Saturday, October 31, 2009

Road Trip Photography

Steeples On Prospect

Another photo taken from the road while in my car. This image was created as I was descending the exit from I68 on the Cross Town Bridge that goes over Cumberland. I was doing about 30mph when I took this photo, using a 5mp point & shoot camera. The settings were 1/250 sec @ f/4.9, ISO was 50.

There aren't too many photos taken from this angle or this particular viewpoint and I was happy that this turned out as good as it did. I really don't advise doing this kind of photography as it can be as dangerous, if not more so, than using a cell phone or texting. However, it is challenging and fun to do, especially if you do get that once in a life time photo, and I believe that this is one of them.

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

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

The Chase

Sometimes you've just gotta run for your life to keep from getting creamed, or in this case to keep from being tackled; which to a young football player is the same thing.

This photo was taken on a very overcast day and in the rain. A DSLR with a 28 - 200mm lens was used, at the 200mm setting, and the ISO was 400 taken at 1/500 @ f/5.6. In Photoshop Elements I cropped for the square look, converted it to the B&W image, added some vignetting, did a little burning in and finished it off with a smidgen of sharpening to compensate for the resizing of the image.

The purpose of all this, of course, is a throw back to a time of the square negative, especially the 126 film. These cameras were cheap and in good sunlight they gave a decent image but rarely at the level of a 35mm SLR. On any day, other than a sunny day, the results were less predictable and sometimes the results were much like this photo. But, boy were they fun to use. Just point and shoot.

Now I shoot a lot of youth sports - football, baseball, basketball and soccer - and knowing the game does help. Many times on an overcast day you can pretty much set your shutter speed and f/stop and shoot away knowing that each shot will receive a good exposure, because no matter where you look the lighting is the same. So, this way, all you have to do is consentrate on the action and you stand less of a chance of missing anything.

Sometimes, though, you do get caught up in the action and miss a good photo. For me, that seems to happen when I imagine myself back out there on the field involved in the play and that's when I usually miss that once in a lifetime photo. But that is all part of my photography and I would not change it for anything.

Sports played a big part of my life and even now it is still with me, and although I no longer play the games I greatly enjoy capturing the action and sharing them with the kids parents. Seeing the smiles on their faces makes it all worthwhile. And I love the way the kids will look at the photo almost as if they are reviewing the play all over again, and when that smile appears you know that you've captured it for them.

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

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A View From Western Maryland

Only God Can Make A Tree

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While photographing a youth football game this morning, in the rain, this was the scene that was on the mountain next to the field; well, not exactly this particular view. I did take this photograph between plays but, when I did, I had in mind of trying my hand at doing "Orton Imagery". It is about creating an artistic or a painting type of a photograph, and I'm surprised and pleased with my first try. It is fun and quite easy.

If you want to give this a try, if you haven't already, here's a link to a site at Creative Nature Photography with the instructions -

BTW, this photo was taken with a DSLR with an 28 - 200mm lens. ISO was at 1600 and taken at 1/160 @ f/4.8. Settings were normal and I used center-weighted exposure for this one. Of course it was cloudy and very overcast, that's why the need for a high ISO and it was raining, which I think added to the glistening effect.

Even when photographing sports there is beauty out there, but if you are not looking for it you will never see it :-)

Yeah, this is my world, in the fall of Western Maryland, and you are welcome to it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

Morning On North Centre

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Just a simple early morning photo while waiting for the barber shop to open; Bill knows which shop I mean.

This photo was taken with a little point & shoot, 5mp, camera, handheld. In Photoshop Elements I converted it to a B&W photo and cropped it for the square look. I added a little contrast, burned in some areas and added a touch of sharpening.

Yeah, even in the early morning, this is my world, on North Centre Street, and you are welcome to it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A View From Western Maryland

A Cold and Rainy Night

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The night was cold and rainy as I drove to the station to find her. As I got there it was dark and lonely, no one was to be seen anywhere. The lights gave off an erie glow in the mist as the light rain fell.

Click on the image for a larger photo

I went over to the station and it, too, was cold and wet. Again, I saw no one and wondered where she might be. The rain was still coming down, and it didn't look promising for continuing the search.

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In dispair I went over to the Fountain. The lights reflected off of the wet ground and the heavily overcast sky was an ominous blue. There was beauty all around and, yet, all I wanted was to be home, curled up on the couch with some hot chocolate and reading a good book, but what was I doing? Well, admittedly, I was out looking for something to photograph???

I found what I was looking for and it was quite beautiful, actually all three of them are, to me anyway. What I won't do on a cold and rainy Saturday night needing to find a photo fix :-)

These photos were all taken with a DSLR and a 50mm F/1.8 lens. All were taken with the camera braced against whatever I could find, which isn't easy to do, especially under these unusual conditions, but it was fun. The camera was set to Normal and AWB at ISO 200 with Aperture Priority set at f/1.8.

Yeah, this is my Saturday Night Blues in a cold and rainy world, and you are welcome to it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Weekly Black & White Square Photo


Click on image for a larger view

Some times you just have to do without. There was a time, not to long ago, when we had a part on order for our dryer - heating element - and a new washer on order. So, for about two months we would, once a week, drive to the laundromat to do our laundry. We discovered that late on a Saturday afternoon was the best time to go, right before dinner time. In a couple of hours time we had the whole weeks wash done, dried, folded and hung in the back of the Jeep. Actually it was kind of fun.

My wife liked to separate the clothes for the wash - go figure - and then I would move the clothes to the dryer; together we would take a dryer and fold or hang up the clothes and move them to the Jeep.

The weather was warm and it allowed me to walk around and do a little neighborhood street photography while my wife would site in the tailgate part of the Jeep and read or listen to the radio. The only people I didn't photograph were the others that might show up while we were there. I should have, it would have made a great story. Most of the time, however, we were left alone. That was the beauty of that time of the day.

Most of the people we did meet were quite nice. A few roaming railroad workers, people who had a small apartment and no room for a washer and dryer of their own, or people who just could not afford to buy any for themselves. Everyone was friendly, and it is amazing how people thrown together doing the same thing can have so many different stories.

Anyway, this photo was taken with a DSLR and an 18 - 70mm lens. The photo was cropped and converted to a B&W image, some vignetting and a little burning in was done and finally a smidgen of sharpening to compensate for the reduction in size.

Laundromats was a part of my world and, who knows, it could happen again; but I know the best time to go; not to mention a good one to use.

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

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Road Trip Photography

And Fall Begins

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This was taken from inside my vehicle while driving down Rock Lodge Road in Garrett County, Maryland. I was using a small P&S camera and I was doing about 40mph when I shot this photo through the front windshield. You can see more of my Road Trip Photography here at my Gallery .

For more great photos from around Garrett County go to 4 Wheels Photography by Marcia Warnick . She is a great photographer with some really outstanding photos on her Gallery site. Leave her a message and let her know from what part of the world you are in from which you viewed her photos. Thanks.

Yeah, this is my world, lots of friends and lots of photo ops, and you are welcome to it.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

Winter This Way Comes

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With this weeks B&W Square Photo we begin a new look for RiffsPics photoblog. Please let us know how you like it.

Thinking Winter, this photo is a stark reminder of how cold and sterile Winter can be. But if you look through the blandness of the Winter cold and snow you can see a glimpse of items that can hold a beauty all their own. Not everything has to look worse in B&W.

This is my world, a new look to it has come, and with Winter on its way there is beauty that abounds, if you only are willing to look deeply and see beyond the expected. Come what may the shutter never stops for seasons of time.

Yeah, this is my world, where beauty lies everywhere you dare to look, and you are welcome to it.

Friday, October 2, 2009

CanalFest/RailFest 2009

Three Days Of The Festival

Last weekend I spent a lot of time as a volunteer and event photographer at the annual CanalFest/RailFest 2009. The hours were long but I had a great time. The following seven photos sort of gives you an idea of what the weekend was like.

The first two photos represent Friday, the second two is Saturday and the last three looks at Sunday. Friday started with rain and overcast skies. Between that and the rain on Saturday the dampness, uh, maybe I should say very wet weather, put a damper on the whole affair. So, the Festival was not quite the success as it could have been.

Having said that, those that did show up had a great time, even with the rain, and the entertainment was great. Enough with the words lets get to the photos.

Click On Each Of The Images For A Larger View

6:30 AM 

The Hillbilly Gypsies

Saturday Morning Train Pull

3:00 Rain Fest

Sunday Sunshine

Happy Artisian

Quiet Festival Park
All of these photos, except for the 6:30 AM one, were taken with a DSLR and an 18 - 70mm lens. The 6:30 AM photo was taken with a DSLR and a 50mm f/1.8 lens.

I took a lot of photos over the weekend and, in addition to these, you can see many more photos of the Festival here.. RiffsPics Gallery. The photos are broken down in three sections, each representing one day of the Festival. If you follow through you will basically see when each day begins and ends. All of the photos at that site are just as they came out of the camera; no optimization of any kind was done to them.

I'm already on board for next year and look forward to seeing and working with an even larger CanalFest/RailFest Festival 2010. In the meantime there is much more going on in my world and I hope to keep you posted to as many events as I can.

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

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

Lock & Spout

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Lock 75

The Spout

This past weekend was the CanalFest/RailFest 2009 Festival. While these two photos were not taken during the Festival they do represent both transportation modes. This is the reason for two B&W Square Photos this week.

I spent three days at the event this year, both as a volunteer and as an event photographer, and I took many photos of which I hope to put up a few in my next post. In the meantime I thought that these two images would be a good lead in to the photos of this years festival as the last post was a reminder that the festival was fast approaching.

I learned a great deal of history, photography and bluegrass music over the past week and that is another reason why I love my world; I'm always learning something new. And, if you didn't make it this year, you missed a wonderful, albeit a slightly rainy, good ol' fashioned festival.

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