Monday, August 31, 2009

Road Trip Photography

Now This Is Banking Service

This is really great banking service. First United has this for those who prefer to use the Buggy. This is right outside their branch and I thought this was a great idea as well as a great photo.
This was taken with a DSLR and an 18 - 105 lens. Other than adjusting levels a little and adding just a touch of sharpening after reducing the image for web viewing nothing else was done to this photo. This was taken from inside my Jeep as I was on the way to a client out in Garrett Co. MD.
I love scenes like this and the people themselves are really great to be around. A simpler lifestyle that they live and sometimes I find myself a little jealous of the way they live. Just something different from my part of the world and it shows that all is never what it may seem to be.
Yeah, this is my world and you are welcome to it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

The Bell Tower Building

Last weeks B&W Square Photo was of City Hall of Cumberland. If you look at the photo and picture yourself in front of it looking back towards where the camera was this is the building you will see.

Built in the late 1880's The Bell Tower Building was the first police headquarters and jail built in the city of Cumberland. It's pretty much the way it was when it was first put into use. It's a two story building with a small wooden bell tower on top and although the originals bells are gone the feature from which the building got it's name is still there. Presently it is being used by the Allegany Co. Chamber of Commerce.

The photo was taken with a DSLR and an 18 - 105mm lens and I slightly tilted the camera to sort of give it the snapshot look. In Photoshop I converted the image to what I felt was like an older or slightly faded B&W image. It was cropped for the square look, added some contrast and a bit of sharpening. The lighting at the time of the photo was late afternoon coming from behing the building creating the backlighting look. I also did a little burning in of the edges and that was it.

No matter which way you turn, there is much to see in my world, from arts to history to a relaxed and easy lift style.

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

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A View From Western Maryland

Cumberland In The Valley

This is a scene of Cumberland as viewed from the Constitution Park area. The cut in the mountain is known as the Narrows where Wills Creek flows through. If it seems as if the city is divided by trees, that is where Wills Creek flows through town and the part on the left is knows as the West Side.

The West Side is where the original Fort Cumberland once stood on a bluff overlooking both Wills Creek and the Potomac River at a point where they both come together. On that site now stands the Allegany Co. Court House and an Episcopal Church.

This photo was taken with a little Panasonic 3.2 MP P&S camera; settings unknown.

As I've mentioned many times before there is a lot of history in my neck of the woods and, yes, George really did sleep here; we have his log cabin :-) Anyway, just wanted to give you a different view of my part of the world and I hope you enjoy the view.

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

Monday, August 24, 2009

Remembering Winter

Mettiki Winter

For those of you who have been complaining about it being too hot, remember last winter?

If you don't, here is a reminder of what winter looks like. This was taken on a road to a coal mine in Garrett Co., MD. The photo was taken with a P&S camera. It was a very cold day and just by looking at what could be, maybe will make what is, feel a little bit more comfortable. If you are like me and do not like the cold this will make the warm weather feel all the more better. And, no, this is not supposed to be a B&W photo.

Anyway, this, too, is a very big part of my world and even though I have to go through it doesn't mean I have to enjoy it. Well, maybe just a little :-)

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

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

City Hall of Cumberland, MD

City Hall was built in 1911, one year after a fire destroyed the19th-century City Hall and the Academy of Fine Arts which shared the same building on this same site. Believe it or not, this building was built at a cost of $87,000.00. I guess money went further back on those days.

A main feature of this building is in the interior in the main rotunda. There is a mural, painted by the artist Gertrude du Brau, which shows some early history of Cumberland including a depiction of George Washington's military life. President Washington stayed and lived at Fort Cumberland when he was an officer with the British Army early in his career. His cabin is still here in Riverside Park next to where Wills Creek and the Potomac River come together. You can see two photos of the cabin by clicking here: cabin.

When you come to Cumberland, City Hall is worth the visit, for you and your family.

This photo was taken with a DSLR and a 18-70mm lens. The settings were 1/125 sec @ f/5.6 with an ISO setting of 200. It was early morning with the Sun's light coming in at a good angle to show the shapes of the building. Having this family walk in front of the building during the shoot was an added benefit for the photo.

Cumberland's City Hall is a part of my world and, even though I now live outside of the city, I still enjoy looking at this fine old building as I go by it on a daily basis on my way to work.

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

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Photos From The Hood

Items Found In Neighborhood Yards

Little White Flower
Jungle Steps
The Tree

Have you ever looked around your yard and your neighborhood to see what would make a good photograph? Well, I did, and these are some of what I found.

All of the photos were taken with a DSLR and a 50mm F/1.8 lens except for "The Tree"; it was photographed with an 18-105mm lens. The photos were enhanced in Photoshop Elements and then optimized for web viewing.

These were fun in doing and it also makes for good practice in looking, seeing and visualizing how something could be photographed. Try it sometime, you'll have fun doing it and you just might make some new friends in your neighborhood.

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

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

Strolling On The Towpath

This was taken about a year ago while my wife and I were out for a walk along the C&O Canal; it was around four in the afternoon. All four of these people said that they take this walk about two or three times a week. The Towpath is a good place for walking and this section is just east of Lock 75.

I took this photo with a DSLR and an 18 - 70mm lens. The settings were 1/100 sec. shutter speed @ f/5.6, and the ISO was 800. It was an overcast day and even without leaves on them the thickness of trees dimmed the light quite a lot. In Photoshop Elements I cropped the image for the square look and added just a touch of contrast and a smidgen of sharpness. I felt that the overall softness added to the image.
I enjoy walking along the canal and down around Lock 75 is my favorite place for doing so. And I am surprised by how many other people feel the same. We have even seen people camping just off of the Towpath next to the river.
So, when you come to Western Maryland don't just stroll around Cumberland, check out some of the other areas outside of town and see life in a different vein, and the area around Lock 75 is one of those places you will enjoy visiting.
Well, that's it for this week, hope you enjoyed the photo. Leave a comment, if you will, and if have any questions leave your email address and I will get back to you as soon as I can with the best possible answer; if I don't know the answer I will find someone who does.
Yeah, this is my world, it's really nice, and you are welcome to it.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Yard Surfing Blues

End Of Summer Blues Standing Tall Blues Empty Court Blues

Left Behind Blues

Waiting Blues

My wife and I like to go Yard Surfing. And we both have our way of doing so. I like to walk through,basically looking at everything and if something catches my eye I'll stop and check it out, if not, I'll just head on back to the Jeep and wait for my wife who likes to take her time; which is OK with me because I'm in no hurry.

Once back in the Jeep (98 Cherokee) I'll either read the paper or look for something to photography. This last Saturday, however, I decided to do something a little different; I would look for something to photograph that had something of Blue in it. So, that is what these photos are about. Each one has something Blue in it and, unwittingly, most of the Blue items are flowers, but I like them and I hope you do as well.

These were taken with a DSLR and an 18-105 lens; settings were different but the ISO was 200 in all of them. In Photoshop Elements I would crop, if necessary, check the Levels settings add a little contrast and some vignetting. I would then save as a PDD file, for storage, and as a jpeg file (full size) for uploading to my gallery at RiffsPics on smugmug under "Travel & Scenic" and then under "Yard Surfing Blues". The last thing I did before saving them was to add a little sharpening.

For me, photo ops are everywhere, you only have to look for them and take what you have and make the best of it. Doing exercises like this helps me to sharpen my eye and to see things differently, to see what we take for granted, to see the photograph that can be made. Sometimes the one you think won't turn out that great is the one that is the best.

The example of that here is the one with the mailbox. I almost deleted that one, it actually came out to dark and I had to start by increasing the exposure which added a touch of noise, but I think that adds to the photo. The other one is the red building. This is actually a vertical crop from a horizontal image. There was just to much in the original and by cropping out what wasn't needed tightened up the image and made it even better.

In my world there are photographs everywhere, the same as in yours. We only have to look for them and practice our skills. And, it is a lot of fun; we're photographing.

Yeah, this is my world and, Oh, wait a minute. Just in case you are wondering, we did pick up a real nice retro phone table and chair combo with storage, and a great old fashioned porcelain washbowl, pitcher and the stand to go with it. Hey, I just thought that it would look great in the corner next to the bathroom door :-)

Yeah, I may be a little crazy but, this is my world and you are welcome to it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

Storm Coming

This weeks B&W Square Photo was taken late evening. I metered for the sky and for the mountain in the background and let everything else go dark. I converted the image to B&W photo in Photoshop Elements, cropped it for the square look, re-sized it for web viewing, gave it some vignetting and a touch of sharpening and that was it. The camera was a DSLR with an 18 - 105mm lens and the settings were 1/160 sec @f/6.3 with an ISO of 200.

This view is looking Northeast as the storm was coming out of the Southwest and the darker clouds were just coming over us. Shortly after shooting this the winds came up and the rain began in earnest.

For a better view just click on the image to open it up to a larger photo.

This is literally in my world and, yeah, you are welcome to it.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

An Oldie From "Your Hit Parade"

Green Door

Midnight, one more night without sleeping
Watching, 'til the morning comes creeping
Green door, what's that secret you're keeping

There's an old piano and they play it hot
Behind the green door
Don't know what they're doing but they laugh alot
Behind the green door
I wish they'd let me in so I could find out what's
Behind the green door

Knocked once, tried to tell them I'd been there
Door slam, hospitality's thin there
Wonder, just what's going on in there

I saw an eye ball peeping through a smoky cloud
Behind the green door
When I said Joe sent me someone laughed out loud
Behind the green door
All I wanna do is join the happy crowd
Behind the green door

Midnight, one more night without sleeping
Watching, 'til the morning comes creeping
Green door, what's that secret you're keeping
Green door, what's that secret you're keeping

Green Door.

Go here to listen to the song being sung by Jim Low on YouTube :

From the show "Your Hit Parade". Weekly musical show from the " 50's " starring:

Dorothy Collins
Snooky Lanson
Gisele MacKenzie

The show was sponsored by Lucky Strike - LSMFT
Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco

Lucky Strike was also one of the strongest cigarettes of the time; I know from experience.

Hope you enjoyed this blast from the past.

Yeah, this is (was) my world and you are welcome to it - minus the cigarettes.