Foggy Beach Day

Photography of fog, on the beach in Margate, NJ., Christmas Day. The rain finally stopped and the fog rolled in. It was so thick I couldn’t see the edge of the ocean while standing on the bulkhead or see more then a few feet in front of me while walking. Sometimes Wally would run off and couldn’t be seen. I was glad he always comes back.








Dowth-Mythological Ireland and the Winter Solstice


December 22nd is the Winter Solstice. The southernmost passage of Dowth is aligned to the setting sun of the winter solstice and the light of the low sun moves along the left side of the passage, then into the circular chamber, where three stones are lit up by the sun.


Dowth – South chamber entrance

I’ve always wanted to see the Neolithic passage tombs in Ireland. I’ve seen pictures and have read about the complex of passage tombs which consist of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth.  Newgrange is Ireland’s most famous prehistoric site. As with most of the passage tombs in County Meath, Ireland, archeologists believe that it was built around 3200 B.C., which means that Newgrange predates the construction of Stonehenge in England and the Pyramids in Egypt.

As I said, I always wanted to visit. On one of my trips with my parents, we were passing by the exit on the way to Dublin. My father was driving so I reminded him that the exit to Newgrange is coming up. Tell me again what this Newgrange thing is and why do you want to go, he said. I told him what it was and that is is about 5000 years old, older then the pyramids. I guess he was a bit tired from all the driving and visiting because he passed right by the exit. I asked him why he didn’t stop. His reply was, “It’s been there for the past 5000 years it will be there the next time”. Fortunately it was there the next time but the next time things changed. Now you are not able to go and explore on your own. You have to take a bus to the location from the visitor center and take a tour. I prefer to do things on my own so we passed by Newgrange and went to Dowth.



carvings on the kerbstone


Tree on Dowth

Tree on Dowth


Dowth-Ireland stone-circles

Stone Circle at the top of the dome




Dowth, or the “Fairy Mound of Darkness”,  dates from about 2500-2000 BC and is the 2nd oldest behind Newgrange. What I liked most is that it is less developed as a tourist attraction so I could explore on my own.

Satellite Dish Manufacturing

Industrial Manufacturing Photography-North Carolina

-Gottschall Photography

I had the opportunity to photograph in one of the largest Satellite Dish Manufacturing Companies. It is the only high volume producer of metal and sheet molded compound antennas in the world. They make their own resin, stamp, press, and paint their metal and composite products all under one roof.

The plant was very large, loud and hot. I photographed in the middle of the summer during the heat wave. It was well in the 90’s outside so you can imagine what it was inside. I guess there’s no way to air-condition a building over 700,00 square feet.  Anyway, it didn’t matter to me. I love photographing in large industrial plants. There are so many textures, shapes and forms.  I also enjoy having the opportunity to experience something that others don’t event think about. I had no idea that satellite dishes where manufactured so close to where I live, how they were made or how many dishes were made in a single day. The dishes in the photo below were all made that day and were just painted. The ones along the wall on the  left are on the paint line.


Stack of satellite dishes at the paint line.

Giant rolls of sheet metal are fed into a machine and stamped into shape. Although there is a lot of automation, actual workers are still needed for every step of the process. It takes about 250 employees to manufacture all the satellite dishes. At this step there are people feeding the metal, monitoring the process, taking them off the belt and packaging them into bins to go to the next step. I’m not sure of how many people were around me or what everyone was doing. I do know that no-one was sitting around.


Sheet metal is being stamped into shape. 


Large machines stamp the metal sheets into form.

Another stamping machine adheres screen and resin to the mold. They come down with such force it can be dangerous. Luckily, there are safety measures in place. There are little sensors that will shut the machine down if someone or something is in the way or too close. When I was shooting the machine kept shutting down and had to be reset. No-one could figure out what was happening at first. After a while of testing and trying to figure it out the mystery was solved. It was my lights. Apparently and somehow they were tripping the safety sensor. Whoops. Good thing it was no big deal and we all had a good laugh.


Compression Molding


Preparation for compression molding.

The top part of the press is one of the most important pieces. I had to get as close as I could to actually be able to see it. It was a bit scary. All I could think about was this thing coming down on me and turning me into a satellite dish. That wouldn’t be fun. I know there are a lot of safety measures in place but the thought still crossed my mind. Its kind of like when you are scuba diving 80 feet below the surface and all you can think about is the theme song to Jaws.


Detail of the inside of the compression molding machine.

Just to give you a little perspective on the size. Here is the full machine. This is just one. There is another next to it and many others of different types and sizes.


Large compression molding machine used in the manufacturing of satellite dish antenna.

Yellowstone national Park in September – Travel Landscape Photogrpahy

Yellowstone in September turned out to be the best time to visit. After Labor Day kids are back in school and people are back to work leaving the park pretty quiet. I was able to take it all in without being stuck in the long lines of RV’s I’ve heard about. (I hope I didn’t give away my best kept secret.)



Mammoth Hot Springs|Yellowstone-Gottschall

Prismatic Spring-Yellowstone



July 4th photography, Raleigh NC

I hope you enjoyed the 4th of July as much as I did. My typical 4th of July is spent on the beach during the day and then watching the fireworks being launched over the ocean. It’s one of the best ways to see fireworks in my opinion. This year I stayed home an enjoyed the local celebration. I’m glad I did, it was one big party.


raleigh-nc-photography-fayetteville st- capital

The City of Raleigh, NC shuts down Fayetteville St. ( the main street that runs from the Capital to the Performing Arts Building) and has a big block party for the 4th of July.

raleigh-nc-photography-us flag



Editorial Travel Photography – Phoenix Gold Mine, Idaho Springs Colorado

I don’t always start out with an agenda and it seems that those are the times when the best experiences happen. That was the case when I was in Colorado. I started my day with no direction, just my camera and a little lunch packed in my bag. My starting point was Denver and from there I headed west on highway 70. As usual, I ran into construction on the highway. While sitting in traffic I noticed some old mining buildings and a dirt road so instead of sitting there doing nothing I decided to get off and explore. The road was a small (almost single lane) dirt road with nobody on it leading up the mountain. I pulled off so I could take a few snaps of a building.

Gottschall travel photography

Because the road didn’t look like it was used too often, I decided to leave the car door open so I could hear the music from my radio. I didn’t think it would be a problem. But wouldn’t you believe it, my luck, the same problem my dad always had….You can be on a deserted island and there will ALWAYS be a car right behind you. A man driving a beat up old pick up truck rolled down his window and asked what I was doing and tell me that this is a private road. So I explained, like I normally do, that I am a commercial photographer on vacation just taking photos. The old mining building cought my eye so I wanted to photograph it. He was very kind and told me that this area is part of the Pheonix Gold Mine. He said that I am welcome to photograph the area and that the mines are open for tours. As we continued talking about the history of the mines and the area he told me about a new section where they had just found a Resurrectuon vein. He offered to be my guide for the day and point out some interesting places where I could get photos. I agreed and we went to the new section of the mine that was not open to the public.

Gottschall editorial portrait

This was my guide, Loldon.

 After suiting up in a jumpsuit, hard hat and miners light , my guide lifted the gate and we descended down a long steep ladder that was covered by a very heavy gate. It was so tight I had to hold my camera bag in front of me close to my body just to fit. Anyone that knows me knows that I am not very wide. We finally made it to the bottom and it was pitch black. The only light was the light from our helmets and the flash of my camera. The walls glissened like stars on a moonless night. It was amazing! 


Pointing out a vien.

Gottschall-Photography-Pheonix-10 Gottschall-Photography-Pheonix-11



The next thing my guide wanted to show me was an even newer section. They just opened it up after being closed after FDR ordered the closing of all US gold mines in ’42 (Executive Order L-208). He was very excited about the mine  because of the forming stalactites and the possibility of finding gold. 

date of gold mine

The date of the mine burned into the wall.


It was dark, wet and caving in. The wood supports were rotting and didn’t seem to be doing much. I was told to not touch anything for fear that it would cause a cave in. I didn’t touch a thing. 

Floor of the mine.

Floor of the mine. The mine was extremely wet and muddy. There were lots of puddles and debris. We had to be careful since it was pitch black except for our headlamps and my flash.


Support beam holding up the roof of the cave. The wood was mostly rotted and not doing much good.


Inside of the mine. Notice the wood supports are no longer touching the ceiling.


The ceiling and walls were covered with formations of stalactites. We climbed up and into many crevices to see the different varieties.


The white substance on the ceiling looked like milk that was pouring through the cracks from above.



Crystals forming on the walls.


Mine wall covered in stalactites.

Covering the floor and avery other flat surface were other formations.Gottschall-Photography-Pheonix-6Gottschall-Photography-Pheonix-12


This was one of the original rails for the cars to haul out the rock. It leads tot he next level down. It was so rusty that when it was touched (by my guide, not me) it just broke off and fell down the chute. It took a long time before we heard it hit the bottom. I’m glad Loldon didn’t go down with it. 



Hanging out with another miner, showing him what we found.



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