Friday, July 30, 2010

Sir Paul was Sir-perb!

Paul McCartney.

(He was in a band before WINGS.)

His current tour had him appearing in Charlotte for the first time in 17 years so I had to drive up.

Might be another long dry spell.

He did not disappoint the sold-out crowd at the Time Warner Cable Arena.

I believe there were only two empty seats in the whole place...and they were next to me in Row 5.

I had some elbow room in a crowd of 19,000 people.

Many fans had signs and banners and at least one license plate.

McCartney actually made a comment about the tag.

"It's thoughtful and beautiful but I hope you know it's also misspelled?"

My little sign was an enlarged copy of a ticket to the 1965 Beatles concert in San Diego.

I had covered that for the newspaper but Sir Paul and I did not get to reminisce about the last time we had seen each other..

This time I could hear the band.

He did a high-energy show that lasted almost 3 hours and included two encores of 3 songs each.

Oh, did I mention that I experienced my first-ever indoor concert pyrotechnics?

We all were singing along to "Live And Let Die" and you know the part on the record (vinyl?) where there's an explosion?

Yep. I was rocked by the blast and felt a heat wave roll past me. Yikes.

I was flinching instead of snapping a picture but I was ready when the lyrics came back around to the part that gets REALLY loud.

Another BOOM and heat.

Oh yeah!

There was another surprise at the end of the second encore.

Someone handed McCartney a large bouquet of flowers.

He waved them over his head then he walked toward stage right to exit.

Suddenly 80 million tons of red, white and blue confetti came pouring down from above over the audience.

He was totally blanked out by the cascading display.

When it cleared, he was gone.

Thank you to my favorite former Beatle.

(I've created a Flickr album of my concert photos. It was so nice to have a camera that could capture crisp, clear pictures. It's my Canon S90. Thanks.)

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, July 23, 2010

Photos At Night...

It takes light to make pictures.

Well, yes and no.

I was out at Shem Creek a few days ago and the sunset was disappointing.

A storm front had pushed through and there was a little thunder and some rain but mainly it was cloudy.

Scratch the sunset-at-Shem-Creek idea.

But a visiting friend picked up his camera about an hour later and said "Time to take some pictures."

He is really good at night photography and we have exactly the same Canon small digital camera.

I was ready for an instant tutorial.


With a "slow" ISO (film speed) of only 80, we took these shots IN THE DARK at f/8.0 for 15 seconds.

We did not have tripods with us but the dock area had plenty of posts and benches and even the pier deck as support for the long exposures.

One group apologized when they realized they had walked past my camera while I was taking a picture.

"No problem," I said. "It's a time shot and as long as you kept moving, you would not appear in the picture."

They didn't.

(Click on the images -twice - for more details of what the Canon S90 can do. Thanks.)

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Giving Up Boating ....

I had to stop going out in my boat for medical reasons.

No, really. I went to a dermatologist about 7 years ago and found I had skin cancer.

As they say, if you have to have it, I had the "good" kind. It was a basal cell carcinoma and a surgeon removed it.

But I grew up in the South Carolina Lowcountry and, as a youth, had a long history of getting sunburned, peeling, then going back for more so I could have a tan.

I was raised believing that bronzed skin looked nice and healthy.

But CANCER is an ugly prospect.

So I got rid of my boat.

And I sold the snappy-looking convertible.

I put myself on a schedule to see the skin doctor every six months. And even sooner if I saw something unusual.

I bought a Tilley wide-brim hat and I stocked up on 30+ sun block.

Sometimes I miss the wind in my hair and the smell of salt air.

That's when I dig into my photo files and take a look at a client's 50-foot yacht down in Florida.

I had snapped it years ago to use on a business card I was making for him.

He had even let me take a picture standing at the wheel of the $$$ yacht.... for about 10-15 seconds.

Wow. I was afraid to move!

I was never that nervous with my own little 14-footer.

Saw the skin doctor today and I'm doing fine she said.

(Click on pictures for more detail. These are old photos so they don't appear too much larger.) Thanks.

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, July 09, 2010

Outdoor Missouri Wedding

I guess the minister summed it up best:

"This is my first-ever "Barn Wedding."

Recently I wrote about flying to Kansas City for my grandson's wedding. Here's a few pictures I wanted to share.

It was held outside at Matthew's home at 3pm. The temperature was in the mid-nineties. Whew.

His Step-Dad Joe had ripped weathered planks from an old barn and put together a unique backdrop for the ceremony.

It was beautiful.

I know the photographer did not get this exact same shot of Matt and his Mom Laurie.

That's the "official" camera in the picture.

Of course I had my digital Canon S90 with me.

I don't leave home without it.
You have to admit...that makes a mighty fine setting.

(You can click - twice - on the pictures to see more detail. I really like where photography has headed!) Thanks.

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, July 03, 2010

4th .... and 5th of July

As the Director of Tourism for the state of Missouri in the 1970s, I was "forced" to travel back and forth to London.

British Caledonia Airways had started direct service from London to St. Louis and wanted to fill seats. Well, so did I.

In the late seventies when a destination state was seeking international visitors - and business investors - it would put together a travel mission.

Among other things I planned to educate and entice the United Kingdom travel media, agents and tour operators, I was going to bring an actor to portray Mark Twain.

Mr. Clemens would perform in the U.S. Embassy so that meant trips back and forth to handle many details.

My 16-year old daughter Amy asked if she could go along on one of the crossings. "I'll just play in Picadilly Circus while you have meetings," she suggested.

Sounded like a good plan to me.

The passport was no problem and a few weeks later we were cruising over the Atlantic at 34,000 feet when she asked "Do the British have 4th of July?"

Interesting question! I launched into a long response about the American Revolution, the colonies vs King George, the original Tea Party and all the pent up emotion that caused our young nation to rebel.

"So they would hardly celebrate THAT in England," I ended.

Smiling, but trying not to laugh out loud, she answered "Well Dad, of course they have the 4th of July...and the 5th, the 6th, the 7th..."

Later, when she asked for some pounds sterling to go see a knights-in-armor museum, I told her to stop calling the bills "colored wallpaper."

Hey, I was back in charge.

[Click on the photos to see more details. These were NOT taken in the 1970s although they could have been.]

Labels: , , , ,