Tilley Testimonial

Our friend Bill Kalbas shares his thoughts about Tilley Hats.

13576Do you own a Tilley hat?  If so, do you wear it?  If not, now might be a good time to stop by Jesse Brown’s Outdoors and buy one.  If you do own one, now is a great time to start wearing it.

I just saw my dermatologist, and he reminded me that during the summer months, my baseball hat was not enough.  He strongly suggested that I start wearing a full-brimmed hat.  Not only to protect my ears and face, but the back of my head.   When I told him I owned a Tilley, he agreed, that should do it!

Tilley hats are GREAT, and I sure love the two Tilley hats I purchased over the years from Jesse Brown’s.   One I wear fishing, and the other one is for all other occasions.

The Journal

Guest post by Charles Ray Matthews

Man recording his activities by writing in a journal.
Man recording his activities by writing in a journal.

I began writing a “sportsman’s journal” about 20 years ago. I’m not exactly sure why…..there was no compelling event other than I liked to write and I felt obligated to start documenting my outdoor adventures.  My sons were 8 and 10 years old at the time and they were quickly becoming a cherished and integral part of our hunts and other outdoor adventures.  As the pace of our lives quickened, so grew the sense of urgency to capture in words the images and feelings I experienced on our trips. My fear was the same fear every sportsman dreads…….. to wake up one day, discover that you are 80 years old, are ravaged by some cruel, memory robbing disease and have no recollection of the most cherished and exhilarating days of your life.  In an effort to forestall the effects of the inevitable, so began my “sportsman’s journal”.

My journal may not be the typical sportsman’s journal.  Like most sportsmen, I try and capture the basics of who, what, when and how many of the adventures we are lucky enough to experience.  Ironically though, these are the details that I will most likely remember when I’m 80 years old.  But regrettably, these are not the most cherished details that I will want to remember when I’m 80 years old.  Therefore, my goal is to capture the “essence” and “soul” of our outdoor adventure.  I want to chronicle the subtle nuances that make me stop and reflect on a special moment that may seem insignificant to others but means the world to me.

I want to write about the special people we meet on our hunts and trips……like the old man with white hair and a red face who can hardly walk anymore but is in the field participating in the hunt and sharing his wisdom about an obscure fact or detail regarding his Browning Sweet 16 shotgun. I want to capture the joy in the face of an 11 year old as he shoots his first dove on the wing in a September corn field in the low-country of S.C.  I want to remember how blue the sky was that afternoon as momentous events were unfolding. I want to remember the rustling sound of the golden, late season corn stalks as they swayed in the wind on a cold, blustery November dove shoot.  I want to be able to remember the pride a father feels when his 19 year old achieves a “double” on a covey of quail at a South Georgia plantation using a vintage 1905 Parker shotgun. I want to remember the hickory smell of the BBQ that was served by our host before the hunt that October afternoon. I want to remember the taste of the salt water as it stings my face in rough seas as we make our way to fish for sheepshead at the Charleston jetties. I want to write about the feeling of pride I got when my 25 year old son was the guide on my first fly fishing trip to a remote trout stream on the SC/Georgia border. I want to remember the warm, mellow sting in my throat from the flask as we toasted the first “brookie” of my life. I want to remember how cold and clear the mountain stream was that day in May and how I only fell once on the slippery, green, moss covered rocks.  I want to remember that I caught my trout using a 47 year old fly rod that was mine as a kid.

These are the events and details I want to remember as I am warming by the red, glowing fire in my leather chair when I am 80 years old. It will not matter much how many birds we killed or fish we caught that day. But it will matter what we talked about on our journey to the field or stream. So I encourage every sportsman to keep their own version of their journal. I am convinced it will become their most prized possession.  Mine is.

No words were ever more true………it is all about the journey.


Congratulations to our JB’s Graduates

2016gradsWes Mackay is graduating from Myers Park. He is active in Troop 16 at Charlotte’s First Presbyterian Church where he earned the Eagle Scout award. His favorite thing about Jesse Brown’s is working with clients going on special adventures. The early summer travel & camp season is his favorite especially with the Philmont, Moondance & Outward Bound trips people are preparing for now. Wes is heading for NC State University to study bio-medical engineering

Jack Kozlowski is graduating from Myers Park. He had a successful and active career with the Varsity Lacrosse Team. His favorite thing about Jesse Brown’s is providing trusted advice to clients & celebrating with them after a trip or adventure. He especially likes when they “pull out their phone to show pictures” upon return. Jack is heading to Wofford College to study business.

Catherine Harrell graduated from United Faith Christian Academy. She is an accomplished dancer & soccer player and still enjoys exercising & being outside. Her favorite thing about Jesse Brown’s is getting to personally know the clients & learning about the daily interactions of running a business in Charlotte. Cat is heading to Appalachian State University (go ‘Neers) to study business.

Making Your Pictures Matter

Jesse Brown’s with Capture Happy Photography

capture-happyWe had the pleasure of hosting our man Micheal C. Hernandez from Capture Happy photography here at Jesse Brown’s. No, seriously. It was more than a pleasure, actually.  Michael dropped tons of knowledge about how to take rock star pictures no matter what kind of camera or phone you’re using. Whether you’re headed to the park, the mountains, or a backyard barbecue, the rules are the same. Apply them to make ordinary photo opportunities extraordinary. And as Micheal says, once you learn them, then you’ll know how to break them to take ever better pics!

Here’s what we learned!

Lighting is everything.

Early light and late day light make for the best picture taking. They don’t call it the “golden hour” for no reason! If you’re shooting outdoors, these are times you’ll want to have your camera at the ready. And always have the sun at your back.

Obey the rule of thirds.

Your view screen is divided into thirds. Most cameras have this grid visible, and now you know what it’s used for! Check the camera on your phone, too. Respecting this balance gets you a end result that’s a real eye pleaser!

Keep it rock steady.

Nothing ruins that perfect shot like the shakes. There are plenty of ways to steady that camera, like leaning against a wall, table or tree. Want to really kick it up? Invest in a simple tripod. Yes, there are even inexpensive models that will hold your iPhone, too!

Let the camera do (some of) the work

If your camera has a “P” mode, set it to that and let the camera do some of the work. Then you can concentrate on composition.

Selfies are not as interesting as you may think.

Yes, make your pictures be about YOUR experience… but before you shoot, think about how you want to remember where you are and what you’re doing. As Michael says, everyone’s seen the ”postcard image” of the Taj Mahal. But what did YOU see there that made it meaningful to you, and could be of interest to someone else.

Perspective changes things.

Look at your subject from a different angle. Get close. Get low, go high. You and those with whom you’ll share the pictures may see something in a whole new light. And frame your shots so you don’t have to crop later.

Pro tip. If you really like a picture, print it. If you plan to keep your pictures on a digital format, back them up. Twice.

Bottom line, pictures and photography can show and create all sorts of emotion. And if you want to improve your ability, take your camera everywhere and photograph everything that catches your eye. Shoot with intent, passion and purpose and you’ll create lasting memories!