Tuesday, April 17, 2012

7 Super Shots Challange

It's been a good week. First, my blog reached over 20,000 views. I never thought a blog I write basically for my friends and family would ever have that kind of popularity. Second, my biggest fan in the whole world RedNomadOZ from Australia has invited me to join the HotelBookers 7 Super Shots Challenge. I'm not sure the contest is still on but I found the challenge intriguing. Find seven photos in my collection for the seven categories provided and write a little explanation of each. Oh Red - you have no idea what you are asking. I have 14,836 digital photos in my collection tonight and I've never given these categories much thought so I'll have some digging and reminiscing to do.

A photo that … takes my breath away:

Every time I look at this photo I remember the day my young daughter pedaled her bike right up to an alligator and started taking pictures. I had the biggest panic attack since high school. Luckily this little guy was more interested in getting some sun than snapping her foot off. Since then she's held a gator (mouth taped), kayaked with gators, and had many a plate of gator bites. This will always be the close encounter I remember most vividly.

A photo that … makes me laugh or smile:

So what is this  - can you guess? Yes it is a hot air balloon but if you can't figure it out, it's a reflection in a canal. If you look dead center you can see the big white flame that is creating the lift for the balloon. Just to the right is my head and half my body leaning out over the basket so I could get this shot. I had to jam my foot on the huge propane tank so I would not fall completely out of the balloon. The pilot was not amused. I smile every time I tell this story at the looks on faces of the people who hear it. 

A photo that … makes me dream:

I have always dreamed of flying off to space and exploring the universe but taking a picture of a Saturn 5 engine at NASA is about as close as I'm likely to get. Still hopeful of one day making it to orbit at least. On the day I went, most of the space station was sitting in a clean room behind a glass window. Now all those bits and pieces are floating overhead. This generation's recent collective dreams made real.

A photo that … makes me think:

This is one of the Gator Boys now made famous for their gator wrangling reality show on Animal Planet. I was amazed by the seemingly casual way he handled this dangerous critter. Even more amazed that this is his line of work. There are days I wish I was doing something else for a living then I think of guys with jobs like this and I run right back to my air conditioned cubicle. I think I made the right career choice.

A photo that … makes my mouth water:

The famous BrooN AKA Brian Howard. A favorite of the Renaissance Faires and stages across the country. After many years of being a mere fan and watching my favorite performers eat fire, I took the plunge and a class in the art. This one photo tipped the balance for me and sent me on the quest to follow a crazy and dangerous hobby. Although fire eating will definitely make your mouth water, it's one of the few exotic delicacies I've tried that decidedly does not taste like chicken. I may never perform in front of a paying audience but family BBQ's will sure be interesting.

A photo that … tells a story:

This sign is located at the entrance of a decommissioned Nike Missile base in South Florida and tells the story of why this country still exists. I thought I knew about the Cold War until I got a history lesson from a Nike Missile veteran. Without this weapon system, those on the other side may have seen the opportunity to "push the button". The nuclear-tipped defensive weapons at the ready in this bunker and around the country gave everyone second thoughts. Had the Cold War heated up even a few degrees, it's hard to imagine South Florida still being habitable. This story was best written by letting sleeping dogs lie and never launching these weapons in anger.
The photo that ... I am most proud of:

This photo starts with the first fly away trip I took with my daughter a decade ago. I was still shooting film at the time. We went to Washington DC and Virginia for a week traveling the mountains, caves, and history of the area. On the very last day, just before our ride to the airport, we stopped off at the Korean War Memorial. Even though neither of us had a personal connection to the war heroes etched in this wall, we both felt the connection our country had to them. This was the 37th photo on a roll of 36 shots. The last roll I had left after a week of shooting. This shot never should have existed and yet here it is still bringing tears to my eyes even after all these years.


I have looked at so many photos I have not seen or thought about for a very long time. So many memories attached to each. Over the years I have gone from a few shots here and there to hundreds for a single event and they all have a memory associated with them. Thanks Red. This has been much more than a simple challenge and I have enjoyed the 3 days it has actually has taken to accomplish. 


  1. Well, THAT'S what I call rising to the challenge!! But after seeing your great balloon shot, I'm surprised that YOU'RE surprised your daughter is such a daredevil!! Your 7th shot is so great, I'm surprised I haven't seen it already - in publication somewhere!! Just saying 'well done' sounds a little patronising, but I'm glad to have seen another facet of your photography!

    PS Am I really your biggest fan?
    PPS I've pinned your 7th shot!

  2. @ Red - Even my Mom does not follow my blog as closely as you do any more. I have that last shot hanging on my wall at home poster sized. I see it every day. It reminds me what can be done if you just push yourself a little farther each day and take a giant leap once in a while. Before this trip it was miniature golf and TV every other weekend. After this trip it would take another whole blog to describe.

  3. Those are all great shots, and more wonderful is the way you write your descriptions, really brings them to life. I also really like the last one, glad you've posted it. So what's involved in the challenge?

  4. @ Betty - I think the contest may have passed but I still liked the concept of the challenge. You and your Bob must have 10 times the photos I have. It was quite a journey sorting through mine. Everyone should look at their old photos to keep those memories fresh and alive.

  5. What an amazing post! I love this 'challenge'! Really great job with these. And your daughter is beautiful! And brave, lol.

  6. @ Tex - Oh you have no idea. She's taught me a lot about living life fearless.