Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra

My mother tells me that she told her friends they were raising a “classical baby” since that was all they played in our tiny home in New Hampshire. She had attended college on a music scholarship and my father had amassed a huge collection of albums and reel to reel tapes of the great orchestras of the time - New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. While my own taste in music has expanded to include rock, jazz, folk and punk (I love a good punk band in a dive bar!), I have never lost my deep love for the classics. Few things move me more than a live performance by a symphonic orchestra.

The Hendersonville (NC) Symphony Orchestra (www.hendersonvillesymphony.org) is one of hundreds of community orchestras across the country. They, like most orchestras, depend on local volunteers and funders to bring the artistry of professional musicians to the stage. I had the pleasure of photographing a performance of this orchestra that included Bernstein’s “Symphonic Suite” from “On the Waterfront”, Barber’s “Second Essay” and Brahm’s “Piano Concerto No. 1”. The evening was pure magic. Bravo to all involved!

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Yosemite 2017

This was my second trip to Yosemite National Park. One could spend a lifetime in this place and never see it all. My friends and I camped on the valley floor and did day hikes (all of which were epic in their own way). Blue skies gave way to smoke on our second day as enormous wildfires raged outside the park in nearby Mariposa. Ash gently fell on our campsite one evening like snow. While the smoke diminished our views, it did offer some lovely diffusion in the evening which enabled me to capture Half Dome, Vernal and Nevada falls through a smoke-filtered golden light. I shot these on a Sony a7RII. I used the Sony Zeiss 16-35mm f4 for the landscapes and a Sony G Master 24-70 f2.8 for the wildflowers. 

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Biltmore in the snow - a travel back in time

One of the advantages of an annual pass to the Biltmore Estate is that you can get there early on a snowy morning and capture photos before people start arriving. It also helps that I live 10 minutes away! I shot these on a Sony A7rii with a Lensbaby Pro 50mm. This lens gives the dreamy blur effect. I edit in Capture One and used an "old photo" treatment to give them this back in time look. The Biltmore house and grounds, which have been preserved to reflect their late 19th century design, lend themselves to this look on a snowy day. I hope you like the images. 

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Painted Walls

I remember reading that back in the 70s the widespread graffiti in NYC was responsible for keeping the steel bridges and other public structures from rusting. Even still, graffiti artists were viewed as trespassers and vandals. While it has become much more mainstream as an art form, it is still a fringe form - a personal expression in a public space - often provocative, larger than life and colorful. Thank you to the artists whose work I have a captured at the Foundation – River Arts District - Asheville, NC. 

Biltmore Estate

Spring at America's largest home is a special time of year. I have fond memories of this place. We had our high school proms on the estate which were both magical and a little surreal. When I was 16, I learned to drive my Dad's 1974 Alfa Romero GTV so that I could take my girlfriend to the dance. I figured we would look better driving onto the estate in an Italian sports car than the family's Chevy Citation . . . I now live five minutes from the gate house and had just renewed my annual pass in time to capture these images. I'm using a Sony A7rii and a Lensbaby Composer Pro II with Sweet 50 Optic lens.