Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Weekly Black & White Photo

River Window

River Window

This image was created with a DSLR and an 18 – 105 lens. The ISO was 200 and exposed at f/8.

This is another photo taken from the Tow Path of the C&O Canal. About 1/2 mile east of Lockhouse 75 is where I created this image and it is but one of many photos I took while walking along the Canal. There are many such views that can be seen along the Tow Path and it doesn’t matter where you walk for there are scenes like this everywhere.

In last weeks B&W photo… “ Lock Overflow “… I gave a link to a video on YouTube that showed what the C&O Canal looked like back in 1917. The video, by the way, was taken by Thomas Edison and it is quite interesting to view. You can see it here “ C&O Canal 1917 “.

The C&O Canal Tow Path is a great place to walk, hike or ride a bike. If you ever get a chance, you must do so but, don’t forget to take your camera. You will be quite sorry if you don’t.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Travel Photography

The Goose

This photo was taken with a DSLR and an 18 – 105 lens. The ISO was 200 and exposed @f/8. Note, I used center-weighted instead of matrix mode for creating this image. I wanted to make sure the exposure reading was mostly off of the goose and not so much for the background; being that it was darker.

When taking photos during your travels getting images of the local wildlife is always interesting. This Canada Goose was one of several of a gaggle that was walking close by Lockhouse 75. It was very easy to get in close using a zoom lens and the lighting for this one was great. All I had to do was aim, focus and shoot; and, yes, the camera was just hand held in creating this image.

Shooting locals in your travels always adds to your trip memories but don’t forget to photograph the wildlife as well. It is far easier to show what they look like than it is to tell someone about them. With a photo you have the proof.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Weekly Black & White Photo

Lock Overflow

This image was taken with a DSLR and an 18 – 105 lens. The ISO was 200 and exposed @ F/8.

When the C&O Canal was in operation, as the boats were in the Locks and being lowered down to proceed down the canal towards D.C., the water that was backing up in front of the closed gates needed to go somewhere. That somewhere was a diversion into the overflow channel.

This photo shows one of those channels. If you go to this link at YouTube – C&O Canal 1917 – and go about 2 minutes into the film you will see what I believe is Lock 75  that goes with the travel photo of Lockhouse 75 that I posted on Monday of this week. As the boat comes out on the other side, and the film camera is looking back, you will see how the water comes out of the overflow channel, just to the right of the lock.

History becomes one with the landscape, and now history and nature are one…

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

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Travel Photography

Muddy River


This photo was taken with a DSLR and an 18 – 105 lens. The ISO was 200 and exposed at f/8.

The image is another in the continuing series of doing Travel Photography at home. Not only does this help to train your photographic eye to see those things that you believe are worth photographing, but it also helps you to learn more about your own area as well.

Last weeks photo “ Lockhouse 75 “ was the first and the starting point for this photographic walk. As you head East along the C&O Canal towpath from the Lockhouse you will come to an area that is used for picnic’s and for camping.

As you approach the banks of Potomac River, while walking through the open area, this is the view that you will see. The Potomac doesn’t always run muddy, but we recently had some heavy rains and the wash from the tributaries gave the river this muddy view.

Travel Photography can be done anywhere. You don’t have to go far from home and the experience you learn here will serve you greatly when you do make those far away trips.

Besides, if you can’t do Travel Photography at home, what makes you think you can do it on any of your trips? Just something to think about. Have fun!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Yard Surfing Blues

240 Blues / 240 Blues Biker


On Saturdays my wife and I like to go yard surfing. During all this I like to look for something blue that I can photograph. Sometimes I’m successful, like today, but most of the time nothing of worth really shows up.

The building that the 240 Entrance is at is in Cumberland, MD and it is on an older building that I think is interesting to look at. I hate to admit that I didn’t notice until I was looking at the photo that there is a water bottle down by the door and it, too, has a blue label and a blue cap. What luck.

Right after I photographed the entrance, this man came riding down the street and I just had to include him in this. He has something blue around his neck and hanging down, holding keys I think, a blue band on his left wrist and he was riding a blue bike; fits right in.

This type of photography I really enjoy doing because it constantly makes me look for something specific to photograph, in this case something blue, and it makes me to be on guard for that one photographic moment that I just cannot let slip by. It’s just good basic eye training.

You can see previous Yard Surfing Blues photos at this link:

For both of these photos I used a DSLR and an 18 – 105 lens. The ISO was 200 and exposed at f/8…

Yeah, I got the Yard Surfing Blues… :-)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Road Trip Photography

Morning On A Country Road


So there I was, heading down a back country road. I was in Garrett Co. Maryland and riding around Deep Creek Lake. It was about mid-morning and I just loved the views in front of me; the soft light, muted colors and deep shadows. I couldn’t resist. I grab my DSLR, adjusted the 18 – 105 lens to about 50mm, set the aperture to f/8 and the ISO was already at 400.

I slowed down to around 30MPH, put the camera to my eye, and watched the road with one eye open while the other eye was looking through the viewfinder; the 50mm setting gave the eye looking through the viewfinder about the same view as what the other eye was seeing. I watched the road for only a moment and tripped the shutter. And this is what I got.

Now I don’t recommend anyone should do this, especially if there are other traffic on the road. Here, however, I was by myself, I had done this before and it’s just like driving while looking through a periscope, and it can be fun and exhilarating at the same time.

Yeah, I love doing Road Trip Photography, but I’m glad I’m not always moving when I do so. And Garrett Co. is one fine place for doing this, especially when it’s morning on a country road.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Travel Photography

Lockhouse 75


This image was created by using a DSLR and an 18 – 105 lens. The ISO was 200 and the exposure was 1/200 sec @f/8.

For me, to do Travel Photography is to show people where I’ve been and what’s good about it, but who says that you have to “travel” to do Travel Photography? Why not play tourist where you live and find and capture images as if you were visiting the area for the first time. I do this a lot.

One of my favorite areas to go and spend some time is at Lockhouse 75 on the C&O Canal just east of Cumberland, Maryland. In fact, the Western Terminus of the Canal ends right in Cumberland itself. This photo is but one of several I have taken of this building. Each time I come here I walk around it and try to find a new angle or a different lighting scheme in which to capture. This photo was taken around mid-morning.

And you should know that this part of the C&O Canal is only about 5 to 10 minutes from downtown Cumberland and quite easy to reach. In addition, the trip back to town is an easy route to follow and it will take you past several fast food restaurants, if your hungry.

Over the next few post I plan on showing you some images on why I like to come down here and just walk around, look at things differently and then capture it in a photo. This is just one of many I have taken and I hope to give you an idea of what you can see for yourself if, and when, you come by for a visit. Then you can take back home with you your own Travel Photography memories.

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

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Weekly Black & White Photo

River View


Taken with a DSLR and an 18 – 105mm lens. The ISO was 200 and the aperture was f/8.

After a long and harsh walk through the jungle we finally came upon this river. The weather was hot and our first instincts were to jump in for a cool and refreshing swim. But then our training took over and we decided to watch for a while to make sure there were nothing in the water but fish.

Now that is an interesting way to start out a blog post. In reality, though, this photo was taken from the banks of the Potomac River along the C&O Canal in Western Maryland. Over the next couple of weeks, or so, I will showcase some more scenes taken while on this venture and I hope you will enjoy them.

As usual, these photos are posted here not only for your viewing, but also for you thoughts and suggestions on the photography that I do. If I don’t know what you like or don’t like I can’t be expected to grow in my craft. So, please, leave any comments or suggestions that you might have. Thanks.

And, yeah, this is my world and you are welcome to it…

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Road Trip Photography

Meyersdale B&O Railroad Station


I took this photo with a 5mp Point & Shoot camera. The ISO was 50 and the exposure was 1/250 @f/5.6.

This was taken about mid morning right after a local rain shower. For me there is something about doing photography right after a rain. The ground is still wet and it adds to the overall image. Also, the colors are more subdued and slightly saturated, not to mention the overall softness of the light, it opens the shadows and allows for a good exposure.

I really need to do some more of this kind of photography, especially with the small point & shoot camera that I have. It seems to handle this kind of lighting better than bright sunshine. Problem is, it doesn’t rain everyday. Oh well…

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


July 4th 2010

Here are five of the more than 200 photos I took of fireworks this past 4th. I eventually cut them down to about 70. If you like these you can see what I kept at this link:

I should note that all of these photos were taken hand held using a DSLR and a 50mm lens. ISO was set at 400 and exposed at various shutter speeds @f/1.8.

Please let me know if you like any of these. Thanks.

Circle-Flower  Sun-Burst

Monday, July 5, 2010

Weekly Black & White Photo

Safe or Out?


This image was taken with a DSLR and a 28 – 200mm lens. The ISO was 400 exposed for 1/640 sec @f/8.

The end of the 2010 Dapper Dan Little League regular season has come. This photo was taken during the last game of the regular season for this team. Usually I sit or stand in a place where I have clear view of the field. However, for this game I decided to sit in the bleachers and shoot through the fence, which isn’t an easy thing to do.

When shooting this way it is best to take the camera off of Auto-focus and use manual focus instead so that the fence won’t interfere with the focusing. During bang bang plays, like this one, it is quite challenging in getting the focus right. I had already been pre-focused on another player and had to point, focus and shoot almost instantaneously in order to get this photo.

The only way you could capture an image like this with a point & shoot camera is to have already pre-focused on this particular area and have already held your shutter release half-way down. Then you might have a chance, but how many times are you going to be pointing your camera in the right direction, pre-focused and holding the shutter half-way down at the right moment. That’s why a DSLR is best for sports photography.

As for this play? I’ll leave it to your imagination to decide on whether or not the runner was safe or out… :-)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Travel Photography



This photo was taken with a DSLR and an 18 - 105 lens. The ISO was 400 and exposed at 1/200 sec @f/7.

In walking around Colonial Williamsburg one evening I came across this scene. It reminded me of an English country setting and that is how I came up with the title of " Eventide ". Eventide is from an old English term of  "ǣfentīd" which means "evening time".

Again, this is one of those images that you can create when out looking for photo opportunities at a time when most people are gone for the day. In Colonial Williamsburg, during the evening hours, there are very few people out and about. So, this is a great time for walking around and looking for scenes to capture that will be different from all the other travel and vacation photos that most people will take back home with them.

Your photos will be different because you dared to photograph differently. While others are eating dinner or back in their hotel rooms, you will be out capturing images that others only dream of getting. Try it sometime. I know you will be quite happy with the results.

* 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…