Aw, I want one!

29 06 2009

After the HLAA Convention was over, we headed toward Huntsville to visit our friend Sue. We wanted to show my sister the nearby towns of Franklin and Leipers Fork en route and we just had to stop to photograph this adorable baby donkey. He (she?) came right up to us to get some attention. I shot the image of Michael petting it to show you how small this little guy was.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

BabyDonkey


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Another night at the Opry

29 06 2009

During our behind-the-scenes tour at the Grand Ole Opry, our guide Jamie introduced us to the security guard at the entrance where the artists enter the building. She mentioned that no one gets past him without identification. There was a blonde-haired woman standing at the guard’s desk who looked remarkably like Rhonda Vincent to me, except she had blonde hair (Rhonda Vincent’s hair is naturally a very dark brown). In response to Jamie stating that “no one gets past the guard,” she looked over at us and said something like, “tell me about it. I had to show him I’m in the program guide to convince him who I was.” We all laughed. Barbara’s husband, Bill, who is a big Rhonda Vincent fan, linked arms with her and said something like, “Darlin, come with us,” or something to that effect. Funny thing is, he didn’t recognize her even then until we were at the end of the tour and we told him who she was! Hal Ketchum and his daughter, Sarah Rosie, walked right past Debbie and me backstage and since his hair wasn’t its usual gray, we thought he was a band member!

SIDEBAR: Jamie took us to the historic Studio A, where Hee Haw was filmed. I grew up watching Hee Haw and just had to go stand in the exact spot where the background haystacks would have been. I could just picture Buck Owens and Roy Clark doing their “I’m a pickin’…and I’m a grinnin'” spiel. It always impressed me that Roy Clark could play the banjo, guitar and the mandolin. Such talent! Mike Snider (who was on the roster this night) stars in Pickin’ & Grinnin’ with Mike Snider: A Grand Ole Comedy Revue, which debuted just a few days ago in Studio A (the television portion of the Grand Ole Opry).

FYI: In the photo with Alison Krauss holding a hymn book (9th photo down), that’s her (handsome!) brother, Viktor, accompanying her on acoustic bass.

I shot these photos from the second to the last row of the Opry. Yes, in the waaaay back. (In fact, I just read that there are 4,400 seats in the building. I’m pretty sure I was in seat # 4,399.) I shot with my Nikon D300 set on 1600 and higher, depending on the light fluctuations, and used my Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D VR lens, handheld (except when shooting vertically—then I used my sister’s handy shoulder as a prop—thanks, Deboo). The images aren’t too shabby from that far back (at least you know who the artist is in each one), although it would have been such a treat to be up front for optimum photography! I used this same lens when I shot the images from our first visit to the Opry in 2008 here. The Opry show was back in the Ryman Auditorium at the time and we had better seats to that show—I was shooting at no more than 800 ISO during that performance, so the images are a bit better.

I included the last photo of John Conlee’s dialogue during real-time captioning, a first for the Grand Ole Opry! It was great to be there during its debut and the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) hopes they will implement it as a regular service. At the time I shot this photo, Conlee was introducing Sammy Johns, who wrote and recorded the 70s classic, Chevy Van.

Click on the individual names for their biography / websites / music video:

Jimmy Dickens
Jimmy C. Newman
Rhonda Vincent (Heartbreaker’s Alibi with Dolly Parton)
Mike Snider
Hal Ketchum
Point of Grace (I Wish)
John Conlee
Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys
Jim Ed Brown
Sammy Johns
Opry Square Dancers
Vince Gill
Alison Krauss with The Whites

View Alison Krauss videos on AOL Music here. One of my favorite duets is this song, How’s the World Treating You, with Alison and my long-road-trip buddy, James Taylor.

THIS JUST IN: Thanks to Wes for the correct name of Hal Ketchum’s daughter, as well as some background info on Hal:

Hal Ketchum is one of the best, pure and natural singers of any genre of music. Had the pleasure to see him in concert about 50 times and have gotten to know him as well. Very down to earth guy. By the way Hal has one grown son and daughter by his first wife and three younger daughters Fanna Rose (Rosie), Ruby Joy and Sophia Grace by his current wife Gina. Ruby is the one that has been with him recently on stage at the Opry as well as other concerts. The daughter in your picture of Hal is Rosie. Just wanted to clear that up. By the way, great shots.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

OpryCollage2Flat





It would stand to reason…

29 06 2009

that a couple as cute as Chantell & Austin (in the wedding photos I’ve been posting lately) would have to add an equally cute puppy to their newlywed home! I didn’t shoot this image, but if I had to bet on it, based on the hairy legs (it’s a safe assumption that those are Austin’s legs and not Chantell’s), Chantell probably shot it—so I’m giving her the credit. I don’t know what the pup’s name is yet.

THIS JUST IN: The puppy is a mixed breed of Jack Russell Terrier and Yorkshire Terrier. His name is Jack!

© Chantell Muchemore. All rights reserved.

Chantell & Austin's puppy





A few more butterflies…

28 06 2009

…from the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

KeyWestButterfliesx3





The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

28 06 2009

While in Key West, we visited the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory before we met up with the Muchemore family for the big event—Chantell and Austin’s wedding.

This conservatory is definitely one of our favorites now! As you walk around the winding pathway through the conservatory, you’ll hear classical music playing. Not only are there 60+ species of butterflies, they also have an array of exotic birds, tropical plants and a koi pond. Ever notice that most butterfly conservatories are hot and humid? That’s the case here, except for the strategically placed cool air tubes throughout the conservatory—these are to help cool the air for the birds. We humans appreciated that touch on a hot Florida day, too! There’s also a Learning Center and a wonderful gift shop. Founders Sam Trophia and George Fernandez established the Conservatory and the Trophia Butterfly Foundation in January 2003. Read more about Sam Trophia in this article on www.SunSentinel.com.

I photographed a plethora of butterflies at the Wings of Fancy exhibit at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland last year. If you fancy butterflies, click here and here to see those photos. I often find butterfly subjects to photograph in our garden—check out the Monarchs I photographed last fall here. Last year I designed a Monarch Butterfly Habitat poster for my friend Mary Ellen of Happy Tonics in Shell Lake, Wisconsin.

I have no idea what kind of butterfly this is below, but it’s a beauty, isn’t it? I made a half-hearted attempt to identify it for you but it’s late and I need some shut-eye (it may surprise some of you, but yes, I do sometimes sleep).

As my father often writes on his blog www.thekingoftexas.wordpress.com, “I’ll get back to you later with more details.”

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Butterflylorez





Yes, another wedding photo…

28 06 2009

Can I help it if these two are so photogenic? I used either the “Rusty Cage” or the “Super Fun Happy” filter from Doug Boutwell Studio’s Totally Rad Action Mix to achieve this warm and dreamy effect.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

SweetPhoto





Abbie does it again!

27 06 2009

AbbieTshirtLeave it to Abbie Cranmer to create something this original! Abbie is a cochlear implant recipient, of course. Whatever else did you think she meant?

I met Abbie online last year when I was looking for younger people with hearing loss to profile for Hearing Loss Magazine, which I design for the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). I stumbled onto her very entertaining and equally educational blog and just knew we had to profile her. She is now involved with HLAA and was the guest blogger for Convention 2009 last week in Nashville. You can read her recap of Convention 2009 here. It was great seeing you again, Abbie!

Abbie wrote for the magazine in the May/June 2008 issue. She came all the way from New Jersey to be photographed in my studio for the cover. See the final cover here and check out the glamour shots from the rest of the session here.

Download her full feature article here: http://www.cindydyer.com/BionicWoman.pdf

More convention photos to come…

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.