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

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

April 24th, 2017

A very Happy Monday morning to you. As much as the weather man thought he had it all figured out, it appeared that the weekend was “figure it our on your on”. If you went out and got wet, you knew it was raining and if you were dry then it wasn’t. Luckily most of the planned events experienced enough good weather that there were able to proceed.

There were two events I was looking forward to photographing last weekend; SpringFest 2017, a two-day music festival, was taking place at the 805 Campus and a new event, Paddle the Canal was taking place downtown and hosted by Downtown Huntsville Incorporated.

SpringFest 2017, in its second year, started off with a bang Friday evening with two incredible music acts, Dylan LeBlanc and the Pollies and John Paul White. Mother nature was kind enough to spare the event and I must say it was an exceptional evening of music sitting under the stars. Planning an outdoor event in the spring is a crapshoot and unfortunately Mother Nature was not so kind for the Saturday evening event. Kudos to Danny Davis at Tangled Strings Studio and to Yellowhammer Brewing for bringing this incredible event and talent to Huntsville.

The weather prediction was not looking good for Saturday but Mother Nature decided to throw another curve and the sun broke through mid morning turning the day into a “get outdoors and play day!” Paddle the Canal, an event being hosted by DHI offered boaters and kayakers of all levels to participate in paddling the canal between the Von Braun Civic Center and the Embassy Suites.

The two-day event was a mini festival downtown with music and food trucks that offered individuals the opportunity to paddle the 520 meters competing in categories of expert, novice and costume. The day turned out to be quite the spectacle of paddlers cruising up and down the canal. From Fruit of the Looms, to Gorillas and to Cops and Robbers it appeared that all were there to have a good time for this inaugural event for the city.

Paddle the Canal brought residents downtown Saturday to enjoy the event but the exceptional weather allowed many to take in the redesigned Big Spring Park that was officially reopened this week. The new design offers a smaller lagoon and quite a bit of additional concrete but the over all design and look is very favorable for the city and should offer a fitting location for future events to take place in the park. I took the opportunity to photograph the park while I tried out my new bicycle touring around the city. I even was able to treat myself to an ice cream from the Cozy Cow. All in a days work they say! Enjoy!!!

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Once Again – Best Regards …..
And Much Love!!!!

Port of San Diego

April 17th, 2017

Good Morning and Happy Day-After Easter! What a wonderful weekend with beautiful weather we had to share along with our Easter celebrations.

As most of you may know I was in San Diego a week ago shooting the Coronado Flower Show and visiting with friends from southern California. San Diego is one of my favorite cities to visit and with its surrounding communities is one of the most picturesque areas that I have had the opportunity to photograph. I have been visiting San Diego since the early nineties and never tire of taking a photographic tour of the area. While visiting, I was able to take time out from my flower show duties and spend some time focusing my camera on the city. It should come as no surprise that the city has a rich heritage and association with the military. When you walk around the harbor one of the first things you may notice is the larger the life 25’ replica of the famous “kiss” portrayed in Life magazine of a Sailor embracing a female, titled “Unconditional Surrender Statue.” As you might well image many Selfies attempting to mimic the poise take place daily.

With the North Island Naval Air Station sitting prominently on Coronado Island at military presence can be seen everywhere whether it is on display at the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier museum, in the port where ships constantly maneuver or in the skies where helicopters and planes are a daily sight.  I was fortunate enough to be in the harbor when the latest in naval warfare ships was being escorted past the city skyline. I first encountered the Austal designed frigate on my 8-day trip down the Tenn.-Tom last year at the Austal facility in Mobile. It was an amazing site with the skyline of San Diego as a background.

With an estimated population of almost 1.5 million people, San Diego is the eight largest city in the United States and the Port of San Diego is the 4th largest in the state of California. It would be very difficult not to notice the constant traffic of commercial and recreational boats that move in and out of the harbor. From the constant movement of the ferries going back and forth from the many harbors to the huge vessels maneuvering in and out of the bay it is a very orchestrated dance of motion.

As I sat one after noon on Harbor Island looking at the west view of the San Diego skyline I noticed the cruise ship, the Ruby Princess was leaving port and headed out to sea. The vessel, which is operated by the Princess Cruises, is 951 ft. long, hosts 19 decks and is home to 3,000 passengers and a crew of 1,200, a small city unto itself. As it departed on it’s voyage the Coronado Bridge could be seen in the background while the vessel dwarfed a sailboat in the harbor. It was quite the majestic site and a beautiful way to end a picture perfect day. ENJOY!

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

Best Regards …..
~ dennis keim ~

Best of Show

April 10th, 2017

Good Morning from the frigid tundra of southern California! I arrived in San Diego last Wednesday expecting the warmest of weather and realized that the warm days turn into cool evenings on the island of Coronado. Of course you will not hear any complaints from me because I could think of a lot worse places to be.

A few months back while visiting friends here over the holidays, a very dear friend, Diana Drummey, told me that she was the Chair for the 2017 Coronado Flower Show, a show with over 90 years of tradition and is proclaimed to be the largest “tented” flower show in the nation. As the discussion continued with a few more glasses of wine, the conversation got around to something like I should come out to photograph it for her, which was followed, by a huge amount of laughter. Of course a few months later, the thought was entertained one again, an invitation and offer was made and here I am in Coronado, the “grand master of flower photography” roaming the tents looking for the prized ribbon winners. As I came to find out, these flower children take this stuff pretty seriously and rightly so.

As much as I would like to say it is all about the ribbons (well actually it is) but it is so much more. It really is all about the shared passion that these home grown and master gardeners share for the beauty of flowers and all that finds its way into their flowerbeds. For someone that is known for killing “silk plants” I must admit that I was in awe of the beauty of the many flowers and succulents that were on display to be judged. Just when I thought it was safe to go outside there was another hybrid variety and color of a rose or flower. You might attempt to sum it up by saying, “A rose by any other name is still a rose” but after seeing the show you would be dead wrong. But there was so much more than just roses and as a true novice I would hate to even begin naming them for fear of not getting it correct. To say the least, there was beauty all around me.

Of course there is so much more to the show than just roses, there is a flower photography competition, the succulents, the arrangements, the tulips, the pin cushions, the garden vendors and of course the very preferred “beer garden!” What I found to be rather interesting was the tent that housed the picture box displays; flower and plant arrangements that were in a black tent and that were displayed in a black box lit by one overhead light. For those that ventured in it was a very dramatic visual display.

For me one of the most interesting aspects of the show was the home judging. Every house of the island is judged for their landscaping and flower gardens and awarded ribbons – every house. Over 2,700 homes were judged awarded a ribbon. I was given a map of the island with the top twelve award winning homes and made my way around photographing each and every aspect of the outside beauty of these homes. I was truly taken back by the incredible beauty of the homes and the fauna that I encountered. The number one home, designed by a legendary architect Elmer Grey was built in 1918, is on the historical register and was truly worthy of the recognition. As I made my way around the gardens, I made every effort possible not to step on anything. The house and the gardens were simply breathtaking.

For me, the show was truly a “stop and smell the roses” photographic experience. I cannot say enough about the beauty of it all and the many gracious people I had the pleasure to meet over the weekend. ENJOY!

Best Regards …..
~ dennis keim ~

Moon Buggys

April 3rd, 2017

Happy Monday morning! I hope you were able to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather the weekend had to offer.

This past weekend NASA – Marshall Space Flight Center hosted the annual Human Exploration Rover Challenge at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Formally known as the “Great Moon Buggy Race,” the annual event is an engineering competition where teams of high school and college students from around the world compete in the design and fabrication of a “lunar roving vehicle” and ultimately race over a simulated “moon terrain” course powered solely by blood, sweat and tears.

The competition began in 1994 with six college teams to commemorate the anniversary of the Apollo 15 lunar landing and has grown to almost 100 teams coming from as far away as Puerto Rico, India and Bangladesh. The first two competitions were held on one of the courses at the Marshall Space Flight Center used to test the original lunar rovers and then moved to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center where they have been hosted since 1996. I was a NASA photographer during those early days and now cover the event as a media source while getting to see many of my former NASA co-workers that are still involved.

Each year the course is redesigned to add new challenges for the six member teams including issues that may face future space rovers and travelers. Before each team races they have to pass a vehicle inspection which requires the two-member rover team, one male and one female, to assemble the rover which has been designed to meet many generic design criteria of the original rover.  Once the assembly is completed, the team is given the go-ahead to travel the seven-tenth of a mile course that is made up as described as “many miscellaneous extraterrestrial surface-like obstacles” including a lunar crater with a life-sized replica of the Luna Module. The teams are judged on their overall time and include assessed penalties when they are unable to maneuver over the obstacles or remove themselves from the vehicle to help move it over an obstacle or through the course.

For these future “space cadets” that experience the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat while jockeying the course, it really is the joy of competing and making new friends that appears to drive them the most. For all of their efforts an award ceremony is hosted in their honor and recognition is given to the first three winning teams in each division for both high school and college for having the shortest total time in assembling and traversing the course. From here you could say it is “on to the moon and beyond” for these dreamers that beam themselves home with some very incredible and fond memories. ENJOY!!!

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

All the best to you!!!!
dK and Greyson

American Made Tour

March 27th, 2017

Happy Monday to you and I trust you had an enjoyable weekend!

It will most likely come as no surprise to all that I have a love and passion for both photography and music. Growing up in a musical family set me up at an early age to enjoy many genres of music and after testing the waters I realized that being a musician, as much as I dreamed of being a rock star, may not be in the cards for my future. In college I turned to the visual arts and found that it was the prefect fit for me and for finding my path in music. Having grown up in that world it just felt like I was meant to be part of that scene and photography gave me that ticket. While working at my college newspaper I came to realize that there was no concert that we could not have access to and we took advantage of traveling the roads of Florida photographing bands such as Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, Peter Frampton and David Bowie (showing my age here) in every city including our own.

Fast forward to this past week when I was asked to shoot a concert for iHeart Media / WDRM Radio. After all these years I still get an adenaline rush when I go to shoot a music event. Generally speaking, like Bob Euker would say, you get the “front row” acccess, as close as you can get without being part of the band. You get up close and personal in front of the barriers that separate you from the thongs of fans pressing closer and closer to find their spot for the moment. Or not! In todays market, the promoters and handlers of the bands sometimes feel protecting the bands trademark far out weighs your comfort zone and such was the case for the “American Made Tour” with country musicians Brett Young, Lee Brice and headliner, Justin Moore. Not necessarily house hold names for some of us but do not tell that to their ardent fans …. They cheered and sang along with the trio of bands – All Night Long.

Access to a concert and shooting does not always go as planned and once there I found myself getting the details that I was not getting up close and personal but was relegated to the “front of the house” and only allowed to shoot the first three songs of each set. The three song rule is nothing knew but the front of the house means you are shooting from the floor or the side wings. Not my favorite thing to do jostling with the fans that for the most part tend to be somewhat taller then me. Once I find my spot, the 6’10” fan with date just feels the need to get her a little closer and ends up in front of me.  So with that in mind I went to plan B, this not being my first rodeo, to embrace my banishment from the “front row” rock star status and deal with it the best I could.

I say all of this to comment, as a photographer, you have to roll with the punches and sometimes adversity creates opportunity. As I looked to the stage I realized there were so many things going on around me that really helped tell the story of the concert, how current technology is now such an integral part of our current social structure and as I found out, introducing young fans to current music is alive and well. I was introduced to music at a very young age and I have never lost my appreciation for music or the talents of these individuals that do what they do and allow me to live my life with music as, my proverbial background. There is not a time I can relocate that music does not play some role in life’s memorable moments.

The good news is I came away extremely excited about the imagery I was fortunate enough to capture and for the most part unharmed by the jostling of the ardent country fans that attended these concerts. Like the Rolling Stones sang, “You can’t always get what you want, But if you try sometime you find, You get what you need!” On this night I think I found what I needed! Many thanks to WDRM and iHeart Media for giving me the opportunity to once again chase my youth. ENJOY!

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

All the best to you!!!!
dK and Greyson