Spring Cleaning and a New Look

You may have noticed that something has changed. I decided to go for a new look and feel for the RandomConnections website.


I’ve never been completely happy with the appearance of this website…until now. While each of the themes I’ve tried out over the years has its merits, none really gave me the effect I was after. The last one came close, but I didn’t like the font readability (or lack thereof) on the main body of the posts. Continue reading “Spring Cleaning and a New Look”

Modoc Cemetery Ramble – Part 3, Horn Creek

Horn Creek Baptist

Alan Russell and I had made it to Modoc. However, it wasn’t quite what we had expected. It was a bit past the noon hour, and we were ready for some lunch, so we headed toward Edgefield. Lunch was on the square at Row Market, and consisted of some excellent sandwiches. The decor of the place was an odd mix – antique general store accoutrements with several LCD screens.

Row Market Continue reading “Modoc Cemetery Ramble – Part 3, Horn Creek”

Modoc Cemetery Ramble – Part 2, Wideman to Modoc

Bracknells Motto

I promise you, we did eventually make it to Modoc, but we saw lots of stuff before we got there. Alan and I had already found an old school, found a church of which we were previously unaware, and spent some time at Lower Long Cane ARP Church. We still had lots to see.

We headed northwest from Long Cane and reconnected with Highway 28, headed southeast. Just past its intersection with Highway 81 the road crosses Long Cane Creek where it connects with upper Clark Hill Reservoir (or, Lake Strom Thurmond, as it is properly called, I guess.) Alan and I decided that this had to be a future paddling venue for us.

Once of our placemarks was the Buffalo School about a mile southwest of the Long Cane Bridge we had just crossed. We had planned to stop, but there were lots of trucks parked around the old school, and it looked like hunter-types were headed inside. Obviously this old school was still in use as a community center. We decided to keep going. Continue reading “Modoc Cemetery Ramble – Part 2, Wideman to Modoc”

Modoc Cemetery Ramble – Part 1, Bethia to Upper Long Cane

Bethia Presbyterian Church

Alan had a list. That’s often a scary thing. This particular list included places he wanted to visit heading down towards Abbeville, McCormick, and Edgefield Counties. Many of these spots were along Highway 10 from Greenwood to McCormick, but I’d added a few points to the map that spread things out a bit. It was an ambitious list that would eventually take us down to the oddly named town of Modoc.

We set out early. The weather report had been iffy, and a light fog was settling in. Even so, it seemed like a perfect day for exploration. We hadn’t gotten anywhere close to any of our targets before we hit our first distraction and a mystery. Continue reading “Modoc Cemetery Ramble – Part 1, Bethia to Upper Long Cane”

Fun with Cinemagraphs – Part 2

Once I learned about Cinemagraphs I knew I’d have to try out the technique. I was able to find several tutorials online on how to create these using Photoshop, notably the following:

First, though, I knew I needed some imagery with which to work, so I grabbed my camera(s) and headed to downtown Greenville. Continue reading “Fun with Cinemagraphs – Part 2”

Street Photography at the Pickens Flea Market

Pickens Flea Market-015
Pickens Flea Market

Street photography is photography that features the human condition within public places and does not necessitate the presence of a street or even the urban environment. The subject of the photograph might be absent of people and can be an object or environment where the image projects a decidedly human character in facsimile or aesthetic. (Wikipedia)

It just so happened that my brother, Stephen’s birthday fell on a Wednesday. We both love to go to the Pickens Flea Market, so it was the perfect opportunity for me to take him out for breakfast, then for a quick jaunt over to the flea market.

While the main purpose of the trip was to spend some time with my brother on his birthday, my ulterior motive was to use this as a test run for gathering ambient audio for an upcoming podcast. As always I had my cameras with me, but I also had two portable recorders with me.


I did get some audio, but the real treasure was the opportunity for candid street photography afforded by the flea market. Continue reading “Street Photography at the Pickens Flea Market”

Fun with Cinemagraphs – Part 1

I just learned about a photographic technique. A cinemagraph is based on the animated GIF format, but is a far cry from the dancing baloney that gave animated GIFs a bad name in the late 1990s. Cinemagraphs are a combination of still imagery with subtle motion, kind of like the photographs in the Harry Potter movies.

This is not a new technique – the first documented example was for a video game in 2008. The term was coined in 2011 by Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck, who used the technique in their fashion photography. Here’s an example from their website, cinemagraphs.com:

Continue reading “Fun with Cinemagraphs – Part 1”

Spring Break in Florida – Part Four, Air Boating in Blue Cypress Swamp

Blue Cypress Swamp Air Boating-6

The Blue Cypress Conversation Area is a large lake/swamp area west of Vero Beach near the community of Fellsmere. We’ve visited this spot before, taking a short walk along the banks of the lake. We had made note of the air boats along the banks on that trip, and said we needed to come back and take a tour. Amy decided to take Friday off, so we decided it was the perfect time to take one.

Turns out this is a popular time of year for air boating. We couldn’t get reservations on our first choice, but there was space available with Florida Airboat Excursions. At the appointed time we drove on over. Continue reading “Spring Break in Florida – Part Four, Air Boating in Blue Cypress Swamp”