Ajijic Mexico

Cami and I took a break and spent a week exploring the state of Jalisco, Mexico! We stayed in the popular town of Ajijic on Lake Chapala, which is the largest fresh-water lake in Mexico. Besides exploring this attractive town, shopping at the farmers market, and strolling along the lakeside Malecon…we did a number of day-trips to nearby towns like Mazamitla and Tequila. However, one of the highlights for me, was visiting the town of Petatan, where thousands of white pelicans flock during the winter!

Export Exchange Conference in Minneapolis – Day 3

With 500 attendees from over 50 countries, The Export Exchange is an international conference held in Minneapolis, that provides overseas attendees the opportunity to build relationships with U.S. suppliers of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), corn, sorghum, barley and other commodities. The speaker line-up for this year’s conference was a “who’s who” array of experts in the industry, with a variety of programs to educate and build awareness of environmental sustainability, weather patterns, the world political climate, historical data trends, and the benefits of U.S. products. Event sponsors from all over the country were also there, displaying products, answering questions, and building relationships with buyers.

In addition to hosting the conference, The U.S. Grains Council sponsored the attendance of international trade teams from more than 30 countries that will see the U.S. grain supply chain firsthand before and after the conference.

Day 3 of the conference capitalized on all the informative presentations and relationship-building from the previous two days! There were many more powerful presentations, as well as panel discussions for everyone to attend. Plus there were many new connections established during the networking breaks. The day culminated in a fun group shot of all the amazing people on the US Grains Council team that made this whole conference possible! It was an absolute pleasure photographing this year’s Export Exchange!!!

Export Exchange Conference in Minneapolis – Day 2

With 500 attendees from over 50 countries, The Export Exchange is an international conference held in Minneapolis, that provides overseas attendees the opportunity to build relationships with U.S. suppliers of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), corn, sorghum, barley and other commodities. The speaker line-up for this year’s conference was a “who’s who” array of experts in the industry, with a variety of programs to educate and build awareness of environmental sustainability, weather patterns, the world political climate, historical data trends, and the benefits of U.S. products. Event sponsors from all over the country were also there, displaying products, answering questions, and building relationships with buyers.

In addition to hosting the conference, The U.S. Grains Council sponsored the attendance of international trade teams from more than 30 countries that will see the U.S. grain supply chain firsthand before and after the conference.

Day 2 of the conference was all about the keynote speakers in the main ballroom! There were lots of networking breaks as well. At the end of the day, once everyone’s brains were filled to capacity with new knowledge, a nice reception was held at the Minneapolis Orchestra Hall. (Stay tuned for Day 3.) It was an absolute pleasure photographing this year’s Export Exchange!

Export Exchange Conference in Minneapolis – Day 1

With over 500 attendees from over 50 countries, The Export Exchange is an international conference held in Minneapolis, that provides overseas attendees the opportunity to build relationships with U.S. suppliers of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), corn, sorghum, barley and other commodities. The speaker line-up for this year’s conference was a “who’s who” array of experts in the industry, with a variety of programs to educate and build awareness of environmental sustainability, weather patterns, the world political climate, historical data trends, and the benefits of U.S. products. Event sponsors from all over the country were also there, displaying products, answering questions, and building relationships with buyers.

In addition to hosting the conference, The U.S. Grains Council sponsored the attendance of international trade teams from more than 30 countries that will get a chance to meet farmers and see the U.S. grain supply chain firsthand before and after the conference.

Day 1 of the conference I was busy photographing candids of everyone arriving and registering, team photos of the various delegations, as well as the welcome reception.  (Stay tuned for days 2 and 3.)  It was an absolute pleasure photographing this year’s Export Exchange!

US Grains Council Conference in Sacramento – Day 3

The US Grains Council’s 62nd Annual Board of Delegates Meeting at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento is in the books! It was another fantastic event. I am humbled and honored to be the official photographer for this amazing group.  Their destination conferences are always so informative and inspirational!!! Here are a few shots from the final Day 3…

US Grains Council Conference in Sacramento – Day 2

The US Grains Council’s 62nd Annual Board of Delegates Meeting at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento is in the books! It was another fantastic event. I am humbled and honored to be the official photographer for this amazing group.  Their destination conferences are always so informative and inspirational!!! Here are a few shots from Day 2…

US Grains Council Conference in Sacramento – Day 1

The US Grains Council’s 62nd Annual Board of Delegates Meeting at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento is in the books! It was another fantastic event. I am humbled and honored to be the official photographer for this amazing group.  Their destination conferences are always so informative and inspirational!!! Here are a few shots from Day 1…

WARNING: Not for Sensetive Viewers

After capturing a beautiful proposal at White Point Gardens, I had a few extra minutes. So I decided to stay and photograph the famous Black-crowned Night Herons. I wish I hadn’t!!!
 
During each hot and humid Charleston summer, the live oaks in White Point Gardens (also known as Battery Park) become the nesting grounds for Black-crowned Night Herons. Seemingly unafraid of the public, they start acting like they own the place, making them easy to approach and photograph. Even though the park is said to be haunted, the night herons don’t seem to mind. In fact they nest in the very trees that the pirate Stede Bonnet and his men were hanged from!
 
In all my years photographing wildlife, I’ve only ever witnessed one other occasion so brutal and violent. While I was wandering around, a major disturbance began unfolding overhead. A mother decided to reject one of her chicks. Ejecting it out of the nest, pecking it to near death in the branches, and then pushing it out of the tree…the poor chick plunging to certain death below. The mother then returned to tend to it’s other chicks as if nothing had happened.
 
Why do birds reject babies? The main reason is to enhance the survival probability of her other chicks. It’s believed that the mother senses something is wrong in the development of that chick. Or they realize they don’t have the resources to raise all of their young successfully. Eliminating one mouth to feed is their only solution.
 
Knowing this doesn’t make it any easier to witness such a seemingly violent act. But such are the laws of nature! Fortunately, I was able to ease the conflict in my soul by photographing a few other herons peacefully preening as the sun began to fade.
 
(Nikon Z9 + FTZII + 500mm PF)

Boone Hall Plantation

I had the privilege of being at Boone Hall Plantation after hours this weekend. It was neat to basically have the place to myself…so peaceful and beauituful without all the tourists running around. 🙂

(Nikon Z9 + Nikkor 24-120 f4 S)

Charleston Charm in Infrared

After shooting a small wedding at White Point Garden yesterday, I decided it was too nice an afternoon not to go for a walk around charming downtown Charleston.
We put away the “heavy stuff” and I grabbed my lightweight Coolpix A that I had converted to see infrared light by Kolari Vision. I did a video about this camera and what I had done to it if anyone is interested in converting an old camera to infrared: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FsuIRK90wY&t=21s.

Being the last day of the South Eastern Wildlife Expo, there were a lot of tourists along The Battery. So I threaded my way through Stolls Alley, up to Tradd Street, and down the less-traveled parts of the old historic district.

Magnolia Plantation in Infrared

Work is good. Busy is good. But occasionally when I shoot too many assignments in a row and don’t have enough room to “breathe”, I feel my creativity getting stifled. It’s during those times that taking an afternoon off for a hike around Magnolia Plantation with nothing but my infrared camera can feel like a brilliant breath of fresh air!!!