Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

Something a little different this week. This is the PoleCat. I came across the creature as it was sitting on this clothes line pole; thus the PoleCat. The cat was staring right at me and those eyes, they never moved, in fact they were quite un-nerving. I didn't know whether to run or shoot. Well, I shot it (sort of), and it still never moved.

As I turned to go I glanced back and I could see the creature raise one paw to lick it as if to say "Got another one". I know cat's cannot grin, but that last look it gave me as I was walking away just made me feel that it was laughing at me. Yeah, well I showed him, and that's what I'm doing right now - showing him to you. Don't worry, it's OK to smile.

As usual, if you click on this pic you can view it in a larger size. This was taken with a DSLR and a 28 - 200 mm lens, 1/400 at f/5.6, ISO was 400. In Photoshop Elements I converted the image to B&W and then cropped for a square look. I then burned in the edges a little, removed some visible clothes line and gave it a touch of sharpening. For a final I used a slight Dry Brush finish under the Filter - Artistic selection; just to do something a little different this time. And I do believe the effect added a little something extra to the PoleCat.

Even in my B&W world there are creatures of every kind and this is just one of them. This is just one more reason why I love my world. Yeah, this is my world, PoleCats and all, and you are welcome to it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

This weeks B&W photo focuses on the old Cumberland Cement and Supply building in Cumberland. From approximately 1921 through 1984 Cumberland Cement operated from this location. Then in 1984 the owner purchased Super Concrete in LaVale and began business there as Cumberland Concrete.

This is a view as seen from Henderson Avenue across the tracks that run behind the building.

I took this photo from a moving vehicle with a 5 megapixel point & shoot camera while going east on Henderson Ave.; the settings were 1/400 at f/5.0. I then converted the photo to black & white in Photoshop Elements, cropped it for the square look and gave it some basic edge vignetting, and finished it off with a little sharpening. As usual, you can click on the photo for a larger view and then hit your back button to return to the blog.

To me, the view of this building in B&W gives it some character and a more vintage look of it's original style than color would have. I love the way older buildings look in B&W and even with a P&S camera one can create interesting photos; something anyone can do, that is, if you are looking to do so. Each photographer has their way of creating images and this is one of the ways I like showing what life looks like in my world.

There are a number of interesting scenes and older buildings in my world that look good in B&W and the old Cumberland Cement and Supply building is just one of them. This, too, is part of my world and as such, you are welcome to it.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spring Is On Its Way

This little boy was following his Dad up the street; Mom was not far behind. I can remember those days, even at my age. Seeing him makes me think of Summer and with Spring only a week away can scenes like this not be far behind? I sure hope not.

This photo is just a reminder of the little kid that is still inside all of us, just waiting to be let out. Just ask my grand kids about Pappy Blues - eh, he's just a big kid. I'm glad they think of me that way.

The shot was taken with a DSLR and a 28 - 200mm lens, 1/400 at f/5.6. I cropped the photo and added some slight sharpening in photoshop as well as little vignette effect.

There are quite a few kids in my world and I would not have it any other way. A lot goes on in my world and whether in color or black & white I love it all, even the down sides can come out with a positive aspect to it, but only if you look for it.

Yes, this, too, is my world, kids and all, and you are welcome to it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

By Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks to God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
upon whose bosom snow has lain;
who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Devoid of color a tree can still be beautiful - shape and tones, not color, can cause one to stand out from the rest. Like us, as we get older and turn gray, some more than others, so can natures life such as a tree become bent with age and turn white from the ravages of time. And then, there are those who know werein their strength lies and bow gracefully to the One Who sustains their life.

Seen on the banks of the Potomac River, near a boat landing, I could not help but photograph this wonder. I used a DSLR and an 18-105 lens, 1/250 @ f/5.6. This was taken in color and then converted to a B&W photo in Elements. I then cropped for the square look and did some dodging and burning and some slight sharpening. As usual you can click on the photo to get a larger view and then hit your back button to return here.

This tree is part of my world and close to home. Yes, this is my world, there is so much to see, and you are welcome to it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

This is the first of a new series of a weekly photo and the Title says it all. Why square? Back in the 60's and early 70's I had a Yashicamat 124g twin-lens reflex camera and a no name 126 point and shoot camera, along with a Minolta SRT201. I like the square shape of the 120 and 126 photos and I still have quite a few packed away in boxes; and they were mostly in black and white.

The 126 was a nice little camera and did fairly well, but the Yashicamat did an excellent job, even if you did have to point it in the opposite direction of what you wanted to see. So, in a nostalgic way, this weekly "special" is way of honoring the B&W square photo of the past and all of the fun I had in the process. I hope you enjoy them.

This first print is called "Storm Coming". The original was a color jpeg photo and I converted it to B&W in Photoshop Elements. I then cropped the photo into a square image. I created a layer for "dodging" and another layer for "burning". After achieving the effect that I wanted I then sharpened the photo by using the "Adjust Sharpening" technique which I find is much better than using the Unsharp Mask.

The last step was to save the file for Web Viewing and then uploaded it here. To see this photo in a much larger version just click on it. Then hit your back button or your backspace key to return to this site.

Each week I hope to show something new from around our area, and my goal is to make them look as if they came from the past. I'm open to any and all suggestions for what to shoot as well as any comments on the work that I do on the photo in the digital darkroom.

As for this photo, it was shot with a DSLR and a 18-105 lens about late afternoon or early evening.

This, too, is part of my world and sometimes I feel that by looking at things in a B&W mode allows us to see what is in the scene instead of the colors, which can be distracting. To many times one looks at the color of the subject instead of the subject itself. With B&W you only see the subject, and here the subject is the Steeple with the Storm Clouds on the horizon. You can also see the little things like the light colored trees on the hill, the smoke flowing from the chimney of the house and the low shroud of clouds lightly coming down onto part of the mountain top.

Yes, this is my world, it's beautiful even in B&W, and you are welcome to it.