The surf generated by Ophelia was amazing. Only problem was that it did not last very long. The morning was pumping, but the afternoon fell short. Oh well. Here's a photo or two to cheer you up if you missed the morning session.

Inside a nice tiny tube.

Jason Andre snap turn.

Sean Herman was air rotation right next to the lip.

Sean Herman in a little backlit barrel.


Surfers Healing 2011

Surfers Healing was awesome this year! So many kids were stoked out of their minds. Izzy and the guys of surfers healing really give these fa miles a special experience that would never be passable without Surfers Healing. So happy to be a small part of that.

I finally got the gallery from this year uploaded. Check it out: http://kehayaphoto.com/gallery/

Kehayaphoto in the line up.

Little bit easier that shooting pros when you can stand in the shore break.


Four minutes

So the problem with photographing lightning is... insert reasons here...

For some reason I got really lucky with a storm recently and was able to create this composite image. This photo represents four minutes of a summer storm unleashing it's fury on Figure Eight Island and the surrounding area. It was taken within 16 exposures and utilized 5 exposures to create the image in Photoshop.


Congrats Greg and Tracy!

Greg and Tracy got married on Friday, May 13th! I was privileged with photographing their wedding. They are off to the Caribbean for their honeymoon and probably having an amazing time. It was a long day of hard work and a lot of fun! Can't wait for the next one.

Greg and Tracy on the river walk outside Elija's where they had their reception. Love the old, wrecked tug in the background.


Death of a Camera

So.... They all say you will flood a housing eventually. And I laughed. HAH! ME? never.... right? Nope. It actually has happened to me three times. All human error. Fortunately two of the times it was so little water that there was no damage. The last time though cost me a camera, a lens, and battery. I managed to save the memory card though. The camera took one last image before I hopped in the water. I have since replaced it with a 7d. :)

Just remember, attention to detail, it's a photographer, and well, any other professional's bread and butter.

The last photo of a trusty and reliable canon 50d.

The damage salt water causes is permanent. Lens still has salt and moisture inside, battery is corroded, and the camera body is full of salt deposits and corrosion.


Things in the Garden

This is a great time of year to explore the yard, and little nooks and crannies around town for some photos. You will definitely have some amazing opportunities as animals and bugs are out and about. Here are a few from the last couple days when I saw something and couldn't help but take a photo.

A protective barrier of baby ducks.

Little guy decided to run away from home and hang out in a bush.

The monarchs are coming. A little milkweed does the trick.



A few nights ago the storm that killed over 300 people spawning tornadoes all across the South passed over Wrightsville Beach. We got some strong winds, but not a drop of rain. It was really strange. I was at the beach when it went offshore. It was like it had saved up all this energy and began unloading it all in the form of lightning. We never had any lightning on land. Just over the ocean. It raged for a few hours out there sweeping up the coastline. One of the best lightning shows I have ever seen. I could hear people off in the distance on their porches in awe of what they were witnessing while I took photos. Nature is so beautiful and so brutal.

The Mother Ship decending on Wrightsville Beach.


New Gallery Wraps!

Check out the next bunch of gallery wraps I just finished. Hoping to get a few in Port City Java Oleander, Putting one in South End Surf shop, and hopefully the new bakery next to Lighthouse Beer and Wine. I'll be driving them around after lunch so hopefully they will be up by tomorrow.

9 new wraps ranging in size from 8X12 to 24X36. The long one is 11.5X54!


Coastal Carolina Airshow

Went to the coastal Carolina Airshow the other day and brought the camera just for fun. Here are a few shots of the day.

Heavy Metal Jet Team was the big act this year. Here is a nice tight formation.

The scariest part of sky diving is when the chute opens pulling at your harness in ways you are sure will snap you right out of it.

Breaking formation.

Lucas Oil nice and low.

P51 Mustang buzzing the airstrip. Probably one of the most amazing sounding aircraft ever.

There are four jets in the photo.

P51 mustangs in formation.

F16 was the best in show. Loud, fast, amazing.


New Photos Up In The New Port City Java On Racine!!!

Port City Java just got a new location on Racine right across the parking lot from Gold's Gym. first off I have to thank Sarah the store manager, and Megan the marketing manager for accepting my work. I think you will see the quality of the other art in this store is very good. I am super happy to have my photography along side the other artists.

I spent part of the afternoon yesterday and four hours this morning installing some photos around the shop. It was a trial to get the last piece, a 4'X6' Gallery Wrap of Heron Takeoff, on the wall. I actually had it up and was cleaning it when the wire holding the photo slipped and threatened to drop the entire photo! Luckily Ook has an 800 line with an amazing staff who helped me in securely getting this 25-35 lb photo mounted. I should also mention all the employees working hard to open the store also helped out a lot; lending me wire cutters and helping lift the photo into place. Thanks guys and gals!!!

The new store opens tomorrow, Thursday, April 14Th!!!! Stop by, grab a coffee, and let me know what you think of the photos.

Morning: the best time for coffee and to take a moment to enjoy our local wildlife. Have some sugar.

You find unexpected beauty in so many places; like this Passion Flower I found growing wild on an island in the intercoastal.

Sometimes coffee makes me feel like this.


Spring Time Weather

Changes in seasons bring the best surf. Spring time is no exception. South winds blow temperatures up to the 70s while the North winds after a storm drop them back to the 30s and 40s and create some nice offshore winds. Yesterday was a perfect example. I went out with the flash on for the first time. Funny how the best photos were when I intentionally turned it off. Here are a few quick ones from yesterday.

Early in the session the tide was super low and the waves were breaking so hard and fast nobody was making the drops. Here's Jack Brandon going for it and paying the price as he rides the lip down.

Later the light got great and the flash was an unneeded encumbrance and the barrels got much more lined up.

Jason goofing off with this front side air. The flash actually did a great job freezing him in place.

The flash really made this barrel look nice and the motion blur from the lower shutter speed had a nice effect too.

Carnage. It was a six hour session. Sunburn, windburn, crusty salt covered face, dehydration, early stage hypothermia, and these sweet battle wounds on my feet from the Force Fins I borrowed yesterday.


Sandy Sweaty and finally a good break

Got super close to a nice heron today. Not the most epic looking bird but I was within six feet for as long as I wanted to be there. Also saw two night herons. They are pretty awesome looking and creepy.
The night heron and his beady little red eye.
This reminds me of a Jurassic Park establishing shot for a huge Dinosaur.


T shirts

So I made my first t shirt design a reality not too long ago and people really seem to like them. There are only a few left. I would have to think they will sell better in the summer. I'm hoping i can find a way to make a few more of my designs a reality. The problem is that I thought I could just do whatever I wanted. And you can. It's just that they get pretty expensive once you start using more than a logo on the chest area. About 3 to 4 times as expensive!

Here is what the first shirt looks like!!!


Azalea Triathlon

The Azalea Tri is a sprint format triathlon that takes place each year on the campus of UNCW. Sprints are great because, well, they are shorter. It's a very different kind of race from a full tri. This year the weather was great. Nice and warm unlike last year's bitter, cold wind. The indoor swim at the UNCW pool provided a difficult lighting situation under dim, florescent light, but the conditions outside were a perfect blue sky day. I had some fun taking photos while Kate raced and it gave me some good ideas for the next time I shoot at a triathlon.

The pool start is staggered via time

Kate taking a big breath while keeping a steady pace.

Kate shifting on the straightaway.

Kate taking a turn

Kate running through campus in the last mile of the run.


Bad Day


So yesterday was pretty disappointing. We had waves, we had weather, we had it all and I blew it. I drove down to the beach to go shoot and couldn't get a hold of the two kids I wanted to go out with. No big deal. I decided to swim out anyways and try out the force fins my buddy Jason let me borrow. Instead of just getting right too it I chatted with Jeff at The South End Surf shop for a bit. I should have been getting my gear together because Jason was going to go surf. Instead I chatted, then went out to try the fins and lost a contact in a barrel. No big deal. Popped another one in as Jason was running out to grab some waves. Well, there I was in the parking lot. Not ready at all. My water housing was not ready, my flash was not ready, and I was wet, wasting time with a contact. I got it in and rifled through my bag trying to get everything out for assembly. Where is my flash sync cord? I don't know? I saw it in my bag. Take everything out of the bag and get salt water on it. Don't find the cord. The wind is offshore now and barrels are firing. It's cloudy, dark, been raining, I can't find my flash cord.... screw it. I'll surf. I grab my board and run out and start surfing. So I'm sitting in the lineup feeling stupid about my flash cord and frothing for waves. It's really good and I'm having a blast trying not to think about missing the photos because it's cloudy and dark. Then it happened. The sun started to poke out as it went down. The skyline got orange... then the clouds... then the most intense and massive rainbow I have ever seen began to form. Everyone was freaking out. Barrels were spitting. The sky was exploding and the water turned an amazing turqoise. I was just sitting there taking it all in for the longest time not realizing my error. Finally the thought occured to me that this was a once in a lifetime event and my camera was only a few hundred yards away. WHAT AM I DOING? I raced into shore as best I could... threw my board down on the beach with my 1mm hooded top and gloves. Running I pulled of my choking neck gasket and huffed all the way to my car. I grabbed the camera and ran back to the beach. The rainbow was over half way gone and I'm just sitting there desperately snapping shots. For a brief moment the sun bounces light off the cloud layer and reignites a far duller form of the rainbow as if to taunt me. I sulk back to the car and toss in my salt water covered camera. It dripped off my wetsuit and hair hitting it as I ran. What a waste. I threw the camera back in the car, grabbed my board and surfed until I couldn't see because it was so dark. FAIL.

A shadow of its former self.



Funny how some animals are so jumpy. Then you see a heron on a stormwater pond near your apartment and it lets you walk right up to within ten feet. Argh. Well, I just love the way these birds use their wings. If it was always easy everyone would do it and it wouldn't be fun.


Otters feeling the springtime love

Ah spring time. Things are heating up around NC and I'm not just talking about the weather. Pretty soon flowers will burst forth right along with the return of the bugs. It's great to be outside this time of year, and I have recently been able to get out and photograph some wildlife. I'm trying out a few new strategies for getting close and in one case so far some concealment has gone a long way.
Finding these otters mating was actually pure luck. A little patience and some stealthy crawling got me close enough to get this shot. It helps when the wildlife in question is making such a racket that your movements go unheard. I would have been a lot happier if the sun had come up for this one though.


Birds Birds Birds

You know the thing about trying to photograph birds is that it's not really that easy. Here are four photos I like after about 4 hours of work and having not gotten "The Shot" yet.
Fluffy compact and warm.

OK yeah this photo was more luck than time spent but it still took 30 minutes to edit properly. "What you lookin at?"

Fly away. Sometimes you are just too spooky for birds to sit still and have their photo taken.

Dancer. Seems a little elaborate for an audience of oysters.



It's very important to have a proper wetsuit in the winter time. It's doubly important for a photographer swimming in the water because you spend a lot of time ducking under wave after wave after wave. I decided to take a chance and invest a substatial sum into a patagonia R3. I wore it today with 1mm hooded vest, 1mm glacier gloves, and 4mm booties. It was very nice. The water temp is 47 and the air was almost 70 and sunny which makes a big difference
A foamy barrel
My new pati!!! Kept me nice and warm.


Burger in frames

So I did a little experiment a while back. I had and still have a decent amount of frame wood and decided I wanted to take a photo from start to finish: An idea for a photo all the way to the final product in a frame and do it all myself. Well, to an extent. It's not like i grew the tree that made the wood and carved it.

I decided on two pieces of wood that were too short to make a frame of any decent size. They were perfect for a little project like this. I used their dimensions to create the maximum size window I could. This involved measuring out the length of each side while accounting for loss of wood in the mitre process. The problem is that each time you mitre the frame wood you have to cut off an additional piece in order to match the angle and the decoration on the wood. Also you have to take into account the small amount of wood lost to the width of the saw blade. The other problem I encountered was not having a proper mitre saw. I was using a back saw and a plastic mitre box. The box was damaged every time I used it by the saw itself taking chunks out of the guides. This eventually produced angles that were not true to 45 degrees. After this project I invested in a powered mitre saw that works about 1000 times better. Properly maintained it will never produce anything but a 45 degree cut. The mitre plastic mitre box it great for a kid or one project, but is almost useless beyond that.

After the frames were made (cut,clamped,glued) I then bought glass at the hardware store along with a glass cutting tool. Glass cutting is not easy. You really need a nice flat surface to work on and extra glass for when a piece does not break right. Even the pieces i ended up with did not fit perfect because of the original flaw with the mitre cuts. the frames are not true rectangles because of this initial mistake. If you don't get true 45 degree cuts, your whole process is going to be very difficult. Try putting a rectangular piece of glass in a non rectangular frame.

With glass finally sized I acquired burger for an early morning photo shoot. he was a great subject to work with. That part of the process done I worked my way through editing the photos and selecting the ones that would best fit the frames. Then using the dimensions of the frames I cropped the images to fit the size and printed them cutting them with a 1/4 inch white border to mount them.

The next problem was the matte. Cutting the shape to fit the frame was not too bad as I used the frame itself for a template and an exacto to cut the line. the hard part of matte cutting is the window for the photo. Using a special tool you are meant to cut out the box and finish the corners with an exacto. It's very hard to get this right. Just getting a straight line is hard let alone not cutting too far. then finishing the corners and matching the angle of the bevel is next to impossible. Mine ended up rounded and a bit wavy. I wasted about 12$ of matte board before I was happy enough to continue.

The next step is much easier. I applied acid free photo corners to the 1/4 border of the photos, positioned the photo on the matte, and stuck it on. With this all in place you can just use glaziers points to secure the matte and photo onto the frame. larger frames would require a backing board but it was not needed in this case. To finish it off apply some backing paper to the frame and hardware for mounting on the wall.

The things I learned:

Mitre cuts are super important. You must have reliable equipment to make them correctly.

Frame wood for photo frames with carvings and such must be cut to align the carvings which means you need more length than just the dimensions of the frame.

Glass cutting is hard but not impossible.

Matte paper sucks. It is very hard to cut and there is a reason people get paid to do this correctly. Professional tools are probably needed to get this right. the beveled matte cutters are not enough.

Without proper tools it is probably best left to professionals to build a frame and matte. The rest is fairly easy but readily available and cheap frames, matte, glass, and other needs make it fun to do it yourself at best, but certainly not affordable.

I still have frame wood and will be working on this process again but for now I'm sticking to the Gallery Wraps since they are a bit easier to build.

Burger got his stick. This frame gave me trouble on the glass and matte but still looks alright. I used a golf leaf pen that I sign my work with to paint the mitre joins to conceal exposed wood.
Happy Burger! I really loved this wood and was a bit sad I only had this little bit of it. If you click the image you will notice the mitres are very bad. The matte is not great either. I used my gold leaf pen on the matte to create a gold border for the photo on this one and it really made it look nice.