Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Gift of the Lake - Thank You's

GREATGIFT  ....coupon code for Blurb.com good til Dec. 31,2009

Thanks to all who have viewed my book online and to those who have purchased a copy.  Special thanks to Sonja Simmons of Reflections on Main in Albemarle, NC for her support and willingness to display not only my books, but selected large prints from the book.  I also want to thank Dorothea Theus, Jackie Smith, LaDonna Greene and Jean Thompson for their permission to publish their very kind and thoughtful comments.   I also thank neighbors in Woodrun who allowed me access to their beautiful views, and to the Woodrun board members and office staff who supported a joint sales venture to benefit our quiet and special subdivision by the lake.  I can't fail to mention Don Bullock of Bullock Pro Labs, who is one of my "unofficial business managers and marketing directors".  I say "one" because I've received so many marketing ideas and so much support in general from old friends and new friends,and I want to acknowledge them. Being a self-described "hermit", much of the promotional aspects of the book have been challenging, so I am most appreciative of all the help.

I will also be taking into consideration those suggestions from residents of other lakes along the Yadkin-Pee Dee River system that I make "their" special lake the focus, or at least part, of my next book.  When I commented to Sonja that "would be a very big project", she shot back, "well, you better get busy!" 

Friday, November 13, 2009

My Lake Tillery landscape book is done ...the lake's gift to us

GREATGIFT    $ 10.00 off coupon code

Use this coupon code for $10.00 off  -   GREATGIFT

Order by Dec. 16th, Ship 2nd Day or Next Day to receive by the 24th

Order by Dec.10th to receive by Dec. 24th

Last week, I finished the project I most wanted to complete and share - LAKE TILLERY - Our River, Our Beauty. A collection of landscapes shot during winter, spring, summer and fall, along with sunrises and sunsets, it represents much of what I feel about our lake.

From 2007 thru early fall of 2009, I have enjoyed the hunt for the likes of dramatic, misty sunrises, the glorious color of fall maples and sunsets and the first pops of yellow-green spring buds twinkling along the lake's edge. Checking the local radar for cloud cover and movement, deciding on a couple of target locations, leaving the house with my tripod and camera before dawn and driving along the pre-dawn country roads simply makes me happy. It also makes me happy to show Tillery enthusiasts how beautiful and precious "the river", "their river", "our river" remains.

Of course the lake and it's surrounding rural landscape are also full of interesting photographic opportunities at all times of the day. Sometimes, I just walk across the street to one of my neighbor's docks to check the setting sun, or the morning light hitting the River Haven lakeside cottages and homes. Planning a vacation day and hoping for a misty daybreak or interesting light or clouds is exciting in it's own way. Not unlike a fisherman hoping for the fish or the hunter hoping for deer, I am alway looking for a unique capture of light and color. Showing up lots of times at the same place increases the odds of being in the "right place at the right time" every now and then. I admit to being lucky more than once and I admit to having another day job that makes the whole process even more randomly successful.
Creating this book has been Tillery's gift to me, and I hope you find it one, too.
LAKE TILLERY - Our River, Our Beauty can be previewed and purchased on blurb.com.

Special holiday pricing applies until Dec.10th and you'll receive your book by Dec. 24th if ordered by the 10th.

120 pages - 10x8" landscape format
Premium paper

Available in softcover, hardcover with jacket, or hardcover image wrap

Finally, feel free to "comment" in the section below the book's description after looking through the preview on blurb.com. Here's my first such comment....
"This book is gorgeous! An inspirational and heartening book for anyone who values the beauty of the land and water we have left. For those fortunate enough to live in the Lake Tillery area, it is a beautiful record of the gems that are just outside their door and down the road."   ~DorotheaT
"Wow!!!!! You capture the magic of Tillery....the essence of why we are at

peace while there! "  ~ Ladonna.Greene
"Deb Russell has brilliantly shared her photographs of Lake Tillery with such passion and appreciation of the beauty of this body of water we call our playground, our vacation spot, our place of inspiration, our home".
"Deb, this book is such a wonderful display of "The Lake" in all it's fine natural glory! Thank you for all the work you've done to give us more insight to God's spectacular inspiration and beauty!!"
~Jean T.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Capturing the feeling of a home

Touring a home for sale - the PAM BREWER HOMES way
A couple of local realtors asked me to shoot some of their listings to see what my perspective might be. My main goal was to capture the feeling of the home and especially the feeling of its view, if it's on the lake. I was able to be at the Carolina Forest location on an August evening at sunset and into the evening for a few night shots of the home on its wooded lot.

For Tranquil Bay, Emma Rogers, a Century 21 realtor was instrumental in getting me to just the right location and angle to shoot the night shot. It turned out to be from inside a friend/neighbor's very hot and steamy boathouse.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Carolina Forest home

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: 481 Tranquil Bay

Although not on the water, this home is near Piney Point Golf Club in rural South Stanly near Norwood, NC. Pam Brewer, the realtor with REMAX and the homeowners allowed me to shoot on 2 different days, as the power was out in the neighborhood on the first day's shoot.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Quail Trail home

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fishin', boatin', crusin', sailin', tooning

On my way to check out new location on the south end of the lake, I happened upon what looked to be a bass fishing tournment launching at dawn. I stopped and snapped a few, not mentally prepared for the moving boats in near darkness, so I just shot on "program mode" and tried to manually focus somewhere "in the ballpark". The result are just the snapshots I figured they would be, but it was fun bumping into the "surprise" opportunity near the big bridge. Another surprise was the tourney
must have been for couples and some of them are waving to me in the shots, something I couldn't really see in the dark from my perch on the little bridge above them.

I continued over to the Goat Island area of the lake near Norwood, and got one "keeper" in the fog. Most of this Smilebox is of other days, with better results. I'm going back to the Goat Island area in the coming days to explore some locations a realtor gave me.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Fishn' Cruisn' Tillery
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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Baby Charlie at 7.5 Weeks - short version

This is a shortened version of the original show, but still has plenty
of images. What can I say?...Charlie can only be abbreviated so much !

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Charlie - 7.5 Weeks

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Mellow time at the docks - a short show

Jazz piano by Andre Previn, who was honored with the London Symphony Orchestra's Lifetime Achievement Award on Tuesday, May 13, 2008.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Friday Night Colors

Friday, June 12, 2009

North Carolina Water Rights Committee

The latest on the Alcoa licensing, podcasts, and more....

The N.C. Water Rights Committee is a coalition of hundreds of North Carolina business people and concerned citizens who have joined this state-wide effort to inform people of the critical issues concerning water rights that affect all North Carolinians. This is a grassroots initiative funded by donations from members of the committee.

We are advocating for the same rights to our water that 33 other states currently enjoy, including our neighbors in South Carolina. Chief among these beliefs is that we, the residents of North Carolina, are the best stewards for our water rather than private firms who use it primarily for their financial benefit.

North Carolina Water Rights Committee

Friday, May 29, 2009

Finding a rainbow

I hopped a ride with Gregg and Dorothea to shoot clouds on Shore Farm Road. The day previous was a bust so I was eager to try again. The skies had been dramatic and varied for days and I wanted some of them. Although we had planned a sunset run, the skies I saw while driving home from work were ripe for pickin', so I tipped off Dorothea as soon as I walked in the door. We hadn't been on the farm long before we were rewarded with terrific skies.... and the rainbow.

I've been shooting for HDR processing most of the time now,
but sometimes the ole single frame is the better image.

Another shortie, with HDRs, NIK filters.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Shore Farm Rd.Rainbow

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Another May Sunset by the Docks

An older fellow fishing on the docks when I arrived greeted me with "looks like it's too cloudy for pictures, eh?" He left about 45 minutes later...too soon to see the show. I'm playing with my new CS3 and trial versions of NIK Efex (filters) and NIK Dfine 2.0 (noise reduction). Adobe Bridge is a powerful editing tool and I love the ease with which I can now view, move and edit files.

A short show.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Another May sunset by the docks

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Cloud Show at Bruce's Farm

The clouds were gorgeous as we left Albemarle late last Saturday afternoon, and I was wondering where I could compose some shots. I had my camera only because I thought
I might grab a shot or two at a currently being developed subdivision, Edgewater on Lake Tillery. It wasn't until we pulled onto Indian Mound Road on the way to Edgewater, that it hit me that , of course, "the farm" would be an ideal vantage point. Although I didn't have my tripod, I tried bracketing for HDR and found it worked fine. I used the fences and the VR (vibration reduction) on my Nikon 18-200mm for steadying. The shots of Wendy and Nelson walking are not HDR.

I might try one of this series on metallic photo paper from Bullock Professional. If you're not familiar with metallic paper, check it out. It's high contrast, snappy color and has an interesting depth that's impossible to achieve with inkjets. This webpage is offering free samples of either Kodak's "E" surface or of the Metallic, both being Kodak's Endura real photo paper.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Shore Farm Road - Clouds

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Shore Farm Road - Mourning Light

An unexpectedly enriching weekend with other photographers, morning light and a very generous landowner. Thanks Bruce. Thanks William.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Shore Farm Road

I went, I waited , I saw

If you show up enough there's eventually some kind of payoff. It wasn't ideal, I wasn't coming up with the best compositions, I fumbled my ISO and apertures, but it was enough to keep me "showing up". This day, this light, these clouds are forever gone, but I'll show up at these docks again...and again. And maybe "it" will show up..and I'll get it right...or not. Maybe it's just about "being there" and that's enough.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: A Thursday Sunset in May

Monday, April 27, 2009

April - Lake Tillery sparkles

I finally got a few shots of Morrow Mountain from the Swift Island Bridge. I was passing over it in my pickup truck with my dog, Scout, when the afternoon's gorgeous light, spring leaves and clouds were too much to resist. I shot a preliminary image while driving, generally aiming blindly in the direction of the mountain (slideshow image #33). When I saw the result, I went back across the bridge, parked and made a few short ventures onto the bridge on foot. #'s 52 and 53 are HDRs while the final several images are early morning on a farm near the lake. I'll have more of that series in a show to itself later.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Spring Water Music

Friday, April 17, 2009

Spring on Lake Tillery

As I work during the week, I was lucky for spring on Tillery to be spectacularly unveiled over Easter weekend and on through the following week. A Wednesday vacation day proved particularly well timed for mild weather fronts passing so I captured some more of the yellow-green sparkles of early springtime around the lake.