Currently at the Caesar Creek State Park Visitor Center there are two of my pictures hanging in their gallery. Caesar Creek visitor center recently had a 2109 nature photography exhibition and two of my nature photos were chosen by the judges to be displayed in their exhibition. I was very lucky to be chosen out of all the entries to have my work put on display, as not all photos submitted make it through the selection process. Each photographer was allowed to submit 3 photos for this exhibit. There are some very beautiful photos on display. And the Caesar Creek State Park Visitor is a great place to visit, if you have time I highly recommend you check out the visitor center and the state park.
The Exhibition will take place between: August 31st, 2019 – December 31th, 2019, at the Caesar Creek Lake Visitor Center, located at 4020 N. Clarkesville Road, Waynesville, Ohio 45068.
The Fairborn Art Association “FAA”, recently held a 2019 landscape juried art exhibition. The subject of the competition was the newly created Garland Wetland Reserve located in Fairborn, Ohio. The art exhibition is a collaboration between B-W Greenway Community Land Trust and the Fairborn Art Association. This yearly art exhibition was established to heighten the public awareness of our local green spaces and the need to preserve them. For me this was an exciting opportunity to showcase my photography and enter into my first juried exhibition.
The opening reception was held on July 14 from 2-4pm, where the announcement of the winners would take place and the gallery would be open to the public, to see all the art work on display. The Landscape Exhibition was not just for photography but for any art work 2D or 3D as long as it was not larger than 30x40 inches. I had been preparing for several months for this art exhibition as it was my first. I visited the Garland wetland reserver several times at different times of the day to try and get a feel for what I wanted to submit for the exhibition. I finally decided on doing panoramic shots of the wetland. I submitted 2 black and white pano shots of the wetland one in wide format 12x36 inches and the other in tall format 16x24 inches. The pano stitch technique is one that I like doing because I think it preserves the look of an environment and gives you a sense of scale almost like if you are actually there. For both of my photographs I wanted to do something different so one is a winter time shot with snow on the trees. The other is an early spring shot of Garland wetland just as the sun is about to set. Both photos I am very proud of as I spent several hours editing them. I would edit then re-edit, edit and re-edit them both until I was finally satisfied they were perfect and ready for print.
Once July 14 came I was very surprised by the number of paintings that were submitted to the art exhibition. There were over 100 different pieces submitted from different artists in the area. Some of them were photographs but a lot were paintings all judged in the same competition without separate categories for paintings and photographs. When the winners were announced I was pleasantly surprised to have received a green ribbon for “Judges Merit Award”. Needless to say it was a very fun and exciting day. I really enjoyed the art exhibition and getting to talk to people about my photography and how it was done. I am looking forward to future competitions.
Besides photography one of my other hobbies is RC (Radio Controlled) Helicopter flying. What is RC Helicopter flying you ask, well let me start with what it is not. It is NOT drone flying and they are not drones. If you go to any RC event and say “Hey that is a cool, Drone!” The RC pilots there will look at you funny and some will try to correct you or they will get offended by you calling their RC model a drone. Drones are typically a radio controlled aircraft that has four propellers and a computerized flight controller that automates all the flying for the user/pilot. And they typically will have some type of GPS controlled flying system that will automate the flight path of the RC Drone. As an example you push a button and your drone automatically takes off. You then can use an application either on your phone or PC to control the flight of the drone. You push another button and control the flight path of the drone from point A to point B. Then when your flight is done you push another button and the drone automatically lands in the exact same spot where it took off, all by its self. RC pilots of other disciplines (Helicopter, Airplanes, Scale, etc…) are in complete control of their aircrafts from take off till landing. RC pilots also spend a lot of time learning the skills they need to be in full control of their aircraft at all times so they can enjoy the thrill of flying.
Every year I try to attend at least 3 or more RC events (called fun fly’s) in my local area. Included are some shots from an event called the Cincy SmackDown located just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. This is a fun filled annual event that has pilots of all skill levels that come to enjoy flying together. The pilots enjoy sharing their experiences, meeting new people and some just come to fly. The pictures from this event are what is called 3D flying. What is 3D flying, well it involves a pilot with top notch skills. As they have learned to fly their model in all orientations of flight and still maintain control of the model in the air. This includes flying upside down, backwards, sideways, along with your normal right side up flying that you are more accustomed to seeing a full scale helicopter fly. These shots are mid action shots of the helicopter and RC pilot flying their routine usually to music but not always. My second hobby of RC Helicopter flying for me is both exciting and relaxing at the same time, depending on your flying style. I wish more people new about this hobby/sport. Included is video of one pilot flying his routine to give you a better sense of how these models fly and react in the air. Some of these pilots spend years practicing their skills before they get good enough to compete. Enjoy the pictures and videos from Cincy SmackDown 2019.
From a photography stand point getting shots of these RC helicopter models in the air is something similar to photographing birds in flight. It is a challenge because you have to get all your settings right. You need the correct shutter speed, f-stop and ISO to get a good picture. Get your shutter speed to slow and your photo turns out blurry. Get your shutter speed to fast and it doesn’t convey a sense of motion. If you can’t follow the model through the air and time your shot just right you will miss the amazing maneuver the pilot just pulled off only inches from the ground. Just like photographing birds in flight it takes quite a bit of practice to get that perfect shot of the RC model while in flight. I guess I enjoy the hobby of RC Helicopter flying because not only does it give me a challenge similar to photography. But it also satisfies my need to learn new skills and push myself further than before.