I guess it’s Been Longer Than I Thought

For lack of anything really interesting to say, I figured I’d just post some recent work to let you know I’m still alive and kicking!  Hope you like them.









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I had a great change of pace recently when a friend of mine from South Dakota, Arika Sanders, (www.arikajsanders.com), spent several days with me, shooting photos that were very unlike the photos I had been doing the past several months.  It was almost like a palate cleansing of sorts.  From sweaty guys in camo hanging in trees with guns and bows, to something quite the opposite.  We had a great time and I believe we are both looking forward to the next shoot.  Hopefully it won’t take her so long to get here again!




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The Louisiana Marsh


     So often while travelling, we tend to gaze right over things that are smack dab in front of our face.  Sort of like not seeing the forest for the trees, I guess.  Last week I had the opportunity, thanks to Ducks Unlimited, to get a closer look at a place that has played an enormous role in so many facets of life, not only for the locals, but on the national and international level as well.  The southern Louisiana marsh and Mississippi Delta is that place.   As duck hunters know, or should know, this marsh is crucial to duck production, wintering and fattening well over 9 million waterfowl, primarily from the Mississippi Flyway, each year.  However there is a lot more to this area than just ducks.  Louisiana’s coastal marsh is responsible for between 30-40% of the annual, commercial seafood harvest in the United States. 


   “Wintering waterfowl, along with shorebirds rely heavily on Louisiana’s coastal marshes for continued nourishment before making their trip back to the breeding grounds,” says Chris Jennings, Ducks Unlimited magazine web editor. “These marshes are critical for not only waterfowl and wildlife, but as storm surge protection for cities along the coast. The significance of the marsh is all around us – the cultural and economic impact of the marsh on this region and throughout the U.S. is astounding.”  


                Ducks Unlimited considers this area as one of their highest priority locations in North America.  The reason being, despite all the wildlife relying on the marsh, the generations of families deriving their living from the marsh, and the health of the entire ecosystem, the marsh is experiencing huge losses every day.  In about 2 generations, or 60-80 years, approximately 1 million, of the original 3 million acres of marsh have been destroyed and lost.  The Mighty Mississippi  is capable of dumping enormous amounts of sediment into the marsh, but in its current configuration, all this life giving sediment is lost by a river that plunges it’s nutrients far out into the deeper waters of the Gulf, bypassing and providing nothing to the shallow water marsh.

“What’s most important is that we need to let people understand that this is not a lost cause. There are steps we can take to stop the marsh loss,” Jerry Holden, Ducks Unlimited director of conservation programs for the Southern Region says. “Working with local and national partners, we believe that we can make that happen and reverse this trend.”


                The answer is simple: As with many of the world’s major wetland systems, humans have dramatically altered the processes that created the Louisiana marsh. Sediment-laden flood pulses still travel the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico, but we have successfully tamed the mighty river. No longer does the channel shift, due to extensive levee systems that contain the river from St. Louis nearly to the Gulf. In Louisiana, levees from Baton Rouge through New Orleans to the small community of Venice contain the river and prevent the wild shifts that create new marshland. (Dr. Tom Moorman “America’s Marsh”.)

                Freshwater diversions coming from the river, of which there are a few, can pump some of the much needed marsh building sediments and nutrients into the marsh.  These are like small, controllable channels that can direct small portions of the flow of the Mississippi into the marsh area and would not only provide needed nutrients, but would also actually begin rebuilding marsh in the area by depositing sediment.  As great as that might seem, there are some local groups opposed to it.  Oystermen and shrimpers both would most likely need to travel a small distance further to fill their vessels as the marsh grew.  Oyster beds tend to grow in a band of brackish water that is neither totally saltwater or freshwater for several reasons.  These beds would likely move to retain this particular band of water salinity as the marsh returned to its original size.  The freshwater marsh would also push shrimpers a bit further out but the trawlers are regularly seen fishing in fairly close proximity to the current diversions.  Seems like maybe the shrimp are benefitting from the additional nutrients floating about too.

                “This all used to be land. Right where we are fishing is where I used to camp. This was not that long ago,” Capt. Joe DiMarco Sr. who grew up hunting and fishing the Louisiana marsh says. “It’s sad. There’s so many places like these that show up on our navigation charts, but they just aren’t there. It’s open water where land was last year.”


            “This is the greatest ecological disaster ever…ever,” Captain Ryan Lambert, owner of Cajun Fishing Adventures in Buras, Louisiana. “And it can be stopped. We are fighting to save the marsh – the ducks, the fish, the crabs and shrimp – and our culture.”


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More Snow


I’ve been working on a little project recently for CVA, www.cva.com, trying to graphically highlight their Nitride Rust-Proofing Process.  What a better way to do this than to show their Accura Rifle in use in the rain and snow!  However, counting on snow in late spring in Kentucky is a losing bet, to say the least. And real, natural, rain comes with its own set of problems, for instance exposing tens of thousands of dollars of electronics, cameras, and lighting gear to water.  The solution was to create our own weather, exactly where we wanted it and to be able to fully control it’s intensity and location.  All these photos were shot within steps of 75 degree and sunny weather.  The entire storm encompassed about 100 square feet.  Hope you like them, and thanks to the models who braved the treacherous conditions!

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Realtree Work

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This year I have had the privilege to shoot a lot of work for Realtree.  The final pieces from that work has been showing up in various magazines and other locations recently.  Here are a few of those shots.  The Xtra Green photo was done last spring, while all the others were shot this year before everything greened up.  All of these pix were shot on our farm in KY.  Man I love my job!  Hope you like them.

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Craig Morgan


Recently I once again I had the pleasure of shooting with Nashville country artist Craig Morgan at his home.  Being that this was our second time working together, we got into a good grove immediately and managed to make some great new photos for him.  The photos will be used by him for several different projects that he’s involved in and should start popping up pretty quickly.  Hope you like them!  There’s even a bonus shot of Craig and I…








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The Keys


Here’s a few shots from a recent trip to the Keys for a combination work/play trip with my buddy John Bond.  We spent a couple days on Islamorada fishing and goofing off!  Had a great time.  Looking very forward to getting back there.  Used to be, a long time back, I was there nearly every year.  Now it’s been a lot of years since my last visit.  I’m hoping to return to the every year cycle.


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I had the chance to shoot a bunch of photography in a couple of states for both Realtree, and Ducks Unlimited over the last 2 months or so, using the new Realtree Max 5 camo.  This stuff just melts into it’s surroundings.  Back before the new year, I had shot a bunch of work in and around cattails and flooded bottoms.  The new work here involved mud, milo fields, and flooded cypress trees.

Last week I took advantage of an opportunity to head to southern Florida and spend some time golfing around Fort Lauderdale, and fishing in the Keys with my buddy John Bond and his wife Judy.  Dang near like a vacation!  Loved every second of it and I’m already trying to figure out how to get back there again.   I also shot some work there that I’ll post later.  I spent a couple days getting back to reality here in KY and will be shooting another job Sunday.

Turkey season is right around the corner and I’m expecting a bunch of friends and clients to be passing through over the next 4 weeks.  I’ll be making a quick trip in a couple weeks to Nashville for a couple days to shoot with country artist and outdoorsman Craig Morgan once again, and can’t wait to get there!  Craig is such an awesome, easy going guy to work with.






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Headhunters TV


Last week I had the opportunity to spend a few days shooting with a couple of the best guys in the hunting industry here at our farm in KY, Randy Birdsong and Nate Hosie of Headhunters TV.  It was a pleasure to work with a couple of young guys that are so easy going and ambitious.  Their energy and creativeness during the shoot was infectious.  Most non shooting time involved a bit of live music, courtesy of Nate as well.  All in all it was a very enjoyable time and I’m already looking forward to our next shoot!






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Winter Everywhere I Go!


Other than the annual trip to Vegas for the SHOT show, it has been dang cold everywhere I go.  Even the week in Nashville for the ATA show had temps hovering around the 0 mark.  We spent a week in northern Mississippi shooting waterfowl images recently which has temps traditionally in the 50’s and above.  We spent the first 2 days there trying to break 4 inches of ice in the flooded and frozen fields with a Polaris Ranger, and the next several days being stuck in the mud in the same spots as the temps rose into the 40’s…  Other than a couple of wonderful days near 70 here in KY during a shoot last week, the weather has been less than ideal.  Since those days last week the temps have once again fallen and we’re looking at a high of about 35 today.  The other day we got another 2 inches of snow.  That snow is what the accompanying photos are from.  The forecast for home for the next few days has another major storm moving through that’s expected to dump another double digit load of snow on Northwest Indiana that could snow totals into the upper teens by the time it passes through.  At least there’s a bit of beauty that can be found in all of this.







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