Wiseshotz Photography: Blog https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog en-us (C) Wiseshotz Photography [email protected] (Wiseshotz Photography) Sun, 18 Dec 2022 16:21:00 GMT Sun, 18 Dec 2022 16:21:00 GMT https://www.wiseshotz.com/img/s/v-12/u616712203-o659342194-50.jpg Wiseshotz Photography: Blog https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog 90 120 HOT PIXELS https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/10/hot-pixels      On occasion, I look through my photos for those diamonds in the rough that I may have missed, and while doing so, I come across a photo such as this one, which is not all it appears to be. There is a bit of background to the shot – how it was captured, the resulting photo and what it took to render it presentable.

     About three cameras ago, I headed off on an evening for the Orange Street pier, determined to try my hand at producing a nice long exposure shot. To that point, I had not really done any of these, so this would be kind of an inaugural event. I set my tripod on the sand, positioned my camera and framed the shot I wanted, adjusted my settings and sat down to wait for the sun to sink away.

     For a bit of explanation, a ‘long exposure’ shot is one which is taken while leaving the shutter open for a longer period of time than what is usually needed. As a reference and in contrast, a short shutter speed is what allows a race car doing 200 MPH appear to be stationary and in focus. So, a long shutter speed will ‘slow down’ action, or blur it. As you can see in this shot, the bay appears calm and still, with an ethereal quality. This is achieved with the shutter remaining open. Of course, it has to be balanced with an appropriate aperture setting as well, so as not to let in too much light. And, this is a very rudimentary explanation of a ‘long exposure shot. Additionally, carrying this out and getting those settings just right is no easy task for a beginner. For the most part, I got lucky. I really liked this shot and had a good image of the outcome in my mind as I released the shutter.

     Imagine my disappointment then, when I loaded it onto my laptop and found that the sand, water and pilings were interspersed with tiny dots of light – whites, blues and reds, no larger than the threading end of a sewing needle. The rest of the photo came out just as I’d hoped, but these points of light seemingly ruined the shot. And, I had no clue what happened.

     I asked folks who knew more than I about photography. I got all kinds of answers, but none really seemed to fit. Some said it was caused by a light leak, possibly through the viewfinder – but research indicated streaks would appear if that were the case. Some blamed my lens, but it was not that old and subsequent shots came out fine. Finally, I found the answer on an internet forum, with a pic that included the exact same problem – hot pixels were to blame. Pixels are the backbone of digital photography – the more you have/capture the sharper your picture. Digital photos are made up of tiny dots of light – pixels – and apparently, some pixels on the camera sensor can get overheated during long exposures. It’s just one of those things – nothing wrong with the camera and it may never happen again. So, I knew why, but I still was with a pretty good photo but for the ‘hot pixels’.

     Enter Adobe Lightroom. Up to this point, I had been using free software to post-process my photos and shortly after taking this shot I bit the bullet and sprang for the real deal. A couple of months later, I got to work on this ‘negative, using a feature that will ‘heal’ imperfections on the photos. It was a painstaking process, but it worked and I’m happy with the shot.

     So, what did I learn? I learned that free stuff is usually worth exactly what you pay for it, that things don’t always work out as planned and, contrary to popular belief, happy endings are a real thing. Oh, I also learned that if you’re gonna shoot photos at night on the beach, don't forget the bug spray!


[email protected] (Wiseshotz Photography) Alabama Fairhope Fairhope Avenue long exposure memories Mobile Bay night photography Orange street pier wiseshotz wiseshotz.com https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/10/hot-pixels Fri, 08 Oct 2021 20:36:59 GMT
HOUSE LIGHTS UP! https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/9/house-lights-up      Imagine you are walking through an arena concert venue, not unlike the Mobile Municipal Auditorium, one with a dome-type roof. The building is almost full with avid fans anticipating an evening of music. You’ve maneuvered your way from the stage level seating, into one of the stairwells and are trudging up the steps amongst the cheap seats. You get to the very top of the steps and are met by one of those iron ladders bolted to the wall. You begin to climb, making your way upward where you see a hinged door with a padlock. You use your key, shimmy through and pop right up onto a deck where you steel yourself for what’s ahead. Leading up from the deck is a set of stairs, with the only ‘hand-rails’ being cables supported from angle iron running from the ceiling to the stairs themselves. And, to top it off, the stairs and pathways beyond are all made of expanded metal, the kind with large diamond shaped holes, allowing you to ‘look down’ way beyond where your feet tread.  Not to mention the fact that it all sways a bit with every step.

     So, up the stairs you go, keeping your eyes to the front and not down. You’ve climbed now about 40 feet above the top row of seats and you come to a level walkway which leads out to the center of the arena. Did I mention that the stairs and walkway are about two feet wide? Yep, just adds to the fun! Finally, you make your way to the end and reach another platform – same expanded metal, same ‘hand-rails’ – where you see a rickety looking chair, a couple of thick black cables leading to a floor-box with buttons and what looks like a headset hanging on the rail. You make yourself as comfortable as you can in the chair, don the headset and settle in for the show, satisfied by the fact that most of the folks below forked over twenty bucks or so for the privilege and you are one of the fortunate few getting paid to be there.

     As happens often, these memories and more were stirred as I was going through my portfolio looking for photos to send to the printer. I came upon this shot of Fairhope’s own “Roman Street” as they performed at Manci’s of Daphne and as I saw the equipment as well as their presence on the makeshift stage, I thought of a time, seemingly another lifetime, when I had a bit of involvement in this performance biz, at least from a set-up perspective.

I was living in Lubbock, Texas, in my early 20s and working for a large convention center in food and beverage management. The facility had a nice, but small theater and I became friends with the manager. She introduced me to the theater director for another city operated venue – the Lubbock Auditorium/Coliseum. The facility very closely resembled the Mobile Auditorium and it hosted everything from rodeos to monster truck shows to Texas Tech basketball and concerts of all types. Every one of these events would require assistance of some type and Bill, the theater manager, would determine the who and when based on the requirements outlined in the rider. The venue was not a ‘union house’ so Bill kept a list of folks to call on when a show or event was booked and needed stagehand assistance. Through the connection I’d made, I was put on the list and would take a sick day from my ‘real’ job when the call went out. Heck, this was the early 80’s and depending on what you were assigned to do, a long day’s work could earn you three to four hundred dollars!

     Load-in usually began around 5:AM, give or take, depending on the size of the show, or, how many semi-trucks full of equipment needed unloading. So, the band’s roadies supervised our stagehand crew and each one had their own responsibilities. There were a couple of roadies in charge of the loading and unloading of the equipment, there were those in charge of sound, electric, lighting, and instruments – not to mention props if those were involved. So, as stagehands we did all the grunt-work at their direction – moving and stacking amps/speakers, setting up sound boards, hanging the lighting trusses, running what seemed like miles of cable, and the list goes on. Once you’d kind of paid your dues with Bill, you’d be assigned to work the show and that could involve running a truss spot or carbon arc followspot, backstage flunky or houselights. And this last job is where this story began. Your job, once you made it to your perch way above the crowds was to, on cue over the headset, dim the house lights, turn them off, bring them back up after the front band finished, dim them again before the headliner, take them down, then back up when the show was over. All by pushing those buttons on the floor box. That’s it, the cushiest job a stagehand could ever want.

     And believe me, it was a fabulous side gig. I did it for a couple of years and remember working all types of shows, from rock to country – 38 Special, Sammy Hagar, Kiss, Blondie, George Strait, Reba, George Winston, to create a short list from a long one. There were some great times and there are lots of stories to tell. Maybe some day. So, after the show, the whole crew returned for the load-out. Shows back then lasted to almost midnight, so there was many a time that we didn’t finish until four or five in the morning. Once those busses pulled away, I remember Bill gathering us into a group, thanking all and passing out band t-shirts left by the promoter. I must have had a couple of dozen of those at one point. Funny, I have a Bama Sugar Bowl shirt from the 1979 season but nary a one of those shirts. Roll Tide!


romst2 (1 of 1)romst2 (1 of 1)

[email protected] (Wiseshotz Photography) daphne fairhope lubbock auditorium/coliseum Lubbock TX mobile auditorium roman street stagehand texas tech https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/9/house-lights-up Fri, 10 Sep 2021 19:23:00 GMT
The Calm https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/9/the-calm  

     This is one of those shots that got lost in the shuffle. Sometimes, I get focused on one particular capture and pay no attention to the rest. This one fell into that category as I found it right by another one with which I was quite pleased. But, when I came across this one recently, I was stunned with its beauty, the contrast in the sky between the sun and the stormy clouds as well as what seems to be a general sense of calm after the storm. It’s a shot that is quite pleasing to me as it brings me that same sense of calm.

     Yes, I realize that one could look at this and come away with a different reaction. There is so much there – the seeming struggle between dark and light, good and evil, the chaos in the sky, the calmness of the bay, the remnants of a pier and boathouse. Philosophically, any one of those elements could stir up all kinds of thoughts, excuse one to contemplate uncontrollable circumstances. And no, the word ‘excuse’ in the previous sentence was not a mistake – it was a choice.

     See, if nothing else, life and the ‘school of hard knocks’ has taught me that most of what goes on in this big world and my little one is beyond my control. When it comes right down to it, there is not much over which I do have control. I have learned though that I can control my thoughts, my actions and my emotions, with practice of course. So how I respond, how I think, what I allow to affect me are all choices. And the more I think good thoughts, God thoughts, the more often they manifest through my actions and emotions. Rather than look at the scene in this photo and conjure up struggles and loss, I choose to pull out of it the calmness and beauty that I see, that I sense.

     So, these days I try my best to choose the good thoughts, to let God direct my thinking. He is, after all, in control. It took a long time for me to accept that. But, life changed for me when I did - for the good of all!



[email protected] (Wiseshotz Photography) afterthestorm alabama dusk Easternshore Fairhope fairhopeal Godinnature lifeisconciousness MobileBay piers wiseshotz https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/9/the-calm Fri, 03 Sep 2021 16:54:27 GMT
SPRINGSTEEN https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/8/springsteen  

     On some evenings, if I’ve not got a plan for capturing a particular scene or one I think may present, I’ll drive from spot to spot, always at the ready if I see something inspiring. On a recent Saturday I was doing just that when I noticed what was going on in the sky above our pier. I quickly found a spot to park and proceeded to compose and shoot, compose and shoot, continuing till the light no longer cooperated. The accompanying photo is my favorite of the bunch and I hope you enjoy. But, this shot is really not what this post is about. And, no, it’s not about ‘The Boss’ either!

     No, it’s about summer nights and memories. Eric Church’s song, ‘Springsteen’, was playing when I got back into the car and the lyric “July Saturday night” is what caught my attention. So, when I was processing this photo, that song and that lyric popped into the forefront of my mind and without realizing it, I was suddenly revisiting times past, summers from here in Alabama to Texas and California and back again to our little Fairhope burg. And the memories were vivid, full of detail, as they popped into my mind, one to be replaced by another, as if I was having one of those dreams where I keep suddenly appearing in different locations with no idea of how I got there.

     I was wading in the lagoon at Gulf Shores, with my little girlfriend and some other couples, the dark evening and still water lit by a flounder light as we searched for soft-shell crabs. The outing was more about being together at that place in time than catching crabs – us guys acting like high-school guys trying to outdo one another and the girls just enjoying the humor of it all.

      I was with friends walking into Stubb’s barbecue joint in Lubbock, Tx where a 14-piece Jazz/Swing band was set up and playing in a venue that had inspired much of Joe Ely’s early music. The building was old and worn, no a/c to speak of and held a solitary pool table in a room that doubled as a kitchen pantry. A story made the rounds of Joe playing a high-stakes game of pool, using an onion as the Eight-Ball. We enjoyed some ribs, a bit of pool with regulation balls and outstanding music with not an amplifier in sight!

     In my mind, as I stepped out into the night, I found myself rounding the bases on an Ocean Beach softball field in San Diego. My then-wife worked at a Mexican restaurant and had cajoled her co-workers into challenging the staff of the steak house I managed to a game of softball on the Fourth of July. In reality, it was an all day affair with multiple games being played with beach breaks in between and grilling all day long. We had reserved the field through the city for the full day, into the evening – it was a prime spot for viewing the fireworks. We had tons of folks come to play and eat - families with their kids, couples and individuals - and many stayed through to the evening. It was a grand day, one of those you try to recreate but never can.

      Then, my mind fast-forwarded to times in the summer when I would have my kids, Trey and Kelly, staying with me at my apartment in Mobile. They were little tykes and after making, and them eating, homemade pancakes it was always off to the pool. I would always tote along a bag full of change as they were constantly demanding cold drinks and snacks. And, they had to come out of the vending machines – they were that age, nothing I could bring would suffice. All okay, though, they were little perpetual motion machines, seemingly never stopping to rest until late at night. My thought was that they burned all that extra sugar to make room for what came the next day. My Kelly used to love standing on my shoulders in the pool and having me launch her into the air, coming down in a big splash. She’d catch her breath, wipe her face and swim around to my back and just say “again”! She’d do that for as long as I let her. But, I had to stop and attend to the boy. Trey would get a head start and dive through the air over the water, catching the ball I’d thrown, all to show off to anyone who cared to pay attention. Dang, I loved those crazy days.

      And, more recently, I remember hot summer nights, sitting on the teeny tiny patio of the teeny tiny cottage I used to live in here in Fairhope, spending time with that special someone. I’d enjoy a nice cigar after a fine dinner and we’d just kick back and soak it all in, listening to music and enjoying each other’s company.

     Suddenly, I was looking at this photo again, taken on a hot July night, and I marveled at how it could stir such wonderful memories for me. And, that’s why I post my photos and offer them on my websites. I’ve had tons of reactions from folks all around and most all of them relate to me memories stirred by a photo I shared. And that’s what photography is all about – for me!

zen813 (1 of 1)zen813 (1 of 1)

[email protected] (Wiseshotz Photography) alabama beach eastern shore fairhope memories Mobile Bay mynbc15 ocean press-register san diego san diego union tribune springsteen stubbs The Boss the mobile bay light wiseshotz https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/8/springsteen Fri, 13 Aug 2021 20:59:40 GMT
Spring Clean https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/8/spring-clean ZEN FH-50ZEN FH-50    

       A client recently ordered a print of these Tulips on the Bluff and while submitting the photo to my printer, I recalled when I actually took the shot. I captured this scene a few years back on the tail-end of a Spring day. Back then, I was driving an older Miata and I only mention that because it was so low to the ground, it offered me a view somewhat different than usual. It had been a rainy week and, as you can see from the shot, it was one of those glorious spring days after the storms had passed, seemingly cleaning the skies and leaving behind a fresh and vibrant aura. I was driving down Fairhope Avenue with the top down and turned onto Scenic 98, most likely heading toward my mother’s house. I glanced out to my right and knew right away that I had to capture the unfolding scene. It just seemed so perfect, especially as I envisioned the shot. I pulled into the Thyme restaurant parking and grabbed my cam. Luckily, I had a wide-angle lens with me, which would enable capturing all the beauty I had glimpsed. As I headed across 98 and a bit north to line up the shot, I realized that I had to get low to get the shot. Without realizing what I was doing or where, I went to my knees, shuffling left and right to line things up. Later, my sister would tell me that she saw me kneeling in the street as she was driving home. It wasn’t until after I captured the shots that I found I’d been on my knees in a big puddle of water.

     Yep, shoes and jeans wet and covered in mud. But, hey, I got the shot! And, that’s something I’m kind of known for, going after the shot that others might shy away from. My zeal has certainly put me in some awkward places and has sometimes inconvenienced others. I travel a lot for work, more often than not going on fly and drive trips. The drives could just entail a short hop across town to a local facility or up to a several hour excursion out to rural areas. This other picture of me traipsing through the long green growth is one of those long drives to a site on Oahu. I don’t even remember the shot, but, as I’m known to do, I just pulled the car over and headed off. I probably left four or five of my cohorts sitting in the car, wondering ‘what now?’. They are mostly good natured about it though – one of them took this shot as proof of my derangement.


     For me, getting the shot is part of the fun, and I do enjoy photography and all that it involves. So whether I have to get a bit wet and dirty, chased out of a field by a farmer or go beyond barriers meant to keep me out, if the scene is worth capturing, I’m at least gonna try. And, I've found that to be the case in all of my life's endeavors - if it's worth having, whether that be a spiritual goal or any other aspect of my interaction with this world, I'm gonna try and never give up!


[email protected] (Wiseshotz Photography) AL bluff Eastern Shore Fairhope Hawaii Mobile Bay Oahu Tulips wiseshotz https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/8/spring-clean Thu, 05 Aug 2021 15:24:42 GMT
Cigarettes & Rabies! https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/7/cigarettes-rabies      As I was driving along Section the other evening, I noticed this powerboat motoring into the Fly Creek marina and I really felt the need to capture the scene. When I first saw the boat it was just passing the breakwater, entering the protected mooring area. By the time I stopped the car, pulled out my camera and lined up the shot, I’d almost missed the boat, so to speak. But, such as it was, I got the shot. In and of itself, it’s not all that. There’s a bit of good color, early evening light and nice reflections, but the timing wasn’t great and my angle for composition was not what I’d like. But, as I was taking the photo, something inside stirred, a memory, perhaps. As I was processing the photo, I reflected on how marinas always remind me of my father, him having been an avid sailor from way back, and the powerboat just kind of sealed it as he detested boats with motors that did more than putt, putt along. Then, a memory popped into my mind, one which I hadn’t visited in years, of a time in my youth when my father, my sister and me set out on a summer adventure.

     The dates are somewhat unclear at this point, but mostly not relevant other than to pinpoint our ages. It was either July of 73 or 74 when, as I found out much later in life, Walter senior became so frustrated with the goings on at his business, he decided to strike out for points west with the intention of chucking it all. At the time, as far as my mother, sister and myself knew, he was just taking the two of us on a summer trip. That in itself was out of the ordinary considering he told us we would be gone for a month and it was something we'd never before done. We really knew something was up when he bought a big Econoline passenger van and a pop-up trailer. I think the closest my dad had been to camping was on overnight sailing trips and his boats were always appointed with the comforts of home. And the van, wow. Dad was driving a BMW at the time, had driven Volvos previously and even had a Morgan built and shipped over from the UK. But then, this was the 70’s and his lifestyle was somewhat a reflection of the times. He had let his hair grow to his collar and sported mutton chops and a big ole walrus mustache. So this could have been his attempt to seek a simpler life. Whatever his intentions were, that’s how we set out, driving west in the van and popping up the camper at KOA’s at the end of each day.

     Now, this trip took place almost 40 years ago and a lot of details are quite fuzzy. I do though, remember quite a bit. Dad brought along a new-fangled cooler that plugged into the cigarette lighter and he had stocked all sorts of goodies for sandwiches on Pollman’s bread for as long as that lasted. My sis or I would put lunch together and we would eat as Dad drove. I remember that I had a little girlfriend at home and would feed change into a payphone each night to chat with her about things kids that age chat about. Where I obtained the seemingly non-ending supply of change escapes me and I don’t really remember for how many days the calls continued. I know that I missed her – my first romance and all – but we were in uncharted territory on this adventure and that eased the sting of separation.

     Our first non-KOA stop was in Lubbock, TX at the home of dad’s brother and his family. We spent a couple of days there, dad catching up with Uncle Syd, sis and I spending time with our cousins. Then we were off and it is, in all honestly, a blur until we got to San Francisco. Dad had an ex-business partner who lived in the city, so we stayed with him and ventured out to see the sights – riding streetcars, traipsing up and down Lombard Street, exploring Fisherman’s Wharf, dining at the legendary Kan’s restaurant in Chinatown and Jack’s downtown on Sacramento. Funny, as good as those places were and no matter where we had been each evening, we stopped and had a snack at a neighborhood Mexican restaurant. There were a whole lot of ‘firsts’ on that trip, for sure, especially for a couple of Mobile kids.

     From there we headed to Napa and toured the ‘BV’ winery, of which dad was a fan. Then, it was over to HWY 1 and up the coast with all of the majestic scenery that still amazes me whenever I’m out west. We drove north and took HWY 101 as far as we could, until we changed our route to hit the Canadian border. I remember dad trying to declare a pistol. Imagine trying that today! Fortunately, there were lockers at a business nearby that you could rent for such things. We took a ferry to Victoria and I remember it seemed as if a city had been secreted away at Disney World. It was the cleanest place I had ever experienced and the shops reminded me of Main Street. The Empress Hotel was mind-blowing for us southerners and the people who lived and worked there were the nicest and most helpful I’d ever encountered. And, trusting! Dad found a hand-made leather briefcase and, as I remember, it was pricy, several hundred dollars. The shop didn’t accept credit cards but told pops they’d gladly take a check. Different times, for sure.

     We didn’t know it then, but, we’d just about reached the pinnacle of our trip. Distant cousins on Dad’s side lived in Vancouver and we headed there for my sis and I to meet them and spend a bit of time. They lived in a somewhat rural area and one evening, sis and I hopped on a couple of bikes and headed out for a ride. Now, I had gotten my hands on some Canadian cigarettes and was darn sure going to take this opportunity to try em out. I separated myself from my sis, acting like the little twit I was, and went off and smoked till I could smoke no more. Apparently I had been gone a while as a lot had transpired at the cousins place. When I got back, sis was already there and everyone was fussing over her. Seems that after I ditched her, she had an encounter with someone’s pet dog and received a bite on the leg. She made her way back to the house in a panic and after our cousins attended to the wound, my father put her in the van and set off to go speak with the dog owner. This next part is unclear, even to my sister’s memory. The owner could not produce the animal. No one knows if they may have witnessed the attack and then spirited the animal away or if it had run off. We did find out the next day that they had euthanized the pet and had the body destroyed. Nice, huh? And, by doing so, there was no way to determine if rabies was involved. Unfortunately, the normal protocol in the U.S. in a case such as this was to begin treatment for rabies which was a series of very painful injections in the abdomen. My father was not gung-ho about putting her through it, but his concern for her health was tilting the scale.

     The next couple of days were tense. Sis was beside herself, dreading the possibility of the excruciating treatment. Dad seemed to be on the phone constantly, speaking with physicians at home and in Canada, my mother and stepfather as well as some research institutions on both sides of the border. He learned that rabies was exceedingly rare in Vancouver – there had not been a reported case of an animal infection, much less one in a human, in something like 20 years. So, after much discussion, nail-biting and what had to be an astronomical long-distance bill, it was decided that the odds were in sis’ favor – very, very unlikely that rabies was involved and the treatment was not recommended. Needless to say, we were all relieved and happy for sis. Course, she was over the top in her elation. I was as well – sure didn’t want to see sis have to go through the ordeal of the treatment. Never mind the guilt I was already feeling for abandoning her. Who knows if it would have worked out differently if I hadn’t. Still, I felt somewhat responsible. Strange thing is, with all of the attention to and hand-wringing going on over sis, there was nothing much said about my behavior. Didn’t really feel proud of that at all. Still, it looked like everything was going to be okay.

     And, once the decision had been made about sis, mom being mom, the trip was cut short as she demanded we be delivered home asap! So off we went – no more KOA campgrounds, no leisurely drives to see the sights, no visits to friends or family. It was interstate highways and Holiday Inns from Vancouver to Mobile. Still, it was a great trip – we had memories to hold and stories to tell. I believe the three of us grew a bit closer to each other through it all and it was an epic trip for a couple of Mobile kids and their dad. And dad, he kept his office open for another 10, remarried and once us kids moved away, he did the same. Funny, Dad and I ended up back here where we started having spent 20 years elsewhere. He has since passed. Living here near the bay where he sailed so often and scenes such as the one in this photo keep the memories alive. 


What A Day!What A Day!Home To Fly Creek

[email protected] (Wiseshotz Photography) Alabama Empress Hotel Fairhope Fly Creek Marina KOA Lubbock TX Mobile San Francisco Summer Vacation Victoria https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/7/cigarettes-rabies Thu, 29 Jul 2021 19:08:52 GMT
SERENITY https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/7/serenity  


     On a typical Friday evening, weather permitting, I’ll throw some gear in the car and head out in search of photographic inspiration here in our lovely town. I never know what I might come across, what scene might develop, but I’m always sure there will be tons of options from which to choose. Imagine my surprise, when, on a recent outing, I was met with a lack of activity such as might be seen on a dreary winter’s day. I made my usual rounds, back and forth, here to there, and ended up just hanging around one of the fishing piers on Fairhope beach, waiting for something to happen!

     But, there were no Herons in search of dinner, no nets being cast into the bay in hope of securing bait for fishing, no photographers with betrothed couples looking for the perfect shots, no kids splashing in the water, no families enjoying the evening on the sand, no couples strolling the piers, no locals walking their pets and not an obvious tourist in sight.

     Then, as I sat there gazing at the sky and watching the clouds roll along, noticing the obscured sun casting enough light to create reflections on the bay from the horizon to the shore, the lone gull perched on a piling in the distance, the complete lack of activity and the aura of calm and serenity all of that created, it occurred to me that there was a reason for it all – a message for anyone who cared enough to dig below the surface.

     And for me, I realized that all of this was God’s way of reminding me to slow down, to erase the clutter that I’d allowed to accumulate in my life, in my mind. To remind me to let go and let Him. The beauty that surrounds me and the peace He provides are gifts for the taking. I just need to let them both envelop my being.

     For, while I may not know much, I do know that I am what I think. If I latch onto a thought, good or bad, loving or hateful, and let it percolate for a bit, I know that sooner or later it will manifest itself in a corresponding action – whether by me or someone else. I also know that when I let God direct my thoughts, I do the right things, productive and loving things, as do others. And that’s the way I want to live my life and affect those around me. Me thinks I’ll frame this shot and hang it on my wall as God’s reminder.


[email protected] (Wiseshotz Photography) afterthestorm alabama dusk Easternshore Fairhope fairhopeal Godinnature lifeisconciousness MobileBay piers wiseshotz https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/7/serenity Fri, 23 Jul 2021 23:22:38 GMT
Glass Half Full https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/7/glass-half-full  

Summer Rain

     After having spent the better part of the last two weeks working at Girard Medical Center in Kansas, I was looking forward to a weekend at home without the need to do laundry and pack for another early Monday morning flight. Saturday certainly started and ended well, providing much needed time for errands and chores, exercise and a nice visit with my mother. Early afternoon, I set out for one of my weekend walks, leaving from the condo, heading to town, the bay and beyond. The weather looked fine and I didn’t see anything in the forecast that should deter me.

     I had been trekking along for almost two hours and was headed back north on scenic 98 when the weather took a turn and the raindrops started to fall.  As you may have read in one of my other blog entries, I’m no stranger to pushing through the rain and this time was no different. By the time I reached downtown, the torrent had eased up, but, it rained the whole way back to Volanta. Still, it was a good walk and it felt great to get out and move around.

     It rained on and off for a bit as I got some things done at home as well as out and about. Finally, it stopped around my abode and I put the cam in the car and headed out to see what may develop. I checked out haunts from North Beach to the Grand Hotel and noticed that the sky looked promising for a nice sunset. I first ended up around the fishing pier by the covered pavilion there on the Fairhope beach. There were not many folks out and I spent some time just watching fishermen and wildlife, biding time until the sun started bedding down. But then, around 7:30, it seemed as if an alarm had gone off to alert people that it was sunset time. Seriously, it was like a parade with folks on foot, bikes, in cars, all traipsing to the waterfront. In the space of 10 minutes I’d bet that 50 or so people showed up along the stretch of beach from the pavilion to the big pier. I guess they were just ready to get out after the rainy day. But, it was too much for me.

     I headed back toward Orange Street and pulled into the Pier Street boat ramp area. There were quite a few folks there as well, but, I was scoping out a vantage point from the vacant lot seawall just north of the ramps. The wall itself is a very handy spot for setting down the cam and getting a good shot closer to the bay level, pointing somewhat up to include the sky. Even though the sunset was hidden by the clouds, I really like how this shot turned out. It reminds me that the storms we endure, both as part of our weather here in lower Bama and as the tumultuous times in our lives, all come to an end. For me, I always visualize the other side of the darkness, the life sustaining sunshine, because I know things will work out as they should and for the best. My faith and my beliefs allow for nothing else!


[email protected] (Wiseshotz Photography) #wiseshotz #zenfolio Alabama Fairhope mobile bay pentax summer rain sunset wiseshotz https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/7/glass-half-full Mon, 12 Jul 2021 19:11:13 GMT
Kenny Stabler https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/7/kenny-stabler  

     Yep, there’s Kenny, looking for an open receiver while his linemen do their best to protect him during yesteryear’s Mobile Bay Bowl! Yuk, yuk! Actually, Kenny is just chilling and taking advantage of the calm surroundings whilst keeping an eye out for a bite of dinner. There are several Kenny’s here in Fairhope, all of the Heron family, both blue and brown. They can be seen all along our beaches, piers and pilings, always looking for their next meal. Seems that one of their favorite hangouts is wherever a fisherman decides to try his luck with a castnet. Kenny or one of his brethren have learned this is an opportune place for an effortless meal. One would think this would render Kenny helpless, weak and unable to fend for himself. Not so! If one keeps an eye out, the Kenny’s can be observed in their majestic flight as they search for seafood delights along our waterfront. They most definitely are a big part of the team that is the beauty found here in our place on the bay.

     And, I’d be remiss if I left you without explaining how the Kenny’s came to be named. Seems there was a special woman in my life a bit ago who was taken with my photography and she was a big fan of the Avian creatures who inhabit our area. She was especially enamored with our Herons and encouraged me to seek them out as I went about capturing the sights here in Fairhope. And, so I did. I was always on the lookout for a unique shot and, while I don’t really remember the particulars, I recall her assigning the moniker, ‘Kenny Stabler’, to one of the Herons I’d captured. This might seem a bit non-sensical to most, but, the two of us just adored having fun and word-play always seemed to be at the top of our list. From then on, all Herons were named Kenny and to this day, when I see a Heron, I think of his name and I think of her. Nuff said!

[email protected] (Wiseshotz Photography) #wiseshotz #zenfolio Blue Heron Fairhope Alabama Heron Kenny Stabler Mobile Bay pentax pilings ricoh wiseshotz https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/7/kenny-stabler Fri, 02 Jul 2021 16:32:18 GMT
A Happy Ending https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/6/a-happy-ending  

A Happy Ending

     As you can tell from the title, this little tale does end well, though, for a time yesterday, I feared the worst. I was out in the afternoon, piddlin around with a new lens and, of course, made my way to the Orange Street Pier. As you can tell from this shot, the water was calm, the wind non-existent and the quiet and stillness seemed deafening.  It was one of those moments that I wished would last, one that I could take home, file away, only to bring out when I needed a bit of peace in my life. But, I knew, too, that it was one of those moments that was just meant to be interrupted and it was, by the scream of a child.

     See, in between taking photos, I was enjoying the moment and watching a young girl with a man I’d guess to be her father, both out on the pier fishing. It reminded me of doing things with my children and just enjoying them for them. I was kind of lost in the moment, you might say, taking it all in. The man must have opened some bait because very quickly, there were a couple of dozen gulls circling above the pier. And then, I saw something that I’ve never witnessed. But, I could see it coming.

     The man went to cast his rod, let go the line and suddenly, a gull was diving toward the bait as it hit the water. And, the gull was spot on – it got the bait and the hook as well. That’s when the little girl screamed – and she didn’t stop even as her dad slowly reeled in the flopping gull. Immediately, I’m thinking the worse, the gull had to be hooked pretty bad. By this time, I’d walked about half-way down the pier to get a better sense of what was going on. Even though the man intended to try and free the gull, it was not cooperating and the child was in tears. I could see that the man grabbed some pliers and was working on the hook while trying to calm the girl. It seemed like several minutes passed when suddenly, I saw a gull flying away from the pier, looking none the worse for wear. The man kept telling the child, “who know that bird was gonna do that? No one will ever believe that happened”. Finally, the girl calmed down and they resumed their fishing. I walked away thinking how hearty and resilient our wildlife is here around the bay. Then the thought occurred to me that they are most vulnerable when there is interaction with us. Something to think about.


[email protected] (Wiseshotz Photography) #zenfolio Fairhope Alabama fishing mobile bay pentax seagulls wiseshotz https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/6/a-happy-ending Sat, 26 Jun 2021 01:58:48 GMT
WATERPROOF! https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/6/waterproof Waterproof!


     Every day, I try to break away in the mid-afternoon and get in a three-to-four-mile hard walk. Yesterday, with the weather app showing only a 19% chance of precipitation, I laced up my hiking boots, oiled up with sunscreen and donned my hat for a trek around the Volanta/Section/Triangle area. I was a good mile from home when the raindrops hit and I smugly congratulated myself for wearing my hat. A bit further along, the drops got a bit closer together with puddles starting to appear and I was thankful for  my waterproof boots. I pressed on, even though the rain was now pouring down hard enough that cars were slowing and splashing me as they went by. Of course, that really didn’t matter as there was no possibility of me being any wetter than I was. And, as I am wont to do, I plan my walks, rain or not, as out and backs to prevent the opportunity for bail-outs so - on I trekked, up hill and down.

     It was during one of these uphill stretches that I realized a drawback to the waterproof boots. While they do a fabulous job of keeping one’s feet dry whilst traipsing through shallow creeks, snow and other wet obstacles, they also hold water on the inside once it seeps in. I knew this – I’ve stepped in places before where the water was deeper than the boot uppers are high. What I didn’t think about though, was the rain, as heavy as it was coming down in addition to splash-waves created by passing motorists, was running right down my bare legs, soaking into the socks and filling up the boots. Water is heavy, you know?  And there wasn’t a thing I could do about it till I got home except trek on and enjoy the additional leg workout that the water containers tied to my feet provided.

     So, safely at home, clothing in the wash and boots sitting in front of a running fan, I finished up my workday then got out for another short walk down by the bay before heading home and prepping some dinner. I snapped this pic with my phone while I was out and it certainly proved to be an omen of things to come last evening. I was in my office working on some pics when the storm hit and at one point there was a lightning strike followed closely by an electric popping noise with a flash next to my desk. Seems that my modem felt the need for some attention and got it. I’ve been connecting to the internet as needed via my phone hotspot since. AT&T is delivering a new one tomorrow so I’ll be back in full swing. And, I’ll continue to take my treks using the postman’s motto. Gotta be ready for my next adventure in Montana – ya never know what the weather is gonna do.



[email protected] (Wiseshotz Photography) #pentax #zenfolio Fairhope mobile bay rainstorm trekking wiseshotz https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/6/waterproof Wed, 23 Jun 2021 21:01:26 GMT
Swingin - From Fairhope to Mobile! https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/6/swingin---from-fairhope-to-mobile      I came across this photo the other day and, it being Father’s Day weekend, thought it worthy of a new Blog post. See, my namesake is in the upper right corner playing the stand-up bass. I’ve not much clue as to when this photo was taken or where, for that matter. I’m guessing that it was in the late 50’s or early 60’s and as to ‘where’, well, it could have been here in Fairhope or Mobile. Dad told stories of playing for Mardi Gras organizations, company parties and all sorts of special occasion events on both sides of the bay. He told of playing in a few different bands, taking gigs whenever he could get them. He loved his music and his tastes ran from Classical, Big Band, Swing and Jazz of his era to more modern versions of the same. He was an aficionado and had quite the collection of albums and always the latest in stereo gear. In fact, he was such a purist when it came to his music, he would play a new album once, transferring it to tape so as not to damage the discs with repeated use. He was quite the meticulous sort.

     Dad was born in Biloxi and settled in Mobile with his once circus performing mom and his brother. He learned to play the trombone in the band at Murphy High and this was the instrument he brought to the gigs he used to play. At some point, one of the bands needed a regular bass player and the leader asked if he was interested in learning a new instrument. That’s how he came to play the bass and though he gave up playing gigs as he got older, he would from time-to-time get together with friends and play some tunes.

     He had other talents and interests as well. He was good with pencil and paper, recreating comic-strip characters free-hand. I still have a few of his ‘Dagwoods’ and they conjure up images of him and Blondie, always with one of Dad’s twists. He joined the Buccaneer Yacht Club and learned to sail. He always had a sailboat throughout the years and I learned quite a bit about the art of sailing. I never picked up the bug enough to buy a boat but rented and sailed my fair share during my time in San Diego. Dad loved to cook and was quite the gourmand – a word used in his day. He brought his meticulous nature to his cooking, for sure. I absolutely picked up my love of cooking from him as I could always be found helping him in the kitchen when visiting. Of course, whereas he measured everything out and followed recipes to a ‘T’, I eschewed the measuring devices and read cookbooks more for inspiration rather than direction.

     My mother and father were divorced when my sister and I were quite young, yet we visited him often. It was during these visits that I would spend time with him in the kitchen, honing skills and gaining interest. And, during the evenings, we enjoyed the fruits of our labor, always while listening to music from his collection. I can’t remember once on any visit with my father seeing a television turned on. He did have one, however it was only used to watch tapes of his favorite old movies. No, it was always music at Dad’s. I remember listening in the evenings while he hammered me on the chess board! Those were some special times.

     Dad and his wife Ida moved away in the late 70’s, spending several years in Indiana before settling in Port Angeles, WA. Ida passed away in the mid-2000’s and Dad asked for my help to move home. I flew out to WA as did one of his childhood friends, Dick Williams. The two of them drove Dad’s caddy while I drove the big-ass U-Haul. What a trip – I’ll remember it forever. Dad spent his remaining years, right up to the day he passed, doing what he loved to do, what he still could do. He lived alone, drove to the club once a week to have a couple of beers with his peeps, he shopped and cooked and he listened to his music. He always had a new ‘find’ he wanted me to hear, a new dish for me to taste or just an idea he wanted to share. I tell ya, I miss those visits and him as well.  Happy Father’s Day, Dad!



[email protected] (Wiseshotz Photography) Fairhope fairhope al Father's Day Jazz Mobile Bay Mobile Mardi Gras Swing walter wise https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/6/swingin---from-fairhope-to-mobile Fri, 18 Jun 2021 19:21:21 GMT
Showtime in Fairhope https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/6/showtime-in-fairhope Showtime in Fairhope

     I’ve noticed of late that there just seems to be more people here in our fair city. Or, to be specific, more people congregating around the bay, its beaches and piers. Of course, June is the wedding month of choice for many and there are no shortages of couples and wedding parties having photos taken all over the city with the beaches being the most popular spots. And, it is the beginning of summer so more folks are out and about, whether they be vacationing or just getting out of the house and enjoying all that’s available in these parts. From Friday afternoon until Sunday evening if you take a stroll along the bay front walkways, you’ll see others doing the same, serious bikers and those just enjoying a slow ‘pedal’, runners and joggers, people walking their pets and hanging out with those doing the same, picnicking couples, hammock loungers and all sorts of fishermen trying their luck at bringing home dinner. Unless the weather is just terrible, there will always be a good amount of folks around our main pier and beaches as well as the Magnolia Beach/Orange Street Pier area. But, come evening time, between 6:PM and 8:PM this time of the year, parking is at a premium and, quite often, elbow space is as well.

     It seems that folks like to end the day down at the pier or beach, hoping for a cool breeze and a gorgeous sunset. I’ll have to admit that I’m no exception. While I am always looking for scenes to capture, there seems to be no end to the beauty of the sunsets that occur most evenings. While I can’t be there for all of them, I do manage to photograph my fair share. And, I’m always looking for a shot that might not seem so obvious – something unique. Sometimes they jump right out at me and sometimes, not. This past Saturday was proving to be a ‘not’.

     I headed out with my cam in the early evening and the first thing I noticed was that the crowds were much larger than the norm. There were more people fishing, picnicking, biking and just plain hanging out than I’ve seen in quite some time. Because of the crowds and the lack of parking, I cruised from one spot to another, looking for a developing scene or one that had potential. For some reason, mostly me, I just didn’t see anything that struck me. As the time drew nearer for the sun to start dipping toward the horizon, I found myself sitting in my car at the Pier Avenue boat ramp along with quite a few others waiting on the ‘show’. Up to this point, the sun had been hiding behind a large bank of clouds, but decided to show itself before retiring for the night. As it neared its resting spot, in my mind's eye I saw the potential shot that came to fruition and accompanies this blog. I retrieved my tripod from the trunk of my car and quickly set it up on one of the finger piers for a low profile shot. I really like how it turned out and I’m thankful for living where do – where every night is ‘Showtime’!  It's a shot that I'm proud to put in my portfolio and one that provided another life-lesson. Had I given up, it would have been a lost shot. So, I tell myself that things do change - if I keep trying and doing what's right, the sky is indeed the limit, if there is one!!!


xsssShowtimeSunset from the Pier Ave. boat ramp.

All of my photos are available as prints here on my site, with framing options as well as metal and wrap mediums.  I've just created a new Gallery - Fairhope June 2021 - where new photos will be displayed in addition to my Blog links. I will be creating a new Gallery for each month to make photos easier to find. Thank you for following my work. I would appreciate any feedback you care to share. 

     I do send out a link to my blog via e-mail and Messenger in addition to posting it in various Facebook groups. Feel free to share the link with anyone you think might have an interest or if you would like to receive a link, drop me a comment or register on my site. Thank you for checking out my latest post!!


[email protected] (Wiseshotz Photography) blue. Fairhope Alabama Fairhope Sunset june Mobile Bay Sunset pier wiseshotz https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/6/showtime-in-fairhope Mon, 14 Jun 2021 21:00:57 GMT
Don't Look Up! https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/6/dont-look-up june 1june 1

     Was hanging around the Bay-front last Friday evening, watching the clouds and the goings-on on one of the fishing piers. Prior to this scene, there were shirtless boys running up and down the pier, doing what little boys do in the summer, a couple on a stroll, a woman taking pics with her phone and all the while, this person relaxing in what looked to be a beach chair on the platform at the end, did not appear to be disturbed in the least. I can imagine that he or she was there relaxing and oblivious to all else. I watched for quite some time as the people came and went. Then, Mr. Castnet showed up and it took only one toss of his seine until Mr. Heron decided to join. This shot, with the interesting cloud formations obscuring the sunset, on the surface seems to depict the Heron in a perilous spot, about to be entangled in the net. No worries though - Mr. Castnet's target was to the right of the pier. Funny, his net came up empty time after time and Mr. Heron moved on, presumably to visit a fisherman experiencing a bit more luck. And the 'Relaxer'? Well, I left without disturbing.

     All of my photos are available as prints here on my site, with framing options as well as metal and wrap mediums.  I've just created a new Gallery - Fairhope June 2021 - where new photos will be displayed in addition to my Blog links. I will be creating a new Gallery for each month to make photos easier to find. Thank you for following my work. I would appreciate any feedback you care to share. 

     I do send out a link to my blog via e-mail and Messenger in addition to posting it in various Facebook groups. Feel free to share the link with anyone you think might have an interest or if you would like to receive a link, drop me a comment or register on my site. Thank you for checking out my latest post!!

june 1Don't Look Up!Heron looking for today's catch.

[email protected] (Wiseshotz Photography) #zenfolio castnet fairhope heron mobile bay pier wiseshotz https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/6/dont-look-up Wed, 09 Jun 2021 21:00:49 GMT
PHILOSOPHICALLY SPEAKING https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/6/philosophically-speaking allenallen      I came across this photo recently and as often happens, I viewed it from a perspective which was not apparent when I captured the scene. I still like the shot for the contrasts presented by the stormy cloud’s ominous shadows versus the sun’s illumination of the pier, seemingly both enhancing the colors and the details. But, I was immediately struck by another thought as soon as I opened the file and that thought happens to be the title of a Gary Allen song – ‘Every Storm Runs Out of Rain’!

     And those were the exact words expressing the exact thought that danced through my head when I saw the photo. I guess that an outsider might say that the photo, in addition to giving me pleasurable thoughts and memories, is now a metaphor spurring my thoughts toward the way of thinking that has taken hold of my life. And that’s a good thing for me as, having a little bit of self-awareness, I realize that my way of thinking can bring lots of joy and happiness into my life as I strive to help and love others, or it can bring a whole heaping bunch of negativity and calamity. I do speak from experience and one thing I’ve come to accept as a fact is that I am who I think I am, I do what I think about.

     Expanding on that and the aforementioned storm, if one of life’s quirks, whether it be personal loss, financial set-back, illness, society’s ills or anything with a negative connotation happens, I can choose to focus on it and allow self-pity to take hold. That is a road I’ve been on – but no more. Life happens, that’s a fact, and I cannot change that. Life doesn’t happen to me, though, it just happens. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the type that delights in negative events. I just don’t let them get me down. I choose to have a positive outlook and I realize that nothing is forever. Heck, there is most likely something to learn from these events, though they may not be apparent at the moment they occur.

     Adding to that, I’ve come to know that if I focus on something that I shouldn’t, let some negative idea occupy my thoughts, then subconsciously I will bring that idea to fruition through my actions. Conversely, when or if one of those thoughts pops into my head I replace it with a positive one and turn my focus to things that are good, they will manifest in my life in ways that benefit me and others. To put it in a nutshell, I can and do think my way into the best life I can lead.

     This way of thinking has come about over sixty plus years. There have been a lot of storms in my life and I’m still here. And, there will be a lot more if God keeps me around. Me thinks I’ll have this photo printed, framed and hung on a wall in my place – reminding me when I see it that nothing lasts forever. The storms that blow through my life do, indeed, run out of rain.


[email protected] (Wiseshotz Photography) #mobilebaylife #mynbc15 #zenfolio alabama blue clouds fairhope gary allen mobile bay pentax pier Rain storm https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/6/philosophically-speaking Fri, 04 Jun 2021 21:00:32 GMT
What Plans? https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/5/what-plans mmmmmm

     Quite some time back, I put in a vacation time request for this past Friday, the beginning to Memorial Day weekend. Then I was booked to work in Magee, MS for a few days this week, assisting a hospital with their software use. In all honesty, I had forgotten this was the holiday weekend, so had planned on leaving Magee Thursday and traipsing around the backroads of that area, working my way back to Bama and heading back Fairhope way on Friday evening, all the while looking for photo opportunities. It wasn’t until I was driving up to Magee that I realized the ramifications of my plan, what with the holiday, the hordes and the traffic. I started to make alternate plans and figured that I’d best get home sometime late Thursday night to avoid the worst of it.

     So, Thursday, I checked out of the hotel and headed to the hospital where I worked with staff until it was time to join an exit meeting at 11:30. It was during this meeting when my plans were altered. I received a notice on my phone informing me that someone had purchased a couple of my photos from an old Etsy shop that is still active. Now, that’s always a good thing, though I’ve been toying with the idea of closing that shop. See, I set it up quite some time ago and have since opened a shop on Zenfolio which is fully automated once I load the photos. When a customer orders a print, it is automatically sent to the printer who delivers straight to the customer. Very smooth and efficient for both the customer and me. With Etsy, I have to dig up the photo, size it properly, send it to my printer and edit it on their site, place the order and inform Etsy that it has been done. I also send a message of thanks to the customer, but, I do that on both sites. Because the order was placed with Etsy, I knew that I had to be back in Fairhope before ‘close of business’ to get it processed. I’ve always provided my customers  prompt service and if that necessitated a change of plans, then so be it.

     Our exit meeting finished up around 12:15 and I was on the road by 12:30. It is usually around a three hour drive from Magee, but with the usual backup in Hattiesburg and the holiday traffic starting early it took a bit less than four. Once home, I commenced the search for the original photo files of the ones ordered. As I said, this Etsy shop was created  quite some time back and I’m not the most organized guy you might run across. Still, I found the photos, uploaded and ordered them and with time to spare. I sent off my thank you to the client then set about starting the holiday weekend with no plans.

     Believe it or not, I still managed to pick up some groceries, start some laundry, get in a five-mile walk and have enough time to capture a few sunset photos. The shot accompanying this blog is one of those photos and it seems a perfect end to my day. Though the day was hectic and things didn’t go as planned, there are things in life I can count on and photo ops in Fairhope are chief among those. Of course, being flexible in life pays off as well. Got an email from my printer mid-day yesterday that they had shipped the prints to the customer. Gotta love it!


[email protected] (Wiseshotz Photography) Alabama Bay Fairhope Fairhope Avenue memories Mobile Orange street pier https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/5/what-plans Sat, 29 May 2021 15:41:53 GMT
Memories - Orange Street Pier https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/5/memories---orange-street-pier 56565656      If you’ve followed my postings on Facebook and/or perused my website offerings, you’ve likely surmised that the Orange Street Pier is one of my favorite photo subjects here in Fairhope. I’m often asked, “why so many shots of that pier?”. The flippant response would be, “I like it”. And, I do! The reality, for me though, is that the O.S.P. is reflective of an essence and aura of times past as well as one where memories are still made and cherished. I’ve received tons of comments and notes over the years in response to my different shots of that scene. Comments such as, “…he proposed to me there”, “…caught my first fish from that dock”, “…was my wife’s favorite spot”. I had the meaning of that pier hit closer to home recently with a response from a nephew.

     One of my sisters and her family moved away from the area several years ago, bopping through Georgia and Louisiana before ending up in Houston. As my mother lives here in Fairhope, they’ve visited often over the years with her kids taking advantage of the bay and Fairhope’s offerings. Upon Forrest’s high school graduation, I had a shot of the O.S.P. printed and framed for him. My sister told me that when he opened it, he was surprised and emotional, saying how much it took him back to the days he fished from the dock both by himself and with his uncles. He even carted it away to college to hang in his dorm.

     My heart is warmed when my photos elicit treasured memories and I always appreciate hearing the stories around them. Still, though, I love viewing the scene that includes the pier and it seems that every time I’m there, it appears new with some previously unnoticed detail now enhanced in some way. It could be the blacks and whites made more obvious by the early morning fog: the golden hue of the wood as reflected by the setting southwest sun: the weathered wood walkway contrasting with an ominous sky: a perfect silhouette accompanied by a perfect sunset! It never ceases to surprise me what I find there when I look through my lens.

     On my website, I have a portfolio folder with nothing but shots of the O.S.P. and I probably have a few hundred in a file on my computer. See, sometimes when I take a shot, I just know, I can sense that there is something special, something different about the scene that doesn’t jump right out. I file those away in a special place and from time-to-time, I go through them, looking at each shot to see what I didn’t see before, but sensed. I’ve pulled some pretty awesome  photos out of that ‘special place’, including the one accompanying this blog entry.  When I come across one of these gems, I process it and share, both on Facebook as well as my website. And, who knows? That gem might just stir a memory for someone and put a smile on their face. I’ve seen firsthand that a photo and a memory can be a lot more valuable than a gift-card.


[email protected] (Wiseshotz Photography) Alabama Bay Fairhope Fairhope Avenue memories Mobile Orange street pier https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/5/memories---orange-street-pier Fri, 21 May 2021 21:08:53 GMT
Photography as Art https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/5/photography-as-art blog2Shrimping On The BayArtistic View      On occasion, upon viewing one of my shots, someone will ask, “Do you use filters?”.  The short answer to that question is, “Yes, always!”. Both the question and my answer deserve explanations and I’ll get to those shortly. But first, why was the question asked in the first place? Of course, no one really knows what goes on in someone else’s mind and, therefore, cannot really know why they might ask. But, I have some pretty good ideas and chief among them is that some do not consider photography as an art form. Now, this is not a guess – I’ve met such people and to them, photography is a means by which moments or scenes are captured and should be presented as factual representations. And, this is true – for photojournalism. That profession is tasked with presenting photos from news events and/or features to help tell a story. Ethical photojournalists should not alter the content of their work much like a reporter’s responsibility to report the news as it is. Still, while their images should be unaltered, they most always are adjusted for color and exposure. And that kind of leads me to the initial question posed along with my answer.


     But first, a bit about photography as art. When I post, print or offer photos for sale, I’m presenting images as I’ve seen them with my mind’s eye, through the camera lens. I’m not offering a newsworthy photo to let the public know what is going on nor am I offering it in an attempt to sway anyone’s opinion or coerce them to action. So, whether my photo is of the sunset, a pier, a scene in the park, or anything else, the image is presented as I interpret it. And, as soon as I snap the photo, the image, digital or film, becomes mine – to print and enjoy, to share, to sell. Of course, there are commercial limitations and requirements, like model releases and such, but that is veering off course.


     So, the photo belongs to the photographer and when asked if filters were used and why, the smart-ass answer would be one of ownership. However, it might be helpful to know some of the technical aspects of getting that photo from the camera to the screen or print. With film photography, there was no photo until the film was ‘post-processed’. I’ve written a bit about this in an earlier blog – developing the film and creating the print from a negative. In that process, the photographer manipulates the photo by adjusting the exposure, burning , dodging and masking. Glass filters are used when taking the photo by adding them to the lens to produce different effects – reduced polarization, color enhancement/saturation, exposure adjustments, adding tints, etc. The film photographer has and uses these methods and tools to create his art, what he sees through the lens.

     The digital photographer has these same tools available and more – they are now, though, available in electronic format. To understand the ‘why’, it helps to know a bit about how a digital camera stores images – without getting very technical. First, I’d like to point out that I use and am speaking of a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera – a DSLR. My film cameras were also of the SLR variety and that is where the name comes from in addition to its description of the device’s process. With a DSLR, one can choose how photos are captured and stored. Most everyone has seen ‘.jpg’ in relation to a digital photo and that is one of, probably the most used, settings by which a photo is stored. When this format is used, the DSLR uses its computer to apply colors, tints, exposure correction, etc. The format/setting I use is known as '.raw'. This is the digital equivalent of a film negative, or as close as it comes in digital photography. The resulting saved images are not without color; however, they are dull and muted. The photographer is then free to enhance the image during post-processing – the digital equivalent of working in the darkroom.

     There are a lot of different software applications designed for working with digital photos, the most popular of which is Adobe – Lightroom and Photoshop. I have both, however I rarely use Photoshop unless I’m working on portraits for a client. Photoshop is mostly for altering images, whereas Lightroom is used for bringing the photo to life, much like the darkroom was/is. And, like the filters added to the lens in film photography, Lightroom has the tools to perform the same functions, and more!

     So, yes, in essence, I use filters. And I’m darn glad they’re available – crayons just don’t cut it!


[email protected] (Wiseshotz Photography) .raw Alabama DSLR Fairhope Lightroom mobile bay photojournalism wiseshotz wiseshotz.com https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/5/photography-as-art Fri, 21 May 2021 17:39:23 GMT
It’s a Process – Sorry Nick! https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/5/it-s-a-process-sorry-nick 444444      Okay, that was a cheap way to grab attention with a title, at least in Bama football country. But, photography, much like playing football for Saban or undertaking any endeavor worth having is a journey that includes a learning process in order to improve. The learning process for me includes reading material produced by professionals, studying the shots of Photographers I admire, keeping up with new technology and ideas and previously, classes – both online and university. But, one of the key ways I’ve learned what I put into practice is by trial and error – the key being to correct those errors. The photo accompanying this Blog entry is one of the errors.

     I took this shot several years ago when I was just beginning with digital equipment, both the camera and post-processing software. I had recently purchased an entry level Pentax and was learning to use it with some of my old lenses. Those lenses, of course, did not ‘talk with’ the new camera so its operation was manual. Which today is no big deal as I shoot entirely with the camera setting on manual as a preference for ultimate control of the shot. I do sometimes let the camera choose the focus; however, I’d say that’s only about half of the time. But, I was learning and that was part of the process. I will say this, I liked the scene then and I like the shot. But, I think I could have done a little better with the composure and today I would have certainly used a tripod in the lower light to achieve a sharper image. The photo has a graininess, which I kind of like in this shot, and that is caused by the low light and a bumped up ISO – known as film speed in the old days. The ISO on this shot was set at 200 to pull in more light. Keep in mind that a normal ISO setting is 100. Generally speaking, the higher the ISO, the more pronounced that grain becomes. To put it into comparison with today’s equipment, my current Pentax will allow for an ISO setting of up to 800,000. Top end on the model I had back then was probably around 2400. A setting of 200 on the cam I use today would be clear as a bell.

     So, the shot itself was pretty good and a tripod would have allowed for a sharper photo. On a side note, using a tripod also allows for a longer exposure which increases the light in the shot. However, since there is movement in the scene – boat, waves, birds – a longer exposure would leave the image blurry. In a shot like this with low light, ISO and aperture are the key settings to increase the light. A lower aperture lets in more light but renders a less sharp image. The tripod helps to maintain sharpness, but sometimes, you’ve just gotta bump up the ISO and with today’s cameras, it’s not as much of an issue as it once was.

     Where I really went off the rails with this photo was during the post-processing. I was using a software programs known as  Destructive Editors, mostly freeware even though I believe some of the early editors from Adobe used the same process. These programs allowed for over-all changes to a photo’s colors, brightness, shadows, etc., along with adding effects and cutesy stuff like frames. The ‘destructive’ aspect was that whatever changes made were applied and saved on the original file – permanently changing the photo. Today, I use Lightroom Classic as part of the Creative Cloud package. Changes in this program are made to a copy and can always be reversed. This shot of the boat and the bird are forever changed. I hate that, but, trial and error! Live and learn, right!

     And, one of my afflictions in life is that if a little of something is good, a whole lot more is great! Wow, where did I ever come up with that? It certainly took over while editing this shot. That ‘new’ vignetting tool seemed cool. You can see the result – an over-processed photo that can never be returned to its original state. I have a file of photos which fit that category. Some of them are great shots, but they include silly frames, overdone effects or other folderol. All part of my process.

     Hopefully, I will continue to learn from my mistakes and the advice of others who have more experience, both with mistakes and success. I just know that I must keep an open mind, be willing and teachable. And, I think, as Saban does, this applies to anything I endeavor to achieve.


[email protected] (Wiseshotz Photography) alabama egret fairhope fairhope al fishing heron mobile bay night photography pentax Shrimp boat wiseshotz https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/5/it-s-a-process-sorry-nick Fri, 21 May 2021 17:38:47 GMT
Best Laid Plans https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/5/best-laid-plans finger pierfinger pier  

     When I am out and about, I almost always have a camera at the ready for that unexpected shot. Nothing is more frustrating than to happen upon a scene that just cries out to be captured, only to realize that the camera is sitting on the shelf at home. Of course, most everyone carries a smartphone these days and the cameras they offer get better and better. Still, they have their limitations and, to me, shooting with manual settings allows me to capture the scene as I see it. And, for the most part, those unexpected scenes tend to be fluid, so running home to get the cam is not an option. While I’ve turned out some pretty nice, printable shots with the phones I’ve had, I still prefer to have my Pentax at hand for maximum creativity. I highly recommend the practice.

     Of course, I sometimes see a shot in my mind’s eye, whether it comes to me as I’m involved in things other than taking photos or seeing a shot as being ideal if only something occurs that would enhance the pic, this being, most always, out of my control. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t. That’s photography and life. I don’t necessarily give up on the idea, though; I try another time, sometimes having it work out. Actually, it may take several attempts, but it usually works out.

     Then there are times when I just head out with my camera to see what I see. I may happen upon a ready-made scene and go straight to work on capturing the shot, or I may see and anticipate something upcoming, get into position, frame the shot as best I can, set the ISO, exposure and aperture, then wait. The shot accompanying this Blog entry is such a shot. I was on the first finger-pier off the main Fairhope pier, looking west and waiting for the sun to put on a show a bit closer to the horizon. I was all set – ready and waiting -when these kids walked down onto the other finger-pier, carrying their fishing poles and ruined my shot. At least, that was my first reaction. I remember thinking to myself how I’d just wasted twenty minutes. Then I also remembered something I’ve learned over the years, something that I’ve had to learn in life as well as photography and that is things rarely work out as I’ve planned but if I’m patient and allow myself to see beyond expectations, the result is better than my original thought.

     I can’t even guess how many times I’ve planned a shot only to have it morph into something better than I’ve envisioned. It takes patience, flexibility and an open mind. And, it always pays off! I certainly think it did with this one!


[email protected] (Wiseshotz Photography) #mynbc15 Alabama dslr. Fairhope fisherman orange patience Pentax photography pier plans Ricoh sunset https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/5/best-laid-plans Fri, 21 May 2021 17:38:30 GMT
Fairhope - Light Changes Perspective https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/5/fairhope---light-changes-perspective brchbrch      The photo that accompanies this post started me on the path to my love for taking shots of the beauty that surrounds Fairhope as well as what I experience while traveling. I took this photo while on a business trip back in 2012 – quite some time since I first was ‘exposed’ to photography.

     In a previous post, I wrote about my first experience with photography and how it was the darkroom process, the developing and printing of film and photos, that filled me with wonder. I was introduced to the process back in 1979, fooled with it for a short while, picked it up again for another bit in the mid-80’s, then experienced a revived interest during a Photo-Journalism class I took in 2001. All the while, I took lots of photos, mostly snapshots of kids, family and obligatory scenes on the occasional trip. I would say that a good half of the shots I took ended up in landfills from here to California on undeveloped film. My fascination with the darkroom processes never transitioned into any kind of career or hobby. However, what it did was to teach me something about light. And, photography is all about capturing and recording light, these days, more often than not, digitally. When I took a job that requires lots of travel, I made the jump to a digital camera.

     It was a Pentax, point and shoot pocket sized camera with an optical zoom. I reasoned that it would be a convenient item to throw into my backpack for shots to record my travels. Funny, I now carry a full-frame Pentax with at least one additional lens wherever I go. Anyway, I was on one of those trips for my company, working at a hospital in Bowie, TX, about halfway between Dallas and Oklahoma and a bit west. In my free time, I’d take off driving about the countryside just killing time and looking for something of interest. I was out of town on a dirt road and up ahead at a highway intersection I saw an arch type sign for ‘Brushy Cemetery’. I pulled in and wandered about with my little point & shoot, taking some cool shots of old headstones and the surroundings. I later found out that ‘Brushy’ was an old community and its residents had included civil war veterans and old pioneers. Even not knowing that yet, I thought the site was interesting – just seeing dates on the headstones gave me a clue to the history. As I was walking around, I noticed a stand of trees adjacent to the cemetery and I could just faintly see the outline of a structure in its midst. I headed through the trees and in a clearing I saw this old, abandoned building. There were no doors and the windows were long-since gone. There were no steps to the doorways either, so it was a bit of a climb. Once inside, after my eyes adjusted from bright sunshine to the dim interior, I realized I was standing in an old church. As you can see from the photo, the elements had been working on the building, taking its toll over time. In spots, I could see through the slats in the floor and the walls. In fact, I had to step carefully for fear of falling through to the crawlspace. The old wooden pews were mostly intact, though somewhat scattered. There was a raised platform at the head of the room for what I imagine held the preacher’s pulpit. I was really in awe at this wonderful find. I could really get the sense of the town folk congregating on a Sunday morn, seeking fellowship and guidance. I remember hoping this old church would not disappear – that somehow it would be preserved.

     I must have stayed there in and around that church for an hour, taking photos from different angles, through the windows, from perspectives up and down. I am sure I’ve got the rest of those photos on a device somewhere and it would be neat to revisit them. It might be cool to load them onto my website for viewing – to have that visual reference to an incredibly good memory.  I can honestly say that this picture and the whole experience is what created the new sense of wonder and love for the actual art that is photography.

     That love has grown and the wonderment never fades. When I moved to Fairhope 8 years ago, I was filled with anticipation and excitement about capturing the scenes that surround the city. I always have one of my cameras with me, though my little point & shoot was retired long ago. Because, while I’ve seen all of our city and its buildings, parks, piers, beaches and sunset scenes, how they appear today is different from yesterday. See, it’s all about the light. And, I learned that in a dark room!


[email protected] (Wiseshotz Photography) abandoned church Alabama Bowie Brushy Cemetery darkroom. Fairhope Pentax photography Ricoh TX https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/5/fairhope---light-changes-perspective Fri, 21 May 2021 17:38:20 GMT
Lost! https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/4/lost      “Good morning, Boss-Lady! Hope your weekend was great. Um, bit of bad news on my end. Seems that I lost my phone…!” Yep, I was envisioning that call and conversation occurring the first thing Monday morn. See, my employer supplies my phone, both as a benefit and as a way of, keeping in contact on a secure device. And a new one would have been my third in three years. And, they just issued me a brand new laptop. Luckily, that call won’t be necessary.

     I had decided yesterday that if the sky was cooperating, I’d head to a spot that I’ve been thinking would be a good place to shoot with my drone. I headed out early, drove around the waterfront here in Fairhope, keeping an eye on the sky to see what was developing. I liked what I was seeing, but it was still about forty-five minutes before sunset and the place I wanted to shoot is not a conducive one for just hanging out and waiting. So, I ended up at the Pier Street boat ramp, looking at the sky over Mobile and the gulls perching on the pilings of a long-gone pier.

     I decided that while I was waiting, I’d pull out my drone and get in a bit of practice at flying the thing. I’ve only had it out four times and I knew that the place I wanted to shoot later would require a bit of precise maneuvering. So, out of the case, set up with my phone and off it went. I was just piddling around and took a few shots along the lines of the photo that accompanies this entry. Nothing to write home about, but it seemed appropriate to post with this story. It was fun flying the drone amongst the pilings and the gulls. See, the remote control has a spot for and requires that you connect your phone and the two communicate through an app. This allows you to control the drone and also gives a birds-eye view from the drone. Pretty neat!

     Realizing that it was nearing the time for me to head off, I brought the drone home and began to ready it for its case. I drive a Miata and had the top down so after disconnecting it from the remote, I set it down on the car, probably on the folded down top. I finished with the drone and drove off, first to the Orange Street pier (just because I always do), then down to the Fairhope Pier, where I took a few shots, from my car, with my regular camera. Then I was off for my sunset spot. As I was headed that way, I took a side street that I had never explored then got back on track to where I intended to shoot. I arrived at my spot, or as far as I could get in my car. It requires a bit of driving amongst the trees and then a bit of a walk. As I was gathering my things from the car, I realized  – no phone. Dang! My first thought went back to the boat ramp and I could not remember picking it up after laying it on the car. My foolish second thought was to wonder if another phone that I have at home for use with wi-fi would work with the remote through blue-tooth. I decided I needed to look for my phone. I retraced my drive, back through down-town, around the parking lot by the pier, down to the boat ramp, the Orange Street pier, back to the ramp – no phone! I headed home, thinking about that Monday morning call, but, oddly enough, there wasn’t any dread or panic. It was just a thing.

     When I got home, I used one of those ‘call-my-phone’ websites to see if maybe it was in my car somewhere and I’d overlooked it. No such luck. Then, I remembered hearing something about ‘Find My Phone’, an Apple app. I looked it up on my laptop, found my Apple password and signed in - the app pulled up a map with a little green dot labelled ‘Walter’s IPhone’ and it was located  just off of Section Street and Perdido. I jumped in my car, headed that way and, I’ll be darned if it wasn’t laying face down in the parking lot of the old ‘Ben’s Bar-B-Que’! I realized that when I wanted to check out that street I had never explored, I pulled into Ben’s and turned around. So, that phone sat on my Miata from the boat ramp, to the Orange Street pier, to the Fairhope Pier, through downtown and decided to jump off at Ben’s.

     All I can say is, wow! I do some fairly dumb things sometimes, like driving off with my phone on the car. And believe me, I’ve got more stories just from my pursuit of getting the shot. Luckily, technology is what it is. It allows me to fly my drone and, wait for it … find my phone!



[email protected] (Wiseshotz Photography) Alabama drone Fairhope IPhone miata Orange Street pier sunset. tecnology https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/4/lost Sun, 04 Apr 2021 18:03:11 GMT
Snapshots to Drone Photography - The Journey https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/3/snapshots-to-drone-photography---the-journey      I bought a camera drone. I absolutely have refused to even consider doing so for as long as I can remember. Then again, I felt the same about digital cameras at one point also. My first camera was a 35mm Pentax, K-1000 and I’ve had a progression of Pentax models since then. Nothing but Pentax – from that K-1000 to a point and shoot right up to my current full-frame digital. And plenty in between. As I remember, my refusal to go digital was because I had an assortment of lenses I wanted to keep using and could not do so with the first digital cameras. Then, Pentax came out with one that worked with my lenses, so I made the jump. Heck, in all honesty, I still have some film rolls that I haven’t had developed. So, why not a drone? I’m coming to accept the fact that I’m sometimes slow to change. I’ve never been in the first group to jump on the bandwagon and that’s probably part of it. But then, I started thinking about those shots I’ve always wanted to take – the disappointment of seeing a shot but being unable to physically get into a position to take it. So, I rationalized, justified and leapt right in. There is a definite learning curve in its use from a photography perspective, but, I’ll say this. Learning to fly the thing has unleashed my inner child in a big way! It’s loads of fun!

     Since I mentioned the undeveloped film and some of my cameras, I guess I need to get back to my progression from my epiphanies in the dark room to my photography today. One would think that after my experience developing film and creating prints, with the wonder and excitement with which it struck me, I’d have gone full tilt into learning all I could about photography. One would be wrong! Yes, I bought that Pentax and progressively fancier models over the years, however, I used them for what the old Instamatic was designed – snapshots. Ain’t that pitiful? Nothing at all wrong with snapshots, mind you, and I still take my share. But I darn sure didn’t need the nice 35mm with different lenses to take them. It wasn’t until I moved back to Mobile from the West Coast when my interest and excitement in and about photography were once again stirred. And, that happened during a Photo Journalism class I took at South Alabama. It all came rushing back when we had to create a portfolio of Black & White shots, then develop and print our own. Yes, the desire was reborn in the dark room, where it started oh so long ago. And then, the learning began.


[email protected] (Wiseshotz Photography) alabama drone photography fairhope pentax photo journalism south alabama wiseshotz.com https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/3/snapshots-to-drone-photography---the-journey Fri, 19 Mar 2021 22:02:34 GMT
Hello, my name is Walt - glad to meet ya! Wanna see some pics? https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/3/hello-my-name-is-walt---glad-to-meet-ya-wanna-see-some-pics    A friend recently asked me how I got started with photography, what caught my interest. Wow, I had to really go back to come up with an answer. It’s funny, though, how it transpired, from backing into the hobby so long ago to what I do with my camera and wiseshotz.com today. Walter Wise here and I think my name and my chosen tool give a touch of insight into the name of my website.

   I live in Fairhope, Alabama which is the inspiration for a huge portion of my photos. Fairhope is a picturesque little town on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay, which spills into the Gulf of Mexico. We are blessed in this little spot on the map with our fair share of gorgeous sunsets, all sorts of waterfowl and awe-inspiring scenes of our beaches, piers, and the bay. I get out with my camera religiously as I never know what new inspiration will present and I know that the same scenes never look the same. Once the moment is gone, I can never get it back and I hate to miss out!


   In addition to my photography, I like to hike, often, with my camera in tow. Of late, I’ve been visiting some of our National Parks, including the Smokey Mountains, Yellowstone and Glacier National, all last year and all during the winter months. Coming up, I have a trip planned in September and will be visiting both Yellowstone and Glacier to see what I missed out on due to snow and ice. I can’t wait to capture more of the raw beauty that is always on display in our parks.


   So, these photos I take, I like to share and do so by posting some of them on Facebook, most often on What’s Happening in Fairhope and Fairhope Now, two local pages with great followers. I also offer them for sale on wiseshotz.com. Prints are available in different sizes and mediums. They also may be ordered framed and matted as well as canvas wraps. If you’ve visited wiseshotz.com before, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you visit again. Recently, I drastically reduced print prices to make them more affordable. Take another look and find something you like!


   Back to my friend’s question about what got me started, what caught my interest in photography. Many years ago, I stopped by a friend’s apartment in Tuscaloosa, AL where I was playing at getting an education. Prior to then, my only experience with photography was being around when the folks snapped away with the Instamatic. Turns out this guy had taken some B&W photos for the school paper and was just beginning to go into his own darkroom and develop a roll. He invited me in and that’s where it started. As I said, funny, in that I was mesmerized by the chemistry, threading the film on the spool in the dark, anticipation while the negatives developed then dried and finally working with the enlarger and learning to do what Lightroom does today. The initial draw for me was the end result, bringing someone else’s creative vision to life on paper. It wasn’t until many years later that I realized that I have a creative vision of my own – through the lens of a camera. But, that story will have to wait for the next post. Hope you catch it!


[email protected] (Wiseshotz Photography) Alabama B&W camera canvas wraps Fairhope Mobile Bay National Parks Photography prints Tuscaloosa wiseshotz. Yellowstone https://www.wiseshotz.com/blog/2021/3/hello-my-name-is-walt---glad-to-meet-ya-wanna-see-some-pics Fri, 05 Mar 2021 21:07:34 GMT