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

Labor Day

September 2nd, 2014

Happy Tuesday morning to you. I hope that in spite of the inclement weather you were able to find a way to enjoy your Labor Day weekend! If nothing more than sitting at home in front of the TV, most of you are now were aware that college football has arrived.

Some of my fondest memories growing up are associated with the Labor Day weekend. Knowing as a kid that it was our last weekend before school started in Florida, made it that much more imperative to make the most out of the weekend. Like most Americans it was a weekend closely associated with travel and some form of water. My dad was a boater so our time was directly spent on the lake or in the gulf.

I was fortunate enough to start this Labor Day weekend slightly early by meeting a group of friends in at Guntersville Lake on Thursday evening and heading over to the bat cave. It seems that one particular great horned owl has taken up residence there in the evening and it dining out on the bats. As the sun was setting the river became a wash of orange and blue and it was just a spectacular sunset.

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And as promised, the great horned owl did appear and the show continued under the mask of darkest, quite the “Wild Kingdom” kind of moment. The low light did not offer much in the way of photography but just to sit and watch this act of nature take place was worth the price of admission. It was breathtaking to see this majestic bird take flight and hone in on its prey as the bats began to exit the cave in mass under the cloak of darkness. Thanks to Mike, Matt and Julie for the invitation and the greatest show on earth, well at least for that Thursday evening.

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With the arrival of Friday and the official start of the weekend I headed over to Decatur to start what eventually ended up being a 4-day extravaganza of boating on the Tennessee River and skirting in and out of the marinas dodging rainstorms. The storms were particularly severe at times so boating became a secondary aspect of the weekend as we fellowshipped with other boaters in the marina doing what you do best on these types of festive weekends, watching college football, eating a lot of wonderful food and drinking our fair share of our favorite libations. The rain storms subsided and the sun broke through Sunday evening allowing for a sunset cruise and as most of you know Monday became we had all hope for, an absolutely amazing day to be out and about on the river. It was like every one was sitting on ready the minute the sun rose because boats were every where on the Tennessee river. It ended up being the perfect Labor Day for being on the river.

Being on the river for Labor Day brought back incredibly fond memories of how my last weekends of “freedom” were spent growing up in Florida. I am very thankful to all my friends for the invitation to spend time with them on the water and to relive a little bit of those times. ENJOY!!

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Music Under The Stars

August 25th, 2014

Monday morning greetings to you all! Hopefully you will have a good week ahead in preparation for the upcoming Labor Day Weekend. Do not party too hard.

So far this year, a major number of my Monday morning blogs have been about music. I grew up in a musical family, music is in my blood and like most, music plays a major part in each of our lives. Music marks our highs and lows; it comforts us as well as excites us!

When you think of music meccas you most likely think of Nashville or Los Angeles. These cities are where the STARS live and theses cities are where the hits are made! You would most likely not think of Huntsville in any form or fashion in that arena and you would be right. The one thing I do know about Huntsville is it may not be part of the “meccas” but considering the talent we have locally it does have a thriving music scene. But the thing that impresses me the most about Huntsville is the fact that it is becoming a “music destination” due to two very unique venues in the city.

The Burritt Museum hosts “City Lights and Stars” and the Land Trust of North Alabama hosts “Concerts at 3 Caves”. If you have attended a music event at either one of these venues you know exactly what I am talking about. Each offers a very mystical and magical setting that most cities can only dream of. I have had the pleasure this year to attend music events at both.

When attending an event at Burritt Museum with its western view bluff overlooking the city you cannot help but catch your breath as the sun sets and the city lights begin to sparkle. For a moment most lose thought on the reason why they are there and get lost in the magnificent view. The sparkle reminds me of a Christmas scene, year round. It was the smooth cords or Jazz guitarist Eric Essix that complimented the setting sun and city lights that captured the hearts of all that attended.

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Eric, who is from Birmingham has played the City Lights and Stars event and few times and he was quick to point out to the crowd how wonderful and beautiful the setting was to host a music event. As I sat there all I could do was nod my head in agreement.

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In contrast to the beauty of the setting sun and sparkling lights, the Land Trust offers a venue unlike most have ever seen. 3 Caves, at the base of Monte Sano Mountain is fast becoming a music venue for national acts. Set in a bowl surrounded by towering walls, the venue has the visual distinction of three cave openings that meander back under the mountain. Originally a limestone quarry used for the needs of the city when it was getting started, the caves have since been left to the elements and to the care of the Huntsville Land Trust. The Caves, in my humble opinion is one of the most unique venues for a town of this size and most likely would be one of the top venues for most major cities. You get a sense that something magical is about to happen as you transport your self down the gravel road and feel the first wave of cool air emanating from the mouths of the caves. As the light in skies diminish and the theatrical lighting begins to glow in and around the caves and walls, you cannot help but take a breath and find yourself embracing the moment.

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Huntsville was treated to an exceptional event this past weekend when Huntsville native and Grammy award winning Blue Grass superstar, Claire Lynch returned home to play the final 3 Caves event of 2014. There is no more unique setting then the caves and I could not think of a more fitting artist to play the caves. With every cord she drew the audience in and with her latest song, “Dear Sister”, which has been nominated for Song of the Year in the Bluegrass category, she stole our hearts.

Each and every artist that plays at the caves, mentions that it is by all accounts the most “unique” venue they have ever had the pleasure to play.

If you have not yet taken the opportunity to attend an event at one of these magical venues you have a year to think about it and start making your arrangements to be part of something very special to the city. You might even consider becoming a member supporting the efforts of these two organizations that have so much to offer for the residents and tourists visiting the city. Until then, you may just want to go out an buy one of the music CD’s from Claire or Eric and get a slight indication of what you missed. ENJOY!!!!

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~ dennis keim ~

Perdido Key

August 19th, 2014

Happy Tuesday morning to you. I am writing you a day late because I spent the weekend boating with a dear friend and enjoying living life on the river and there just is no Internet service on the Tennessee River!

On the last week of my recent travel, I stayed in Perdido Key, which now seems to have become my home away from home when I am traveling through Florida. I have a good friend and wonderful model that does not seem to mind my frequent trips, my continual requests to shoot and my insistence that we eat sushi and seafood. I know, I am a taskmaster! We have the shooting schedule down to a fine art starting a few hours before sunset and working through the sweet light hour until the orange glow disappears. It then becomes a race to get home and shower and head to our favorite sushi bar before they close.

On one of the shoot days a huge storm blew in and our hopes of seeing a sunset were totally diminished. It is a total crapshoot in Florida, this time of year, because the storms come and go and the sun plays peek-a-boo with you. You never quite know if you will be rewarded with an evening glow. As we stood and watched the sun disappear behind a huge bank of thunderclouds something began to happen that had us both stop and look. Huge rays of light began to filter out from behind the cloud formation. You might say that this is not an unusual occurrence in Florida and I would have to agree. It was just an amazing site to see the clouds continue to morph into a variety of beautiful formations while the light rays shot out from behind. We stood and watched this spectacular display, coming to the final realization that the sunset was not going to make an appearance that evening. So we packed up the gear and started heading back to the car.

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As we approached the boardwalk we stopped to look back one last time only to see something that totally took our breaths away. In all my years as a photographer I would have to say that I have never quite seen anything like this occur. Looking somewhat like a huge alien space ship, a multi-colored layer of light began to appear from behind the clouds and became ever more intense and vibrant as it formed over the top of the cloud bank. It was like this imagery spaceship had a huge horizontal band of lights around it. We just stood in awe as it continued to form and change colors. I am sure there is an easy meteorological explanation for this occurance but for that brief moment in time you could not help but let you fantasies wander as you imagined all of what it could be as a “Close Encounter”. E.T. phone home!

It was a truly amazing site and everyone that we encountered on the beach was speechless while describing it looking like some “alien spaceship!” ENJOY!!!!!

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Best regards ……….
dK

Cape San Blas

August 11th, 2014

Good morning to you all. The air is crisp and we are just a few weeks away from the kickoff of college football. Life is good!

It seems that I have been on the road forever with my travels to Florida, Mississippi, Alabama and Ohio. I found myself home for 36 hours and then it was off again, back to Florida for a little R and R and exploration! I had an invitation by some dear friends, Chris and Carolyn Farmer to visit with then in Cape San Blas, a 17-mile barrier island east of Port St. Joe and west of Apalachicola. I had never visited Cape San Blas and their description of the area fit high on my “find and explore” exploration meter. For them, they are dog lovers, it is a pet friendly beach but the bigger incentive was their suggestion that the beer would be cold and the food would be plentiful. What better invitation then that, new worlds to explore, cold libations and incredible eats. Most important was the fact that they were expecting their first child and I knew this would be the perfect place to capture some memorable images of their pregnancy at their most prized vacation spot!

So it goes without saying that all the above expectations were met and this secret little vacation hideaway was the perfect spot to melt into the sand. After and incredible day of “butt on the beach” and playing toss with their two dogs in the Gulf, I decided to do a little island exploration and capture a few photographs. One of the most iconic places to visit is the Cape San Blas Lighthouse, which was built in 1849. To preserve the 100’ tall lighthouse and two accompanying Keepers houses were recently moved from its original location to Port St Joe where it will reside and preserve it’s rich history. The lighthouse has ties to the civil war and was damaged by the Union troops and the USS Kingfisher in 1862. The lighthouse has weathered more than it’s fair share of storms and had been moved numerous times over the years to avoid continual erosion caused by the gulf seas.

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As I began to explore the area further I came across a site that was just slightly ironic for the location, a sailboat that had ran aground not more than a 100 yards from the new location of the lighthouse. I guess they just did not heed the warning and fell prey to the “bug to a bug-light” scenario.

All in all it was an exceptional weekend visit to a very beautiful hideaway with some very dear friends. Of course I guess that the well-kept secret is no longer a secret. And here is wishing Carolyn and Chris all the best with “Baby Farmer!” ENJOY!!!!!!

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dK

Land O’ Lakes

August 5th, 2014

Good morning to you all and my hope is that you are off to a stellar week at work. MY apologies for being a day late from my normal Monday Blog schedule but I am currently on assignment in Lancaster, OH.

I had the pleasure to travel to Lancaster to do a two-day fitness shoot for a good friend, Denise Frysinger, who owns a fitness facility here. She was in need of updating her marketing materials, as well as, wanting to photograph some of her up and coming fitness stars. So for the last two days I have been locked in her gym shooting photographs of a combination of beautiful bodies and rock hard bodies. I had hoped by the virtue of being in the proximity of all the weights and perspiration I might walk away with a few less inches around the belt line and a few more muscles but I get the feeling in just does not work that way. Check her facility out at http://focusedtrainingcenters.com/ but you could wait just a little bit until the “new” images have time to find their way to her web pages.

One of the reasons I held off on doing my blog was due to the fact that I had not had an opportunity to get out and shoot around the area and I just knew that I wanted to showcase a little of the beauty of Fairfield County. For those that have never been to Lancaster, it is full of rolling hills, a quaint downtown and is surrounded by beautiful farms and country. The farms here are just spectacular with their incredible cornfields and “white” barns. It seems they paint almost everything white here.

Knowing that I love finding out more about the historical nature and beauty of a city the first place Denise took be to was the Rock Mill and Covered Bridge which is just outside the city and now a park. The gristmill was built in 1824 and the Rock Mill covered bridge in 1901. The mill was in operation grinding flour and corn into wheat and meal until 1905.

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The mill sat vacant for almost 100 years until the owners donated it to the Fairfield County Historical Parks commission. Through grants, donations and fund raising the building went through an extensive repair and in 2012 a replica of the 26-foot diameter water wheel was added to complete the renovation. Down stream from the Mill and Hocking River Falls is a beautiful meandering stream that was just waiting for the next artist or hiker to come through. Being the “explorer” I am I decided to heed the call of the wild, at least for 100 yards or so.

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On the second leg of our one day “road trip” Denise was kind enough to humor me and take me out in the country where we came across two freshly painted “white” covered bridges Both have been moved from their original locations and are being preserved as visual anchors to local parks that border streams. Each was charming in it’s own way but there was something about the open-air look of the Hanaway Covered Bridge that really caught my eye. Although it was still under renovation the light and shadow detail on the interior just provided for its very own identity.

All in all it was not a bad way to spend the day touring the countryside with a very dear friend. ENJOY!!!!!!

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For ALL of your stock imagery needs whether it is art for editorial, corporate or private collection, look no further! We may have exactly what you need. PLEASE keep us in mind for any upcoming assignments you may have.

Best regards ……….
dK