Welcome to GrayOwl

Grayowl has been the business home for Charles Garratt for more than two decades. Beginning as an innovative developer of systems for materials handling and software for industrial engineering, Grayowl has morphed to include award winning photography and journalism in a highly diverse skills set. Whether you need photos for marketing or publication; in depth research and focused writing on just about any topic; a web presence tailored to your budget and needs; or a CD/DVD/YouTube/podcast production, Grayowl can bring the artist together with the geek to meet your needs, budget and deadlines.

Photography. From stock photos to event coverage to contract photography for personal use, products or publication, Charles Garratt has the equipment and experience to produce the images you need. Garratt's photos have been published in many newspapers and magazines. He has won awards for both his newspaper photography and fine art. Click on the galleries link to see a wide range of photographs available for stock usage. Some are also available in fine art prints. If you have a specific photographic need, the contract photography link gives details on the equipment, experience and type of projects Grayowl can tackle. If you are interested in learning more about your digital camera, nature photography or Photoshop®, seminars and workshops are scheduled throughout the year or can be custom tailored to your needs.

Writing. When spell check was invented, a writer was born. Not really, but spelling has always been a challenge for me, while writing has always been something I liked to do. In high school (back in the dark ages of stone tablets and walking up hill in the snow to school) I won first place in an international essay contest. In the decades before I made the leap into writing as a journalist, I enjoyed writing instruction manuals, documentation, grants, and other materials related to my various jobs. My wide ranging experience is still an asset when it comes to technical writing and reporting. In recent years, my writing won awards from the Virginia Press Association. On the writing page you can find more information on current projects, links to some of my work and information about contract assignments.

Multimedia. Compliments can come from strange directions and they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I was still surprised some years ago when a CD Grayowl mastered, duplicated, printed and packaged for an alternative London underground musician was pirated in Russia. For many years, before the days of CD burners in every home computer, Grayowl has been producing quality short run music, data and multimedia CDs. We have thermal direct to CD printers along with full color on CD inkjet printing and access to the best commercial media, including water resistant inkjet printable media. In addition to CD duplication we can produce short run DVDs. For larger quantities, we partner with the best CD/DVD replicators. Grayowl can custom design a website using the latest XHTML/CSS standards and add Web 2.0 features such as blogs and video. Check out the multimedia page for examples of our work.

Other Passions, Native orchids and nature. Want to keep up with the wildflowers in the Virginia Highlands and Greenbrier Valley of West Virginia? Check the What's blooming blog for updates and beautiful photos. Post are infrequent in winter, but are updated at least weekly come early spring. But don't let the cold weather keep you away from the blog and indoors, don't miss information on native orchids to find in the winter and a wildflower that actually blooms when there is still snow on the ground. On July 9, 2009 at 10 a.m., Garratt will be providing a program and guide hike on native orchids at the Cranberry Glades in WV. The program begins at the Nature and is free and open to the public. Check back here and on the blog for more information. Garratt is also available (along with his digital projector) to speak to garden clubs, schools or other groups interested in the fascinating world of native orchids. There are many more orchid species in these mountains than most people think.

Photoshop® classes scheduled for February. Dates and details.
New adventures coming in 2009! Check back for new photos and nature oriented multimedia projects.