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Archive for the ‘In the News’ Category

Pennies For Pickle Video


A very special thanks to all of our supporters who collected Pennies For Pickle! Our family had a great time yesterday tallying the pennies. Here’s a video we put together of our counting session… Enjoy


Video for a Cause


I usually don’t shoot video even though my Canon 5D MII shoots great HD video. I have however messed with shooting some of my favorite bluegrass bands, although I usually just “lock it off” and hit record. The audio obviously isn’t the best either, but hey the bands love it and the fans of the bands enjoy reliving the shows.

If you know me on a personal basis you know my family has lost one of our members to a heroin overdose. In response to his death, we have started a website (NKYHateHeroin.Com) that we hope will be a resource of information needed by heroin addicts and their loved ones. The response to our site has been amazing and we have learned a lot and met lots of great people fighting the same fight we have become determined to win.


So what does this mean for BluegrassPhotography.Net? Well I was asked recently to shoot some interviews of family members of those lost to heroin. Which I readily agreed to. I decided to go with a basic background and keep it simple so the message was the most important part of the video, not the effects or style. I did however decide to convert it to black and white, as it’s a very black and white subject, people die from heroin. I was afraid the people I was shooting for wouldn’t care for the black and white, but I felt strongly about it and was willing to push back hard. I didn’t have to fight for the effect because they agreed it was a good choice.

The final video was used for a recent public advocacy meeting and featured on 4 out of the 4 local networks.

If you’d like to share this video for advocacy purposes, drop me an email and I’ll do what I can to get you a DVD or digital copy.

Here’s a link to the video on Vimeo.






Sierra Hull, The Voice of an Angel



I have been looking forward to seeing Sierra Hull since I saw her last, 10 years ago at the IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Awards Show in Louisville, Kentucky. The first time I met her was in the green room of the Fan Fest for the awards show. I was shooting photos of Ricky Skaggs and over in the corner of the room was this tiny little girl playing the mandolin, attempting to keep up with Ricky, note for note. Apparently she was doing a good job of it because Ricky stopped mid-chorus and walked over to the little girl struck up a conversation. One of those conversations I don’t truly understand, one between two incredibly talented musicians, which usually turns into a musical conversation that I must admit turns me extremely jealous! The two new friends shared a couple of tunes with one another and that seemed to be the end of the situation.

Ricky&SierraI left the green room to head to stage front, stopping along the way to chat with Del McCoury, which was awesome in itself! But what was in store for the crowd on stage was really the awesome event of the night. Ricky Skaggs started off with his normal hard hitting stuff, but changed gears a bit by telling the crowd he wanted them to meet his new friend, his 12 year old friend, Sierra Hull. Out came the little girl that just a short bit ago was hiding in the corner of the green room! Now on stage with one of bluegrass’ biggest and best! Needless to say, she killed them! I think what amazed the crowd the most was her mandolin skills. But what we all didn’t now at that moment in time is that we were listening to what has become one of the most incredible female voices in bluegrass music today, my opinion of course!

Long story, I know, but one thought was cool enough to share. I’m not sure if this story proves I’m old man that has seen today’s young bluegrass stars grow up, or not. But I like to think it’s a great example of how young people shouldn’t give up on their dreams. I know in the green room that night Sierra knew she had talent, but having talent isn’t enough, she also had determination! I think that’s something we need to share and instill in our children.

Even if you don’t care for bluegrass music like my dear wife, you should really check out Sierra Hull, she truly has the voice of an angel!

Here’s her official website…

and some samples from her latest CD…

And here’s the rest of the shots from tonight’s show… Enjoy!



WEBN Fireworks – 2013




The first time I photographed the WEBN Fireworks was back in 1981 while I was home on leave from the Air Force. I remember that night like it was yesterday. I was on the bank of the Ohio in front of what was Helen’s Newport Yacht  Club where just four years earlier my family watched the very first display from the Yacht club on our family cabin cruiser, the Lazy River. Newport Yacht Club was located right below what is now Newport on the Levee. That night I showed up with 2 USAF issued tripods and 2 Nikon F5′s. I ended up shooting 10 rolls of Kodak E-6 slide film and 4 rolls of Kodak Kodachrome. I ended up entering a photo contest on Minot Air Force Base, and winning with an image I shot that night on the riverbank. The same photo went on to win 5 levels of competition up to and including the Department of Defense photo contest! I still have the slides from that night in a sleeve in my office.

Little did I know I wouldn’t shoot the fireworks again for 22 years. With various Air Force assignments, raising a young family, and many years of family camping trips and bluegrass festivals I just never had time for the fireworks.

In 2010 my normal Labor Day weekend bluegrass festival was cancelled so I thought I shoot the big end of summer celebration again. This time with no limitations on film due to the fact I was now shooting digital, I stood within 50 feet of my first shooting location and went to work. With Helen’s Newport Yacht Club long gone and the city long ago having decided it was best for pleasure boats to stay a safe distance away, I have no obstructions so I sat myself right on the riverbank. My feet were actually in the water. Once I started setting up I wished I had not missed all those years as I was really getting pumped to shoot. Apparently I have a knack for shooting fireworks because that year I entered and won the WEBN photo contest!

So with visions of prizes such as a stack of coupons to local fast food joints, some WEBN stickers and a WEBN calendar with my winning photo on it, I went to shoot again this year. But merely sitting on the banks was not an option this year. I had higher goals for my shooting location. Which turned into a morning of scouting my locations. One, the deck of the  John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge… close, but not a good shot of the down low fireworks. The second choice was on top of Newport Central Catholic High School… absolutely incredible view, but everyone knows you haven’t really seen the fireworks if you’re a couple of miles away. My third choice, no contest, was the rooftop of Newport on the Levee. Barnes & Noble to be exact. I won’t mention how I came to be able to shoot from any of those locations as I would never give up my “connections” and share the awesome locations with fellow shooters. After all, I have another contest to win!

Although I truly don’t shoot the fireworks to “win contest” I have to admit I’m editing and sending some of this year’s shots along to the folks at WEBN. The main reason I shoot them is the same reason I shoot any of my photographs… I’m totally relaxed when I shoot photographs. I’m in my own little world, whether it be out on a long Saturday drive shooting old barns or in the middle of a half million people watching fireworks, I’m by myself!

Here’s the entire gallery from the 2013 WEBN Fireworks. Enjoy!

Harley Warrick – The Barn Painter In The News



It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted to BluegrassPhotography.Net so I thought it was about time I catch up a bit and get some news out. In this case it’s news stories I’m posting about.

As I’m sure most of my subscribers know, I have a passion for old barns. Old Mail Pouch barns in particular. So when I recently had an opportunity to dig into the life of the most well known barns painters, Harley Warrick, needless to say, I was very excited. Harley’s son Roger and I were talking one day about his father’s history and I asked him if he had a collection of photos and/or videos of his father’s work. A few weeks later Roger showed up at my door with a few boxes of photo albums and a box of old VHS video tapes. The videos were all “news reels” of stories local media throughout the region had done on his dad later in his career when he had become somewhat of an Americana icon. I told Roger I thought all his media should be archived in digital format and offered to scan all the photos and digitize all of the video tapes.

What started out as an archiving project turned into a video of news clips that I offered to produce for Roger. Although I had offered to take on the task free of charge, Roger kindly offered up a couple of old Mail Pouch items from his collection, which I certainly agreed upon. The final video includes quite a few videos from various local news stations and some national shows like Good Morning America and On the Road with Charles Kuralt. The video also includes some radio interviews that are backed up with photos from the Warrick family photo albums.

Although most of you reading this probably are not Mail Pouch “geeks” like me you may enjoy the historical information in this video and associated photo collection.

Click here to view the video. Enjoy!

Click here to view the archived photo collection. Enjoy!


Dogs Days of Summer Art Fair


Looking for something to do this weekend? Visit BluegrassPhotography.Net at the 3rd Annual Dog Days of Summer Art Fair in beautiful Rabbit Hash, Kentucky! I’ve been busy wrapping lots of new canvas prints so even if you’ve been to one of my shows there will be lots of new stuff to see. And since Rabbit Hash is a great place to shoot I’ll of course have lots of photos from right there in the lazy little town on the Ohio.

Fair dates and times:
Saturday, July 28th, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Sunday, July 29th, from 12:00 Noon to 5:00 PM

And don’t forget to pass this along to all your friends and family!

Hope to see your there!

Occupy West Virginia?


On a recent photo trip to West Virginia I ran across a group of “Occupiers”! Right out in the middle of West By God Virginia.

Now I don’t want this to be a political or social commentary, and I’m sure you don’t care to hear my opinions. So to keep that mess to a minimum I’ll just say as a whole I think the occupiers we’ve all seen on the nightly news lack a concise, consistent message. They can’t say what they want as a group, but offer up a ton of varying objectives and goals. That said…

As I’m driving through the hills of West Virginia on a hunt for old Mail Pouch barns I pass an “encampment” with all kinds of tents, campers and signs. One of which caught my eye more than the rest. “Occupy West Virginia” it said. It mildly interested me, but I had barns to find.

About a mile or so down the road my curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to turn around and check it out. So I pull up and start shooting and a woman walks up and asks, “who you with?”. I’m thinking to myself, “well, it’s just me”, but I explained I’m not “with” anyone, knowing I was about to get the story even though I wasn’t with the press. As it turns out she’s the local union president for an aluminum workers union. She explained that they are at arms with the local aluminum plant and they are going to “change” things by occupying that particular location, which happens to be right outside the gate of the plant.

So now I’m thinking “Great, now I get to hear a bunch of union workers complain about working conditions and such”. But I figured I stopped so I might as well listen. I couldn’t have been more wrong though. I was introduced to a group of retired aluminum workers. Men that had worked very hard for as many as 30 years. They were gruff metal working men and their years of hard work were exposed on their faces and in their hearts. One man told me they had recently lost their health insurance that they had been contracted to receive once retired. He explained that the next day he would be receiving his retirement check and three quarters of it was to go toward health insurance. He said that less than 6 months earlier his check covered food, shelter and the typical bills we all have, but now that they had broken the contract he was in dire straits to pay his bills.

As I was pulling up I was thinking the worst of those people yet I ended up listening and learning. Maybe I should be more open to other people’s thoughts and opinions? Maybe we all should?

Here’s a small gallery of the shots from my visit. Enjoy!