Amazing animal camouflage

11 11 2008

Earlier this evening I was checking my blog stats and saw a referral blog called “the conservation report.” I clicked on link and found a really interesting post about animal camouflage and leaf mimics. One of the first photos was of a leaf insect similar to the one I photographed at the Butterfly Pavilion and blogged about a few weeks ago. See that posting here.

Buck Denton’s posting about animal camouflage on his blog, The Conservation Report, is fascinating and well worth viewing. The Dead Leaf Butterfly is amazing!

A night at the Grand Ole Opry

10 11 2008

I was archiving and quadruple backing up my digital photos this past weekend and came across images I shot in Nashville last fall. Michael and I were there in October 2007 to photograph a client’s convention (International Municipal Lawyers Association).

We had an evening free and Michael bought tickets to the Grand Ole Opry, which was actually held at its original home, The Ryman Auditorium. We lucked out because that night’s great roster included Opry staples—Jim Ed Brown, Little Jimmy Dickens, ‘Whisperin’ Bill Anderson, Del McCoury Band, and Jack Greene; and contemporary talent—Luke Bryan, Kellie Pickler, and Restless Heart.

We had a great time and it was neat to see some of the older talent that I grew up listening to (Mom and Dad are long-time country music fans). I particularly enjoyed Bill Anderson’s performance because I remember hearing his songs while I was growing up. He has definitely aged well. And they don’t call Little Jimmy Dickens little for nothing! He was a tiny bundle, singing and tossing out jokes, clad in a purple rhinestone suit and huge white cowboy hat.

The Grand Ole Opry show is sponsored by Cracker Barrel and Martha White and airs on the radio as well. (I think we must have heard the words, “Cracker Barrel Old Country Store,” about 200 times that evening. That, and, “mmmm….mmmm (followed by a description of something edible, which just made us hungry. Here’s an idea: serve those “buttery good buttermilk biscuits” during the performance…just a thought).

I used a long lens and set the ISO of my “film” to about 800 and got some pretty decent images, even from our almost-in-the-nosebleed section seats! After the show, Michael and I walked down Music Row and ran into Jack Greene, whom we recognized from the show (how could we miss him in his rhinestone jacket?). He graciously signed an autograph for Michael.

The Hearing Loss Association‘s Conference 2009 is being held in Nashville at the Gaylord Opryland Resort, and I most likely will photograph the conference for them. The speaker for the Opening Session is Vint Cerf, Ph.D., widely known as one of the “Fathers of the Internet.” The hotel is amazing (we popped in to see it while we were down there). It has nine acres of indoor gardens, waterfalls, and an indoor river with a Delta flatboat!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


On Golden Pond

8 11 2008

Michael and I noticed the beautiful fall color around this retention pond—less than a mile away from our home—so we hurried back home to grab our photo gear and go back to capture some images. The light was glorious, the weather was mild, and the wildlife was most cooperative.

Last year the leaves peaked for us much later (Nov. 17), so one afternoon I took advantage of the perfect light and shot some images in our neighborhood. See those photos in my posting here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


Reed Doughty, Washington Redskins

5 11 2008

Finally—I now have the green light from my editor, Barbara, to blog about meeting and photographing Reed Doughty of the Washington Redskins!

Reed is the cover feature of our November/December 2008 issue of the Hearing Loss Magazine, which I design and produce bimonthly for the Hearing Loss Association of America. The issue is appearing in member mailboxes this week.

After Reed’s hearing loss was revealed to the public in July, Barbara seized the opportunity to make contact with Washington Redskins PR staff, and after a few phone calls and e-mails, Barbara, Patrick Holkins (who was our cover story on the September/October issue), and I were on our way to Redskins Park in Ashburn, Virginia, early in the morning on August 14.

Below are some of the photos I shot during the session. Many were taken while Barbara interviewed Reed. And yes, in case you’re wondering, his eyes are really that blue. And no, not all of our cover subjects are going to have blue eyes. (SIDEBAR: I got a kick out of an e-mail my friend (and HLAA member) Mike Royer sent to Barbara and me this morning:

“The magazine cover is STUNNING! Do his eyes glow in the dark? I bet I will have to cover my magazine at night time. Good job Ladies!”

It was just a coincidence that blue-eyed Reed graces the cover immediately after blue-eyed cover subject, Patrick Holkins, who is pictured below with Reed and Barbara Kelley. We were very welcomed by the PR staff at Redskins Park, and it was such a pleasure to meet and photograph Reed for the magazine. He was really nice and very generous with his time—both in posing and during the interview with Barbara.

Just as we were getting ready to send the issue to the printer, we learned that Reed had been placed on injured reserve with a back injury, so we had to make a last minute change to the article. We wish you a speedy recovery, Reed!

View the December 2, 2007 Washington Post article about Reed signing with the Redskins here.

View the July 26, 2008 article about Reed’s hearing loss in the Washington Post here.

And finally, I’d like to thank (profusely) Mark Gormus, award-winning staff photographer for the Richmond-Times Dispatch, who was so helpful with my lighting setup. Mark was at Redskins Park waiting to photograph another player and helped me set up for the perfect exposure in mixed lighting conditions. Because of his generous assistance, I got the cover shot in less than 20 minutes! Thanks, Mark—I owe you one!

Click this link below to view the full article:

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.