Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Road Trip Photography

Country Church

This photo came about by accident and because of a very aggressive garbage truck, the tractor trailer kind. About a week ago, or so, I was on Route 160, the Cumberland Hwy that runs between Wellersburg and Berlin, PA, and I was being followed by this garbage truck.

Even though I was going as fast as the speed limit, and maybe even a little faster, every chance the driver of the truck got he would ride my donkey as if he was trying to push me along, or out of the way. I decided enough was enough and I looked up the road and saw a large parking lot where I could pull over. I did and the truck just whizzed on by.

At this point I looked over and here were these two churches sitting there, one quite prominent. As I looked I loved the way the sun was shining across the front of the main church, the little bit of snow, the trees and the darkened sky. I just had to photograph this scene, and I did.

I took this photo with a 5mp P&S camera. The ISO was 100 and the exposure was 1/1000 sec @f/5.6. In Photoshop Elements I copped out the parking lot, adjusted levels to make sure I had the proper colors, adjusted the contrast just a little and then re-sized the image for web viewing. Afterward I then added just a smidgen of sharpening.

So, even though I was sitting still when I took this photo I still consider it Road Trip Photography because I was in the car, I was on a road trip, and only came across this photo by accident, and by the push of a garbage truck. You know, I have no idea where that truck wound up? At the end of a ticket, I hope.

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

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A View From Western Maryland

Tomlinson's Inn

Jessie Tomlinson, a veteran of the Revolutionary War, built this house in 1816 and it bacame known as Tomlinson's Inn. The Inn, now a private residence, is located just 3 miles east of Grantsville, MD. Jessie built the stone building just up the hill from a location known as Little Meadows.

It was here, in the meadow, where General Braddock of the British Army setup his 4th campsite on his ill-fated march to Fort Duquense on July 15, 1755. Among his officers was a somewhat known young man from Virginia by the name of George Washington.

Some of the more notable persons that either stayed at or visited the Inn includes Presidents-elect James K. Polk and William Henry Harrison as well as Meriwether Lewis leader of the Lewis & Clark Expedition. The residence itself is comprised of two full stories as well an attic and basement.

On December 17, 1840 Jessie Tomlinson passed away at the age of 87. His burial place is located about 1/2 mile north of the stone building in a place known as the Tomlinson Cemetery.

This photo was taken with a 5mp P&S camera. ISO was set at 100 and the exposure was 1/1250 sec @f/5.6. In Photoshop Elements I cropped out part of the road that runs in front of the building as well as a couple of power lines ( I wanted a clean view). I adjusted levels for proper color and after re-sizing I added just a touch of sharpening.

On the National Road that runs through Maryland there are many such little known historical places and they are there to be found by those who will just look for them. Tomlinson's Inn is but one of many.

Yeah, this is a view from my historical world and you welcome to it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Weekly Black & White Square Photo


Molly is a cat that we inherited two years ago. It was either that or she would have had to go to the animal shelter. Well, I'm not a cat person, but my wife is and she won out, and we now have Molly.

She sheds, I won't let her on my lap, but we do play, some. She likes to box - she's been de-clawed or I'd be scratch city - and she likes to jump out at me when it's time for bed. For some reason she has associated my getting ready to take a shower with going to bed and she needs to have a little fun beforehand.

OK, so I go along with it until my back says "stop" from bending over. I will then hold the back of my hand in front of her face, which she has learned that this means it's time to stop; maybe. Once in awhile, when she doesn't want to stop she will take a little swipe at me, or give me a little bite, but my firm and quiet "NO" lets her know it's time to stop. She then lets me pet her and I am allowed to go and take my shower.

Cats think they are the boss and we humans are there to entertain them. Molly is no different. Like I said, I'm not a cat person, but I guess she can stay. Anyway, this is her telling me "enough already". Having gotten this photo I comply and turn her into the Weekly B&W Square Photo.

So, this is Molly Cat, as I call her.

I photographed Molly with a DSLR and a 50mm lens. The ISO is 1600 and the exposure was 1/8 sec @f/1.8. In Photoshop Elements I cropped for the square look and converted the image to a B&W photo. I then made a levels adjustment, added some contrast and a little vignetting. I resized for web viewing and added some additional burning in of a couple of places and finished off with a touch of sharpening.

Molly is the cat of the house, but she needs to know who's boss and that's me; she let me know it was OK to say that.

Yeah, this is my, uh, Molly's world, and you are definitely welcome to it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

Dormant Life

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
From the poem "Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening" by Rober Frost.
The snow has passed and so has winter. Spring is here and time for life to re-appear. The woods are bare and the path is dark but soon life will burst forth and the greens of spring will be upon us, but I wax poetic.
This is a section of the Tow Path east of Lock 75 on the C&O Canal. Imagine walking with a mule as it pulls a canal boat. It's early morning, cold and damp, and you hope that the clouds will soon lift and allow the sun to appear to bring some warmth to your lonely walk. You've been this way before but you still wonder what's around the next bend. You just passed the last Lock before Cumberland but, you're heading East, in the opposite direction and you realize that you still have another 175 miles to go before your journey ends.
Yes, the woods are lovely, dark and deep, and since your day is just beginning you have many miles to go before you sleep.
How's that for a beginning. Anyway, this photo was taken with a DSLR and an 18 - 70mm lens. The ISO was 400 and exposed at 1/100 sec @ f/5.6. In Photoshop Elements I cropped for the square look and converted it to a B&W image. I used appox 13 layers to achieve this look. It is a combination of levels, highlights, contrast, dodge and burning, vignetting, vintage and old camera actions and 3 levels of sharpening before achieving the finished creation.
The Canal and Tow Path are favorite areas for me to walk and to just take in the scenery. Between Cumberland and PawPaw alone there are many areas yet to be discovered; and I hope to see it all in short sections and one at a time.
Yeah, this is my world, a most wonderful world that allows for your imagination to wander, and you are welcome to it.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Road Trip Photography

The Happy Leprechaun

I wanted to get this photo in before it was too far past St. Patricks day.

This window is in a store front in Romney, WV. I was stopped at a traffic light, not moving this time, and I looked over and saw this scene. I only had time to pick up my camera, point and shoot before traffic started moving again, and I love the way this turned out.

The photo itself was taken with a 5MP P&S camera with an ISO setting of 100. Exposure was 1/100 sec. @f/5.6. In Photoshop Elements I cropped for a tighter look, adjust levels to bring out the color, added a little vignetting and, after re-sizing for web viewing, I added just a touch of sharpening.

Even in times of standing still road trip photography can be done and this time it was out the passenger side window. All you have to be doing is looking and, when you are, you will see, but you gotta have your camera ready. Be a good scout and always be prepared.

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

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Road Trip Photography

Chew Mail Pouch - Americana

I did not know this but these barns, with the Mail Pouch ads on them, were done by the Block Brothers Tobacco Co. of Wheeling, WV. The tobacco ads were painted on the barns between 1890 and 1992. You can read more about these barns at this Wikipedia site:

This barn is located on Rt. 50 west of Romney, WV. I took this photo with a 5MP P&S camera. The ISO was 50 exposed for 1/500 sec @f/5.6. In Photoshop Elements I adjusted levels for proper color, cropped for a tighter fit and applied a little vignetting. After resizing for web viewing I added just a smidgen of sharpening, and that was it.

Here's another view of this barn, from a different angle, captured by another outstanding local photographer and posted on his site at Merlavage Images...

I guess I should add that I was doing about 50mph in my jeep and photographed this image through the front windshield while taking a slow curve to the left; the curve angled towards the barn and helped with the photographic process. Believe it or not, the windshield of a jeep, with its steep setup, really makes it easier for road photography than a slanted one; also provides less glare. If you ever try this while driving a jeep you will see what I mean.

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

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

Saint Patrick's Church

This is St. Patrick's Church in Cumberland, MD. The history of this church spans over 200 years beginning back in 1791. The church, as you see here, was completed in 1851 and was designed by Irish Architect Johm Tehan. You can read more about St. Patrick's Church at their website found here:

As for this photo, it was taken with a 5MP P&S camera. ISO would have been 50 but the exposure settings have been lost. However, from past experience, most likely it was at 1/500 sec @f/5.6 or 1/250 sec @f/8. In Photoshop Elements I cropped for the square look and then converted it to a B&W image. I did add a little dodging and burning and, after re-sizing, I added just a touch of sharpening. Finally I put a little green back into the photo in honor of St. Patrick's Day.

As for Saint Patrick, he was a Bishop in Ireland from 432 to 461AD when he died that year on March 17th; interesting, huh? It was also said of St. Patrick that he would use a Shamrock in explaining the Holy Trinity to those he was evangelizing. The three leaf plant stood for The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit, and he was very successful in converting the rich and aristocratic, as well as the poor, to Christianity.
So, Faith 'n Begorrah, tis a fine day it will be to celebrate ol' St. Paddy on the 17th. I'm part Irish myself, you know.

Yeah, this is my "Irish eyes are smiling" world and you are welcome to it; even if you are not Irish :-)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

Winter Tree

This almost became a road trip image as I took this photo while on a trip through WV. However, the more I looked at this the more I felt that this would make a great B&W photo, especially with all of those bare branches and a white sky behind it. I've never really noticed a tree with so many branches in it and this one still fascinates me.

The photo itself was taken with a 5MP P&S camera with an ISO of 100 exposed at 1/400sec @f/5. In Photoshop Elements I cropped this for a square image and converted it to a B&W photo. I then adjusted Levels, added some contrast and then re-sized the image. As a final touch I added just a very small touch of sharpening. This time I did not add any vignetting, and no dodging or burning was applied.

Sometimes a photo made for one purpose really turns out to be something completely different altogether and this is one of those images. Even shooting fast through a car windshield can create an image worth looking at, and I hope you agree that this is one of those photos.

Yeah, this is my world, on the road in black & white, and you are welcome to it.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A View From Western Maryland

Ship In A Window

This photo was taken from a different view point on Baltimore Street in Cumberland, MD. Those who are from this city might find this view if they look long enough. When I saw this I thought about seeing ships in a bottle, but seeing one in a window was definitely different and quite interesting. So, I photographed it from where I was across the street in another building.

Taken with a P&S 5MP camera, the ISO was 100 exposed at 1/80 sec @ f/4.9. In Photoshop Elements I cropped the photo for this view, adjusted levels to make sure the color was the way I saw it and added a touch of vignetting. After re-sizing for web viewing I then added just a smidgen of sharpening to just the ship and nothing else.

Actually, there are many such interesting things to see in Cumberland and all you have to do is just walk around and look. As I always say, if you are not looking you will never see. When you come here take some time and just walk around town for awhile and you will be quite surprised at what you might find.

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

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

Lockhouse 75

In staying with the C&O Canal theme, if you stay on the North side of the Canal, at the view from last weeks post as seen here (Canal Winter), and walk up the Canal about 100 yards this is what you will see this time of the year. This is Lockhouse 75. You can see what the Lockhouse looks like standing next to Lock 75 at this link - Lockhouse 75. You will also get an idea of the size of Lock 75 itself.

This photo was taken with a DSLR and an 18 - 105 lens. The ISO was 200 and exposed at 1/125 sec @ f/5.6. In Photoshop Elements I cropped for the square look, converted the image to a B&W one and added some vignetting, a touch of aging and re-sized for web viewing. I then finished off with just a touch of sharpening.

If you had come across this scene during the late 1800's to early 1900's you would have done so most likely by horse back or by walking. You would not have been able to get to this place to see this view by any other means. You would have had to cross fields and railroad tracks to get to this spot. Today you can drive there as this is just off of Route 51, five miles south of Cumberland, where you can park and visit this Lockhouse, and the Locks, and walk the Canal in either direction, and it is well worth the trip down memory lane; a trip back in time, if you will.

Yeah, this is just another example of my historical world and you are welcome to it.