Archive of ‘Family’ category

Avignon And Arles – Beautiful Southern France

Pont Du Gard ©TimeLine Media

Viking River Cruise

Today’s post is a departure from my regular geography as they are from the cities of Avignon and Arles in the south of France. Of course, this was a trip that we took well before our current lock down. I am more thankful for the opportunity now! Prior to leaving for the trip, I was not familiar with the history and geography of this part of France.

Viking Heimdal river cruise ship ©TimeLine Media

Avignon and Arles

Our flight arrived in Marseilles from which we boarded a van that took us to the ship. We boarded the Viking Heimdal in the medieval city of Avignon. This ancient city has many characteristics that come to mind when you think of the Middle Ages. The old city is fortified by a tall stone wall surrounding the interior. From behind the wall you can see towers rising from palaces and churches. In fact, this was the home city to popes that ruled the Catholic Church from here for a time. The landmark closest to the ship was a bridge over the Rhone that no longer spans the river.

 Pont Saint-Bénézet bridge over the Rhone in Avignon, France ©TimeLine Media

The next day, we cruised south to Tarascon. This was the closest that the ship could dock for a tour of to the city of Arles. Although this was a setting for part of the movie, ‘Ronin’ I was not familiar with this amazing city. This is an ancient Roman city complete with an amphitheater like the coliseum in Rome. It changed from an arena, to a fortress protecting the citizens from marauders, back to a bull fighting ring today. It was mind-bending to think that it was built as a gift from the Julius Caesar, the senator before he was emperor, for their support during a conflict.

Arles is also known as a place where Vincent Van Gogh resided and was hospitalized late in life. There are restaurants, and the hospital where you can tour and learn more about the artist and his work create there.

After the tour of Arles, the ship brought us back north to Avignon. On arrival, we were afforded a river view of Avignon in the evening – just stunning! It was an impressive ancient city that leaves an impression.

Since the ship docks close to the city center, I set an early alarm to get up to get some morning photos. I did not venture from the ship and took these from the roof deck. The fog and color from the sunrise set a moody feel to the photo. Cropping out the modern parking lot in front evokes a view of Avignon in ancient times.

Lastly as we left the Avignon area, we took a side excursion to the Pont Du Gard. As can be seen, this is an ancient structure built by Romans to bring water to the city of Nimes. It is the tallest aqueduct bridge from Roman times, and one of the best preserved. It was breathtaking to try to comprehend the feat to create such a structure so long ago. Not to mention, the slight elevation change along the entire route to Nimes that successfully brought water across 31 miles! As can be seen, this area for France is full of photogenic places and I feel incredibly lucky to have had the chance to see Avignon and Arles. Stay tuned to the blog for our next stops!


Julie and Ashwood – Summer Wedding

summer wedding in Paris, Virginia ©TimeLine Media

Paris, Virginia

Julie and Ashwood gathered on July 4 weekend for a beautiful summer wedding in mountains of Virginia. Situated on a hill above the town of Paris, these two found this rustic home to be their venue. Since they had never seen the place in person, we met the day before to scout out the best places for the ceremony. The house had beautiful grounds, and was easy to navigate, so we had some extra time together. Being that this was the first time I met the bride; it was a perfect chance to get acquainted.

As we made some photos together, I enjoyed getting some insight into their relationship. Although they do not have a ‘typical’ route to marriage, Ashwood and Julie have an amazing connection. Undoubtedly this lock down time has clarified their bond and brought them to the realization that they should take this step together.

Ashwood writing his vows prior to the ceremony ©TimeLine Media

Anytime a couple requests that you photograph their wedding, I am extremely honored. It is a privilege to be in the middle of this important event especially one that is happening in the 2020 pandemic. On this occasion, a limited number of people could attend. In fact, none of the bride’s family could attend in person! As a result, multiple virtual conference rooms were setup so they could view the ceremony from Europe.

wedding rings for a summer wedding in Paris, Virginia ©TimeLine Media
Julie in a robe from her mother while getting ready for the ceremony ©TimeLine Media
Julie on a video conference with her family prior to her wedding ceremony in Paris, Virginia ©TimeLine Media
Ashwood waits for his bride prior to their wedding ceremony in Paris, Virginia ©TimeLine Media
The bride and groom arrive for the start of their wedding ceremony ©TimeLine Media
Summer Wedding for Ashwood and Julie in Paris, Virginia ©TimeLine Media
Summer Wedding for Ashwood and Julie in Paris, Virginia ©TimeLine Media
The family celebrates the summer wedding of Julie and Ashwood in Paris, Virginia ©TimeLine Media
Portrait of Ashwood and Julie after their summer wedding in Paris, Virginia ©TimeLine Media

Photography Friendship

As I said previously, it is always a privilege to photograph a wedding. However, Ashwood is such a good friend. Years ago, he took a chance on my photography to cover the first TEDxTysons events. Everything was new for us as he and his partners were just starting this endeavor. Whereas he could have the choice of using other photographers, he continues to support what I do by having me back. As I have come to realize, I should always take his call. He has given me access to panoramic views, mind-changing talks, influential thinkers. These two days top them all.

Congratulations, Ashwood and Julie!

Ashwood and Julie with their family after their summer wedding in Paris, Virginia ©TimeLine Media


Profoto A1 High Speed Sync and Cherry Blossoms – Tech Tuesday

Woman portrait with cherry blossom background
Woman portrait with cherry blossom background
Falls Church cherry blossom tree in full bloom

Falls Church cherry blossom tree in full bloom

The cherry blossom have been in full bloom around the DC Area. This year, they have been particularly beautiful! They have the light puff ball look with very light colored blooms that really stands out against the bark of the surrounding trees.

Falls Church cherry blossom tree in full bloom

During this time of quarantine, I have been productive in my home studio. But keeping inside means I have not been going out of the house to make many photos. I know there are many projects that you can do while staying at home, but this was the first really purpose-driven photos I have done in a week. I was inspired do these first by the beautiful cherry tree of our neighbor that was in full bloom!

Camera Tech

Camera setup BTS for portrait shoot
Profoto A1, Nikon D850, blooming cherry tree

Next, I wanted to try the Hi Speed Sync options of the Profoto A1 flashes. This is a new piece of gear that I am still learning. I may be replacing all of my lighting gear to Profoto I the near future. If this does in fact come true, I will be sure to make a post about the reasons for it. But for this quick test shoot, I mounted one of the A1 flashes firing into a Westcott Rapid Box Octa with the outer diffusion panel installed. I did not use the deflector plate as the A1 does not completely fit the cut out for the speedlight on the back of the Octabox. The A1 has a circular face at its output and most speedlights are rectangular.

I used another Profoto A1 as a remote controller for the off-camera light, and it worked right away! The flash could keep up at 1/1000th to 1/8000th of a second, and it was still filling the entire frame with an even exposure. I am anxious to try this setup again as I really like the results. The resulting images were much more in balance with the background compared to an exposure without the flash. I was impressed with this first high speed sync experiment with this gear!

TimeLine Media –

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