Hidden gem


This is a hidden gem for me. I found this image while digging through thousands of photos last night. At first glance it’s just a kid riding a motorcycle, but for me it’s what is behind the photo. First, it’s my kid… Alex, who is now 21.5 years of age and rapidly growing into adulthood. This photo was taken when he was 13, at least that’s what the time stamp on the file says, he might be even a year younger.

Alex grew up in this house we still live in, the one out in the woods on the lake. Camping out, climbing trees, fishing, playing with snakes and whatever else he found in the woods was just a normal summer day. But somehow in the middle of that life he experimented with sports, first it was baseball, then soccer finally settling in on BMX which he raced in for 13 years. I should note here that BMX is Bicycle Moto Cross — not motorcycles, bicycles, but more on that later. He also is pretty good with a skate board, in fact when I took this photo I was standing on top of his half-pipe leaning waaaaaayyyyy out with my camera as he zoomed underneath me. So no, the image was not reversed in Photoshop.

Back to the story, what I do remember about this day is that we had just returned from a long weekend trip to a BMX race that took place in south Georgia. In August. It gets pretty hot that time of the year and the track is located outdoors in a field with no trees for shade, only pop up canopies provide any relief. Heat exhaustion is a major concern with the riders. We had arrived on Friday for practice and a pre-race. The main events were Saturday (all day) and Sunday morning. We arrived home Sunday afternoon just before dark.

And that is when this photo was taken. While my wife and I unloaded our personal effects, Alex decided he wasn’t tired at all… after 3 days of peddling a bike in 90+ degree heat he decided a few rounds on the motorcycle would be fun. We have 8 acres of land, my Dad lives next door and has another 17 acres so winding trails become motorcycle / bicycle / horse / go kart / walking trails in no time at all.

Of course the “Dad” in me had to grab a camera and get just a few shots before the sun completely went down… you never know when a photo will capture a special moment in your life, so when I teach I always reiterate to the students- keep a camera close and don’t forget to actually use it, take the shot… don’t wait.


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I began my photography career in high school, 39 years later it's still what defines me more than anything else. I've had other jobs and many hobbies but just never was able to stay away from behind the lens.

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