Author Archives: Gary Voland

Animals Love Burnt Blueberry Muffins

Melissa and I headed out to Hendersonville Sunday night to spend some time at the park and relax a little bit. She had a batch of well-done mini blueberry muffins and we figured the ducks and geese at Drakes Creek Park wouldn’t be too picky.

They were not picky. It would be more appropriate to say they were rabid.

Now, I like sweet bread, no doubt about it. I draw the line, though, at getting up in peoples faces and hissing until they give me some. The bluntness of the animal kingdom. Pure instinct.

We sat for a while with the sun setting tossing crumbs and watching the light play off the water. It was a nice evening.

Boat Parade

I’m still going through images taken during the Independence day celebration in downtown Nashville. Looking off the side of the Woodland Street Bridge, I took a shot of the boats that had gathered to watch the fireworks show. Everyone I know always says that the best viewpoint of the show is from a boat. I’m sure it is. Most things look better from a boat.

I loved the light that was falling on the water and the way it just spilled towards me. The James Robertson bridge made a nice frame to the whole scene.

I’ve recently switched over to a new camera system. After a few years cutting my teeth and learning with my trusty Olympus, I’ve moved over to the world of Canon and the 7D.

At first I felt like I was starting over. All the buttons are in new places and it feels so different in my hands. But I’ve had a chance to shoot with it for a couple weeks and things are starting to become second nature. I don’t feel like I’m starting over anymore, but it’s definitely a new beginning.

I’m gathering up all my Olympus lenses and gear and getting ready to put it on the market. It was a hard decision to sell it when I think of all the great images it still has to make in its lifetime. I’m trying to resist being overly-sentimental about it. It’s a business decision and it doesn’t make fiscal sense to keep it. Besides, I want some Canon L glass.

I’ll sell it, and hopefully it will find its way into the hands of someone who was just like me when I bought it. Someone eager to learn about the world of photography and go through the roller coaster process of making a thousand discouraging mistakes, then making one photograph that changes the way you look at the world, then willingly going through however many mistakes are required to get that feeling again. It’s a beautiful thing.

That may still be overly-sentimental.

The Fighter

Last Monday, after I had secured my spot on the Woodland Street bridge and spread out the legs of my tripod, I sat back and watched people. Out of the crowd, I noticed this man in a suit walking towards me, smiling like we hadn’t seen each other in a long time.

It had been a long time. Around oh, say, never before.

I greeted him with a smile and said hello because I tend to do that with strangers, especially ones who I know are coming straight at me.

He said his name was Rosco and that he used to be a boxer. After we talked a while, I asked him if I could take his photograph and he said yes. Almost instinctually, he stepped back into what seemed a very comfortable pose.

If you look at his right hand you can see his pinky finger folded up under his other fingers. He told me he broke his hand and that ended his career. I believe it. The pinky on that hand lays almost sideways across his palm. Go ahead, look at your own. Ouch.

He told me about his rise in the boxing world and how he met Don King. He spoke of some family issues and of some legal troubles he went through. I told him about some rough spots in my past and that seemed to surprise him.

I told him about all the internal fighting I had done for most of my life. How it wasn’t worth it and didn’t pay off in the end and how those battles never produce a victor.

I think he understood what I was talking about. I hope so. I guess what really matters is that I understood what I was talking about.