Monday, August 30, 2010

Travel Photography

The House


This image was created with a DSLR and an 18 – 105mm lens. The ISO was 400 and exposed for 1/60 sec @f/3.5.

There are two things that I like to do when creating Travel Photos. One is to look for unusual or interesting buildings and, two, to photograph them in the late evening when there are few people around. This is an example of what I mean.

Located in Colonial Williamsburg, I have more photos of this building than any of the other fine buildings that are there. You just need to visit Williamsburg, find this house, and just walk around it. I think you will experience for yourself what I’m talking about.

It was dark enough for the evening lights to come on but still light enough to be able to walk around and just do some late evening sight seeing without being in the dark. Very few people are around this time of the evening and everything is laid back, no rushing and no waiting for people to get out of the way of what you are photographing.

Also, having a camera or a lens with Image Stabilization sure helps and it allows you to take your time and do late evening photography without the use of a tripod. Remember, you are on vacation and the last thing you need to be doing is carrying a lot of equipment, especially a tripod. A small DSLR, a short, fairly fast, zoom lens with Image Stabilization, and a steady stance, easily allows for late evening photography with good to excellent results like this image.

Personal Travel Photography is fun. Look for the unusual sights. Take photographs at a time when others are off eating dinner or heading back to their hotel rooms. You will find that this is a great time for capturing those “keeper” photos that you and your family will treasure for ever. Try it the next time you go on vacation.

As an aside note. Try doing this where you live. Pretend you are a visitor to your town and practice Travel Photography at home. It will make a big difference when you do go on you next vacation. You might even find some treasure at home.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Weekly Black & White Photo

The Servant


This image was created using a DSLR and an 18 – 105 lens. The ISO was 200 and exposed for 1/125 sec @f/5.6.

During the 18th century, half of Colonial Williamsburg's population was black. However, the first official United States Census taken in 1790 showed that only eight percent of the black populace was free.

In Colonial Williamsburg today there are numerous black American citizens participating as re-enactors showing how life was for the black person before the Revolutionary War.

As we were walking about during a recent trip to Colonial Williamsburg I saw this man walking down a path and I could not help but photograph him; as he made it look like I had stepped back in time. He looked at me and I held up my camera to signify that I wanted to photograph him, he smiled and nodded and went about walking as you see here. After I took the photo I said, “Got it.” He smiled again, gave a slight wave as I thanked him and he went on to work.

For me, making this photo a B&W image was the only true way to honor this person in his portrayal of the black man during the time proceeding the Revolutionary War.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Travel Photography

Kitchen Window

Kitchen Window

This image was created using a DSLR and an 18 – 105 lens. The ISO was 400 exposed for 1/25 sec @f/4.

When traveling, and you are documenting your trip through photography, look for the unusual. As we came out of an ice cream shop we started to sit at one of the benches outside the front door. It was then that we noticed that the window next to the bench was providing a view of the kitchen of the restaurant next door.

What was unusual about this was that we were out front, next to the street, and the door to the restaurant was in the back, next to the parking lot. Out front there were people sitting in little sidewalk settings, up and down the street, or on benches on the sidewalk and here we were next to the kitchen. Now to me that is very unusual.

So, my wife and I sat at one of the benches and we watched the kitchen workers go about their business. It definitely was a different activity to do while eating ice cream, but we enjoyed it and I did get a good photo to document our adventure.

Remember, though, if you are not looking for the unusual you will never see it…

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Weekly Black & White Photo

Walking to South Cumberland


This photo was created using a DSLR and an 18 – 70mm lens. ISO was 200 and exposed for 1/125 sec @f/5.6.

Leaving the Western Maryland station, the tracks bearing off to the right head across the Potomac River to Ridgeley, WV. The tracks that go straight ahead, where you can see some people walking along them, head south and parallel the C&O Canal Towpath, until they meet with the CSX rail lines. From there the towpath continues on to South Cumberland and the rail lines eventually veer off and head east.

This photo was taken from just under the cross town bridge where I68 crosses Cumberland, MD.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Travel Photography

The Umbrella Man


This image was created with a DSLR and an 18 – 105 lens. The ISO was 200 and exposed for 1/125 sec @f/5.6.

As he came out of his office he had with him the papers, that were needed, stuffed into a large brown envelope. He looked around to make sure no one was watching as he headed off to the meeting. The umbrellas was his signal that he had the information for which they were waiting. Utmost secrecy needed to be observed.

Love starting out that way, especially when taking travel photos that separate reality from make believe. When you see something like this, capture it. Keep the present day out of the scene and create an impression that you are back in time.

When you have your camera ready with a good ISO and preset with an aperture or shutter speed, I prefer setting the aperture, then you are ready for anything that jumps out before you. Then all you have to do is point frame, focus and fire away.

When you have a good camera, and knowing how to get the best from it, then you can capture a number of photos while you are traveling that you will be glad to show to everyone. Don’t settle for just the “here we are at so and so” photos but create something that others won’t take the time to do or even think of doing. That’s why practicing taking make believe photos are a fun way of capturing those great travel photos.

You are there but, then again, are you really there?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Travel Photography

Street Talk


This image was created by using a DSLR and an 18 – 105 lens. The ISO was 200 and exposed for 1/250 sec @f/5.6.

One of the things I like to do when traveling is to try and photographically document the destination by separating reality with make believe. It may take a little longer to do this but it is worth it. This photo, taken in Colonial Williamsburg, took me almost 10 minutes of waiting until only the re-enactors were the only ones in the area of where I wanted to capture. The wait was worth it.

Sometimes waiting is a good thing. Too many times travelers will just see something, point their camera and click, then turn and walk away. Maybe they get something good and maybe they don’t.

In photographing a scene you like, take a little time, check out the area and decide what you want to capture and what to leave out. Check your exposure to make sure it’s the one you want to use or if you need to change it. And then zoom either with your feet or with you lens, what ever it takes, to make sure that the scene before you is what you’ll capture when you finally trip the shutter release.

Travel photography is fun, and when you take your time to use your camera to document the places you visit you may come home with fewer images, but you will have a higher number of keeper photos that you will gladly share with family and friends.

Take your time, separate reality from make believe and see how many more great photos you take that puts that smile on your face as you say, “Yeah, that was a good trip.”

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Weekly Black & White Photo

Bridge Over Canal


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

The railroad went over this bridge when the C&O Canal was in use. It still runs over it today, but the canal is now dry and overgrown with weeds and wild grass. Taken from down in the canal itself, this gives some semblance of what the "Canawlers" saw as they traversed the canal to and from Cumberland, MD.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A View From Western Maryland

Sunlight On Church Door

Sunlight On Church Door

The temperature still hovered around 100 as we began the annual Kelby World Wide Photo Walk, and the humidity was stifling; it felt like the hottest day of the year. We picked up our cameras and tripods and headed off for Washington Street, our main starting area for the walk. Smiles were on everyone’s face as we began our journey and everyone looked forward to the photos we would have when it was over.

I definitely was in the company of some really nice people - outstanding photographers all - and my best hope was to enjoy the company of friends, have some good conversations and make it through the heat. The images that I would come home with would be the delightful memories of that time.

That was two weeks ago. Today I was humbled and honored by people whom I consider more than just peers, as they voted the above image to be the one to represent our photo walk.

It is humbling that so many people liked this image enough to vote for it, as all the photos that were submitted received votes. I really did like this image and I almost didn’t enter it as there was another photo that I like as well and almost submitted that image instead. I’m glad I didn’t.

The honor is to have this image be the one selected to represent all of us who participated and even for those who didn’t get a chance to be there. A big thanks also goes to the members of the Western Maryland Photographer’s Association as it was from many of them who have encouraged my photography and have given me many fine tips and advice along the way.

My prayer is that this photo will honor all of you for your support, kind words and, most of all, for your friendship.

Thank you…


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Yard Surfing Blues

Blue Flower Base

This image was created using a DSLR and an 18 – 105 lens. The ISO was 400 exposed for 1/20 sec @f/8.

Was out yard surfing on Saturday and hadn’t really looked for anything blue with which to photograph until at one yard sale, while waiting for my wife, I noticed this tree. I really became entranced with it; the way the vines came up the trunk, the darkness of the background and the couple of red spots in the tree itself. Then I noticed that at the base were these little blue wild flowers and I went “ah ha!”.

Well, as you can see, it did wind up being a Yard Surfing Blues photograph to add to my collection. The blue flowers, which I have used before, made it eligible and I’m glad I went ahead and created this image.

Yard surfing is fun, and sometimes we come home with some good bargains, but what I like best is seeing something, that others would miss, and turn it into a photograph that is interesting to view, and I believe the Blue Flower Base photograph fits into that category…

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Weekly Black & White Photo

Young George

This image was created with a DSLR and an 18 – 70mm lens. The ISO was 200 and exposed for 1/20 sec @ f/8; the camera was sitting on a tripod. The on camera flash was used, at a –1 stop under, to provide a little fill to the shadows and to help make the statue stand out against the building.

Earlier this year this monument was raised and dedicated on the front lawn of the Allegany County Courthouse to honor a young George Washington.

The left plaque reads, “At the age of sixteen, George Washington first visited Allegany County, (then Frederick County), and was a guest of Col. Thomas Cresap, at Oldtown. He had been employed by Col. Wm. Fairfax to survey the valleys of Patterson Creek and the South Branch of the Potomac, part of the vast tract of land of which Fairfax was proprietor.”

The right plaque reads, “On October 16, 1794, President George Washington arrived in Cumberland to review about 5,000 troops of the Maryland and Virginia militia gathered here during the Whiskey Rebellion. A few days later, this militia army assembled upon the parade ground of old Fort Cumberland, where the Allegany County Courthouse now stands. The President appeared dressed in his full military uniform, and the entire population of the town was present to witness this historic event. General Washington rode along the line, from right to left, and was loudly cheered by the men. Afterwards the command marched in review, and Washington raised his hat as a salute, while they passed. Generals Henry Lee and Daniel Morgan also were present and participated.”

President Washington was one politician who governed, not for the good of the party nor for the good of his own career, he governed with the common good of the country in mind.

Nothing more needs said…

Monday, August 2, 2010

Travel Photography

Emmanuel Parish

This image was created with a DSLR and an 18 – 70mm lens. The ISO was 200 and exposed for 1/125 sec @ F/8.

Emmanuel Parish is probably the most photographed church in Cumberland, MD. The church stands at the east end of what was Fort Cumberland. The building that you see here, was consecrated on Oct. 16, 1861. Emmanuel Parish has been in use ever since, and there are still remnants of tunnels used by the troops, stationed at Fort Cumberland, in the basement area of the church.

Fort Cumberland was used basically from 1754 until about 1765. Col. George Washington commanded the VA troops that were stationed here and Gen Braddock used this fort as a staging area for his campaign against Fort Duquesne. You can see a model setting of Fort by going to this link – Fort Cumberland

Most photos of Emmanuel are usually taken from the other side which shows most of what the church building looks like and you can see this church from one end of Downtown Cumberland to the other. I wanted something different, hence this view which was taken late evening with the golden rays of the setting sun shining on the church’s spiral.