Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

Across The Tracks

Let's get away from the snow for a while and take a look Across The Tracks. This is a view from in front of the Western Maryland Station looking west across the tracks, and across Wills Creek. This view shows the buildings on Greene St. at the intersection of Greene St., Baltimore St., Washington St., and Cumberland St.

At the top of the hill is Prospect Square, and the church on the left, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, sits at the east end of where Fort Cumberland once stood. Some notable  people who at one time or another were at Fort Cumberland are British General Edward Braddock, a young Daniel Boone, Boone's Uncle Daniel Morgan (an American General during the Revolutionary war), the famous scout Christopher Gist and George Washington.

Have I ever mentioned that there is a great deal of history in Western Maryland?

The photo itself was taken with a DSLR and an 18 - 70mm lens. ISO was 200 taken at 1/100 sec at f/5.6. In Photoshop Elements I cropped for the square look and then converted it to a B&W image. I then adjusted the contrast just a little and then, after resizing, I added a smidgen of sharpening.

Yes, in my world there is a great deal of history and if you look back through many of my previous blog posts you will see where I've pointed this out many of times. And, yes, George Washington actually did sleep here. He seemed to have slept in many locations around our country.

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

Monday, January 18, 2010

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

Alley Winter

This is a follow up to last week's photo - Spy Cam. This view is directly below the one in Spy Cam. However, both in their own rights have something that together can create one photo but separate, will conjure up different thoughts and emotions. As to what they might be, I will leave that up to you, the viewer. For each one who looks at them will have different thoughts and will look at them in differing ways. The thoughts that come to mind for me are cold, dark and mysterious.

The photo itself was taken with a DSLR and an 18 - 105 lens. ISO was 1600 and the settings were the same as last weeks. In Photoshop Elements I converted the image for the square look, converted it to B&W, added some contrast, did a little dodging of a couple of areas and then, after resizing for web viewing, I added just a smidgen of sharpening; hardly enough to mention.

Yeah, the Spy Cam has a view of a dark & cold world as the blue side of the evening, when the darkness takes control and overtakes the light of day, creates Alley Winter. As mysterious as the scene looks, all was well because it was so cold that the only people here this evening was one very cold and shivering photographer.

Yeah, this is my dark and cold world, of which there is no mystery, and you are welcome to it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A View From Western Maryland

Christmas Leftover

A week before Christmas we got 18 to 24 inches of snow. It's been cold enough since that this is what's leftover along with the Christmas lights and decorations that are still up and on. This view is looking west on Baltimore Street, which is also the downtown Cumberland Mall, as seen from Liberty Street.

As I was looking through the viewfinder I noticed these kids walking up the street. I heard someone say loudly that "hey, someone is taking our picture". At that point, without a word from me, they quickly lined up the way you see them and just laughed as they walked towards me. At that point I just tripped the shutter and this is what I got.

This photo was taken with a DSLR and an 18 - 105 lens. ISO was 800 and taken at 1/30 sec @ F/4.8. In Photoshop Elements I just adjusted levels for the proper color, resized for web viewing and added just a touch of sharpening.

Even dirty snow can look interesting when surrounded by lights, subjects of interest and a proper atmosphere. In capturing this scene I believe I've given you another good view from Western MD of life in my world.

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

Monday, January 11, 2010

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

Spy Cam

On the corner of the warehouse at the entrance to an Alley is this Spy Cam. It overlooks a private parking lot that is there as you come out from between the buildings. A light on a pole next to the building provides enough light for the cam to view the whole lot.

The photo itself was taken with a DSLR and an 18 - 105 lens. ISO was 1600 and was taken at 1/4 sec @f/5.6, handheld. Image Stabilization in the lens helped to keep the lens steady at this low shutter speed; and it was taken through the windshield of my vehicle.

In Photoshop Elements I cropped the photo to the square image and then converted it to the B&W view. I added some contrast did a little vignetting and then added just a small touch of sharpening and that was it.

Even in the world of photography there are cameras of all types creating all kinds of images and this is an example of one where very few people will see the images that it creates. I, for one, am one of them.

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

Monday, January 4, 2010

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

The Tollgate House

For several years now my wife and I have been going out on New Years Day and playing tourists in my world. This year I choose a place that we've taken for granted all our lives and it is only a few miles from our house. This place is called The Tollgate House.

The Tollgate House is located in LaVale, MD just a few miles west of Cumberland on Route 40. It was built during 1835 - 1836 and was the first one to have been built on the National Road, and it is listed on the National Registry of Historical Places. The structure of the building is the original one and it sits on its original location. Tolls were taken at this location until about 1900. It is now the last remaining Tollgate House on the National Road in Maryland.

As for this image, I over exposed the photo about 2/3 of an f-stop. The ISO was 400 taken at 1/250 sec at f/8. The camera was a DSLR and I used an 18 - 105 lens in Aperture Priority mode. In Photoshop Elements I converted the image to B&W and cropped it for the square look. I gave the image an older look and, after resizing it, I then added a smidgen of sharpening to compensate for the resizing.

All of the photos I take on New Years Day are of historical places, as there are many in my world, and this place was long over due. This was my first photo of the 2010 and it was taken on a cold, snowy, wintery day. And that, in my opinion, made it easier for conversion to a B&W image.

Yeah, this is my world on New Years Day in 2010, and you are welcome to it.