Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday from the Backyard

This is the view from my deck in the afternoons; young calves we raised for the feeder market. IE, we raise calves that we sell at about 400-500 pounds to other farmers to finish raising. Basically, our farm is a big cow nursery. Unfortunately, my wife likes to name all the cattle. Makes it harder to see them go.

And of course nearby are Marco Polo the rooster and Speckles the hen.

(images copyright 2008 by Dan Routh)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Lake Logan Canoe

(image copyright 2008 by Dan Routh)

Canoe shot from an outdoor shoot on Lake Logan, near Waynesville, North Carolina.

Image Archive-Digital Railroad Trainwreck

For the past couple of years, I have been using Digital Railroad as an online archive for stock images. Two days ago, they emailed all their customers and announced that they were closing, immediately. Sorry, no advance notice, nothing. I have been trying to migrate my images to another archive site. So far, I have been only able to move 10%. I hope to be able to get to the rest, otherwise, I will have to reload all the images individually from my backups. Anyway, I hope I will be able to have a searchable online archive available sometime soon. Unfortunately, this seems to be a sign of the times in our profession.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Autumn Leaf

(image copyright 2008 by Dan Routh)

Seems like everyone has a leaf shot. This is from a Sunday walk on the farm.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Greensboro Portrait

(image copyright 2008 by Dan Routh)

Executive portrait shot recently in downtown Greensboro. From a project to show agency principles outside of their normal context.

Monday, October 27, 2008


This is the time of the year when God gives us a gift in North Carolina, and this year it was bountiful. That gift is a wild fruit known as the persimmon (Diospyros virginiana). You pick them up when they ripen and fall off the tree (never before), and they taste like, well, a persimmon. There is no other taste like a persimmon on earth that I know of. And, after you separate the pulp from the skin and seeds, you make a persimmon pudding, a North Carolina delicacy like no other. And the best recipe I ever tasted was from my step-grandmother Lucy. Yes, Lucy's persimmon pudding. Will make a man's knees go weak.

Above is Lucy's recipe in her own handwriting. She died in 2003 at age 103.

(images copyright 2008 by Dan Routh)

Friday, October 24, 2008

More Fashion

(image copyright 2008 by Dan Routh)

Another image from this week's outdoor apparel catalog shoot. Looks pretty warm considering we had a strong northeast wind blowing and it was in the low 40's. Guess the models were lucky we weren't shooting Speedos.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fashion Catalog Photography

For the last couple of days I have been on location shooting an outdoor apparel fashion catalog. Moving from location to location quickly with minimal lighting, we have to be efficient to adhere to a production schedule and produce good images with interest and vitality. The solution is good models and a great crew.

(images copyright 2008 by Dan Routh)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Log Skidder

(image copyright 2008 by Dan Routh)

A log skidder works near my home in Randolph County, North Carolina.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Julian Milling Company

I'm doing a lot of location scouting now, which is good because it means I have work coming up. Julian Milling Company is an old feed mill south of Greensboro still in operation. They still use the old mill machinery to grind feed and clean seed for local farmers. Old mills fascinate me; must be in my blood. My grandfather and his father and grandfather were all millers. They ran grist (or flour) mills, but they are very similar to feed mills. Some of my fondest memories are of going to the mill with Grandpa to grind our feed. We actually used this mill and I still buy hay and farm supplies from them.

(images copyright 2008 by Dan Routh)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Furniture Maker

Yesterday I was out location scouting. I went by my neighbor Bob Thomas's furniture shop located behind his restored log cabin. Bob is a master furniture maker and reproduces fine English style items. His best pieces are all hand carved and he has furnished prototypes for commercial furniture manufactures. Bob has been at it for over 50 years and his work is outstanding.

(images copyright 2008 by Dan Routh)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Williams Dairy

Rick Williams

About a mile from my home in North Carolina just south of Greensboro, Rick and Greg Williams operate Williams Dairy, a fourth generation family owned dairy farm. With their mother Jeanette, Rick's wife Barbara and son Michael, and one outside employee, the Williams brothers farm over 500 acres and milk a herd of about 250 Holstein dairy cows (125 that they milk with another 125 that they are raising). They grow all their feed (which is a considerable amount, seeing that some of their cows give close to 100 pounds of milk per day), raise calves and milk twice a day, seven days a week, 365 days per year.

The Williams' operation is rare now. At one time rural Randolph County, North Carolina was filled with family farms, but as the face of agriculture has changed and with the increase in development in the area, and the escalation of land values, working farms have gradually disappeared. Their lifestyle is like the one I grew up a part of, and I hate to see it go away. In fact, my father and their father shared equipment and labor for many years when my own family milked cows. Their grandmother was one of the best cooks in the neighborhood and she cooked huge amounts of good food daily for the farmhands. It's a hard way to make a living, but it's a way of life that is important and valuable, and for the Williams, it provides genuine satisfaction and independence. For that reason, I've decided to create an ongoing project for myself; that is, to document local family farms and businesses before they totally go away.

Greg Williams

Because of the cost involved with maintaining such a large operation and keeping the land in their family, the Williams brothers placed some of their land in the Piedmont Land Conservancy. The PLC seeks to preserve rural farmland through the use of non-development easements. Basically they buy development rights to land (which gives family farmers some value for their land), leaving the owners with the ability to continue to farm their land without having to worry about development pushing them out, and preserving large tracts of rural land for posterity. The Williams farm is in the PLC's Liberty-Randleman Farmland Protection Corridor. My own family is hoping to do the same with our land. For more info, go to

(images copyright 2008 by Dan Routh)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Jay Cooke State Park, Minnesota

(image copyright 2008 by Dan Routh)

From an outdoor apparel shoot, a view of the Saint Louis River as it flows through Jay Cooke State Park near Duluth, Minnesota. The water has almost a root beer appearance as it comes down the rapids because of the high levels of tannic acid that seeps out of the heavy peat soils.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Surf Fishing

(image copyright 2008 by Dan Routh)

This is an image from my files that was shot near the point at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, one of the best surf fishing spots on the East Coast. Hatteras Light is in the background and this photo shows it in it's original location. Because of beach erosion, the lighthouse was moved inland to protect it in a massive engineering project.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Tour de Lions

Earlier this year I shot the annual Tour de Lions bicycle ride. The Tour is a 75 miles bicycle ride sponsored by the Grays Chapel Lions Club through rural Randolph County, North Carolina. This year the ride attracted 390 riders. Proceeds from the ride go to the Lions Club's projects for the visually impaired. For more info and to register for next year's ride, go to:

(images copyright 2008 by Dan Routh)

Friday, October 3, 2008


(image copyright 2008 by Dan Routh)

Along with the change of leaves in North Carolina, October is the meat of the college football season. I wanted to do something different than a standard football shot, stop image and everything sharp, so I shot an entire game at a shutter speed of 1/4 second or slower. Totally the wrong way to shoot sports. But, along with a lot of junk, I ended up with some really dynamic photographs.