My Story

"There is only you and your camera.  The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are." - Ernst Haas

Life is All About the Journey

Having started out in the 1960s taking pictures while I was in the Navy using a Polaroid Instant Camera and then progressing on to various other formats. My first digital camera was a Sony Digital Mavica MVC-FD5, which was the first of the Mavica series.  The images were recorded on a 3.5 floppy disc and had 1.4 megapixels.

I worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for nearly 30 years.  I originally was hired as a Class 1 Teamster Truck Driver.  After being on the job for about six months, I had the opportunity to transfer from the hourly teamster job to a warehouse clerk’s SB-3 position.  In the beginning, the salary was a bit lower but that was soon made up with lots of overtime.  At the end of the Memphis project, I was transferred to the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant construction warehouse, near Spring City, TN.  My new title was “Permanent Materials Clerk SB-4” and it was my job to receive all the materials that were to be part of the Nuclear Plant.

After I left Watts Bar, I transferred to Knoxville and worked in the Heavy Equipment Division working in various jobs.  In the late ’80s when TVA decided to scale down its building of nuclear plants; I was assigned to the Sales and Disposal team.  We gathered up equipment from each of the nuclear sites and had multiple auctions to sell off equipment and materials.

In the 90’s I was promoted to management as a Project Manager over a new warehouse software project.  Then, in 1997, I was promoted to the Southwest Territory Manager over all the storerooms in the southwest TVA area.

On July 2, 1999, I retired from TVA and then moved on to other endeavors.

After retirement, my wife & I became certified BBQ judges for the Memphis In May and the Kansas City Barbecue Society.  We judged many contests and always had a good time doing it.  Then we decided to become competitors and started our barbecue contest team named C. Mor Butts.  We had several contests successes and then decided to open a restaurant with the same name as our team.

In 2006, we decided that running a restaurant was too time-consuming for retirees and closed the business.

After that, I worked at Home Depot for five years and retired for good in 2012.

These days I can be found near waterfalls, mountains, and other great photography opportunities.

Early on I generally just used point and shoot cameras, both digital and film.  Then, in 2010 I purchased a used Canon 50d with a whopping 15 megapixels.

The 50d got me hooked on digital cameras and I soon upgraded to a Canon 5DMKII.  I used this combination for a couple of years then sold the 50d and upgraded to a 70d right before the 80d's came onto the market.  I still have the 70d but hardly ever use it now.

I sold the 5DMKII and upgraded to 6DMKII which is my current go-to camera.  In my opinion, the 6DMKII is an awesome camera for a non-professional photographer.

Update: In June of 2021 I purchased a Canon R5 mirrorless camera.  After having it for six months, I am more than glad that I paid the price for it.  It is an awesome camera!

What Motivates me to get out?

My passion is taking photos of landscapes and I have been fortunate enough to travel to many fantastic places – with my all-time favorite being The Arches National Park. I find it so rewarding when you get that picture that captures the wonders of nature, or the ever-changing state of the environment. You really do capture a ‘moment in time.

About July of 2021, I got interested in the counties in Tennessee, especially the old courthouses.  So far, I visited 25 counties in east Tennessee with more to come.  I have photographed many old courthouses that were built in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  I always have in my mind "If only the old buildings could talk!"

My 10 points of Light

  1. Photograph the things, places, events, and people I love to shoot.
  2. Shoot as many sunrises as possible and sunsets I can year-round.
  3. Continue to learn to process my images to the best of my ability
  4. Never purchase new gear unless there is a clear advantage that enables me to take better images.
  5. Visit and photograph as many new locations as I can.
  6. Revisit locations that have seasonal changes such as the Great Smoky Mountains
  7. Be respectful of all the sites I visit. If I take something in, I pack it out.
  8. When possible, always remove the trash that other visitors have left behind.
  9. At any location always take nothing with me except my images and memories.
  10. Continue to learn new techniques, methods, and best practices.