Commercial and Editorial Photographer Dennis Keim, Huntsville, Alabama Postcards of My Miss-Adventures Vol.1 blog links bio contact  

Road Tripping in the Northeast

December 5th, 2016

A very cool and Happy Monday morning to you all from Music City USA. I am up in the magic city meeting with a couple of clients to discuss future projects.

A couple of weeks ago I took sometime off to go visit a very dear friend and fellow photographer, Mr. Dave Hickey, who lives in Pennsylvania. Dave and I met while we were both instructors for a photographic workshop. During those years we formed a bond that far surpassed our working relationship and spent many hours together on photographic road trips chasing the hood of our car. With his and my departure from the workshops and some medical issues we both have experienced, we have not had an opportunity to get back together for some time.

We were talking recently when we said in the infamous words of John Belushi, “It’s time to get the Band back together!” So plans were made and north I flew to Philly. Over my four-day visit we traveled a few back roads through Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut, looking for those photographic moments that caught our eye. It would be impossible to show all images that reflect the many area we traveled to, so with extreme difficulty I have had to narrow it down to a few select photographic moments.

Canal Lock 60 – Close to home we went to Schuylkill Canal recreational area that is part of the canal systems initially used in the 1800’s for commercial boat traffic. Locks were placed along the canal to manage the flow of water and residential housing followed. I loved the reflection of the old house and the barn.

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St Paul’s Church Cemetery – Dave and I both have an affinity for cemetery’s and headstones. St. Paul’s was one of the first Pennsylvania graveyards we visited. Many of the headstones were from the 1800’s. I loved how the late afternoon sunlight bathed the cemetery.

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Harlem Valley Psychiatric Hospital – The abandoned complex sits on 800 acres with over 80 buildings. The facility housed and treated patients suffering from severe psychological and psychiatric issues from 1924 until it closed its doors in 1994. The campus has sat abandoned for 20 years but was recently purchased by Olivet University, a west coast-based evangelical Christian college that was founded by controversial preacher David Jang. We only made it to the fist collection of buildings before we were asked to leave the property by security.

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Never Sink River and Railroad Bridge – As we traveled the countryside in Port Jervis, NY I was amazed that there was still color in the trees. We came across this old bridge on the river that sat across from a cemetery we had just visited. As you know, I am a sucker for reflections.

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Lake Weil Wingdale NY – While visiting the New York we had the absolute pleasure to stay at Dave’s cousins house that sits on top of a hill that has a lake view that has not changed since they purchased the house over 20 years ago. Every morning and evening we were treated to the sounds of Canadian Geese as they arrived and departed. Even more amazing was to watch the aerial acrobats from a family of Eagles that had settled in the lake. With their keen eyesight it was never long before we were spotted and they would disappear. If you look closely you can spot two in the panoramic image of the lake.

As I said, it would be impossible to show all of the images captured over the four-day period but I hope you have gotten a little insight into the majestic beauty of this area. Many thanks to our most gracious hosts in Wingdale, John and Sandy Fila for their incredible hospitality. The two days spent on their property was an absolute heaven. And to my “FOM” Mr. Dave Hickey, thank you for the invitation to “get the band together” for another extremely memorable road trip. Next one is on me ….. 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 ~

Songwriter Showcase

November 28th, 2016

Good Morning from the Rocket City. I hope that you had a very blessed Thanksgiving sharing your turkey drumsticks with family and friends; “pass the gravy please.”

This past week was not only full of turkey gatherings but it was also filled with local live music. Thursday evening I had the pleasure of catching the 24th appearance of Microwave Dave and the Nukes playing on Thanksgiving night. After 23 consecutive years playing the turkey gig at the Kaffeeklatsch Bar, the Klatsch closed and Dave found a new home at Humphrey’s Bar and Grill to continue the tradition.

On Friday evening Jim Parker hosted another showcase of his Songwriters series at the VBC Playhouse, a Huntsville music tradition that has been on going for the past 11 years. Jim generally showcases national singer/songwriters who have pinned the tunes that you have heard from major recording artist but the intrigue for this series was he was featuring local singer/songwriters. As much as I am a huge fan of each and heard them play hundreds of times; I was truly excited about the opportunity to hear them play together on one stage. The featured local artists were Amy McCarley, Microwave Dave Gallaher and Dave Anderson.

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The night opened up with local husband and wife songwriting duo Judy and Josh Allison preforming a set of their originals. During their set the duo sang their very inspiring single, “Hold On.” Once their set was completed it was on to the main acts as each musician was introduced and took their seats. The playhouse is a perfect place to hear a songwriters series because it has an almost speakeasy feel to it. The evening starts off with Jim and then proceeds to a round robin of musician banter, discussion and music as each musician takes their turn at the mikes. One of the things I enjoy most about a songwriters series each artist has the opportunity to provide background information on how or why the song was written. Many of those explanations open the door for additional humor and banter provided by the other artists.

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We are truly blessed with the amazing talent we have in this city and I believe these four are the “cranberry of the turkey feast!” The evening was everything it was advertised to be. I must say, to see friends that I continue to admire so much for their very gifted talents signing together on one stage was a real treat. It would have been impossible for me to not capture this moment in local musical history as these four exceptional musicians shared the stage together. At least for all that attended, it was a musical bucket list item to check off. For me it was best of both worlds …… capturing these very gifted musicians I call friends. It was quite the magical evening. Enjoy!!!!!!!

BTW – one more item … Iron Bowl … “Roll Tide!!!’

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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 ~

Giving Thanks

November 21st, 2016

Good Morning from Music City USA – Nashville, TN. I had the pleasure to spend a few days here visiting with friends and working on a very special project thanks to my good friends Edward and Laura Ragland.

Last year I was having dinner with Edward and Laura when Edward started talking about a incredible project he was working on; USA Sled Hockey which is sponsored by USA Hockey and the National Hockey League. Sled hockey (sledge hockey in Canada and Europe) is a sit-down version of ice hockey for individuals whose disability prevents them from playing stand-up hockey. Sled hockey is played by a wide range of individuals with a variety of mobility limitations: amputees, spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, along with anyone who has a permanent disability that limits participation in stand up hockey. Many of the individuals are war veterans but the “face” of sled hockey runs the gamut of gender and race. I was hooked when listening to his passion for the sport and the individuals that were part of this project. I knew it was something that I wanted to be part of and offered my services.

Fast forward to this part weekend and the 2016 USA Sled Hockey Classic, hosted by the Nashville Predators and the Nashville Sled Predators. The 24 teams that participated in the 2016 tournament have an official affiliation with an NHL member club. Teams wear the official gear of their host NHL team. Not knowing what to expect as I entered the ice arena, I was truly taken back by the display of community, respect and camaraderie that was being displayed and that was prior to witnessing the first whistle being blown and the first puck being dropped. From that point forward it was Hockey ON!

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To say that I was taken back by the talent and skill of the players on the ice would be an understatement. I was not sure what I was to expect but I can honestly say that I was in awe as I watched these individuals give it their all and the sportsmanship I witness on and off the ice. The proficiency of skill and play increased with each tier level but there was a common thread among every team that showed true heart and character. You could not help but to be genuinely amazed as they raced across the ice on sleds. 

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The teams displayed every bit of the caliber of play you would have expected from able-bodied individuals and they did it with disabilities that were so very unapparent as you continued to watch the games. I was truly amazed at the level of talent and the skill at which they played the game. What I was more amazed was at the “appearance of family” that was exhibited before, during and once the games were completed.

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There is something truly humbling about winners and the pride you feel while watching these individuals over come and surpass society’s label and expectations. It is something truly inspiring that we can all take away from such experiences. When we look at sports figures today and label them heroes, I think I just witnessed a new type of “hero”! I learned a lot about spirit this weekend and am so very glad to have had the opportunity to be part of this exceptional sports association event.

At the end of four days of play the Colorado Avalanche took top honors by topping the Buffalo Sabres, 6-2, in the Tier I title game while their Tier IV team beat the Anaheim Ducks, 4-2, in their championship game. The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 7-3, to claim the Tier II crown while the Nashville Predators blanked the Boston Bruins, 3-0, in the Tier III championship game. In the first-ever Tier V title game, the Carolina Hurricanes shut out the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-0, for the division title. My heartfelt congratulations to all the players and many thanks for the incredible hospitality exhibited to me by the Sled Hockey association.
To learn more about Sled Hockey go to: http://www.usahockey.com/sledhockey

Hopefully we will all give thanks this week for the many blessing we have! Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!!

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Keep us in mind for any of your upcoming photographic assignments. If you were unaware, all of the art showcased in my blogs, as well as, on my web sites is available for publication or for purchase as corporate and residential collectible art.

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

Best Regards …..
~ dennis keim ~

Blue Angels

November 14th, 2016

Good Morning from the frigid tundra of the Florida Panhandle! I arrived home on Tuesday from my northern road trip with my good friend Dave Hickey and decided to head south in the anticipation to warm up. Little did I know I was about to run into a wee bit of a cold spell here on the Florida coast. Of course I could think of a lot worse places to be.

A few weeks back my good friends Matt Rainey and Ginger Burgess mentioned that they were headed to Pensacola this weekend to see the 70th Anniversary Blue Angels air show appropriately titled, “Homecoming!” I realized it had been a “few weeks” since I had made a visit south and I thought what better excuse then to photograph the spectacular air show (I could obviously think of a few more reasons). The last time I had the opportunity to see the show was on their visit to Huntsville. So headed south we did!

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If you have never seen a Blue Angels air show, to say the least it is an amazing spectacle of daring aerial acrobatics and that is even before the Blue Angels make the scene. The “opening acts” get the crowd going and then the Angels come out and like the main act of a concert put a resounding finishing touch on what the spectators came for. The “flight demonstration team” as they are titled are made up of the best of the best of Navy and Marine Pilots and they fly the F/A-18 Hornet aircraft. The Blues have been putting on airshows since 1946.

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What I remembered most about my previous encounter was not so much the flying acrobatics that are simply mind-boggling but rather the pageantry that officially starts their part of the show as the crews that maintain their planes meet them at the flight line. It is the military showcasing the very best of the honor and respect shown these exceptional pilots. Once they complete their flight checks it is “canopy down and engines on” and then hold on to your hats. Once in the air, the planes come at you in all different type of formations and from every conceivable angle including their signature “Diamond formation”. You generally hear them before you see them.

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By the end of the show, your neck hurts from twisting and turning left and right, up and down. Having seen the show before I was somewhat familiar with what I could expect but I do not think you could actually prepare yourself photographically for all of. It is like watching a “cirque du soleil” act on steroids.

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As the death defying show of unimaginable airmanship comes to an end, one can only sit and marvel at what you have just witnessed. It truly is one of the most amazing events I have ever had the pleasure to witness and to photograph. Even with the cool temperatures at their home base, the Naval Air Station Pensacola, the Blue Angels truly heated up the day!!! 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 ~

Listen To The Music

November 7th, 2016

Good Morning from Dover, NY! I decided to take a little road trip over the weekend and spend some time with my good friend and fellow photographer, Dave Hickey who lives in Phoenixville, PA. They still have some color here so taking the back roads to travel is a welcome relief.

Last week I had the ultimate pleasure of assisting in the planning and hosting of the renowned Bluegrass artist Claire Lynch in concert at the historic Princess Theatre in Decatur, AL. My good friends David and DeAnn Milly (Gone 2 the Beach Productions) had contacted me month’s back and offered the proceeds from the evenings’ event to go to music education and the Microwave Dave Music Education Foundation (www.mircrowavedaveMEF.org). I felt it was a perfect fit and it was even more exciting knowing that it was our very own Microwave Dave and the Nukes that would be the opening act.

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It was not the concert that had me most excited but rather the potential aspect of hosting kids from the Morgan County School system to attend one of our “Concert in the Classrooms” programs at the theatre with Claire and Dave as the musical educators.  It would be a rare opportunity for these K-6 classrooms to come to the theatre and have the ultimate experience. The “Concert in the Classroom” is the brainchild of Microwave Dave Gallaher and bassist Rick Godfrey and is the main program that the foundation offers to the school systems of North Alabama free of charge. The aspect of partnering with the Princess Theater was the icing on the cake.

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We were very fortunate to make contact with Dr. Cherie Humphries of the Morgan County Elementary educational system who was vey instrumental in making our dream a reality. Once we had the approval of the Superintendent, Mr. Hopkins we set the plan in motion to have school children bused to the theatre for the 1½-hour program.  Most of the kids had never visited the theatre and few would ever have the opportunity to experience two legends of the music industry.

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For the MDMEF board it was a dream come true and I believe for the 150 kids that were in attendance it was the experience of a lifetime. Both Claire and Dave shared their inspiration and experiences of the early influences that guided them into the music industry. It was their early childhood experience that affected them both.

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It is extremely gratifying to know that we may be influencing children at a very early age to not necessarily follow the path of musicians but to know that you have follow your dreams. The Microwave Dave Music Foundation was formed to inspire the youth of North Alabama and we are very excited to be continuing our mission. The concert at the Princess Theatre was an incredible evening for Blues and Bluegrass fans with Microwave Dave and the Nukes and the Claire Lynch Band. But the kid’s concert stole our hearts and I know that the Foundation was extremely proud of having been able to provide the opportunity to the Morgan County School children.

If you would like more and know how you can help make a difference, go to our website or (www.mircrowavedaveMEF.org) our Facebook page.  Here is to the future of inspiring youth. 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 ~