Saturday, February 27, 2010

Road Trip Photography

Cold Farm

How much do you like your job? Imagine getting up early every morning, seven days a week, and going to this office? I bet your job doesn't sound so bad now.

My dad was born and raised on a farm as was my grandfather and great-grandfather. That farm was in Lost City in Hardy Co. of WV. I've seen photos from back then and believe me I don't think the work was easy. My wife's dad, grandparents and great- grandparents also were born and raised on a farm just north of Barton MD. So we know, from stories past down, what farm life was like and it takes a special kind of person to live and work on a farm. They are to be admired and cherished as that sort of a life, family farm life, is quietly and slowly fading away.

This photo, taken just north of Moorefield, WV, was taken with a 5MP P&S camera out the front windshield while going about 50mph. ISO setting was 100 and taken at 1/500 sec @ f/6.3. In Photoshop Elements I did a slight crop, adjusted levels just a touch and then re-sized for web viewing. That was it.

This is the first, for 2010, of what I hope will be many Road Trip Photographs, and I hope to share many of them with you. Most of these are taken as I journey to and from various places on networking service calls. I enjoy this style of photography very much and it does show what I see while traveling around in my world.

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

Monday, February 22, 2010

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

Canal Winter

Imagine it being around the end of the Civil War. The C&O Canal has been in full operation for about 15 years; from the time it reached Cumberland, MD in 1850. Most likely you would still see snow but underneath it would be either very cold water or the water would be completely frozen.

If you were a Canawler, and you had your own boat, you would be wintering either in Cumberland or in Georgetown near D.C. or one of the smaller towns along the Canal.

The B&O Railroad has also been running to Cumberland for about twenty-five years now and would be crossing the canal as you see here. Even though the Canal would see another 59 years of operation it basically was already obsolete and was on the downhill side. By 1924 it would cease operations.

Now it sits as a monument of mans attempts to achieve the impossible. The stories it could tell, the people it has seen, the nature that is still there. This scene is around the bend below lock 75, just a few miles east of Cumberland.

You can walk anywhere along the canal from Washington D.C. to the western terminus and be a part of history. Construction on the C&O Canal began in 1824 and ended in 1850; it never made it to the Ohio River.

This photo was taken with a DSLR and an 18 - 105 lens. The ISO was 200 exposed at 1/200 sec at f/7. In Photoshop Elements I cropped for the square look and then converted the image to a b&w one. I increased the contrast just a little and added just a touch of vignetting. I resized the image and then gave it an aged look and, as a final touch, add just a touch of sharpening. Anytime you resize an image, you should add some sharpening to compensate for the image loss due to the resizing.

Even during the winter, I like going down to the canal. If the snow was not quite so deep I would have walked along the towpath for a while but on this day, coming to the canal was an after thought and I didn't have the right shoes for snow walking.

Yeah, this is my snowy & historical canal world, located in scenic Western Maryland, and you are welcome to it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

Waiting for Spring - B&W Version

If you have viewed my last post - A View From Western Maryland - you will recognize this photo. For this is a B&W square photo version of the color photo "Waiting for Spring". One of the reasons I did this was that I've received numerous requests to show what the color photo looked like before I converted it to B&W. You can view the color version of this photo by clicking here - Waiting For Spring. Or you can click on the link on the right under the heading - Previous Post Entries - A View From Western Maryland.

You can also find the photo info on that link, on how I took this photo with the settings that were used. For this look, I took that photo, cropped it for the square look and then converted it to a B&W image. I then added some additional contrast, did some more dodging and buring in of various areas and added some additional sharpening and some softness to various areas as well.

I should also note that I had saved the color version in Photoshop Elements file format of PSD so that the different layers were still available for use, addition or deletion. I never work on the original and if the photo might have an occasion for printing I always save in PSD file format for working on the image, and only as a last step do I resize the image, do a little cleanup and then add some sharpening due to lose of image sharpness from the resizing of the image, when I plan on putting it up on the web, like in my photoblog. Only full size images are uploaded to my Flickr gallery or to my SmugMug gallery.

Yeah, this is my world, and it doesn't matter whether it is in color or B&W I still love it, and you are welcome to it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A View From Western Maryland

Waiting For Spring

I am so tired of the snow. Spring is only a little over a month away so I went out late one afternoon, over the weekend, to try and find something that would make me think of Spring. What could do that more than a farm? There it is, just sitting there looking calm, patient and just waiting for that moment when it would come alive with Spring activity.

Photographing this place put a good feelling within me. I felt better for having done so and actually, in this photo, the snow didn't look so bad. It would soon be gone and in it's place there would be a field of new growth, of new beginnings, of warmth and sunshine.

In taking this photo I used a DSLR and an 18 - 105 lens. The ISO was 200 taken at 1/500 sec @ F/5.6. In Photoshop Elements I adjusted the levels a little just to bring out the colors a tad, did a little dodging and burning ( just a very small amount), resized for web viewing and added just a smidgen of sharpening.

Even in snowy conditions, the country side can still bring hope of something new, colorful and life energizing, and for me this is one of those scenes.

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

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

First Place

Usually I show something of a historical nature and, in a personal sense, this is historical. Forty one years ago this month a young lady moved into this third floor apartment. One month later she got married and the lucky man that she married moved in here with her; this was their "First Place".

I was that lucky man :-)

In case you are wondering we are still married and, interestingly enough, the place at which we both work is just across the street from this very building. It's still standing but it is empty and getting quite run down. This photo I took just today, one day after the second major snow storm of the week. I didn't take this photo for sentimental reasons, I already have several for that purpose, it's just with the snow and this look it sort of has an older, regal victorian look and I thought that it was just interesting at which to view; I hope you agree.

The photo itself was taken with a DSLR and an 18 - 105 lens at ISO 400. The settings were 1/640 sec and f/5.6. In Photoshop Elements I cropped for the square look and converted it to a B&W image. I applied a slight vintage look and some vignetting. After resizing for web views I added just a slight touch of sharpening.

Things of a historical nature can be general in nature or personal and even personal historical items can be interesting at which to look. For me, this is one of those items.

Yeah, this is my world, literal and historical, and you are welcome to view it, and that's all. The memories are mine :-)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

Riverside Park

The original Riverside Park was located in this area, right where the Potomac River and Wills Creek come together. In the photo, you can see Washington's Headquarters that was at Fort Cumberland, and the lower sets of buildings are professional offices on Greene St, one of the older streets in Cumberland.

The larger building high on the right is the Masonic Temple and the larger castle looking building to the left is the Allegany County Courthouse. Both of these buildings sit on an area where Fort Cumberland once stood, now known as Prospect Square.

The large tree on the right is no longer there. It was one of the oldest trees in this area but was taken down due to a virus that was destroying it.

The photo was taken with a DSLR and an 18 - 70mm lens. ISO was 400 at 1/90 sec and f/16. In Photoshop Elements I converted the image to a B&W photo and cropped for the square look. I had purposely overexposed the image just a little to give it a high key effect and kept that look in the B&W image. A touch of sharpening was added after resizing for web viewing.

No matter where you walk around in Cumberland you can find something of an historical nature. I hope to show some of the lesser known, but equally historical, buildings in future posts on this photoblog.

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