Category Archives: Photography

Photo: Happy Easter

Easter egg, 2011. This is one I decorated. I meant it to be patriotic, but it just looks like a melting snow cone.

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Photo: Florida Coast & Clouds


Florida Coast & Clouds, 2008. Photo by John-Henry Doucette.


I shot this on a flight back from Florida in 2008. Just snapping away out the window, but I like the image. Kind of pretty and creepy. A friend called it scary, but it isn’t quite that too me. That light reflecting draws my eye away from the clouds. So scary isn’t the right word to me.

This was right after Vox Optima got a Canon Rebel XTi for my usual work camera. It’s a basic camera that has served us well. When I got it, I was shooting everything I could to get a feel for it. It tends to saturate everything, but I like that heavy color feel. I shot outdoors with it today, and it worked great – or as great as I can work it, anyways. A useful camera, but I’ve been thinking about the next one lately.

For indoors stuff, I’ve been thinking about getting something that lets more light in. A lot more light in, really. I like natural light, but sometimes the Rebel isn’t quite there for someone with my technical limitations. Any suggestions are welcome.

We’ve never really done anything with this image, so it wasn’t particularly useful for my job other than as practice for the much more useful image I hope to shoot someday. Not that there’s anything wrong with shooting something pretty. Or a little creepy, even.

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Before the race, a roll call of remembrance and hope

Before the races began at the Oceanfront this weekend, members of the Hampton Roads DetermiNation team gathered Friday evening at the American Cancer Society office on Expressway Drive in Virginia Beach, Va.

Team runners and loved ones worked around a conference table. They made ready their signs and jerseys. They wrote name after name.

Lisa Creech, a 26-year-old Beach woman, decorated her jersey – and a tutu – with red and white ribbons ribbons affixed with safety pins. Each ribbon bore a name. Red ribbons were for survivors, white in memory of those cancer has claimed. Creech said:

My dad passed when I was 16.

Her father had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. An uncle, a thyroid cancer survivor, has brain cancer and recently learned that he may have bladder cancer. She’s running for both of them. She’ll carry the names of many other people on ribbons:

I had one change from red to white right in the middle of fundraising. It just makes me want to kick butt that much harder.


Lisa Creech and her mother, Pam DeSantis, worked to decorate Creech's jersey and a tutu.

Mark Moritz, a 36-year-old Beach man, is running to raise money and awareness. He’s running in honor of his father-in-law, a survivor for six years now. Among others, he noted, looking at the many ribbons he had marked with names:

Not even everybody, I’m sure. I’m sure I’m missing somebody. …

I hope (the ACS) just keeps raising money. We know there’s a problem. The more people see it, the better the chances.


Mark Moritz holds up his jersey, decorated with names of cancer survivors and others whose lives have been lost to the disease.

Mimi Kopassis worked with her daughter, 23-year-old Eleni Kopassis, who is running to help the fight against cancer, and for family and friends. Mom is proud:

I think it’s awesome. A wonderful cause. We need to have more people participate.

Eleni Kopassis said the people who are battling various forms of the disease are her inspiration:

If people can survive cancer, you can pretty much do anything.


Eleni and Mimi Kopassis hold the jersey Eleni will wear when she runs this weekend.

The American Cancer Society DetermiNation program involves a number of endurance events across the country. You can learn more about the society and the program at this link. You can learn more about the Shamrock weekend effort by the local team here. And donate, too.

After the jerseys and posters and a tutu were decorated on Friday, there was a dinner. Lots of pasta and bread. Pure carb loading.

My wife, Cortney, spoke about her recovery from thyroid cancer during the dinner. For those who know us, you know what our past few months have been like. You also know that we’ve been lucky and blessed. And you know that saying I’m proud of her is only the tip of something I can’t seem to put into words.

Here’s one thing she had to say last night:

When it becomes your reality, it’s terrifying.

But of course there’s hope. That’s why a lot of folks among the runners at the Shamrock this weekend are carrying names with them. White ribbons to remember, red to show this thing can be beat.

A few shorts months after her operation and her treatment, my wife is running tomorrow. She’s running for a lot of folks we know and love. She’s also wearing a red ribbon for one of the many heroes running this weekend – herself.


Cortney Doucette, my wife, holds up one of the ribbons she will wear during her run tomorrow at the Beach. She's one of the local DetermiNation team members raising money for the American Cancer Society.


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The Newseum

Newseum entrance, Washington D.C., March 15, 2011. Vox Optima photo.

I visited the Newseum yesterday with several folks from Vox Optima, the first time I’ve seen it the museum in it’s relatively new location on the 500 block of Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.

Among the great exhibits was Covering Katrina, on display until September. It’s a very moving series of displays that included front pages from throughout the initial period of the storm, examinations of the reporters covering the tragedy, and, for those overcome by some very powerful images, boxes of tissues at the end of benches.

Said Jim Washington, a former reporter for The Virginian-Pilot and my colleague at Vox:

It was pretty amazing. I was surprised how emotional the Katrina exhibit was, especially since its a news story we’ve been exposed to for so long.

A great museum. Worth checking out if you’re in D.C.

A few images from the trip follow.

A view from one of the upper levels. To the left is a recreation of the office of the late NBC journalist Tim Russert. Vox Optima photo.

Jane Howard of the Newseum discusses the ABC This Week studio in the museum in Washington D.C. on Tuesday.

Detail of a section of the Berlin Wall, on display at the Newseum, Washington D.C., on March 15, 2011. Vox Optima photo.


Well said ... at the Newseum, Washington D.C., on March 15, 2011. Vox Optima photo.

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Photo: Sunset Through Boat Window

Sunset through a rainy boat window, Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, 2009. Saturated image. Photo by John Doucette.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Andre Cousins, 22, works his shift for the Liberty Tax Service branch near Church Street and E. Brambleton Avenue, this morning. Behind him is the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Photo by John Doucette.

Around lunchtime today, 22-year-old Andre Cousins waved to passersby near the intersection of E. Brambleton Avenue and Church Street, in the shadow of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial at the center of the intersection.

Cousins, who grew up in the Bowling Park area, was working for the nearby Liberty Tax Service branch. He said he had watched people march to the memorial that morning to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy.

He said:

Everybody came marching down. They joined in a circle, started clapping and waving. Some people started crying through. I went over, did a little dance with them. People came over and took pictures.

When the marchers pressed on, Cousins said he stayed behind to keep working.

I wish I could have gone with them. Black, white, Mexican, all of them were mixed together.

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Photo: Patriotic Bench in Cradock

Patriotic bench outside the firehouse in Cradock, a community in Portsmouth, Va. Photo by John Doucette.

I shot this as part of research for a story, but it’s not the sort of thing that would get published. I just like the bench.

Cradock is a neat neighborhood. The streets were designed to resemble an anchor, which makes a lot of sense for our communities within Hampton Roads, Va. Some history is available here.

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Photo: Snow Dog

Our dog, Murphy, enjoying the biggest snow our area of Virginia has seen since the 1980s.

Photo: Dugout in Rhode Island

Ball field dugout, Warwick, R.I., December 2009. Photo by John Doucette.

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Photo: Sky Above Parking Garage

Reflection above the top level of a parking garage in Norfolk, Va., 2009. Photo by John Doucette.

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