The Latest

Photographing Ice Hockey

I got my first chance to shoot ice hockey a few days ago. A friend of mine has a son who plays and I finally pestered him enough that he told me that I could come and shoot at a regional tournament being held at the rink where his son plays. Before going, I knew 3 things: Rinks are dark. Yes, it’s light enough to see, but our eyes are much better than camera sensors, so relatively speaking rinks are dark. Hockey moves fast. It’s not Nascar, and I wasn’t shooting pros, but even at this level kids skate faster […]

Robert Clay Photography Family Pictures

Family Picture Time

I remember as a kid, dressing up for family pictures, going to a studio (or Sears) and being told to lower my chin, tilt my head and place my hand somewhere. Then, once I had assumed this unnatural posture, I was to remain perfectly still. And smile. And relax. And wait until my brothers and parents all cooperated in the same way. Getting 5 chins in just the right place can be a challenge. Family pictures, I think, should represent the family. As they are. I know that most Moms don’t want to hear that. Most Moms want family pictures […]

camping under the milky way

Expectations in Photography

A good friend, with a rather negative outlook on life, once said to me, “The problem that you optimists have is that you are often disappointed. You’re always expecting the best, and when it doesn’t pan out, you are let down. I, on the other hand, never expect the best, so I am often pleasantly surprised!” There is, I suppose, some truth is what he said; though he still didn’t convince me to move over to the dark side. I continue to expect the best and, truth be told, things usually do work out pretty well. There are exceptions, of […]

The Battle of Huck’s Defeat 2018

I’ve begun volunteering with our local museums. The Cultural & Heritage Museums of York County, South Carolina is a family of four separate museums, including Historic Brattonsville, a 775-acre Revolutionary War site. One of the highlights of the year at Brattonsville is the reenactment of the Battle of Huck’s Defeat. I’ll leave the facts and significance of the battle to the experts and focus our attention here on the reenactment and the photographic opportunities it presents. Kevin Lynch, the site manager at Brattonsville, describes the home site as a “target rich environment” for photographers. Candid portraits of historic interpreters, landscape photographs, architecture, wildlife, macro […]

Blacksmiths at Historic Brattonsville

Environmental Portrait

So the 52 week photo challenge that I began as one of this year’s goals has proven to be… um… challenging. It’s not that the assignments are too difficult. It’s the time thing. You would think that with seven days in the week that there would be plenty of time to conceive of an idea, plan it and then execute it. Especially something as interesting as an environmental portrait. That has not proven to be the case. But that was part of the reason for taking on the challenge. I know I need to spend more time with my camera […]

Hemlock Falls – It’s a matter of perspective

When I first began to try to take pictures of landscapes, I would inevitably try to capture an image of wide, sweeping vistas. You know, those epic mountain ranges, or cloudscapes or tree lines.  Somehow, what I saw with my eye never quite appeared on the back of my camera after I took the shot. Since then I have learned a bit more about cameras and specific lenses and how they “see”. In a nutshell, I can tell you that they don’t see like our eyes do.  More importantly, I have learned that I rarely want a picture of that […]

Week 17 – Urbanscape

This weeks assignment from the 52 week photo challenge was a bit of a change up. It’s landscape week, but instead of heading to the woods or the mountains, the challenge was to shoot a “landscape style” shot in the city. As it turns out, I have another project in mind that calls for a skyline and a waterway, so that meant that I could – possibly – kill two birds with the same shoot. We’ll see how the other project develops, but as for a cityscape I was fairly pleased. The subject is Jacksonville, Florida. I often travel to […]

Milky Way – Take 2

One of my goals this year has been to learn astrophotography. Well, at least to begin to learn. I suspect I will spend the rest of my life on the process. I had my first opportunity to photograph the Milky Way last month, and I was relatively pleased with the process. By that I mean you could actually see the Milky Way and it was reasonably in focus! Those are low expectations, I know, but they were realistic. I wanted to get back out as quickly as I could to try to build on that first experience. My wife and […]

Why Go to a Photography Workshop?

Let’s face it, there are a hundred ways to learn new things. Well, maybe there are really only three or four, but one of those ways is “online” and there are hundreds of places online to learn just about anything. Want to learn math, or cooking, or French or how to change your oil? No problem. A quick Google search and a few YouTube videos later you are on your way. Of course you can still learn by taking a class, or reading a book, or watching someone else in real life. You can even pick up the old “trial […]