The Alleyways in Auburn


Afternoon Alley SunAfternoon Alley Sun

Afternoon Alley Sun

As of late I seem to be going from one day shooting thousands of images of an event to shooting almost nothing. Shooting nothing serious for days drives me nuts. But those are the times I try to get out of my comfort zone, slow down, and tackle subjects that have no deadlines, that interest me personally, but also will advance my knowledge and experience as a photographer.

It’s quiet here in Auburn right now. The calm before the fall-sports-storm, when you can get a table at a restaurant and find a parking place. But that makes street/people subjects challenging. In my ongoing series The Streets of Auburn Project, I have added a few from the “Alleys of Auburn,” but this is just a start of that point of view, or a first initial look at the alleyways, and I didn’t make it very far that day.

Why take images of an alleyway? (Which by the way is pretty much the question I get no matter what shot I’m taking, (1) why are you taking a photo of xyz, and (2) what do you do with all those images.) Well, photographically alley’s are great for working on composition, and often have super directional light, converging lines, shadows, and unpredictability.

It’s probably not super well known outside of the locals, but Auburn has some great alleyways, and I doubt they are the most photographed areas of the town either. Several of them were updated along with College and Magnolia on Toomer’s Corner last summer. Even though it’s been about a year I hadn’t made time to see what photo opportunities they might have until a few weeks ago. I didn’t get near the time I wanted to spend down there just about an hour was all I had, but I love the shot below of the jogger, one of my favorites so far, I just couldn’t decide which frame I like better, coming or going. At 7-FPS (frames per second) he was in and out of the alley in literally less than one second, two frames was all I was able to capture.

I’m not really counting these images towards my “street photography” project since most are void of people, but I love the alley over by J&M Bookstore. The colors and lines and uniqueness of the conveyor belt make it a fun place.


Alley RunnerAlley Runner

Alley Runner


Alley RunnerAlley Runner

Alley Runner


Self Portrait in the ShadowsSelf Portrait in the Shadows

Self Portrait in the Shadows

Yes, these two below aren’t in the alleyway, but the sunset on the back country roads was beautiful that night, and I had to include a shot from one of our favorite restaurants BurgerFi, especially for those who we not-so-randomly run into on Friday nights over there, you know who you are.


BugerFi HatBugerFi Hat

BugerFi Hat


Sunset on the Country RoadsSunset on the Country Roads

Sunset on the Country Roads

An Auburn Alley or Two

Afternoon Alley Sun

The sun in the late afternoon in the alley near J&M Bookstore in Auburn

As of late I seem to be going from one day shooting thousands of images of an event to shooting almost nothing. Shooting nothing serious for days drives me nuts. But those are the times I try to get out of my comfort zone, slow down, and tackle subjects that have no deadlines, that interest me personally, but also will advance my knowledge and experience as a photographer.

It’s quiet here in Auburn right now. The calm before the fall-sports-storm, when you can get a table at a restaurant and find a parking place. But that makes street/people subjects challenging. In my ongoing series The Streets of Auburn Project, I have added a few from the “Alleys of Auburn,” but this is just a start of that point of view, or a first initial look at the alleyways, and I didn’t make it very far that day.

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Toomer’s Drugs and the Streets of Auburn


Toomer's Corner in AuburnToomer's Corner in Auburn

Toomer’s Corner in Auburn

This week I finally had a few spare minutes to get downtown to take some street shots. I’ve been wanting to practice up on my black and white technique and revisit street photography for a long time but just never made time to do it. Auburn is generally a fantastic place for street photography for several reasons; people are super friendly (almost overly so which also has it’s challenges in shooting), there is almost always something going on that makes for interesting subjects (especially during football season), and it’s a small condensed area so you can cover a lot of ground by foot quickly.

This time I purposely picked an afternoon when the streets were basically empty to try out some different compositional ideas without getting in someone’s way. Obviously it’s a little difficult to get some good contextual street photography action without anyone really being in town, but I felt a few images worked in this set. I am continually amazed at the intricacies of black and white photography and I love how complex it is after spending decades shooting only in color. Retraining the brain to think in black and white, learning to see in black and white; it’s all so much more than taking a color image and hitting the black and white button in Lightroom. It’s a whole other world out there as they say, and something I’m looking forward to learning in great detail over the next several years.


College Street PhoneCollege Street Phone

College Street Phone


Walking TalkingWalking Talking

Walking Talking


Strolling HeatStrolling Heat

Strolling Heat


Walking the DogWalking the Dog

Walking the Dog

The Streets of Auburn, Part 1

Toomer's Corner in Auburn

The famous Toomer’s Corner Drugstore in Auburn in the summer

This week I finally had a few spare minutes to get downtown to take some street shots. I’ve been wanting to practice up on my black and white technique and revisit street photography for a long time but just never made time to do it. Auburn is generally a fantastic place for street photography for several reasons; people are super friendly (almost overly so which also has it’s challenges in shooting), there is almost always something going on that makes for interesting subjects (especially during football season), and it’s a small condensed area so you can cover a lot of ground by foot quickly.

Continue reading

All i Want For My Birthday is an Iron Bowl Win


Auburn Wins the 2013 IronBowlAuburn Wins the 2013 IronBowl

Auburn Wins the 2013 IronBowl

All i want for my birthday is an #IronBowl win.
A reminder of a day that we can re-live again.

All i want for my birthday is an #IronBowl win.
A play, oh what an hour that once Gary gave spin.

All i want for my birthday is an #IronBowl win.
A “there goes Davis…” that one-second grin.

All i want for my birthday is an #IronBowl win.
A call… Rod, take us, that possible to do again?

All i want for my birthday is an #IronBowl win.
Oh my Lord in Heaven This’s but a game? Since when.

All i want for my birthday is an #IronBowl win.
A deafening roar, the muff that Tiger come alive within.

All i want for my birthday is an #IronBowl win.
A chance to make history that Spirit soars never dim.

All i want for my birthday is an #IronBowl win.
A future moment to revisit that glorious day back when…

All i want for my birthday is an #IronBowl win.
A mere man ran back pigskin that all who has ears to hear…

Auburn wins!

The photo was taken from our regular season-ticket seats we’ve sat in for 20 years, just after Davis ran back the 109 yards to score the game winning touchdown to send Auburn to the 2013 National Championship game. It was quite possibly the greatest game ever played in college football history.

Thoughts on @AUTigerBaseball and Game 17. #WarEagle

Auburn Tiger Baseball

Auburn Tiger Baseball

Game 17, Auburn vs Coppin State. Jordan-Hare Stadium is always looming large in the background over Plainsman Park. Majestic concrete pillars hibernating until fall with one reprieve in April, A-Day, coming soon. It is always the giant in the room, the most powerful, with the most money, the biggest following, and a stadium that changes the landscape of the state 8 to 10 times a year.

Plainsman Park, however, providing 35-ish games at prices the average person in Auburn can afford, offers something football can’t, accessibility. On this particular day I am sitting, more like bathing, in the beautiful sunshine of an afternoon in the south in March. An almost-hot day at the park (did I mention it’s March), where the temp says 69° but really feels more like 80-85° in the sun.

I had no time at all today to get the lineup and score the game as I normally would. My last meeting of the day ended about an hour ago, so there was just enough time to make it to the park and enjoy the setting. Scoring is but just one of the countless aspects that makes baseball unique, poetic. The ability to score the game is as much an art form as are the many combinations of Auburn Baseball uniforms, but it really helps in learning the game. Today Auburn is wearing their home orange jersey and white pants with Coppin is wearing a Auburn-blue like jersey with gray pants.

3:30:05 PM

Unfortunately Kevin Davis (#12) only lasted pitching 1 full inning and was taken out in the top of the 2nd with no outs. Coppin scored 1 run in the top of the first after he walked three batters, then walked another in the 2nd. Replaced by Jakob Nixon (#8) with 2 men on base and no outs. Then in the bottom of the 2nd Blake Logan (#1) hit a 3 run homer over the green monster. The homer had to go at least 350′-360′ over the Bosox-like fence.

This is one of these lazy day games where the sun is just warm enough, especially for this time of year, to allow for a relaxed crowd. Deborah is knitting, and it is quiet enough to clearly hear the sounds of the game, along with various conversations of people nearby. Although the sound of the aluminum bat just is not quite the same as the MLB wood, it still creates this echoing ripple off the green monster and athletic dorms over right field.

Our world class heckler is here and attentive as always. His job is to make sure the pitcher for Coppin (or any away team that arrives not expecting a thinking fan crowd) does not get away with anything, and ensures he is rattled as much as any away pitcher could be by a comedian drill Sargent. Our season ticket neighbor came today, along with the normal “retired” season ticket holders. A lady on the stairs walking up into our section came within perhaps an inch of getting beaned in the head with a foul ball, and did not even notice. Quite fascinating how someone can come that close injury and not even know it happened.

The crowd here couldn’t be more local, and the visitors have virtually no fans attending today. I love this crowd, and much of it has to do with baseball itself. They are as calm as the pace of the game. Middle class retirees mixed with University staff, and students with an excuse to skip class on a beautiful day. In other words, those who love baseball.

Top of the 5th inning now and Auburn seems to have this one well in hand. Coppin had to take their starting pitcher out after he was hit by a hard line drive in the ankle (they needed to take him out anyway). Auburn now has a 8-2 lead off 8 hits and 0 errors. What a beautiful game.

A Non-Chemistry Auburn Basketball Season

Auburn vs Texas A&M Basketball

Aubie sits alone at the Auburn vs Texas A&M Basketball Game

It’s been a lonely season of empty seats and shattered basketball hopes at this point. Deb and I love going to the basketball games, but it would be nice if just one season we could actually improve. This year is no different, they seem to have no chemistry, no cohesion, and few wins, though I love our players non-the-less. Year after year after year we keep coming to the games, and now we sit in a gorgeous new $92 million facility, which now seems to prove the point that you can’t just build it and they (players and fans) will come. Maybe I’m expecting a little too much out of a football town, but we sure have seen a lot of…

pressing into the paint… by the other team

Auburn vs Texas A&M Basketball

Auburn vs Texas A&M Basketball

shots made beyond the arc… by the other team…

Auburn vs Texas A&M Basketball

Auburn vs Texas A&M Basketball

but hey, maybe we haven’t been paying close enough attention as fans, maybe they said something, but we had our Beats on because the game was sooooo exciting…

Auburn vs Texas A&M Basketball

Beats Headphones at the Auburn vs Texas A&M Basketball

or maybe we just need one of those giant megaphones to yell with… since there aren’t many fans at the games, we could just do that as the next promo instead of a cheesy Verizon draw string bag nobody wants anyway…

Auburn vs Texas A&M Basketball

Aubie and the Auburn Cheerleaders at Auburn vs Texas A&M Basketball

or, maybe the halftime show guys will let our team use their trampoline so they too can fly through the air and slam the ball with style…

Auburn vs Texas A&M Basketball

Auburn vs Texas A&M Basketball Halftime

…finally giving our excited little fans that do show up something to cheer about.

Auburn vs Texas A&M Basketball

Kid waves the foam finger at Auburn vs Texas A&M Basketball

There are of course advantages to having no fans show up to a game and a team that has lost 17 games before the end of February. Nobody cares about the “prohibited items list” (except they still search my wife’s purse for FOOD), and I can actually take photos at the game without being ejected or my equipment confiscated.

from the tip off…

Auburn vs Texas A&M Basketball

Tipoff at the Auburn vs Texas A&M Basketball game

to our beloved Aubie cheering in the stands with students…

Auburn vs Texas A&M Basketball

Auburn vs Texas A&M Basketball

We really do love our Auburn basketball, it would just be nice to see something positive come out of the season to create momentum for next year? March Madness is right around the corner though, can’t wait.

Cornerstone Celebration Dinner 2013

Cornerstone Church Celebration Dinner 2013

Cornerstone Church Celebration Dinner 2013

Last night our church came together to celebrate what God has done in the life of our church over the previous year along with putting out the vision for what Cornerstone looks like in the year 2020. It was a great night, but it was a launching point for 2013. We still have one more night to go tonight, so if anyone happens to be reading this in Auburn and wants to come join the celebration there are still a few seats left. I didn’t get to take too many shots last night, but here are a few.

Cornerstone Church Celebration Dinner 2013

The Dinner at Cornerstone Church Celebration Dinner 2013

Cornerstone Church Celebration Dinner 2013

Cornerstone Church Celebration Dinner 2013

Cornerstone Church Celebration Dinner 2013

Cornerstone Church Celebration Dinner 2013

iPhoneography and Auburn SEC Conference Play

Last night Auburn started their SEC conference play. This is always a favorite sports season of the year for us, so I started off with a little iPhoneography art of Auburn Arena. Something I love about my iPhone is how it gives me the ability to move beyond formal photography and put my own artistic flare in the image. Some don’t like it, but over the years I have grown to love the freedom in living outside the rules of photography.

This image results from a technique I use called stacking, which is just something I made up, but comes from stacking the image in different apps where the end result is something you can’t just get from one single post processing app. You can certainly overdue it, and the garbage in garbage out rule of photography always applies. Now with the iOS Panorama you can get some really cool results, like this, and with all the great apps like Camera+ and others the artistic results are almost limitless. Some day I will have to list all the photography apps I use and how they work but that’s not for today.

Parting Shots for Auburn vs Texas A&M

Parnorama of Jordan-Hare Stadium from the Endzone

Parnorama of Jordan-Hare Stadium from the Endzone

It’s not like anyone ever wants to remember a 63-21 total blowout like what happened on Saturday, but there is more to life than football, even in the south. I’m not just saying that because we have only one single win against a ULM team we probably should have lost to, I said that in 2010 when we won the National Championship as well. That doesn’t mean people, media, fans, and the like can’t be brutal when Auburn doesn’t win every single game, or a single game, just look at the cover of the OANews below, but it’s still not the end of the world as we know it (just ask the 1952 fans).

There have been a few things this football year that have been interesting and fun. I did finally get a decent shot of Nova, Auburn’s Golden Eagle from the Raptor Center (below), and last Saturday we have 4 F-16’s do a flyover at the game for military appreciation week. The flyover was rare for Jordan-Hare Stadium lately (see my iPhone video of the flyover here), I can’t remember the last one we had, and they actually didn’t really even fly that low and loud either. I didn’t stick around for the parachuting team that jumped at halftime in the dark blustering cold, but all the military appreciation fanfare was outstanding. This may have been a day to forget the score and the game forever, true, but it’s fall in the south. We were blessed with being able to see with our eyes and hear with our ears yet another day the Lord had made.

Auburn Golden Eagle Nova

Auburn’s Golden Eagle Nova Poses for the Camera

Texas A&M Football Player Warms Up

Texas A&M Football Player Warms Up Around the Auburn Band

Auburn Marching Band vs Texas A&M

Auburn Marching Band vs Texas A&M

Auburn Marching Band vs Texas A&M

Auburn Marching Band vs Texas A&M

Chalk on the Wall Things Will Be Better Auburn Football

Written in Chalk on the Wall on Auburn’s Campus

Front Cover of the OANews Sports Section

Front Cover of the OANews Sports Section