Saturday, January 31, 2009

More Through A Black & White Lens

I am beginning to enjoy creating black & white photos. This time I tried a different way of doing so and so far I like this system the best. One thing I'm trying to accomplish is to create b&w photos with an old style look.

What I did this time was to shoot in RAW format and then use Photoshop Elements 6 for the conversion. I used the Black & White Conversion in Camera RAW. The adjustments I made included selecting Auto to lighten the photo and then adjusted Saturation to take out any color.

Then I adjusted the Clarity adjustment for mid-tones, to achieve a tone I liked. After this I made adjustments to the Contrast. I did this as a tip from Scott Kelby. Doing the Contrast first allows for better adjustments to the Black adjustment level later; to keep from jumping back and forth between the two. Finally I made adjustment to what's called the Recovery adjustment to darken the Highlights to a level that I felt looked good.

Once that was done I then opened the photos in Elements itself and made Sharpening adjustments using what's called " Adjust Sharpness" control. I like this better than the Unsharp Mask filter as this sharpens the edges but leaves the smooth areas, like the sky, alone. On a couple of these I also added a little burning in of the edges. Other than that, nothing else was done, except to optimize the images for web viewing allowing them to load faster in your browser.

As usual, if you click on a photo it will open with a larger view and then if you hit the Backspace button on your Keyboard you will return to this Blog.

All of these photos were taken with a DSLR and an 18 - 105 lens, and they were all done at f/8. All of these shots are views that I see either every day or several times a week. One was even taken through a dirty window. Do you know which one it was?

As a note of history, the bottom two photos are of Wills Creek in the Narrows, just West of Cumberland. According to Wikipedia:

Wills Creek was named after Will's Town, a former settlement of the Shawnee Indians at the site of Cumberland, Maryland. After the Shawnee deserted this region, an Indian named Will lived a short distance from the site of the old Shawnee town at the mouth of Caiuctucucer. At the time of the coming of the first white settlers he was living in a cabin on the mountain side. The creek, mountain, and town were afterward named for him.

Yes, this is my world and even in a Black & White world I love it, and you are welcome to it.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Losing Two Gaining One

Update: November 21, 2009

Well, it is official. The New Hospital officially began operation today. Everyone from both of the older Hospitals have now been moved and all is well. The New Hospital is great. I've seen it and it is a fantastic medical facility. If you want to see what it is like and get some info on it here is a link to the new Western Maryland Regional Medical Center

The post below was originally posted on January 1, 2009.


This year (2009) Cumberland will loose two older hospitals and gain one new system.

The older of the two buildings is Memorial Hospital. Memorial opened at its present location in 1929, and its name was changed from Western Maryland Hospital to Memorial Hospital to honor those who gave their life in WW1.

Sacred Heart Hospital began at its present location in 1966. It, too, began at a different location in 1905 and was originally named Allegany Hospital. It was renamed Sacred Heart Hospital in 1911, I believe, when the Daughters of Charity was asked to come to Cumberland to operate the hospital.

In 1996 both hospitals joined together and formed the Western Maryland Health Systems (WMHS). This was done to join resources and to expand their services while reducing costs. Then in 2006 the Daughters of Charity, who were no longer involved with Sacred Heart Hospital, requested that its name be changed. The WMHS honored the request and the name of the hospital became WMHS Braddock Campus.

Now, this year, the new hospital will open and it will be known as the Western Maryland Health System Regional Hospital. It will be located on Willowbrook Road, just off I68 east of Cumberland; Allegany College is located close by on the other side of the road as well as the Allegany County Health Department.

So, here are the photos beginning with Memorial Hospital, then Sacred Heart (Braddock Campus) and then the new Western Maryland Health System Regional Hospital.

Now, here are some interesting facts. My daughter works at the Braddock Campus as a Nursing Assistant and will transfer to the new hospital when it opens this fall.

My wife began work at Sacred Heart when it opened in 1966 and was in the first Nurse's Aide class to graduate at the new facility. I began work at Sacred Heart on January 1, 1969 as a Pinkerton Security Guard and I met Mary that same day. The look she gave me the very first time we met just captured my heart. We had one official date in January, became engaged in February and we were married March 9, 1969, just a little over two months after we met; she said it was the uniform :-). This year we will celebrate our 40th anniversary, and I've never regretted one moment of it. BTW, neither one of us still work there.

As for the photographic information, these were all taken on January 1st of this year with a DSLR and an 18-70 mm lens. I did some slight sharpening and optimized them for the web in PS Elements 6 and that was it.

Sometimes my world changes, and even though I loose some things of interest, like part of my past, this is still my world and I love it. Change can be good and I believe that this will be a good change for our area.

Yeah, this is my world, change and all, and you are welcome to it.