Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

The Shaw Mansion - AKA The Farm House

To see a larger photo just click on a picture and then hit your backbutton on your keyboard to return here.

Built in 1872 by Andrew B. Shaw. The House is listed on the National Register of Historical Places and with the Maryland Historical Trust. As stated in the listing of the Maryland Historical Trust:

"Architecturally, the Shaw Mansion is significant as one of the finest and most completely preserved Italianate houses in the George's Creek Valley."

The link to the Historical Trust for the complete description can be found at

The Farm House

These two photos were taken with a Point & Shoot camera. ISO was at 50; top photo 1/250 sec @ f/5.6 and the bottom photo 1/50 sec @ f/5.6

As I've said before, there is a great deal of history in my part of the world here in Western Maryland. AB's Grand-Father, the Rev. William Shaw was the first permanent settler in the valley and he and his son William Shaw, AB's father, acquired a great deal of land in the valley and the son, William Jr., laid out the original sixty-six lots of the town of Barton, named after Barton-upon-Humber in Lincolnshire, England. The town of Barton as well as the Mansion, which is in a little place called Moscow next to Barton, still remains to this day.

I've seen the Mansion and I've been in it from the top to the bottom and it is quite a place; and I have a special connection to the Shaw Mansion - AKA The Farm House - and she is quite dear to me.

This, too, is in my world - farm house and all - and, yeah, you are welcome to it.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day Tribute

Beauty In The Midst Of Life's Struggles

Excerpt From A Commentary by Oliver L. North:

Today, we pause as a nation to honor all who have been laid to rest after serving in our armed forces to preserve our liberty and offer others the hope of freedom. All those to whom we pay tribute on Memorial Day sacrificed the comforts of home, the warmth and affection of loved ones - and in many cases, life itself - while in uniform.

Monday, May 25, 2009
Washington Times

When thinking about those who gave all in defense of our Country I like to look at something peaceful like the photo above. Although I served in the Navy back in the 60's I still cannot understand how someone can kill someone else over something that basically is so meaningless, when it all comes down to living in peace as an alternative with all mankind.

Those who fought and died so that I, and you, can view in peace something as beautiful as this scene is someone whom I honor as a former Sailor, an American and as a member of the human race. They died so that I, and you, can live and hopefully make this world a place where war, although will never cease, may someday become less commonplace.

May God bless all those whom we remember and honor this day.

In my world, if I can help it, there is no place for war; but I will defend if called upon to do so. In peace you are welcome to my world, and in peace may you stay.

In Dreams I Walk

Path Way To Heaven

Do you have an imaginary place where you walk on your own terms? For me to do so is to visualize in my mind how something or someone might look if placed in an altered zone; a dreamscape of sorts. This is an example of such a moment in photography.

This photo was taken with a Point & Shoot camera, ISO @ 50 and 1/30 sec @ f/2.8. Dream alteration was done in Photoshop Elements 6.

In dreams I walk with you
In dreams I talk with you
In dreams you're mine all the time
We're together in dreams, in dreams

Roy Orbison

Dreams are a part of everyone's world, and if you don't dream - how happy can you be. I'm twiced blessed in that I dream when asleep and I dream when looking through the view finder of my camera.

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

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

Statue In The Park(let)

Do you know where this is? If you travel Cumberland much you most likely see this every time you are in town. Hint: N. Centre St.

This was taken with a 3.2 MP Point & Shoot camera. ISO was 150 with an f-stop f/4.6 @ 1/30 sec.

In my world there are numerous little places to see and photograph. Yeah, this is my world and you are welcome to it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Floral Photograph

The Flower

Basically this was taken with a DSLR and an 18 - 70mm lens racked out to 70mm. The f-stop was f/4.5 at 1/250 sec shutter speed @ an ISO of 400; handheld. In Photoshop Elements there was minimal cropping and I darkened the background and lightened the flower to make it stand out from the background. I added a touch of contrast and some minimal sharpening and that was it.

Please click on the photo to get a better view of this flower in a larger window.

In my world there is a lot of color and my wife likes planting flowers, and I like to photograph what has been successful in her hands.

This is my world, it is quite colorful, and you are welcome to it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

The Tri-X Window Plant

This is a small plant that was in a little container sitting on our kitchen window sill. You ever walk by something everyday and not see it in a photographic way? I did with this plant for a long time and one day, when it was raining and I couldn't get outside, I seemingly almost drove my wife crazy searching in the house for something to photograph.

She was getting ready to push me out into the rain when I sort of looked at this plant. Maybe, I thought, I could photograph this but not in the way most people would. I wanted to give it an edgy look, something a little grainy. Like it was taken with good'ol B&W Tri-X film (ASA 400).

So I took my DSLR and put on my 28-200mm lens and set the ISO to 1600. I racked the lens all the way out to 200mm and the f-stop was f/5.6 with a 1/160 shutter speed; handheld. This is what I got. And the rainy wet window gives it a little extra separation from the background and I think it adds to the character of the photo, but that's just my opinion :-)

The original was in color and I converted it to B&W in Photoshop Elements and gave it a slight crop, added a touch of contrast and a smidgen of sharpening; I wanted to keep the softer grainy look and this is the end result.

Even in my own little home life B&W photos are everywhere, I just have to keep looking for them. Yeah, this is just a small part of my world and you are welcome here, but you have to knock first.

However, in a much larger sense, my world which consists of color and B&W scenes, anywhere and everywhere, which are just waiting to be found and photographed.

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

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A View From The Blue Bridge

Coming from WV across the famed Cumberland Blue Bridge these are some of the sites you will see. From under the Cross Town Bridge - I68 - to Riverside Park where Washington's Headquarters is located to the intersection of Greene St., you will be seeing one of the more older and historical parts of Cumberland, MD.

Most of the buildings on Greene St were constructed of stone, wood and brick, and the architectural style is Late Victorian. In addition you will also be able to see the top section, and Spiral, of the Allegany County Court House, which, as this was taken, is under renovations.

Looking back you can see the Blue Bridge from the Maryland side and there is also a great view of the Bridge and the falls under it from the Riverside Park area where Wills Creek and the Potomac River meet. The photos begin with the view from the bridge and progress from there.

All of these photographs were taken with a DSLR and an 18 - 105 lens, except for the last photo. The shot of the Blue Bridge with the falls was taken with a Point & Shoot camera.

Greene Street in Cumberland, being listed in the National Registry as a Historical District, is a great place to walk around and to look at the various buildings that are located there; many of which have become businesses or professional offices.

There is much to view in my world and a great deal of history can also be found most everywhere you look. From the Pre-Revolution era to the Revolutionary War itself and after, from the Civil War to the C&O Canal and more, this is my world.

Yes, my world is full of History and I'm learning more about it each day; come and enjoy. This is my world and you are welcome to it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

Looking East From The Pear Street Crossing

When it comes to trains, tracks and stations I seem to be pulled more to the tracks. Maybe it is because I was on them a good deal as a kid. This view, looking east from the Pear St. crossing off of Henderson Avenue in Cumberland, MD, is an example of this. For me, this view is exactly what you might get if you were to have used one of the 126 film cameras of the 60's.

These cameras were not the sharpest and they basically used the Sunny 16 rule; where the lens was set at f/16 and the shutter speed was set by the film speed of the cartridge. You just popped the cartridge in the camera and off you went, and you hoped that on cloudy or overcast days that the lab would compensate and give you a good image. This film did have a wide exposure range and it was a good thing too, especially for shots like this.

Now if you would like to see a great example of train photography you should see the shot taken by local photographer Bill Merlavage and placed on his blog at this site - Merlavage Images - this is a great night time shot. While there, check out his other train shots as well at this site - Merlavage Train Photos -

Actually, this photo was taken with a DSLR, ISO at 200, 1/125 @ f/5.6; at about 10:30 in the morning. My wife watched my back side to make sure no trains were coming from the opposite direction. It was a very overcast day with some lingering fog which added to the image I was creating.

The original was a color jpeg and I converted it to a B&W photo and then cropped it for the square look. I then added some vignetting, a little contrast and a touch of sharpening. That was it.

Tracks can make a great subject whether in color or B&W and they are in my world, past and present. Yeah, this is my world and you are welcome to it.