Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

The Sawtooth Buildings

Odds are, by the time you read this these historical buildings - The Sawtooth Structure - will be gone. They are being torn down, supposedly, to make room for a restaurant and a parking lot to go with the new motel that was built close by; although the developer has four years to develop the area left vacant by the demolition.


Personally I believe that the historical Sawtooth Structure could have been saved, should have been saved but, in the end money and special interest won the day; isn't that the way it usually goes. We promote historical tourism in our area and wind up tearing down the very objects we want to promote; remember the Queen City Hotel and Station, one of the last remaining railroad hotels in the nation?

End of commentary:

This photo was taken with a DSLR and an 18 - 70 mm lens, ISO was 200 shot at 1/250 sec @ f/5.6. In Photoshop Elements it was converted to a B&W photo, cropped for the square look, and had some contrast and a little sharpening added to it to compensate for the web resizing.

Yeah this, too, is a part of my world and you are welcome to it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Road Trip Photography

The Cut

With all the talk lately about the closing of the Sideling Hill Visitor's Center I decided to add one more photo to that discussion for those who have never really looked at what is there.

Here we have The Cut, of which I am always fascinated to see. I was on my way back from a call in Martinsburg and it was such a beautiful and clear day that I knew I would be able to get a good photo - maybe. For this photo I used a P&S camera set at an ISO of 50 and an f-stop of f/5.6; I estimated that I would get a good shutter speed and I did at 1/500 sec.

Upon approach I noticed that there were no vehicles in front or behind me so I figured that I could slow down some. As I approached the foot bridge that goes across I68 I prefocused the lens and took my foot off of the accelerator, by the time I came out on the other side I was doing about 50mph. At the same time I pointed the camera up through the windshield, I took a quick glimpse in the LCD of what it was seeing and snapped the shutter. This is what I got.

In photoshop I resized the photo and optimized it for the web, and then added just a touch of sharpening. This is the result. I hope you enjoy viewing it. For a larger and more clearer photo just click on it and then hit your back button to return to the blog.

Again, I must warn you not to try something like this unless you're a little on the nutty photographer side or, better yet, you are the passenger. Yeah, well, we know what that makes me; I wasn't the passenger :-)

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

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Road Trip Photography

Stormy Road

This is the first photo in what I hope will be a continuing series of Road Trip Photos. These will be images taken from inside my vehicle as I'm driving down the road. Now don't try this at home. You must be an experienced person to achieve this level of photography.
Either that or a little on the crazy side. On my part it may be a little bit of both :-)
Anyway, this was taken on a back road in Garrett Co. I used, believe it or not, a DSLR with an 18 - 105mm lens set at 1/30 sec @f/5.6 and the ISO was 400. The lens was racked out to 105 for an equivalent setting of 157mm in length. VR does help, especially when one hand is on the camera and the other is on the lens and the left knee is on the steering wheel, and you're looking through the view finder out the front windshield in between wiper sweeps. Speed was about 25mph.
Yeah, maybe I am a little crazy :-)
But this, too, is a part of my world and, if you dare, you are welcome to it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

The Couple

This weeks B&W Square Photo was taken from last Saturday's Photo Walk. I met this interesting couple who, together, were out photographing in the walk and I thought that they would make a good subject for a B&W photo. I think I was correct.

They were very nice and very pleasant with which to talk, and I felt comfortable and honored to be able to speak with them for awhile. They are a very nice couple and very good photographers.

For a larger view, as usual, just click on the photo and then hit your back button to return to the blog.

Basically it was taken with a DSLR and an 18 - 70mm lens, ISO was 400 shot at 1/180 sec @ f/5.6. Original was a color jpeg file cropped and converted to B&W in Photoshop Elements. I added a little vignetting with some extra burning in here and there. At this point I saved it as a PSD file and after resizing it for the Internet a touch of sharpening was added to compensate for the loss do to the smaller size.

I had a great time on the Photo Walk and was privileged to meet a number of very good photographers. It was fun exchanging stories with them and I felt I grew as a photographer just from being in their company. My world always has something going on and this was one of the better moments in it.

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

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Weekly Black & White Square Photo


Is this really Cumberland, MD? The look of the tree (large plant?) and the sword on the wall in the background (can you find it) and the lamp post, this looks to me like it could be somewhere over in the middle-east.

Those of you who are familiar with Cumberland should recognize where this might be, for those of you who are not, this is at the east end of Baltimore St. at the corner of Baltimore and George. It just looked like it would make a good B&W photo and for me it does.

The photo was taken with a P&S camera, ISO was 50, shot at 1/400 sec @ f/4.9. I converted the jpeg file from color to B&W, cropped for the square look, added some contrast, vignetting and did a little burning of several areas. At this point I saved it as a PDD file for later use if necessary. Finally I re-sized it to 72dpi and added a touch of sharpening, not much was needed, and that was it.

There are many differences of style and character that can be found in Cumberland and it is a great place to stroll around and just look at it all. In fact this Saturday many of us from the WMPA will be strolling around town on the great Scott Kelby's Second-Annual World Wide Photo Walk; should be a lot of fun.

I'll try to put at least one photo up here so that you can see what all was going on. In fact there are numerous programs going on on the downtown mall so it should be quite interesting.

See, there are a lot happenings going on in my world, and when you visit Cumberland you, too, can experience the fun and the excitement, or a laid-back atmosphere, in the very interesting world that I live in.

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

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

The Shed

This is a photo for which I was looking. On my client trips to Garrett Co. this past week, each time I was heading home, I would look for something to photograph. I was looking for older buildings, to create as a B&W image, and one day, coming back by way of Rock Lodge Road, I saw this shed sitting back in the woods. It was exactly what I wanted.

Yeah, I know what you are thinking, but it isn't; it is a shed.

I came back around, stopped, and photographed this from my vehicle. I used a DSLR and an 18 - 105mm lens, ISO was 400 shot at 1/80th of a sec @ f/5.6. In Photoshop Elements, I cropped the photo to a square image and then converted it to a B&W photo. I added a little contrast and burned in some areas and this is the final image.

Even though Garrett Co is the domain of some of my photography friends, I still consider it a part of my world. They cannot keep it all to themselves; it is too nice of a place not to share with the rest of us lower county people :-)

Yeah this, too, is a part of my world and you are welcome to it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Boating On The Lake

Recently, on a client trip to Oakland, MD, I stopped by Deep Creek Lake to eat my lunch. I sat there for almost fifteen minutes waiting for something on the lake and, of course I had just taken a bit of my sandwich, and out of no where comes this boat. I just had time to grab my camera and shoot. This is what I got.

It was an overcast day but I love those kind of days as it gives me soft, muted colors with which to work. This was taken with a five MP point & shoot camera, cropped in photoshop elements and that was it.

Even though the Lake is part of my world I don't get a chance to go there that often, but when I do I like to take a little time and enjoy it; and this day I did.
Yeah, this is my world and you are welcome to it.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Abstract Art From Fireworks Photography

July 4, 2009

All of these photos were taken with a DSLR and an 18 - 105 lens, Programmed Auto and handheld. On my Gallery site you can view over one hundred more of these photos and many are far more exciting to view than what you see here; especially the last 30 or so. As one friend has told me it's like looking at photos of flowers or of the Nebula. Odds are you haven't seen Fireworks Photos like these before.

Here is the site to go: RiffsPics/Fireworks

In my world there is always something new or exciting going on, if you are looking for it, and this is just another example of what you can achieve if you try something different.

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

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Blue Dragon

Ron Garrison and The Blue Dragon.

This morning my wife and I went to a Flea Market at the Greater Mexico Farms Airport. Actually it is a little airport with grassy runways and a great place for small planes like this one to land. The pilot is Ron Garrison from the Berkeley Springs area of WV.

Ron used to fly this plane in air shows and it used to be painted red with orange trim, if I remember his description well. It got so that he was recognized everywhere he went so he decided to have the plane repainted and the outcome was The Blue Dragon as you see here.

And this is a great little two seater aircraft. I was tempted to ask for a ride, but I have this fear of flying you see. Ah? Well, that's another story for another time.

Anyway, I had a very interesting time talking with Ron and I sort of wish that I had asked more questions. I'm sure I could have heard some great stories. But this is why I love my world, anything can happen; even seeing a plane land at a Flea Market where one is browsing.

To view a larger image just click on the photo and then hit your backspace button to return.

Ron, if you see this and want to make a comment or ask a question please do so in the comment section or you can click on My Profile and in there click on the email link to drop me a line. It certainly was great talking with you.

See, anything can happen when you are looking for it, even seeing sites like this. Thanks Ron.

If you would like to see a couple more photos that I took of the Blue Dragon click here " RiffsPics Gallery "

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

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

Under The Bridge

This is the underside of the CrossTown Bridge of I68 that runs through Cumberland, MD. The bridge, itself, runs through (over) Canal Place and over Wills Creek.

The play of light and shadows on the riverside wall, with its shapes and angles is what caught my attention. In addition, the reflection of the sun's light off of the water on the underside of the bridge itself highlighted the cross girders at angles different than what was below.

This photo was taken with a DSLR and an 18 - 70mm lens. ISO was 200 shot at 1/650 sec @f/5.6. I converted the photo to a B&W image in Photoshop Elements, did some digital dodging and burning and added a little sharpening. Of course, it was first cropped for that square look.

For me, a photo like this is one that you find when you are looking to shoot. In unexpected places hide some of the best photos. When someone tells me that they can't find anything to photograph just tells me that they are not looking. If you are not looking you will never see. Gee! I think I've read that some place before?

In my world there are many places, things and people that can be photographed; this is just one of them.

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