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Monday, December 30, 2013

Color Of Winter... The Winter Coat

      
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I was sitting in my 16 year old Cherokee waiting for my wife to come out of the market when I glanced the site of a brightly colored coat go flashing by in my rearview mirror. I turned quickly to see for sure what I saw while at the same time grabbing my X20.

I turned it on and zoomed all the way out to the max and pointed it out the right rear window which, by the way, was slightly dirty and it had the sun shining on it as well. I just focused, and the X20 does focus quicker than any P&S camera that I ever tried, and just as I was pushing the shutter the lady stopped, turned back my way and looked as if she had heard someone calling or that maybe she had forgotten something.

At first I thought that she was looking at me but she was looking off to the side, and immediately after taking this photo she turned and walked on into the market.

In any case, this is a most wonderful Colorful Winter Coat, which proves once again that even in the Winter there is color out there to photograph. All you have to do is to be looking for it and to have a camera ready for capturing it.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday Favorite... Color Of Winter #1 of 2012

      
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The last photo post of 2012 was the 1st in the line of "Color Of Winter" series. That post was done on December 31. This was that photo and here is what I wrote:

"Last year I started a series of photos that I called “Color Of Winter”. I did so because I would hear so many people say that they didn’t like taking photos in the Winter because there were no colors to be seen. So, I took it as a challenge and started the series just to show that there are plenty of colors in the Winter time; you just have to be looking in order to see them."
So, the last Friday Favorite photo for 2013 is the photo that started the Color of Winter series and it was the last post of 2012. I plan on staying with this series through 2014. I hope you enjoy them and if you have a photo that you believe would make a good image for this series let me know and I'll try to put it up on my site or at least a link to it.

Thanks and enjoy the Winter photography. The color is there, but it is something for which you have to be looking... :-)

    



Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Country Christmas

      

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Wishing each and everyone of you a very Merry Christmas. This wish goes out even to those who are not Christians. Jesus came to bring peace, joy and salvation to those who will receive Him. May the love of Christ fill you hearts this wonderful Christmas day...


Monday, December 23, 2013

For God Said

      

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Hazy Shade Of Winter

      

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I look around
Leaves are brown
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter
Look around
Leaves are brown
There’s a patch of snow on the ground

"A Hazy Shade of Winter" is a song written by Paul Simon, recorded and released by Simon & Garfunkel in 1966

Monday, December 16, 2013

Shooting Sports With The Fuji X20 - A Real World Review


I've never done a camera review and I probably won't do so again. However, I recently purchased a Fuji X20 to become my take with me all the time camera, and to see if I could use it for some indoor youth sporting events.
 
You see, I'm getting rid of some of my equipment as I've started coming down with a good case of arthritis in my left hand due, believe it or not, to the fact of doing photography over the past 40+ years. And the fact that 30 years ago I almost ran a flat blade screw driver through my left hand trying to change out the handle grips on my daughters bicycle, but that's another story.
 
Anyway, I'm keeping one DSLR and two lenses and a tripod. The rest is being sold. So, I decided that I wanted to still be able to shoot some youth indoor sporting events without using the heavy equipment; because it hurts to hold the heavier equipment over a period of time.
 
I have a Canon G11 and it is a wonderful camera, but it isn't fast enough for use in doors for sports photography. It belongs now to my wife. Enter the Fuji X20.
 
I checked up on it, read many reviews and looked at real world reviews from every day photographers. I fell in love with it even before buying it, and buy it I did.
 
I've been playing around with it; seeing what it could do. So, when I found out that one of my grand kids was playing in an indoor soccer match at the local YMCA I went to photograph him.
 
The indoor arena has adequate lighting but it isn't very bright. In addition I had to shoot through some very scratchy and somewhat dirty Plexiglas. This was not going to be easy.
 
I tried various settings from using the P, A and M (1/125 @ f/2.8) settings. I let the ISO stay at Auto. I even shot some photos in black & white. Below are some samples of what I got. For me and my family these are good enough and they would be good enough for use in a local newspaper.
 
Of course, they are not of DSLR quality but the camera is fast in focusing and with virtually no shutter lag. I did quite a bit of anticipation and some pre-focusing on where I felt the action might be, but for the most part the focusing and the non-existent shutter lag was almost at DSLR speed. I was quite impressed.
 
So, realizing that all of these are shot through some not so great Plexiglas, here are the samples of what the X20 can do in shooting low light indoor sporting events. I will say that I did adjust Levels, added a touch of Contrast and let the resizing of Photoshop Elements do a little adding of Enhanced Sharpening because of downsizing the photos for Web Viewing.
 
In addition, I included one photo of the fans, not taken through the Plexiglas, just to give an idea of what the X20 can do in this situation. For me, I have found the right Point & Shoot camera for use in this environment.
 
One more thing. I kept the LCD off and used the Optical View Finder for all of these. It felt great, natural and I enjoyed using it.
 
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I would love to hear from you with any comments, questions or suggestions that you might have. Thank you...

    

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Monday, December 9, 2013

Penn Alps Restaurant

      
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Penn Alps is a Restaurant and Crafts Shop located in Grantsville, MD.

The following is taken from their web site:
Penn Alps Restaurant and Craft Shop are housed in the last log hospitality house on the National Pike still serving the traveler. It is situated between a 1797 gristmill and a historic stone arch bridge ( the longest single span of stone in America when built in 1813 ). Three of its six dining rooms were once part of the log stagecoach stop, Little Crossings Inn
To visit their site just click on the link below...


Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday Favorite... Looking In Four Different Directions & White Slacks

      
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With the Winter coming on I thought it would be nice to put up a little reminder of warmer weather.

From my Street Photography collection. Captured the moment when each person was looking in different directions at once. Only one man noticed the women in the White Slacks & Halter Top...



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Mom & Son Having Fun

      
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Monday, December 2, 2013

Alleyway Murals

      



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The bottom photo shows the alleyway where the two murals are painted; on the right side looking in this direction.

In warmer weather the restaurant on which the murals are painted have tables outside for those who like to eat outdoors.

These are but two of the many murals that can be found around Cumberland, MD...


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fred's Barbershop

      
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Early morning before anyone comes around. Lit by a single light waiting for the first customer of the day. A one man shop owned and run by a man named Fred who is in his 70's and not even looking to retire anytime soon...

       


Monday, November 25, 2013

Barber Shop Waiting Room

      
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This is the waiting room of a one man barber shop. Fred the Barber is over 70 years old and has been barbering for over 50 years. This is his shop and he is open only 3 days a week and a half day on Saturday. Only $7.00 for a basic cut and there have been times when I've opened the door to enter and I've seen all of these chairs occupied.

He opens at 7:00 AM and the other day when he arrived at 6:30 AM there were already 3 men waiting, but that's the way he likes it...


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

One Happy Kid

      
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I was about to go into a store when I noticed this young couple approaching from another direction and with them was this little girl. She had the biggest grin on her face and she was jumping around like a Mexican Jumping Bean.

I grabbed my camera and had just enough time to get it going as she came around from behind the brick column and I was able to snap this photo as she was in mid jump. I cannot imagine why she was so happy and the exuberance of her youthfulness was almost catching. I almost started jumping myself even before I realized that I had captured this image.

It has been a long time since I felt this kind of uninhibited joy and I hope she keeps being this way for a long time. Growing up and becoming an adult comes all to quickly.

    

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fall Foliage Leftovers

      

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As a follow-up to yesterday's post " Fall Wall " here are a couple more photos on the topic of " From Where Comes Your Photos? ". The opportunities for good photo ops are everywhere if you are just willing to look for them.

You don't need expensive equipment nor do you need to travel to exotic places to capture good images. In fact these two photos, like "Fall Wall" was captured using a Canon G11, and these two photos were scenes that I could see from my own yard.

So , the next time you want to capture good images take what you have and walk outside. You just might find that gem of an image right in your own yard but remember, if you are do not look for them you will never see them.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fall Wall

      
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From Where Comes Your Photos?

I ask this question for a very simple reason. For many, the answer comes from the thinking that one needs to go to those places where others have created wonderful images. The thought is that if others created great images I, too, can do the same.

Another group thinks that if only I had a top of the line Nikon or Canon or even, what I would love to have, a Leica I would be able to get those images that other great photographers were able to make.

However, I believe that wonderful or great images comes from within, from the heart. As I say here on my blog...
There are photographic opportunities everywhere you look and they are there just waiting for you to find them. The only requirement is that you have to be looking for those opportunities or you will never see them.
This photo is a good example, if I may say so, about which I am talking. I had been sitting in my car in a Church parking lot waiting for my wife to come back out. I had taken her there for a Bazaar that was going on and, as I looked around, I noticed this scene.

I liked the way the colors and the wall interacted and the tree trunk made a good foreground object. I cropped the image to what I wanted to see, zooming in so that this was all that was in the scene. I snapped the photo using a Canon G11. In photoshop I used a basic simple slight vintage image step and that was it.

So here in the middle of a city came this photo. You could call it a found photo and it was next to a main road running past the Church. Anyone can take a photo like this without going to a "great" place to photograph and you don't need expensive equipment to achieve wonderful images.

It is amazing how many people like this image and I was able to create this because all I was doing was looking for a photographic opportunity. So, don't think you have to go far and wide and buy the latest equipment, just use what you have, look for those opportunities and let you heart be your guide. You just might surprise yourself at what you can do.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Favorite... Foggy Lane

      
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For more Friday Favorites please click "here"...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What If?

      
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Sometimes, reflecting on the past lets you know why it is that the present is so good. It's when you wonder "What If?" that lets you know that what you now have would not have been had you chosen the alternative during that moment of "What If?"

The camera only sees the moment of thought and not the peace and the smile that comes from within...


     

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mountain Thunder Heading In

      
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This is a follow up to last Mondays Mountain Thunder post. You can see that one by clicking on the link below...




Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fading Trestle

      
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Monday, November 4, 2013

Mountain Thunder On The Loose

      
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Mountain Thunder is owned and operated by the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad. The train runs from the Western Maryland Station located in Cumberland, MD. This was one of the rare times it was out without any cars connected to it. For more information on the WMSR just click on the link below:




Friday, November 1, 2013

Friday Favorite... Just A Matter Of Time

      
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November has arrived and with it a time of change. It is now just a matter of time before there's more than just frost on the Pumpkin...



    


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Hit Hard By The Kid

      
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The Kid hit the ball carrier so hard that it lifted him off of the ground. Nice hit " E "...


    

Monday, October 28, 2013

Waves Of Clouds

      
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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Grunge Squirrel Posing

      
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Monday, October 21, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Favorite... Western Maryland Station

      
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Western Maryland Station is located in Cumberland, MD. From here you can ride Mountain Thunder, an authentic Baldwin Steam locomotive, through the mountains of Western Maryland...


    

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Brooke Plays Hard

      
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Monday, October 14, 2013

Moorefield In The South Branch Valley

      
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Moorefield, WV in the valley of the South Branch of the Potomac River as seen from a mountain top...

      

Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday Favorite... And Fall Begins

      
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Taken on Rock Lodge Road in Garrett Co., MD...

    


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Monday, October 7, 2013

Early Fall In Pennsylvania

      

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Taken late evening near Meyersdale, PA...


    

Friday, October 4, 2013