Mike Melnotte Photography: Blog https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog en-us Mike Melnotte mmelnotte@ec.rr.com (Mike Melnotte Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:22:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:22:00 GMT https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-12/u1060658006-o164680044-50.jpg Mike Melnotte Photography: Blog https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog 120 99 IPA 2017 https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/ipa-2017 Long absence from the blog, I know.... but a semi-triumphant return with news of an Honorable Mention for the Self Portrait category in the 2017  International Photography Awards.  They do seem to recognize quite a few of the HM's (which  appreciate since IO'm one of them), but glad to be included.  Always appreciate recognition for the photos where I get weird.

Visions of TomorrowVisions of Tomorrow


mmelnotte@ec.rr.com (Mike Melnotte Photography) award contest honorable mention ipa 2017 mike melnotte photography self portrait https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/ipa-2017 Sun, 08 Oct 2017 20:44:06 GMT
This Is Why Gardens Are A Pain In the Ass https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/8/this-is-why-gardens-are-a-pain-in-the-ass Double TroubleDouble Trouble I've been a homeowner for about 15 years now and it's taken a decade for me to forget why I decided to have a garden.  Sure I can tell everybody about why my tomatoes taste so much better than those from Costco. Yeah.... that's great and all.  Having just a few plants has provided a bounty of vegetables that has made me feel like a farmer, much closer to mother earth.  But, I say to hell with all that noise.    If I have to spend all this time with soil and fertilizer and pruning just to see a few Tomato Hornworms eat the shit out of everything when my back was turned, what's the point?   The only good that has come from it all is a great opportunity to shoot some macro shots of these beautiful creatures of destruction.  I swear to God, my wife and I thought we had rats eating the tomatoes because the bite marks looked like what we expected a rat would do (plus we saw them in the backyard eating bird seed).  Turns out we had about 4-5 of these worms eating everything in sight before I brought them inside for  photo shot.  Anyway.... here you go.

mmelnotte@ec.rr.com (Mike Melnotte Photography) caterpillar garden gardening green hornworm macro pest photography tomato worm https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/8/this-is-why-gardens-are-a-pain-in-the-ass Sat, 12 Aug 2017 03:07:31 GMT
A Great Writeup on NatGeo Yourshot https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/a-great-writeup-on-natgeo-yourshot I forgot to post this (published in February), but a really nice writeup of National Geographic's YourShot community.  

And it's not great because I'm interviewed, but that certainly didn't hurt, IMHO.  :)



mmelnotte@ec.rr.com (Mike Melnotte Photography) YourShot interview mike melnotte photography poynter publication https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/a-great-writeup-on-natgeo-yourshot Sun, 24 Jul 2016 23:16:13 GMT
The New Arrival https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/the-new-arrival Get A Puppy, They Said. It Will Be Fun, They SaidGet A Puppy, They Said. It Will Be Fun, They Said

Zsa Zsa Gabor...I get you.

Leona Helmsley...I understand completely, girlfriend.

Thanks to the arrival of a 10 week old English bulldog puppy, I now understand why rich old ladies carry around tiny dogs.  Because (at least with my puppy) they're awesome and they can.

Am I completely glossing over the fact that when Reuben is in his spazzy, puppy play mode he's like a mini Tiger shark on a blood-soaked rampage of teeth and fur?  Yes.  Or when I was changing the bed sheets and he ran over and pissed on the comforter?  Yes.  Or the fact that his tiny bladder has him getting up every 2-3 hours to go out in the middle of the night? Uh huh.  Or when I was watching him like a hawk, blinked my eyes and he was gone, but a tootsie roll was deposited on my carpet right in front of me?  Youbetcha.


Despite all those things, our home now has the funniest, most personality-packed creature to date, even counting those Sea Monkeys I ordered from a comic book (That's saying a lot, because I'm such a sucker for brine shrimp!).  I'm trying my best not to post a million images of him, but I'm failing miserably and don't even care.  I have unabashedly set up an Instagram account, @Reubenthebulldog, just to have a place to put some of these pics.  Somehow, I'm able to delude myself that because it's my dog, it's different.  No WAY I've become one of those douchebags.  Wait...maybe I have, but...  DID YOU SEE WHAT HE JUST DID?  He was playing and rolled off the mat and flipped over.  How cute is that?


Anyway, he's been a reasonably good model so far and I need to get these shots now while he's cute and doesn't have that 3 inch underbite which I'm sure is coming.  Bear with me people as I pass through this really adorable phase.








mmelnotte@ec.rr.com (Mike Melnotte Photography) adorable bulldog cute dog dogs english bulldog model pet pets photography pup puppy https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/the-new-arrival Wed, 30 Mar 2016 16:42:28 GMT
Published! Nat Geo' YourShot's "Built To Walk" Assignment https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/published-nat-geo-yourshot-s-built-to-walk-assignment  
"Elegantly executed. The forest of images is interesting take on the family photo album."-
Darren Smith
Deputy Editorial Director, NG International Editions

A good run of news continues with the publication of one of my favorite images of the kids.  For the 'Built To Walk' assignment, Deputy Editorial Director of International Editions, Darren Smith, asked for photos to be printed/made real and incorporated into a new image.  It highlighted the fact that the physicality of actually making a print feels like a long lost art.  What percentage of our pictures do we actually print?  Less that 1% for sure with me.

Anyway... this image was a pain in the ass to set up because after printing and hanging the individual pics, I had to wait a day to come back and shoot because they continued to twist on the string and find a point to settle at, most often facing away from where I wanted them.  Even with a matte finish, the shine from the lights was an issue as well, washing out parts of the pictures.

My thanks to Darren and the rest of the YourShot community who submitted to this assignment because it definitely took more effort and creativity than the typical assignment.  I applaud the YourShot team for including this occasional creative side to their assignments.  

You can view the complete story here.




mmelnotte@ec.rr.com (Mike Melnotte Photography) Darren Smith National Geographic Photos Get Physical YourShot assignment kids mike melnotte photography https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/published-nat-geo-yourshot-s-built-to-walk-assignment Sat, 05 Mar 2016 12:30:19 GMT
NatGeo's "Built To Walk" Assignment- Published! https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/natgeos-built-to-walk-assignment--published Great and most surprising news this afternoon of the inclusion of one of my photos in the "Built To Walk" assignment on YourShot!  It was unexpected since it seemed quite different from the documentarian nature of the other photos and was not a recent image.  In fact, the age seemed to work against me somewhat based on the comments of Foreign Correspondent and National Geographic Fellow, Paul Salopek: 

Almost too old a photo for a journalistic assignment. But the willingness to go macro, and turn the literalness of Built to Walk's tittle into pure abstraction, makes this a powerful entry.

Being selected as one of 30 images out of 10,000+ is an honor and to be recognized by yet another guest editor is a wonderful thing.

Have I mentioned how much I love the people at YS?  :)

You can view the story here.

mmelnotte@ec.rr.com (Mike Melnotte Photography) Built To Walk John Stanmeyer National Geographic Paul Salopek YourShot mike melnotte photography publication https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/natgeos-built-to-walk-assignment--published Fri, 26 Feb 2016 00:10:50 GMT
National Geographic YourShot Recognition https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/national-geographic-yourshot-recognition First, let me say that I'm quite possibly one of worst at keeping a blog up to date.  I'm resolving that for 2016 I shall be much more diligent in yelling about whatever goings on I have ...going on.  For those that may be mildly interested in me, this is spectacular news. You are most welcome!  This could possibly surpass last year's excitement where I vowed to replace any and all underpants that were getting worn out.  Look out 2017... it will be a tough to top all this!


Second, there was a wonderful article from Kristin Hare at the Pointer Institute about the success behind NatGeo's YourShot.  I had the pleasure of being interviewed as an active YS member and giving my take on this amazing site that's staffed by some excellent photographic editorial talent.  The additionally cool part was highlighting some of my photos in the story.  Take a gander at it if you will here.  Hope you enjoy it.







mmelnotte@ec.rr.com (Mike Melnotte Photography) National Geographic YourShot mike melnotte photography poynter https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/national-geographic-yourshot-recognition Tue, 23 Feb 2016 22:59:51 GMT
Raining... and Occasionally Pouring https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/6/raining-and-occasionally-pouring I'm not quite sure why good news often comes in waves, but there was certainly some good surf this past week.  Every now and then...and I don't mean too often because it would make me a narcissist, but I will admit to Googling myself.  Still sounds dirty, no matter how you say it.  I do it simply to see if any of my pictures have been used in blogs, websites, or any other random corner of the net. Just to be prepared, I am already studying copyright laws country by country just in case I have to go to court in Uzbekistan to get a cease and desist order for using one of my flower pictures.  Those crazy Uzbeks!  Anyway... I digress.

The nuts and bolts of it is that I came across one of my shots from the National Geographic Animals We Love assignment on the CBS News site.  Many things can bring a smile to our face and I will include one of them: seeing the NG yellow rectangle on one of my images.  That's cool.



On top of that... thanks to the geese for the props.  Made the NG Daily Dozen:



And.... Popular Photography's Best of May:




Now to keep shooting... and wait to get wet from the next wave.




mmelnotte@ec.rr.com (Mike Melnotte Photography) CBS NEWS Mike Melnotte National Geographic National Geographic Your Shot Popular Photography dog magazine photography publication https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/6/raining-and-occasionally-pouring Mon, 30 Jun 2014 00:47:52 GMT
Good News Abounds! https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/11/good-news-abounds Like the Professor from the TV show Futurama says, "Good news, everyone!"

When I'm Old...When I'm Old...All images copyright Mike Melnotte


Not only did I get sent the final product of my greeting cards from Palm Press this week, I was lucky enough to take 1st place in the Our State Magazine's 2013 Photo contest for the "People" category.  Many thanks to my beautiful daughter.  She has been the ultimate model for me because she follows directions, is beautiful, and more importantly... she has to help or I will withhold dessert until she's 20.   Here's the link: http://www.ourstate.com/reader-photo-contest-2013/


On top of all that... I had one of my submissions to Popular Photography selected for the Best Of October.  



Some weeks are better than others.  This is a good week.





mmelnotte@ec.rr.com (Mike Melnotte Photography) M Magazine Our Photography Popular State contests mike melnotte photography https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/11/good-news-abounds Wed, 20 Nov 2013 00:30:05 GMT
Hanging out with National Geographic https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/10/hanging-out-with-national-geographic With over 300,000 members and 1.6 million photos posted on the National Geographic Your Shot web site, I would like to think that I stand out just a little bit with my photos, but I know statistically that's kind of hard to do.  Well... I'll call it luck, or general "good fortune", but I was contacted by NG  recently about those very pictures.  I was asked to be one of three Your Shot contributors to participate in a Google+ Hangout to discuss one of the recent photo assignments, Explore Our Changing World.  I was more than happy to take a day off of work to be on a webcast with two senior photo editors and Corey Richards, one of their finest adventure photographers.  To be discussing photography and hearing about what goes into a NG magazine assignment was humbling, fascinating and exciting all at the same time.  Plus... I never lost that tickle at the back of my mind that said  "don't say something stupid, this is going on youtube  for forever, you know".  I think it came out OK.  If you'd like to check it out...


mmelnotte@ec.rr.com (Mike Melnotte Photography) Geographic National google+ hangout mike melnotte photography https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/10/hanging-out-with-national-geographic Wed, 30 Oct 2013 12:48:33 GMT
Blogging the Blog https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/9/blogging-the-blog THIS...... is a good thing!




mmelnotte@ec.rr.com (Mike Melnotte Photography) blog geographic national photography yourshotblog https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/9/blogging-the-blog Mon, 30 Sep 2013 23:01:43 GMT
Strangers With Melons https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/8/strangers-with-melons One of the things that let's me know I'm hooked on photography is when I feel the onset of that slow burning, but overwhelming itch.  No, no, its not pubic lice, but that's a solid guess.  It's that itch that says, "Excuse me, but you have struck my fancy and I must get your picture."  (By the way, this must be said only in your mind and with a British accent).  This desire can originate from a person, a setting, an everyday object...but it's usually something that I'll see a few times, ruminate over, then make the decision that I have to return with camera in hand.


In this case, it was the watermelon man.


He's an elderly black man who I've seen for several summers selling watermelons out of the back of a beat-up pickup parked in front of a  small Baptist church.  He has his wicker chair and is almost always settin' in the shade of a nearby tree.  Doesn't matter what the temperature is because it's summer and he's got to move those melons.  He's a lot like Vince with the Shamwow, except he's old, African-American, isn't dynamic, and has no headset mounted microphone.  Other than that they're EXACTLY the same.


So... a few weekends ago I picked up Chinese for lunch and returned home, passing this man along the way.  I declared the timing was right and after switching lenses, I grabbed my Nikon and headed out the door.  Our friend, Marjie, also into photography,  was visiting for the week and insisted she should go along to see how this all went down.  No way, babe.  This was a one-man operation.  Not everybody is dying to get their photo taken and I had the suspicion that this might be one of those people. I didn't want to scare him off with a carload of passengers. Or even one, for that matter.


Driving there I thought about how this man might see things from his angle.  A strange white guy pulls up with a camera trying to photograph a black man selling watermelons?  Would he think there was a racial component to it?  Would he be suspicious about my overall intent?  Does he just not like to be photographed (having taken a lesson from my wife in that subject)? All were legitimate considerations.  How could I get across to him in essentially a quick sales pitch that I do this as a hobby, I find him interesting and wanted to document a slice of classic southern, summer culture?

He's not the first stranger, or even roadside fruit seller I've photographed.  Hap was the first, found in rural North Carolina.  He couldn't figure out why I wanted to shoot him, but agreed.  He's pictured here:


There have also been fish mongers, gas station attendants and guys returning shopping carts in the dead of winter.  Each time you get that nervous energy because you're about to ask a total stranger for a favor.  You never know how they'll react.  Plus,  I'm sure some were packing heat. That's why I tell people I live my life on the edge, baby.  Awww yeah.


One other note; the wife and I watched the other day as the watermelon man pulled his truck onto the road in front of us.  The large patio umbrella he used to shade his melons from the sun was still open and standing straight up in the back of the truck bed.  "This is not going to end well" was the general statement we had as he picked up speed and the wind turned his umbrella inside out.  It proceeded to  fall over and then hang off the right side of the pickup, only inches from the road.  What did he do?  Did he slam on the brakes and fix it? Hell no.  He gave a slight pause in his acceleration, then drove home like that as if he didn't have a care in the world.  He's the honey badger of fruit vendors.  Watermelon man doesn't give a shit.


So I turned into the gravel church driveway and approach him, camera left on the front seat.

"How much are they going for?" I asked.

 There was no way I couldn't grease the wheels a bit by buying one.

"Seven." was his reply.


I gave him my money and did my best to explain why I wanted to take his picture.  His silence made it apparent that the more I talked, the more he might not like the idea.  I thought a shot of him sitting on the tailgate with a huge pile of watermelons would be perfect.  That was met with silence. Uh oh.  I quickly capitulated to a simple shot of him sitting where he was. He took a long time to answer, but finally agreed with one condition: "No names." Uhhh, sure.  Perhaps this is his life in witness relocation. Or he's trying to stay under the radar of Big Watermelon. Their money and tactics are even nastier than big oil. Both were highly probable scenarios.


In the time it took me to return to my car and grab the camera, another customer came up and was standing next to the watermelon man.  I gave a quickly worded explanation of what I was doing and much to my delight he said, "Ain't nothing wrong with that."  You could tell this set my subject at ease because he went from unmoving silence and an almost-scowl on his face to unmoving silence and a stone face.  Much better. I took a few shots, thanked him, promised him a print if it looked OK and left with a big melon in the back of the car.


Now, as has been said, for the rest of the story.  The shot turned out OK, but not great.  It would have been so much better if I could have gotten him out of that frayed wicker chair and into the light near the truck, but that's neither here nor there.  The anticipation and experience of interacting with him was the interesting part.  I now had a print and as promised, wanted to get it to him.  I was definitely curious to see how he would react. Unfortunately... I wasn't going to find out.


Returning a week or so later, he was in almost the exact same spot under the tree. I waited with my turn signal clicking for about forty cars to pass before I could pull in.  In that entire time, the unnamed man was asleep in his chair, legs splayed out and head at a 90 degree angle with his mouth open. That man was in some serious REM sleep.  Drooling-on-your-pillow kind of hard sleep.  A kind of sleep I definitely did not want to wake him from.


I had hoped the sound of my tires on gravel 5 feet away would wake him.  It didn't.  Nor when I slammed my car door loudly.  I paused for a second then spied the passenger side door of his truck that was left open. I chose to lay the envelope with his print on the seat and get back in my car.  I got a little freaked out for a moment because the thought struck me, "What if this guy is dead?"  I just left my calling card and this would not look good. I actually gave a 5 count to watch his chest move.  Making sure someone is breathing when you deliver a photo is generally a solid rule to observe.  He was and I left.  He was still conked out as I drove away.


I could stop again sometime and ask him what he thought of his picture, but it's so much better this way.  The silent delivery, the unknown questions of whether he was pleased or not will stay hanging out there.  I can only hope he's a bit mystified and curious about the whole experience, just like I am.

mmelnotte@ec.rr.com (Mike Melnotte Photography) fruit seller mike melnotte photography portrait roadside stranger https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/8/strangers-with-melons Sun, 04 Aug 2013 17:17:33 GMT
They're Back! https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/3/theyre-back Peeps are back!


I'm not really a fan of the sugary, marshmallow creatures, but since they make an appearance at our house every March, it seems we have a photographic tradition on our hands.  I think the possible seizure-inducing color of these snacks is what makes them so interesting (unless sugar-flavored glue is making a comeback).  Either way, we end up getting some images each year and I have to tell you it gets hard trying to come up with something interesting.  I'm more in favor of using them for color and repetitive shapes in a shot, whereas my wife's ideas turn towards the "diorama" style where the Peeps are actually doing something.  Please.  I'm already self-conscious enough about photographing candy... don't make me play with it like they're my dolls.  Besides, my real dolls would get jealous.  I've only included a few shots here, but if you'd like to see the photo essay on JPG you can check it out here:


Pattern Recognition

mmelnotte@ec.rr.com (Mike Melnotte Photography) Peeps bunnies candy color marshmallow mike melnotte patters repetition sugar treat https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/3/theyre-back Sun, 03 Mar 2013 19:17:31 GMT
A Race with the Light https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/2/madman-with-a-camera So it's getting close to the "Golden Hour" and I'm trying to finish a game of Monopoly with the family.  Luckily, we all grew tired of it at the same time and I was able to get out for what would hopefully be a few decent shots of...something... at sunset.  I hopped into the car and headed directly into the golden light for downtown Wilmington.

Despite the fact that I've walked the river and streets what seems like a thousand times, there's always something to find, especially when you have such a quaint historic town like we do that borders the Cape Fear river.  Besides, the challenge of finding a new nugget and coming away with a good shot in a familiar area always puts me a great mood.

This is where I think many people might not appreciate the time it takes to find that keeper.  

I hit the riverfront and scouted for something good, couldn't find it, drove on, parked and searched a different area and finally headed back towards the battleship USS North Carolina now that the sun was finally in silhouette.  

While I've taken many shots, a good sunset can always open up new opportunities.  I think it did with this one, and I hope you like how it turned out.


mmelnotte@ec.rr.com (Mike Melnotte Photography) Wilmington battleship naval navy north carolina silhouette sunset https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/2/madman-with-a-camera Sun, 10 Feb 2013 23:10:09 GMT
The Start of a New Year of Photography https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/1/the-start-of-a-new-year-of-photography One of the promises I made to myself for 2013 was to be a bit more active when it comes to early morning shooting.  The morning light at the coast is wonderful, so why wouldn't I take advantage of it?  I did just that this weekend and went back for another visit to the Kure Beach pier in Kure Beach, NC.

The pier was closed for the winter and some repairs were being done farther out which included a crane.  At first I was trying to angle my shots to minimize this equipment, but after some contemplation figured that it's not a sight seen too often so why not incorporate it in the shots?  I think the B&w one especially worked with it.

One other item to note was that despite the 31 degree temperature in a mid North Carolina winter, there was still a good handful of people getting in their sunrise photography.  My initial thoughts as I saw them filter in was, "Great, more competition for a good spot." But after a bit I changed my thinking.  We're all there with the same love for the hobby. All skills seemed to be represented there from the more advanced to the point and shoot couples.  No need to be uptight about it.  Besides, it's a new year.  And at least I didn't forget my ND filter this time.


Cheers and best wishes to all for 2013.


UPDATE:  It pays to get up early.  Selected for Popular Photography's recent B&W landscape theme! 



The Bones of You

mmelnotte@ec.rr.com (Mike Melnotte Photography) beach cold kure ocean photographers photography pier sunrise https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/1/the-start-of-a-new-year-of-photography Sun, 06 Jan 2013 19:38:47 GMT
Your Vote Is Greatly Appreciated https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/10/your-vote-is-greatly-appreciated There is no escape right now.  Radio...TV...online...

The calls don't stop.  Polling questions, pre-recorded robo calls, "surveys".

This may be the election, but it's a bit closer to a time of collective insanity.  Normally mild-mannered friends on Facebook now post and re-post political links as though their lives depended on it.  As though one more article speaking about how the other side is personally driving the country towards the cliff of oblivion on the backs of the hounds of hell... you get the point.

A bit tiring, wouldn't you say?

This week's photo challenge on JPG Magazine was all about 'Election Time'.  http://jpgmag.com/themes/397   Interpret it as you wish.  Since everything comes down to money, here's my interpretation of the theme.    Hang in there y'all.  Only a few more weeks left.

Your Vote Is Greatly Appreciated

mmelnotte@ec.rr.com (Mike Melnotte Photography) corruption handshake money politics promises thanks trust vote voting https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/10/your-vote-is-greatly-appreciated Wed, 17 Oct 2012 00:26:52 GMT
Good Vibes https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/9/good-vibes I set out this morning and didn't find much inspiration downtown at the farmer's market and along the waterfront.  I figured I'd try my luck over at Greenfield Lake and see if any interesting creatures or characters could be found.  Lucky for me, one of the alligators was right near the lake edge by the walkway.  With only a few people around and having finally brought my 70-300 lens I set to work on the 6-7 foot reptilian.  

I ended up at one point laying down and holding my camera just above the water to try and snag some low POV shots.  Well, apparently my machinations had a couple interested enough to start asking me about photography.  Was I a professional? Enthusiast?  Do Is sell my work?  Have I been published or travel specifically for shots?  These questions led me to tell of my minor successes and when I told the man I was in National Geographic he shook my hand and said he couldn't wait to look up that issue to see my shot.  

I am so very grateful for friends and family who offer such kind words and support for my photography.  As good as that is, there's something so very fulfilling about hearing interest and compliments from a stranger.  Maybe they were just being nice, but I don't think so.  It sounds a bit new age-y, but I thank them for the good vibes they gave me this morning.

Long, Cool One

mmelnotte@ec.rr.com (Mike Melnotte Photography) alligator compliments gator greenfield lake photography strangers https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/9/good-vibes Sun, 16 Sep 2012 00:24:12 GMT
Good News From National Geographic https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/8/good-news-from-national-geographic  

 More good news beyond the Popular Photography selection!  I checked this morning and my Father's Day Sunrise shot was selected as one of the Editor's weekly choices for the My Thailand, My Story Photo contest.
 7 winners will be selected to head to Thailand for a 7 day photo trip to Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Bangkok.  Upon returning home, images will be uploaded and a gallery will be voted on by the public.  The winner there gets a photo exhibition in NYC for a week.  Not so bad.  Can't imagine actually having a trip like that, but it's always fun to dream.  As they say, you have to be in it to win it.  I'm in it, so now the waiting and finger-crossing begins.
mmelnotte@ec.rr.com (Mike Melnotte Photography) contest editor image kure beach my thailand, my story national geographic photo pick https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/8/good-news-from-national-geographic Fri, 24 Aug 2012 00:09:36 GMT
Crazy Man https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/8/crazy-man I'm continuing to really enjoy my Nikkor 40mm micro lens, but it's having an impact on my behavior.  


Sure, if you're trying to get an interesting shot of something, someone who is observing you can figure out what the deal is.  You have a camera in hand and you may be climbing something, crouching down, etc.  That's all fine and good.  But what happens when the subject matter happens to be an inch long damselfly that only you can see?  That was the position I found myself in the garage where I was going around in circles with my pointer finger in the air.  I had to look like a complete mental patient who's miming "We're number one!" as I tried to get the guy to land on my finger.


I finally got him to land and got a pretty cute handheld shot, but even better is knowing that my family is now accustomed to this aberrant behavior and hardly blinks an eye.S'up?

mmelnotte@ec.rr.com (Mike Melnotte Photography) 40mm crazy damselfly finger insect macro nikkor https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/8/crazy-man Sun, 19 Aug 2012 11:58:47 GMT
Lesson Learned: Update https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/8/lesson-learned-update Almost fell off the chair yesterday when I checked my e-mail and saw my own picture sitting right there in the Popular Photography's message.  Looks like my shot was selected for the "Best of July" readers submitted gallery.  Looks like I'll have a 1 in 10 chance of making the print edition.  Not so bad if I do say so myself.


mmelnotte@ec.rr.com (Mike Melnotte Photography) best magazine popular photography selection https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/8/lesson-learned-update Fri, 17 Aug 2012 11:03:38 GMT
Lesson Learned https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/7/lesson-learned As a 42 year old man I've learned a very valuable lesson when it comes to macro photography of insects.  If you're going to take photos of these guys and have to work 1 inch away from them (due to the short 40mm lens).... MAKE SURE THE DAMN THINGS ARE DEAD!  

I could have sworn that this guy with the the killer spike for a mouth had passed on to the great bug beyond.  If you had left me in the pool for hours, that would certainly do the trick.  Not with this guy.   After about 30 shots, I looked again through the lens to see his spike moving and his breathing kicking in.  PHOTO SHOOT OVER!

Lesson-learned number two is that I can still scream like a little girl when necessary...

mmelnotte@ec.rr.com (Mike Melnotte Photography) bug dead insect macro micro nasty nikkor photography scared sharp https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/7/lesson-learned Tue, 31 Jul 2012 01:00:01 GMT
Look What The Pool Dragged In https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/7/look-what-the-pool-dragged-in One of the things I've come to love about photography is the huge range of topics that can be covered in an image.  The possibilities are endless and at this point in time, I'm still keeping a very broad spectrum of subjects and styles in what I shoot.   And while I love macro images, I'm not always seeking out the subject.... sometimes they land in your lap.  Or pool.  

With these warm summer temperatures, it seems a gazillion insects have spawned and in the morning I've found a few creatures in the pool that were both big enough and interesting enough to want to see how they would look up close.  Bugs generally skeeve me out a bit, but the the design of the shells and chitinous parts of some of them are amazing.  I picked up a Nikkor 40mm 2.8 Micro lens not that long ago and put it to work on a few finds.  It's a short working distance, but since the bugs were dead, it made things much easier.  There was no beetle rangling involved.Sit!

mmelnotte@ec.rr.com (Mike Melnotte Photography) beetles found insects macro micro nikkor pool https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/7/look-what-the-pool-dragged-in Wed, 18 Jul 2012 11:16:19 GMT
Happy Father's Day https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/6/happy-fathers-day Today is as good a day as any to start this blog and this Father's Day turned out to be a great one.  

Living near the water in Wilmington, NC opens up a tremendous opportunity for some wonderful images and I took the time this morning to try and make something happen.  Instead of sleeping in on this Sunday, I woke at 5am and jumped in the car to head to Kure Beach.  I've passed the pier there many times and have seen a few wonderful shots from other photographers.  I'll be returning at some point for some shots of the pier at night taken from the beach.  Despite the offshore clouds that didn't give me a good sunrise, it turns out the best image of the day came before getting more than a few steps onto the pier.  Even that early, I was lucky not to have people milling about, especially since the tourist season is under way.  I'm very pleased with this one and hope you enjoy it as well.



mmelnotte@ec.rr.com (Mike Melnotte Photography) https://melnotte.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/6/happy-fathers-day Mon, 18 Jun 2012 01:21:29 GMT