Back to the Garden: The Camera’s Eye and VINES

With all the things to love about summer in the Southern Tier, one of my favorites has to be gardening. I have 13 (!) of my own garden plots at home and, despite a constant war with slugs, deer, and other foes, I love cultivating my own vegetables and flowers! That’s why I was so excited to learn more about VINES, a community gardening and education group in the city of Binghamton. My social media manager has a VINES garden plot, and invited me to a Saturday morning “work party” so I could learn more.


The work party was at the Corbett Avenue garden in Binghamton’s south side, a site that’s been going strong for five years now. Members sign up to rent a plot for the season at a garden location of their choosing. The raised beds are already built and the soil is already cultivated – all that’s left to do is start growing!

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Dick Andrus, a professor at Binghamton University, manages the site. He gave me the grand tour before the everyone arrived, starting with a spot of particular pride – the newly developed compost pile.


As I chatted with members and wandered between the beds to snap photos, it was clear that the name “VINES” was more than appropriate. There were vines EVERYWHERE!



Yes, some of them were weeds, which the garden members were taking to task….

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…but many hinted at deliciousness yet to come!

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Even though the program is well established – and obviously popular…look at the turnout at 9 am on a Saturday to pull weeds! – it was a nice reminder that improvement, growth, and change is always possible. The group added a long-awaited official VINES sign to the front gate while I was there.



VINES does a lot more than just provide gardening space for its members. At their Urban Farm, volunteers grow food that goes out to farm share subscribers. It’s also available for sale at the weekly Binghamton farmer’s market (9-2 on Fridays in downtown Binghamton).


In addition, VINES hosts numerous events and workshops that anyone in the community can attend for free. Upcoming events include “Season Extension on a Budget” on August 16th, “Freezing Vegetables” on August 20th, and a “Lemonade in the Garden” social event at Corbett Avenue on August 27th.


A big thank you to VINES for all the work they do for the community, and for letting The Camera’s Eye shoot some wonderful summer images!



2015 Owego Free Academy Senior – Nicole

At The Camera’s Eye, we love turning out a successful senior portrait session! When everything’s clicking in a senior session, you just feel it. Nothing beats having both a beautiful environment and a senior with a great personality and openness.


Of course, as with all things in professional photography, there’s not much you can do when the outside elements are determined to make their mark. Nicole, a 2015 senior from Owego Free Academy, had to reschedule her session TWICE!


The first time, we got rained out – and we’re pretty familiar with rain in the Southern Tier. The second time, Nicole’s flip flop broke! However, fate was conspiring to make us schedule this third session, where everything came together beautifully. Third time’s the charm, right?


Nicole is yet another one of my seniors who was just so much fun to shoot. She is quiet and composed, and so warm at the same time, which definitely comes across in her senior session photos. It helps that she was ready to roll with anything, and able to brush off both the weather and a wardrobe malfunction 🙂


We may be in the last month of summer, but it’s not quite over yet – The Camera’s Eye has many more upcoming senior sessions to shoot before the school year gets into full swing!

Locals We Love – Jacques Gates and Valley Auto Spa

With all the running around I do with The Camera’s Eye, my car becomes my second home. It makes SUCH a difference to my day when my Mini Cooper looks and feels professionally put-together – even if I’m not feeling the part myself 🙂 I recently had my car detailed by Jacques Gates, owner of Valley Auto Spa in Sayre, PA.


He’s a full-time college student and Valley Auto Spa is a small side business, but he puts an incredible amount of care into his work. Jacques used to live in California, where he would go to a friend’s shop for detail work. Once he moved, he still wanted to keep his car spic and span, so he bought the equipment to do it himself. And that’s how Valley Auto Spa was born!

Jacques loves what he does, and it’s easy to see why – he gets the satisfaction of seeing cars leave his shop looking way better than when they came in.

A big thank you to Valley Auto Spa for keeping The Camera’s Eye riding in style!


2015 Athens High School Senior – Nadia

The senior photo sessions just keep on rolling in for The Camera’s Eye! Meet Nadia, who will soon be starting her senior year at Athens High School in Athens, PA.

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Nadia loves science and wants to attend college – hopefully in the New York City area – to become a doctor. She’s already more than familiar with NYC, since she goes there once a month to visit her sister. They’re four years apart in age, but many people think they’re twins!

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Nadia is no stranger to travel, as she has been to South Africa – her parents’ home country.  She loves playing basketball, though she swears she’s not athletic. Based on these photos, I think we can safely call her a fashionista 🙂 She shared great pictures of her outfits before coming to see me, and she still couldn’t make up her mind which ones to wear!

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Even though there were some tough fashion decisions to make, she always knew that she wanted to wear this authentic Indian dress.  She’s definitely a girl after my own heart when it comes to a love of shoes – the icing on the cake, besides that gorgeous smile, is the matching 5-inch heels!

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Stay tuned for more senior photo posts – The Camera’s Eye has lots of seniors on the docket, and I’m excited to meet them all!

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Up Up and Away….

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch Club

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch Club

Owego Free Academy Science Club Balloon Launch

Students carry the gadget equipped with cameras, GPS devices and a parachute to the OFA lawn.

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch Club

A sneak peak reveals a note for anyone who may find the device on its travels

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

Two cameras secured inside – one facing up to capture the balloon burst and the other facing outward to photograph the Earth below…

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

“Big B” the main GPS device is backed up with a lesser hiker’s GPS unit in case of malfunction from heat.

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

A Lockheed Martin engineer supported the project and teaches kids here how to sync the devices to cell phones in order to track the balloon from the ground.

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

Another teacher fills the balloon with Helium to a diameter of 5 ft.  As it rises and pressure changes, it expands to 20 ft in diameter and bursts.  A small parachute carries is back to Earth as the cameras spin images every step of the way.

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

Attaching the contraption to the balloon base.

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch Club

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

Preparing for take off!

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

UP UP and Away!

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

Teacher John Heath, Owego Free Academy

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

One cool Science Kid!

For more information on this totally cool project and to follow the results of this Science Project, contact John Heath via Facebook:   To see a full version of the launch, go to The Camera’s Eye, click Client Proofing and type:  “balloon”   This is the Club’s 4th Launch but first Summer Launch.  The balloon and camera’s flight should last approximately one and a half hours depending on wind and heat conditions.  Once the balloon bursts, the camera contraption travels by parachute back to Earth.  The middle school students added their own twist to the experiment by trying to break the world record for highest “egg drop.”  On the side of the box is one small raw egg they are hoping lands in ONE piece!  The last I heard, it had landed 40 feet up in a tree near Chenango Park, NY but they aren’t sure how to get it down…. lol.  Good luck kids!

Better Late Than Never

I love owning up to being human and when anyone else does too.. I support that!  This lovely 2013 Senior was so caught up in her Senior Year, she completely lost track of time and just now ordered her Senior pictures.  Although I don’t recommend this… I whole-heartedly understand it!  This calls for the old saying, “Better late than never.”  She photographed way too nicely to never have a printed portrait.  Don’t you agree?  So don’t worry about the embarrassment.. Just do it.  Order late, admit that you can’t keep up in our minute to minute, instantaneous society and just do it.   You will find yourself in good company at this company!

Senior Photography, Owego NY Senior Portraits, Owego NYOwego Portrait Photographer