The Presbyterian Outlook came up big at the Associated Church Press awards, garnering 8 awards including an Award of Excellence for their coverage of last year's PC(USA) General Assembly, for which I was one of the photographers. The judges wrote: "In a crowded field of event coverage, this is the standout entry. This is true news writing in which deeper context and background are given to news stories to ensure the reader understands the implications of the decisions. Paired with strong photography and an objective lens, this is what convention and meeting coverage aspire to be on its best days.” It doesn't get better than that! I'm proud to have been a part of this amazing team!
Spring is coming
It's Still Rock 'n' Roll to Me
Ah, the 80's--an era defined by big hair, shoulder pads, and synth-pop music! My friend Dan (that's him on the far left) recently stumbled on a treasure trove of pics from various bands he was a part of and sent me some scanned images. He said, "You took almost all of these! Thank you for documenting this memorable time!" This particular incarnation was known as "Sector," and in addition to Dan (drums), I was also friends with Jeff (bass - front right), and Tony (lead singer - back center). We were all in a church youth group together. What I remember more than taking this image, is developing/printing it in the darkroom at the Montecito (Santa Barbara) campus of the former Brooks Institute. I can still taste/smell the chemicals. It was a carefree, exhilarating time, and I loved all of it.
O Christmas Tree
One last Christmas image before the tree comes down. I love our tree. It is filled with ornaments old and new, kitschy and sentimental, shiny and bright. Underneath the tree runs a Lionel Polar Express. The idea was to leave the shutter open long enough for the lighted train cars to leave their mark as they travel around the tree. The end result was a 15 second exposure. Goodbye tree--see you next Christmas!
New Year, New Setting
A New Year's public service announcement: Your camera has a clock and a calendar. So as we start another year, remember to check your camera's settings and make sure you're all ready for a new year of images with the correct date and time. #HappyNewYear #2023 #TheMoreYouKnow
A Charleston Holiday
While it might sound like the title of a Hallmark Christmas Movie, it's actually a trip my wife and I took in December celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. Charleston is an historic and beautiful city located on the coast of South Carolina. Its downtown historic district covers approx. 95 sq. blocks (making it second only to New Orleans in terms of the size of its historic district). Being there at Christmastime made it extra special as we spent a great deal of time wandering the small residential streets marveling at the architecture ("Piazza" = porch) and the variety of uniquely Southern decorations (think wreaths made from Magnolia leaves).
As Seen on TV: The White Lotus
In anticipation of the Season 2 finale of HBO’s “The White Lotus,” I’ve put together a gallery of images taken in Taormina, Sicily, where this season was filmed. Darcie and I visited this lovely mountainside town overlooking the Ionian Sea (and Mount Etna) in 2003. Look closely and you may recognize at least one location from the show.
Learning a New Tune
I admire musicians and musicianship. It probably began back in high school with a friend who played the bass in a band, and I thought they were SO COOL! I even got to see them perform at the famous LA live-music venue The Roxy. Since then, I've been fortunate to know many talented musicians, including this guy, Mark Sinnis. Mark is actually my barber but his "side gig" is heading his own band (Mark Sinnis and 825). And I can tell you he is as skilled with the six-string as he is with the scissors and straight razor! I've been wanting to add some concert photography to my portfolio, and when I found out Mark was doing an afternoon set at a local brewery, I asked if I could shoot some pics. As it turned out, the stage was outdoors, and the mix of sun and clouds provided some very nice diffused, but still directional, light. I was pleased with the images. What do you think? The whole experience was a little out of my comfort zone, but a reminder that even non-musician photographers can learn a new tune!
High Flying Kites
This is Sim. Sim flies kites, and he loves it. He told me, "We talk about the power of wind...but flying kites really lets you experience it. It's my preferred form of meditation." Sim was just one of the participants in the Cape Fear Kite Festival held at the Ft. Fisher Recreation Area earlier this month.
All images ©Jonathan C. Watson Photography
Trick or Treat
Dear reader, I don’t necessarily believe in “ghosts,” but I love a good spooky tale or scary movie! And let me tell you, the people of Asheville are all in when it comes to stories of the macabre—as it seems there is much paranormal activity to be discovered in this Blue Ridge town. As you know, we visited AsheTHRILLe this past summer, and I took a few images of some of the more well-known haunts, including The Grove Park Inn, the former Highland Hospital, and Central United Methodist Church/Church St. Happy Halloween!
About the author:
Jonathan Watson is a freelance photographer with a love of landscapes, nature, and people.
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Images ©Jonathan C. Watson Photography (unless otherwise indicated); All rights reserved