Monthly Archives: February 2013

How to become hated by thousands with a single image

Back in December of 2010 I got together with a couple friends, Mike Olbinski and Rick Young, to shoot the long abandoned dog track north of Phoenix in Black Canyon City. I have shared many of those images over the last few years and have a number of them in a gallery over on my SmugMug hosted site. I have also shared some of them here on the blog recently as part of my #WayBackMachine series of blog posts. It was one of these #WayBackMachine posts that captured some attention that not only made me hated by thousands but also garnered a handful of threats.

It seems that a greyhound rescue group on Facebook came across one of my recent #WayBackMachine posts that featured an image I had titled “Sad” and somehow interpreted it to mean that I was somehow sad that the track had closed and that the dogs were no longer being mistreated at the facility. If you look at the image in question it will be pretty clear why I titled the image the way I did, and I still think that “Sad” is an appropriate title for it.

You might be wondering how I was actually alerted to all of this. I have my blog configured that when a person leaves a comment for the first time it is held for moderation. I am emailed by the system when a blog comment goes into the moderation queue. When I got just over 50 emails within about 10 minutes asking me to moderate blog comments, I knew that something was up. As I was reading through the comments more and more were coming into for moderation. It was immediately obvious that they were coming from a greyhound group and a quick peek at my traffic stats showed that they were coming from Facebook. I actually started approving some of them, and after just a handful it was clear that the comments were getting more and more vicious and in most cases just repeating the same things that other people were already saying. When all was said and done I had just over 200 comments waiting for moderation, most of them echoing what I had already approved and can be seen on the blog right now. A small percentage contained some veiled and not so veiled threats towards me. At that point I simply stopped reading them and also decided that I was not going to approve any further comments.

This is when I decided to do a little investigative work and see if I could find the group on Facebook that had posted the link to my blog. I actually expected that to be a little harder than it was, and found the group right away. The group has just over 14,000 members and it is pretty obvious that they are a passionate group, which is a good thing. I respect passion in people. I actually posted a comment to their FB post explaining that I did not support the dog racing industry, in the title of their post they called me a “sympathizer” to the cause, and that I had simply documented a facility that had been closed for over 2 decades. While I did share what was happening on the different social media outlets that I use, I made a decision to not publicly share what group it was, but a couple of my photographer friends found the group as well and posted some great comments in my defense, thanks guys, that really means a lot to me.  And while those that know me know that I love dogs, have dogs and in no way support the dog racing industry, members of that group made up their minds with absolutely zero information other than an image I created.

By the next morning the post / link had been removed from the group’s Facebook page and things were starting to settle back to normal on the blog, but Monday set all sort of traffic records to my blog. A pretty good percentage of the 14,000+ members of the group visited my site.

On a side note, I monitor the search terms that people use to find my blog and on that day the number one search hit was “picture of Scott Wood,” not something like “pictures by Scott Wood,” so I can only assume that someone out there wanted to know what I looked like, unless they were looking for the basketball player that is having a pretty good year at NC State. :-)

Posted in Photography

Grays Harbor from Westhaven State Park – time lapse video

Grays Harbor from Westhaven State Park – time lapse video

Westhaven State Park from Scott Wood on Vimeo.

After having spent a week and a half in the Arizona Desert, the first thing I wanted to do when I got back home to the Pacific Northwest was to get out to the ocean as soon as humanly possible. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy visiting the desert, but I love water and want to be around water as much as I can. I got home from the airport pretty late on Friday night and headed out to Grays Harbor on the western Washington coast first thing Saturday morning.

I have shot out at Grays Harbor and Westport a number of times over the years, there but I had never actually shot at Westhaven State Park before this visit. I don’t know why I hadn’t shot there before, but shame on me, what a great place. The second I saw this little stretch of curved beach I started coming up with compositions and when I saw the crossing clouds I knew that I had to make a time lapse video of the scene. As a bonus, some people started using the beach which only adds more interest to the video IMO.

This time lapse video was shot with my Nikon D7000, since getting the D600 the D7000 has been taking on more of a role as my backup camera as well as my primary time lapse body. This actually works quite well as it keeps the D600 free for doing other shooting at the same time.

I hope you enjoy this time lapse video, I had a great time shooting it, even if I did get a bit cold standing out in the winter ocean winds.

Posted in Photography

Stary Night

Stary Night

The night sky full of stars beetween Tucson and Phoenix in the Arizona desert


Ok, before you tell me that I misspelled the title of this blog post, let me assure you that I didn’t, I did that on purpose.  There is already a really famous Starry Night and I don’t want anyone to think that I would compare my little image with something as iconic as the one you have most likely heard of already, so I removed an R from mine and make it Stary Night.  Cleaver aren’t I :-)

As you know, I was recently back in Arizona for work and while I really wanted to get out and get some Milky Way images, the timing was pretty bad and the moon didn’t set each night until well after midnight.  Since the moon wasn’t going to cooperate I didn’t bother to drive a long ways away from the lights of the city and simply stopped between between Tucson and Phoenix to grab this shot.  Even though this Stary Night image is not one of those great images of the milky way, I am still pretty happy with it and hope that you like it also.


Posted in Photography

Stormy Skies

Please click on the image for a larger version, IMO it is much better than this blog sized version!!!!

I don’t normally do blog posts on the weekend but after having been on the road for my day job over the last week and a half, and sharing a series of #WayBackMachine posts, I wanted to get a fresh image out there as soon as possible.  This image of some really great stormy skies over the Chandler, AZ area was actually shot from the parking lot of the hotel I was staying in.  When I saw that sky, I had to grab a few shots of it, it was simply amazing to witness in real life.

While my work schedule while in Arizona prevented me from getting out and shooting much of the winter storm that moved through the area while I was there, I am thrilled that I did manage to enjoy a little weather while I was there.

Stay tuned as I will have a number of fresh images hitting the blog over the next week or two.


Posted in StormChasing

C-130 Aircraft In Storage – #WayBackMachine

Since I will be flying home today after a 10 day work trip in Arizona I thought it might be appropriate to include an image of airplanes in this final #WayBackPost of the series.  Ok, I won’t be flying back on C-130 cargo planes, at least I hope I won’t, but this has always been a favorite shot of mine.  These C-130 aircraft are in storage at the AMARC boneyard in Tucson, AZ and I captured this through the chain link fence.  I actually have a print of this in my house.

I hope you have enjoyed this little series of #WayBackMachine posts.  I am really looking forward to importing and processing the images I made while in Arizona for the last 10 days.  Hopefully there will be a keeper or two in the lot.

Posted in Photography, WayBackMachine