Monday, June 28, 2010

Weekly Black & White Photo

Coming To The Narrows


The train is called Mountain Thunder. I took this photo Saturday morning as it was approaching the Narrows in Western MD. My wife and I had been out yard surfing and as we came through the Narrows I realized that Mountain Thunder was due to go by at any moment. I only had time to pull over, jump out with my camera - it was already preset with the f/stop and ISO mentioned below - point, zoom, focus and capture this scene as it was getting ready to go by. It pays to always have a camera ready.

This photo was taken with a DSLR and an 18 – 105 lens. The ISO was 400 exposed for 1/400 sec @f/8. In Photoshop Elements I converted the image to a B&W photo and cropped for the square look. I added some contrast, a little vignetting, a touch of sepia toning and a smidgen of sharpening.

If you ever get to Western MD anytime from Spring through Fall on any Friday, Saturday or Sunday you should set aside some time to ride Mountain Thunder. You and your family will be glad you did. Here is a link to the official WMSR website: Western Maryland Scenic Railroad 

* Just an update note. You may have noticed the new name for my photo blog. I’ve made this change to more reflect what this blog is all about. This is my world as seen through my photography with the addition of descriptive journalism. I love photography but I love writing as well. This way I get to do both and I hope that you will continue to enjoy visiting the new Riff’s Photography Journal…

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Yard Surfing Blues

Blue Shed


Last year, in August, I started a new subject called Yard Surfing Blues. You can see that first post here:

Yard Surfing Blues

I really haven’t done any follow up to that subject until today. My wife and I were out and about early, and going down a dirt road to a yard sale out in the country we came across this blue shed with a red rusty roof sitting in the back of this empty lot. I just had to stop and photograph it for this column; and I did.

In creating this photo I used a DSLR and an 18 – 105 lens. The ISO was 400 and exposed at 1/500 sec @f/8. Now keep in mind, depending on how your monitor is calibrated, this may not look like the blue that I see, but it is a blue shed.

The one unusual thing about this photo is the small tree beside the shed. It is bent over and almost touching the ground. Now I know that we had a bad Winter season and the large amount of snow did cause a number of plants and trees to bend over but, being that this is June, I would have thought that if that had happened to this tree that by now it would have righted itself. So I have no idea of why the tree is the way that it is.

So, here’s to all of the little blue sheds sitting out in the country just waiting to be photographed, but forget this one… it has already been taken…

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Weekly Black & White Photo

Patiently Waiting


Taken on a Sunday Morning, this photo was created using a DSLR and a 28 – 200mm lens. The ISO was 400 and exposed for 1/500 sec @f/8. In Photoshop Elements I cropped the image for the square look and then converted it to a B&W photo. I added just a touch of contrast, a little vignetting  and a smidgen of sharpening, after re-sizing it for web viewing.

Yeah, this little boy caught a nice size catfish for his patience and man was he happy.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Travel Photography

Craft House Window


When I’m out traveling I like to take photographs at a time when most people won’t. This is an example of such a moment.

In Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia most people disappear from the Heritage Area after 6:00 PM. It’s dinner time and most if not all of the historical shops are closed. There are some who will just walk around and take in the sites, but the number of people that are out at this time is greatly reduced. Because of that, if you want to photograph something without people being around this is the time to do so.

The Craft House is on Market Square and the lighted display window caught my eye. This is something you won’t see during the day and the time was perfect to capture this scene. It was about 8:30 in the evening and it wasn’t completely dark. So, using my Image Stabilized lens, I was able to take this photo hand held.

The image was created using a DSLR and an 18 – 105 lens. The ISO was 800 and exposed for 1/25 sec @f/5.6. The lens equivalent was 85mm. In Photoshop Elements I only made a Levels adjustment to keep the colors as close to the original as possible. I then re-sized for web viewing and added just a touch of sharpening.

If it had been between sunrise and sunset I would not have been able to capture this image, and I didn’t have to worry about people getting in the way as I composed the photo in my viewfinder. And a stabilized lens or camera, as well as a good shooting routine, helps greatly in getting an image like this without the use of a tripod.

So, when you take your next trip, set aside a moment to do some photography at a time when very few people are present for getting a relaxed, un-rushed and different from everyone else’s travel photos photograph. An outstanding out of the norm photo from your trip really makes for an unforgettable memory.

Try it the next time you travel. I really believe that you will be glad that you did.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Weekly B&W Photo


Located off a country road in Garret County MD, this building is standing alone in the woods. You look at it and wonder how long it's been there, what all has it been used for and what's in it now.

I took this image with a 5mp Point & Shoot camera. The ISO was 100 and exposed for 1/100 sec @f/4.9. In Photoshop Elements I converted the photo to a B&W image, cropped it, added some contrast, did a little dodging and burning and added some sharpening.

Sometimes, things that are Forgotten are the most interesting scenes at which to view, enjoy and just wonder at the moment, and to just let your imagination go. This was one of those moments.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nature Photography

The Family

This photo was taken with a DSLR and an 18 - 105 lens. The ISO was 200 and exposed for 1/250 sec @f/8. In Photoshop Elements I cropped for an 8x10 look, added some vignetting and did a little dodging and burning for effect.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Travel Photography

Williamsburg Station At Dusk


This photo was taken with a DSLR and an 18 – 105 lens. It was about 8:00PM and the ISO was 400 exposed for 1/125 sec @f/5.6. I left this image soft as the light and colors of the evening were soft, and there was a slight haze in the air which also added to the overall softness of the scene.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Weekly B&W Photo

Sail Away

This is a view of the York River as seen from the Park in Yorktown, VA. As for photo information, the image was created with a DSLR and an 18 - 105 lens. ISO was 200 exposed for 1/800 sec. @f/8.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Travel Photography


Taken late evening before darkness set in, this photo was created with a DSLR and an 18 - 105 lens. The ISO was 400 and taken at 1/20 sec @ f/8 hand held.

This photo is straight from the camera and only re-sized for web viewing; nothing else was done to it. So, something new has been added to my world - Travel Photography.

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