Death Mountain

Walking on the greenway is one of my favorite pastimes. The walking paths are near our house and my wife, Barbara and I regularly spend an hour getting our exercise, clearing our heads, and chatting about the latest news or dramas in our lives. The greenway has a number of options for a variety of visual experiences including shaded paths, bridges over creeks, and a lake with locals fishing from the sidelines.

These excursions last about an hour and by the end my energy level is waning.  The final leg of our journey takes us up a slight incline, reaching home to catch a shower or relax for a few moments. That last trek up the hill is always taxing, even though it isn’t that steep.

Frequently, Barbara and my grandson, Brenden ride bicycles on the greenway. On a recent cycling adventure, the twosome rode for a lengthy trip. As they approached the hill for the final assent, they stopped for a moment to catch their breaths.

Brenden turned to his grandmother as they prepared to climb and exclaimed, “ I hate Death Mountain! I’m never climbing Death Mountain again!”

A few weeks later, I ordered a t-shirt for Brenden’s birthday with a cyclist “pulling a wheelie” accompanied by copy that said, “Climbing Death Mountain”.

It was just a memorial to the “three blocks from hell”.

Climbing3gCopyright: Jim Lockman/Click 2015

Tried and True

deer2b                                                                                                                                                                                                       Photo by: Phil Whitesell

Change is not always easy. In fact, it rarely is. I have to admit that change can be good in the long-run, but I guess our human nature craves the security of the known versus the unknown.


On one hand I am excited for the future for Phil Whitesell, but on the other I am nervous at the possible loss of a working relationship that has spanned over 35 years.

I met Phil in 1980 after my wife, Barbara had given birth to our first child and had decided she would stay home to raise our daughter. Phil became the public relations director at Mercy Hospital after a successful career at the Charlotte News. Phil was immediately embraced by the sisters and began his new career at the beginning of tremendous growth in healthcare services.

CLK_0077I was fortunate to become one of Phil’s early suppliers and to continue the work I had begun at Mercy. At that period in my career, I was a regular supplier of photography and other photo-processing services to the three major hospitals in Charlotte. Phil and I had a great working relationship and I was very appreciative of Phil’s trust in my abilities to provide his photo needs. During his five years at Mercy where he became Vice President of Marketing, Phil kept me very busy processing his own images, as well as keeping me hopping with photography assignments.

Phil moved from Mercy to become a partner with Barron & Whitesell, a public relations firm. After 12 years of managing P.R., Phil accepted a position with Rowan Regional Medical Center as Director of Corporate Communications.

_CLK7600With each career move, when photography was needed, Phil would call. Rowan would become one of my biggest accounts. Photographic assignments were as diverse as the hospital’s services, including photography for the Rowan Regional magazine that became one of their most successful vehicles for promoting the hospital.

This year, Phil and I worked together to archive some of  Carolinas Healthcare’s history for their 75th anniversary. It has been a large project and I enjoyed working closely with him again.

Through the years, Phil and I became great friends as we worked together. It was a camaraderie. I always felt like we were on a team. It was like being on a battlefield together, knowing that we could depend on each other to get the job done.


Did Phil use other photographers? I’m sure he did. But I always felt that when the job was right for me, Phil would call. It is partly the loyalty Phil has to vendors and suppliers he trusts. It is also the consistency Phil requires of himself and those around him. His professionalism is always evident. Has anyone ever seen Phil wearing something other than a starched white shirt? He prefers the “tried and true” and likes to work with those who have been to the dance with him before.

I am grateful that I have been one of those that Phil danced with. Regardless of what the future holds for this outstanding communicator and marketing professional, I will always count him my friend. And when that phone rings, I will be ready to assist Phil with any photo need.

All photos: copyright Jim Lockman/Click!

Lord Baltimore

This summer has been brutal! Even with our attempts to water regularly, our yard has screamed for relief of its scorched, cracked desert-like terrain. Our vegetable plants have almost perished (the ones the deer and rabbits have not eaten) and the perennials are looking forward to dormancy.

The only bright spot this season is a perennial hibiscus, Lord Baltimore. Every year its ten-inch blossoms bring daily delight  to our meager efforts for a beautiful garden. But only for a short duration. Each blossom only lasts one day and there is no predicting whether there will be single or multiple blooms on a particular day. Finally, this breathtaking display only lasts a couple of weeks.

But when it’s time to exhibit its clusters, Lord Baltimore puts on a performance not easily forgotten. Its bright red blossoms entertain like no other. And this year “he” has brought life, beauty, and refreshing to an otherwise dry and dismal landscape.


This photo was the closest we came to fireworks this Fourth of July!

Hibiscus #1

Three more from previous years.

Hibiscus #16

Hibiscus #4

Copyright 2015 Jim Lockman/Click!

Write a poem!

The fifteenth of April is a special date for Barbara and me. This year we celebrated our thirty-sixth year of bliss or at least something close to that. I really didn’t have funds available for any elaborate trip or anything with bling, so I decided to express my creativity and create a one-of-a-kind gift that would make a lasting impression. I like to utilize my favorite resources; my photography.  Duh!

I remembered some roses I had photographed while I was shooting an apartment complex for a construction company client. After locating the appropriate image in my vast collection, I decided to write a poem and insert it into the picture. My writing has improved over the years, but a poet I am not! Being married to a writer doesn’t help much either.

I decided to create a sample of versification that could only be attributed to me, hoping that my lame attempt would be appreciated for the affection it represented.

Doodling instead of listening to Sunday’s sermon, I was able to forge my attempt to convey the sentiment. Assembling the elements including a custom matte and frame, I was pleased with the result. Yea, Photoshop!

Barb annniversary


Next time you are looking for an idea to express love for someone special, and you have overcome any fear of humiliation, write a poem!

Imaginary “Go Fish”


Philip, Matt, and Nyla were playing Go Fish when they asked me to join them for a hand or two. I asked them to deal me my seven cards. It was then that I realized there were no cards. They really were playing “hands”! Each person was holding their hands cupped the same way they would be holding the cards, if there were any.

I took my place at the table and was promptly informed that it was Nyla’s turn. She asked for all of my “candles with strawberries on top”. I told her I had two and she replied that she now had three. She asked me for all of my “tulips” and I gave her my two. She proceeded to proclaim that she had a book and placed them on the table. It didn’t take Nyla long to figure out that making books was as easy as saying it is so.

When one of us realized we did not have a “light switch” or other imaginary type of card in our hand, we would yell out “Gold Fish!” which was Nyla’s own title for this familiar game.

I have to admit this game was one of the most unique and enjoyable pastimes I have experienced. Listening to Nyla engage her imagination along with the challenge of thinking up our own suits, was something I will not forget easily.

Give me all your GPS’s. Give me all your toilets. Give me all your Skittles. Give me all your fingernail clippers. It was as challenging as a Las Vegas poker game!

Matt had a book, Philip and I had three each, Nyla was ahead with four. After the next play, Nyla announced she had won and the game was over. She turned and flitted off, being quite happy with herself; having beat us at her favorite game.



“I believe I have to go”


Not very many of our heroes from the “greatest generation” are with us today. I met Martha this week. She is 97 and can remember details from World War II as if it were yesterday. When Charlotte Memorial Hospital was asked to send doctors and nurses to set up an evacuation hospital in Africa and Italy, Martha was one of the volunteers. “When I heard what they were doing, I said, ‘I believe I have to go'”. She spent the next couple of years living and eating in tents, working with the wounded during the war. Moving their “tent city” was a regular activity that required packing up all of their equipment and supplies to be transplanted to the next location.

While in Africa, Martha had a unique experience. She was asked to pose for sketches that would be used to produce paintings for Life Magazine. Life had artists embedded with the troops, depicting various aspects of the war and of our brave men and women serving there.  Along with Life Magazine’s many photographers, Life’s artists captured scenes from the war for the people back home. Fletcher Martin was one of the artists illustrating the war in North Africa. His painting of Martha would become the cover of the December 27, 1943 issue of the magazine.


As a newly established hospital was getting its start, nurses and doctors agreed to join the 38th Evacuation Hospital being formed by Charlotte Memorial. Martha would make a commitment and sacrifice to help wounded soldiers recover from the war. Life Magazine would immortalize a nurse’s service through a painting adorning the cover of its weekly magazine.

In 1960, Life Magazine donated over one thousand graphic painting, watercolors, and sketches to the U.S. Army Center for Military History in Washington, D.C.


Moments In Time



Photographer and Lightroom expert Jeff Hirsch created this 1-minute photo essay titled “Moments in Time” about the ephemeral nature of our daily lives, and the task of capturing fleeting moments with your camera as a photographer. It’s a combination of 99 words and 550 photos in 60 seconds.

Here’s what Hirsch says in the video:

There are fleeting moments that define our experience in this life. Moments in time that are ephemeral and transient. Moments that touch us for the remainder of our days. Moments that pass before our helpless eyes and escape our grasping desire to possess them.

I stalk these moments with a hungry mind and fix them with my gaze. I lay in wait to catch that singular instance of existence — not before, not after, but just then. I have the power to stop time in its tracks, to seize the frozen moment and hold it fast. I am a photographer.

Hirsch says he created the video as a submission to the Short Photo Essay Competition held every February by the St. Louis Camera Club.

How I became a Photographist


“While there, we looked down into the street beneath, and saw a photographist preparing to take a view of the castle, and calling out to some little girl in some niche or on some pinnacle of the walls to stand still that he might catch her figure and face.”

from English Notebooks, Volume 1, by Nathaniel Hawthorne 1854

The question never came up before. Really! Until recently, when I met someone at an event. I handed her my card and she asked me, “What is a Photographist?” I was quite startled, because for the two years I have been using the “title” on my business card, no one had ever asked me. I assumed people were either too embarrassed to ask, didn’t notice the difference in spelling from “photographer”, or assumed it was a typo.


It all started a few years back when I was searching for some photographic terms to use in branding my blog. I was looking for new terms and titles that described shooting pictures, attempting to steer away from the familiar and worn out “photos, images, photographs and photographers”. While searching words in Google and an online Thesaurus, I discovered a word I had never seen before. Photographist. I immediately looked up the word in Merriam’s Online Dictionary. “A Photographer.”

Extensive searching in other dictionaries achieved the same result. Just another word for photographer.

Convinced that there must be more of an explanation for this word, its usage, and its origin, I began a Google search for “photographist” and perused the fifty pagers of Google entries pertaining to this perplexing word.

Many of the uses were for photographers, primarily in Europe. A number of websites were labeled with “photographist” in the title. There seemed to be no real explanation for the word or what, if any difference existed between “photographer” and “photographist”. Until I got about half way through the entries. (Those who do some Google searching know it is rare to go into a search for more than a few pages, much less fifty.)

I found an article on the origins of words. On page 325, in a chapter titled “Developmment of Engineering words”, in the Bulletin of the Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education, Volume 6, I found a discussion on the formation and origin of compound words.

photo word

It seems there was controversy over the formation of a word for someone who makes photographs. Many etymologists did not agree with mixing words from different countries and literary origins. “Photograph” was from Greek origin and the “ers” were Anglo-Saxon. The “ists” were Greek, making photographist a natural conclusion. But “biographers” and “geographers” were already well established in the English language. So the early debate ensued. An early Noah Webster dictionary does not list photographer as one who shoots photographs, only a photographist.

But by the time the next addition of his dictionary had been published, Noah Webster only listed photographer in his dictionary. Photographer had won!

One blog I uncovered compared photographers and modern-day photographists. While there is a surge in modern-day photographists, his research discovered that many were working in the area of combining photographs into collages and other multi-media art forms.

Finally, I had uncovered the secret to how I would define this newly found word and its relevance to my photographic work. The definition gives meaning to the advances in digital photography and the use of Photoshop in creating an image that excels in dynamics and creativity.

Found by clicking on the asterisk beside the word “photographist” on my website ( comes this definition for my title.



(Pho’ tog ra phist) n.

1) A photographer.

2) A person who combines the artistic aspects of photography with technical enhancements, creating an image that exceeds expectations and improves the original visual concept.

And that is how I became a Photographist!

Simply Grateful!

I wish I could speak to you individually to express how thankful I am for your friendship. I am grateful for all of the encouragement, the photographic assignments, and just being involved in your lives. I hope and pray that this Thanksgiving will be extra special for you and your family. Call someone and tell them how special they are to you!.

Turkeys thankful

Click – Lifestyle and Magazine Photography

A few years ago, I created this book to showcase some of the candid photography work I had completed for a number of clients including Discover Suffolk, Discover Virginia Beach, Discover Portsmouth, and Discover Chesapeake. I was interested in showing some of my work to other publications and travel oriented clientele, so I produced this book and had it printed. It’s about time to add to the book or do another one. My trips to Jamaica and other locations need to be included. Enjoy!

All images copyright 2014 Jim Lockman/Click!