Face Off

Friday Face-Off
SouthWest Edgecombe quarterback Chris Ellerbe, left, and Rocky Mount High quarterback Collins Cuthrell.

The sports editor came to me with an idea a few weeks ago. We would shoot these two quarterbacks facing opposite directions and run the photos side by side so that the end product would look like they were starring each other down--except they would each be on their own turf.

It inspired me a little. The above photos are what I ended up shooting. I lit and posed the two exactly the same way (except in in opposite directions of course), and tried to expose the sky so I had dark skin on a lighter background and light skin on a darker background for contrast. If only they had different color jerseys...

Anyway, I was pleased with the outcome.

The picture below is of Nash Central High School multi-sport standout athlete Dominique Holloway, taken for an athlete-of-the-week type feature. It's unrelated to the above photos, except that it was taken on the same busy evening of football portraits across two counties!

Stand Out

Down East Viking Football Classic

Viking Football

Elizabeth City State wide receiver Dexter Manly, right, lets a pass slip through his hands as Chowan's Jackey Moore applies pressure during game action in the Down East Viking Football Classic at the Rocky Mount Sports Complex. A member of the Elizabeth City State marching band drum line, below, makes faces while performing at half time.


Viking Football

Elizabeth City State defensive end Malcolm Jenkins, right, strips the ball from the hand of Chowan quarterback CJ Westler.

Comic Shop

Comic Shop
Shop owner Jimmy Taylor surrounded with comic books at The Reader's Choice in Rocky Mount.

I was thrilled to find out that my new town has a decent little comic shop with a friendly owner. I was also thrilled to to see nice soft light flooding in from big windows in the front.

Taylor, like most people I photograph, was a little uncomfortable in front of the camera. When I shoot portraits I typically ask my subjects to stand where I need them and tell them they can just relax while I take a few test shots. At some point I discovered that some of the best poses and expressions where in the test shots when the subject was at ease.

Now I sometimes use the 'test shot' statement as a little trick when I want to get people just being themselves with minimal posing or instruction from me. It's pretty cool when you think about it; that with this little slight I'm able to set up lights and go about doing a location shoot right in front of a person without them even realizing they're having their picture made!

DDR Madness!

Chris Alderman and Daniel McLean, right, work up a sweat playing a Dance Dance Revolution game at the Mini Putt Family Entertainment Center in Rocky Mount. Below: McLean's feet are a blur as he attempts to keep up with a challenging song on the "Dance Dance Revolution" game.


Candid Politics

Babington Technologies
U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge, D-2nd District, above right, shares a laugh with Bob Babington during a tour of the Babington Technologies, LLC. plant off of N. Wesleyan Boulevard on Aug. 27.

Photojournalists inevitably shoot a lot of politicians. It's a fact of life that these events can sometimes be a drag, but they don't have to be. This photo is proof that you can indeed capture interesting candid moments from political events.


The above shot is from a feature on back to school fashion. It was a very energetic and fun shoot, the kids seemed perfectly comfortable in front of the camera--maybe even too comfortable.

Oh, and I nailed this shots on the first take!

Victims' Families

Victim's Family
Diana Nicholson holds a photo of her 28 year-old slain daughter Taraha Nicholson on Wednesday at her Whitakers home. Taraha was the fourth of five women found dead in Western Edgecombe County since 2005.

Tarboro Press Conference
Pepita Hargrove speaks to the media Tuesday outside the Edgecombe County Sheffif's office in Tarboro. Hargrove's sister Jarniece was the latest of six women found murdered in the vicinity of Seven Bridges Road. 

Locked Out

Locked Out
Layvonne McAuley, a longtime worker at the QVC Rocky Mount, inc. distribution center, discusses her concerns about the recent 401K dispute workers have had with the company at a flea market on Kingsboro Road. Many of the companies workers found themselves locked out when they came to work this week with little explanation from the company.

This assignment was a piece of cake!

Chocolate Delight

This assignment was a piece of cake!




Light from a neon sign refracts through wine glasses at Low-Key Sports Bar and Grill in Rocky Mount.

Fall Again


I posted some of the individual photos back in the fall when I took them, but I started thinking they would make a good grid; all the photos were done essentially the same, but no two are alike. No two leaves fall the same way.

I made these pictures by taking a variety of fallen leaves from my back yard and dropping them in front of the camera during a long exposure.

I had two strobes: one set to fire on first-curtain sync and one on second-curtain sync. A tungsten hot light provided the slightly warm blurred streak of color in between the two (mostly) sharp exposures. Some photos were done with only one of the flashes.