Smooth Jazz

Good morning to you all. It appears that the floods are beginning to subside and you can safely put your paddles away. I think you may actually be able to go out and mow your yards.

Even with another week of on and off rain it ended up rather well and there were more than a few actual sightings of the sun that provided us with a few memorable sunsets. One of the great things about thunderstorms is that the clouds that accompany them assist in creating spectacular evenings. And this week did have its moments.

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As we approached the weekend it was still touch and go as the weather forecast turned from sunny to a potential of late afternoon or evening Saturday showers. It was not a very surprising forecast but a few of us were hoping that the storms would hold off until Sunday. You see the third and final of the 2013 Land Trust Three Caves Jazz concerts was scheduled for Saturday evening and many were looking to enjoy to the smooth vibes of Saxophonist Tom Braxton under the stars. Neither Mother Nature nor Mr. Braxton disappointed the packed out crowd. I say this every time I get the opportunity to enjoy a concert at the caves but this is a natural and enchanting venue. I do believe, though, that this was the one concert not to have missed. With the caves magically light behind him, Tom put on an exceptional show. Unfortunately for those of us that are addicted to the 3 Caves experience, we will have to wait till 2014 for the next series of concerts. Until then … Enjoy!!!!

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Best Regards …..
~ dK ~

Rain or Shine

With all of the wet weather we have had, you just might be considering a trade in for a good canoe or flat bottom boat. It has been sometime since we have seen this many days of continuous rain and very rare for it to happen on such an important out-doors holiday as the 4th of July.

I cannot think of many holiday weekends that would be so hindered and affected by rain as much as the Fourth of July. It is the one holiday that is most associated with outdoor activities; cookouts, boating, sun tanning, baseball and the most important of all – Fireworks! As the fourth approached and it became ever so apparent that 100% chance of rain actually meant 100% chance of rain, it appeared that our hopes for fires works were to be totally dampened. But I guess the old saying, “the show must go on” rings true and come hell or high water, it was ”dam the torpedo’s full steam ahead”! I can think of nothing more “un-American” than having to sit in your car with the windshield wipers on full throttle, attempting to peer out of the car windows to watch a fire works display playing hide and seek in low cloud coverage.  Of course I found myself, along with a few thousand other people, trying to do exactly that. I think next year, if rain is predicated, I will just watch fireworks on TV from a “dry” location and the comfort of my home.

Although the 4th was a total wash, the reason for commemorating and celebrating was not. We should continue to hold our veterans in the highest esteem and honor those that have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. It is a day that is, by all accounts, “Totally American!”

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As we floated into the weekend there were reports of the possibility of a rare sighting occurring, of something we had not seen in many days, the Sun. As luck would have it, those predictions were true even if it were ever so brief. The sighting gave hope that one day soon we may be resting on dry land and exclaiming the whoa’s of having to endure the rest of the summer with hot and humid days.  I am going to keep my paddle close just in case.

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Keep us in mind for any of your upcoming photographic adventures.      Have Camera – Will Travel … Corporate, Advertising, Editorial and Art.

Best Regards …..
~ dK ~

Celebrate

With a short workweek ahead for those of you working at the office, I know that you must be looking ahead to your Fourth of July celebration with family and friends.

Last weekend was such a non-summer-like weekend with fair weather during the day and cool temps in the evening hours.  With such a beautiful weekend and knowing that a lot of “first Monday” activities would be underway I decided to get out and do a little road tripping. My thought was to head to Scottsboro, Al where during its hey day there was no better First Monday around the square. Unfortunately I arrived too late in the day or it is no longer the event it once was. All I found was a few vendors packing up and no visitors.

Not to be deterred, I headed out following the hood of my car and looking for things to photograph. For those that know the area it is blessed with multiple waterways, an abundance of farmland and the one thing that we all want in our backyard, a nuclear power plant. Bellafonte, which is owned by TVA, began construction in 1974 with an initial cost over $6 billion but has yet to produce a single kilowatt. It is a very impressive and very expensive photographic icon for the area.

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After my photo stop for the plant I decided to head back to the water and photograph the water lilies that are in full bloom.  Pulling off on the edge of HWY 72 is somewhat of a daring task as the semi-tractor trailer rigs speed by but I do believe my stop and the results were well worth the risk.

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Water lilies are currently very plentiful in the areas around Scottsboro. It definitely makes for a very picturesque opportunity. I felt like a modern day – Claude Monet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wil/Water_Lilies)

Enjoy and have a very safe and enjoyable 4th of July Celebration. Please give pause to pay tribute to those that have made it possible.

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Keep us in mind for any of your upcoming photographic adventures.      Have Camera – Will Travel … Corporate, Advertising, Editorial and Art.

Best Regards …..
~ dK ~

A Storm is Brewing

Good Monday to you all. I am just returning to Huntsville after two weeks of being on the road in Illinois, Missouri and Arizona. I must say all were fairly warm but Phoenix was an average of 106 per day.  That’s HOT!

On my way home from Phoenix, sitting in the airport along with everyone else in my terminal, I was privileged to witness a group of veterans returning home from an Honor Flight. It was a very moving and inspirational moment, as they were wheeled through the terminal to a spontaneous and thunderous round of applause and standing ovation by all of the passengers. The smiles on their faces said it all. It was a very touching moment to know that such a small act could mean so much to these heroes. It was even more prevalent for me in that I had just visited the Veterans memorial in Fountain Hills, AZ a few days prior to my departure.

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My time in Missouri and Illinois was spent instructing at a photographic workshop. At most of these events I draw the straw to teach at the “outdoor locations” and one of the locations we use is a rock quarry that doubles as an ATV competition racecourse. Given the layout of the property and the huge boulders they have strategically placed, I can only imagine what the vehicles look like at the end of the day.

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On one of the shoot days we had been forewarned of the potential threat of severe weather and given the recent history of flooding and storms in that region we were definitely keeping a look out. Well as luck would have it, Mother Nature did not disappoint. A very large and ominous cloudbank appeared in the west and was heading our way. It was a pretty easy decision to pack up and call it day. Fortunately for everyone we escaped unharmed and were able to return the next day.

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Keep us in mind for any of your upcoming photographic adventures.      Have Camera – Will Travel … Corporate, Advertising, Editorial and Art.

Best Regards …..
~ dK ~

Father’s Day

Happy Day-After Fathers Day to you all. Fathers Day is the one day of the year we set aside to celebrate all that our fathers are and all that they have done for us. Of course in doing so, they are generally asked to work all day preparing and cooking the food we are going to host them with.

My father is still alive and living in Arizona. I was fortunate enough to be able to fly out to Phoenix, after instructing at a photographic workshop in Illinois, and get to spend time with him and my sister with her family. I actually got the “honor” of taking him to his favorite breakfast spot, Cracker Barrel. It is always an experience when you go there but even more so to transverse the crowds of families with the same thought of celebrating father’s day.

My father was born and raised in Rome, GA where his father, Clyde Bernard Keim, taught music at Berry College, for over 30 years, spearheading the boys music program. Dad spent his early years getting into all kinds of mischief with his four brothers and three sisters while living on campus. It appears that one of his favorite places to frolic was the big water wheel at the old mill. The old mill, which was originally built in 1930, lays claim to having one of the largest wooden overshot waterwheels at 42 feet in diameter. Dad always boasts about “riding the wheel” many times as a kid … always barefoot. On a recent trip back from Atlanta I took a side trip and stopped by Berry College to visit the campus and photograph some of the “memories” Dad continually references.

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Berry College is named after Ms. Martha Berry and hosted such incredible visitors as Henry Ford, a benefactor of the college and President Theodore Roosevelt. My Grandfather is one of the few professors to have the honor to be buried on the campus next to the Berry College Chapel. Berry is known for being one of the best Liberal Arts colleges in the United States and is one of the prettiest campuses I have had the pleasure to visit. (http://www.berry.edu/)

I never tire of hearing the stories told by my father of his childhood days at Berry and he never tires of “expanding” on them. Happy Fathers Day Dad and to all of you Dads!

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Best Regards …..
~ dK ~

Ultimate Sacrifice

Happy Day after Memorial Day! What a wonderful weekend Mother Nature finally planned for us and it could not have come at a better time than the holiday weekend that officially welcomes summer.

I would guess that many of you spent the weekend around the water dipping your toes in the ocean, gulf, lake, river or pool. And I can only imagine that your festivities included a fair amount time consuming your favorite foods and libations. What would a holiday be without all of that shared with family and friends?

Of course the bigger picture for the weekend holiday, a time reserved for our nation to stop and honor those that have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country, the men and women who have died while serving in the Armed Forces. Cemeteries, that reflect the nations devotion and pay tribute to our fallen hero’s, dot the nations landscape from coast to coast.

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Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day, was originally set aside to commemorate the many fallen Confederate and Union soldiers that gave their lives during the American Civil War. By the 20th century the day of respect, was extended to honor all Americans who had died while serving in our military service. After World War II, Memorial Day had become the preferred reference and in 1967 was declared the official name of the holiday by the federal government. In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Holiday Act, combining four holidays including Memorial Day and set aside the final Monday of May for the Nations commemoration, conveniently allowing for a 3-day weekend of unofficial celebration.

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We, as Americans, have the choice to honor those that have given so much in our own very special way; one of the many freedoms we enjoy that they fought to protect.  It is humbling to walk through a National Cemetery or stand with others at any one of the many memorials that have been dedicated so that their sacrifices will never be forgotten. It is impossible to do so without feeling an extreme reverence, as you stand engulfed in the moment. I will never quite understand the true meaning of their brotherhood but like others who never had the opportunity to serve, I will attempt to do my part to honor those Men and Women that gave their all so I could have the freedoms I do so cherish. I stand in silence, I salute you all!

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Keep us in mind for any of your upcoming photographic adventures.      Have Camera – Will Travel … Corporate, Advertising, Editorial and Art.

Best Regards …..
~ dK ~
dkeos1@mac.com
www.dk-studio.com

Three Caves

Happy Monday to you all. As luck and Mother Nature would have it, it was just another southern weekend with the potential threat of rain. We were actually tossed a keeper even though the weatherman had suggested the possibility of rain on Saturday.

It was, by most all accounts, a female music kind of weekend. Huntsville’s very own Amy McCarley (http://www.amymccarley.com) debuted her new CD, backed up by the Nashville based Kenny Vaughan Trio, on Friday night at Straight to Ale. A long time friend and Blues icon, Debbie Bond  (http://www.debbiebond.com), made a rare appearance coming to Huntsville on Saturday evening playing at Bandito Southside. During the Alabama blues hey-day we chased Debbie and her band all over the south. Both artists put on exceptional shows showcasing their individual style of music. But it was the third music event that I attended this weekend that really caught my eye, so to speak.

You see, the Land Trust of North Alabama was hosting their first of three 2013 jazz concerts (the 8th in the series) at the Historical Three Caves property with jazz vocalist Annie Sellick. For those of you that have attended a concert or their signature fundraiser, Moon Over Three Caves, you are aware of just how magical an event can be at the caves. For those that have not, you get the idea that something mystical is about to happen as soon as you walk in to the property. The moment you begin to top the trail hill you feel the faint chill of cold air, emanating from the caves, begin to bathe you. As you proceed to head down the trail the caves come in to view and there is no doubt you realize that you are about to be part of something incredibly wonderful. As you settle into your chairs with your food and libations, the lights that illuminate the caves begin to prominently appear on the walls and you cannot help but, take a deep breathe and sit back in awe of the view in front of you. And all of this before the first cord is played or the first vocal is sung.

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I was fortunate enough to be on the LT Board of Directors for six years and along with other board members help push development of the concert series. As chairman of the first concert, I remember my anxiety as the lights came on for the first time and the female songstress, Robinella, began to sing. Once the music started and I was able to finally take a deep breath and enjoy the moment, I realized just how magical and mystical this setting was. I have no doubt that all in attendance on the inaugural night, were in awe of the venue. Most home grown attendees when asked about the caves mentioned having visited as kids but few had returned as adults, until now.

We Huntsvillians are so extremely fortunate to have a venue such as Three Caves so close to the city and one that is so unique as a social venue for the community. I believe once you have attended an event at the caves you will come away with the same emotion and euphoria that I did. It is an experience of a lifetime and as long as the Land Trust continues to have success, it will be an emotional experience that you will be able to relive time and time again.

Make a difference, find out more and get involved, join the Land Trust and assist with their mission to save green space. As important, come reap in the rewards of their stewardship and be awed at one of the most unique concert venues you will ever witness. Information about the Land Trust and their future concerts can be found at www.landtrustnal.org.

Once you have visited, you will leave a different person! Well at least until the cool air has left caressing your back as you top the hill departing the property.

“Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes!”     ENJOY!!

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Keep us in mind for any of your upcoming photographic adventures.      Have Camera – Will Travel … Corporate, Advertising, Editorial and Art.

Best Regards …..
~ dK ~

Mother’s Day

Happy Day after Mothers Day! The one day of the year that we officially celebrate and honor those that have given so much of themselves to make us who we are. It was officially observed, for the first time, in Philadelphia in 1908 and given federal recognition in 1914. Why is it that we only “officially” do that once a year? Should it not be a monthly or weekly thing or more to the point, an everyday celebration? I hope you found time to recognize and rejoice in their life.

My mother passed away almost two years ago and like most there is not a day that goes by that something does not remind me of her. I think of her when I look to the heavens and know that she is there enjoying her family and friends and looking down on us. I think of her most when there are majestic moments with clouds in the sky as if it were a message to me. No better moment of love and solitude then to be shared with loving thoughts of her.

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And now on to another mother of sorts, Mother Nature. It appears that spring is trying to find its way without allowing summer to just roll right in. And with spring comes the blossoming of nature and all of its beautiful colors. While visiting with my dear friends Jack and Elaine in Mentone a few weeks back, Elaine mentioned that they were heading to The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain in Georgia to view the wildflowers at the Shirley Miller Wildflower Trail Boardwalk. Unfortunately I was on my way home and unable to join them. But I was so intrigued by their excitement that I choose to pick a free day and run back over to the park which is just east “a little” from Mentone. Granted I am not much of a horticultural enthusiast because most that know me and read my blogs know that I never identify the plants or flowers properly. Of course the replies and corrections lead me to believe that some of you are reading my blogs. With the help of my “wing-woman” and photography student Ms. Laura Ragland, I think I was able to capture some beautiful and colorful items. I will leave it up to you to identify!!!

ENJOY!!!!!!!

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Please do keep us in mind for any upcoming photographic assignments. As well, give thought to our vast collection of stock imagery for any of your art, corporate or editorial needs.

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Best Regards …..
~ dennis keim ~

BBQ and Brews

Another weekend of rain and cold weather but it is becoming the norm for this years Alabama spring. Why else would we hold weekend outdoor festivals unless to endure the elements and show our passion for the arts, music and food. This weekend we mixed BBQ, rain and mud and if the truth were known … a few libations together at the 13th Annual Whistle Stop BBQ Festival at the Historic Huntsville Depot.

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It is mostly considered a southern tradition but there is No Doubt that all those that cook and compete in BBQ competitions approach it with a feverish spiritual nature. Competitions are as much about the camaraderie and the mutual consumption of shared social libations as it is about the final product. The team names are as well thought out as the quality and spices that go into the final grilled meat submitted for judging. Teams have names like; Southern Stiles BBQ, Why You Grillin Me Dawg, OOPS BBQ, Bush League, Uncle Jay’s Dat-Da1-BBQ, Fat Drunk and Stupid, Swine and Dine, Jiggy Piggy and Squeal Appeal. You may ask yourself just how many different sauces and marinades are secretly prepared for these selected precious meats? Well I would guess as many as there are teams. And how great is it, you would think, to be one of the judges tasting 62 different entries in each of the different meat categories which include professional, amateur and the kids competition. Can your taste buds really discern from 62 different sauces times well, that many?

What I inevitably find most interesting, while walking around in the competitors area, is not what is being cooked for competition but that rare food item doused in BBQ sauce that you just might find while meandering through the camps. You do have to display the look of, “I might just be able to sample one more rib!” while making eye contact. My selection for “Peoples Choice” was not any of the ribs, pork or chicken but to my newfound favorite … a smoked and grilled Corn Dog topped with a secret barbeque sauce. Trust me, do not knock it until you have tried it!!!!! I must say, it was mighty tasty!!!

All in all, in spite of Mother Nature, it was another exceptional event hosted by Early Works and the city of Huntsville. And where else, but in the south, could you go to watch a group of adult men and women vying for the grand poopaa of titles, the “Alabama Corn Hole Champion?” In my day you would have stood close to a wall.

For those that can remember, Happy Day After – Cinco de Mayo!!!! I hate to admit it, I do remember and it was a fabulous evening. Enjoy!!!!!!!

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Keep us in mind for any of your upcoming photographic adventures.      Have Camera – Will Travel … Corporate, Advertising, Editorial and Art.

Best Regards …..
~ dennis keim ~

 

Festival of the Arts

Greetings and welcome to the last Monday of April, which should be by the very nature of the year, time for enjoying spring and to be celebrating. It appears that Mother Nature seems to have a different opinion of what spring should be like.

I was very fortunate, for a change, to be in town this weekend and have the opportunity to get downtown to enjoy our yearly art festival, Panoply. The Arts Council and festival staff continue to do an exceptional job of putting together just the right mixture of the Arts and this festival has pretty much something for everyone.  Kudos to the Council and to the city for finally allowing a beer and wine garden to make a debut at the festival, tucked away neatly from the masses. Could it be that we finally may just be “growing up” a little?

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With an ever-present prediction of rain for most of the weekend, it was unfortunate that when it did not materialize that more residents did not venture out to take advantage of what was overall a wonderful weekend of Music, Arts and Community. Panoply continues to be a regional showcase of talent with this year’s musicians and artists once again accentuating the extent and depth of talent residing in and around this area. Talking with some out-of-town visitors from Philadelphia that were in town for the weekend, it was refreshing to hear how extremely complimentary they were about the quaintness, the organization and the overall quality of the event being hosted downtown in the park. It was very gratifying to hear their perspective, coming from someone living in such a large metropolitain.

Unfortunately, the weatherman’s prediction of rain finally caught up with the festival on the final day but, even with the early showers, they prevailed on Sunday to add a final crescendo. It was, as we say, just another Panoply weekend.

ENJOY!!!!!!!

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Have Camera – Will Travel … Corporate, Advertising, Editorial and Art.

Best Regards …..
~ dennis keim ~