight on a balloon exciting.

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