Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Black & White Photography


West Virginia Farm House


There are many such older farm houses in WV and MD. This one is on Patterson Creek Road, between Burlington and Petersburg, WV. The farm house that my dad grew up in was similar to this one, even though all that is left of is is an empty shell of a building in Lost City, WV.

I look at homes like this one, and seeing how they are still being used, is a tribute to how well many of the homes of the past were built. Yeah, there were quite a few that would not stand the test of time, but then you see something like this and you know it was built with love and a sense of doing what is right in building a home that would last.

The history that is present in those walls can never be known, except only by those who have the blessing of still living in such wonderful places of life. Yes, life. Life in the walls, in the rooms and in the people who still live there. This is on a working farm and it would be interesting to see what this home is like 10 or maybe 20 years from now.

I hope I can still do so… 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Road Trip Photography

Hay Wagon


Recently I’ve been showing a number of photos taken while in WV. So, today, I thought that I would show you an image taken in Western Maryland, specifically in Garrett Co.

The place where I took this photo, near Oakland, MD, is on a farm that does a number of these setups, depending on the time of the year. However, this is the first I’ve seen this particular setup. I think it is cool.

Depending on how you look at this piece of art, one could consider it to be a pickup truck or a buckboard. For me, I think it looks like a buckboard, and that is why I called this one the “Hay Wagon”… :-)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

B&W Street Photography

Smokin’ Santa Helper


In a recent outing at a local shopping mall, I spotted this young lady walking across the parking lot. Other than basic black & white clothing, the only color she had was with her “red” Santa Hat.

Immediately I grabbed my camera and just as she approached the side walk she took a puff on a cigarette just as I snapped the shutter. A real smokin’ Santa helper was the first thing about which I thought and that became the title for this photo.

I just had to leave the “red” hat in this b&w image, just because it was the only color in it, and the silhouette made because of the bright background, and the fact that I had already pre-set the camera for a 2/3 under stop exposure, just made the photo that much easier to create.

Sometimes things just fall into place just at the right time… :-)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Road Trip Photography

A Stream Runs Through It


It’s on the verge of Winter and yet colors still abound. There may not be any leaves on the trees, but there are shades of hues out there. You just need to look for them.

This is but one of many valley scenes that can be viewed on Patterson Creek Road; a wonderful name for a road that provides images like this. Patterson Creek Road runs between Burlington and Foreman, WV. The entire drive consists mainly of farms and land for cattle.

This scene here is one where I always thought would make a good place to put a cabin over next to the mountain, just on the other side of the stream. I love how the leaves and pine needles on the ground gives and bit of brown edging to the tree line running up the hill.

The valley itself is nicely green for this time of the year, and many times one can see cattle peacefully grazing or deer running across the fields. It is beautiful country and it’s the kind of land upon which my Dad was raised. This is just another reason why I love where I live.

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

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Black & White Photography

Field Barn


My Dad was raised on land like this. While still in school he, his brothers and his Dad would get up early and go out and feed the live stock, while grandma went about fixing breakfast for them.

When the chores were finished, they would head back to the house and have breakfast. Once finished, and they were washed up, the boys would head off to school while granddad went off to work.

It was a small farm, just a few head of cattle, some pigs and chickens and an assortment of other animals. For the most part, they grew their own food, in addition to the livestock, and my grandfather worked in a Tannery to earn what money they needed to keep the farm going.

In the evening they would do the same and then have supper, followed by homework.

I see a scene like this and it makes me realize how good and easy we have it today. I can’t imagine living as my Dad and his family did. It had to have been a hard life, but they survived and they all seemed happy, even in later life when they no longer lived and worked on the farm, but that’s another story…

Monday, December 12, 2011

Road Trip Photography

Field & Mountain


Sometimes a photo op just presents itself. This is another example.

I was heading West on Rt. 50 in WV and was just topping Knobly Mountain when I saw in the distance snow lined mountain tops. Where I was there was no snow and some of the field grass was still green. I knew a photo op was coming.

I picked up my camera & turned it on. It’s always preset for what I want so that all I have to do is just point & shoot. There was time for only one shot and this was it.

We just recently had snow warnings but the only snow was on the mountain tops and west of us in another country. We got nothing. Here the contrast was striking and for me photo situations, like this one, don’t come along that often. Hope you like it as well…

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Black & White Photography

Heading For The Barn


Early morning and I’m heading for the barn. There’s a storm coming and I must get my work done before it hits.

The air is chilly as I walk up the hill but I’m dressed for the work that I must do. I can finish up in a couple of hours what needs to be done before it rains, and I can do the other chores later when I don’t have to be out of doors.

It’s my farm and the work must be completed no matter what the weather, but I like it. If I didn’t I would be here. When it comes to farm work there are no holidays or time off. You do what you can when you can and when it needs to be done.

Yeah, this is my barn. It may be old, but it’s mine…

Isn’t it amazing what comes out of my mind. Sometimes I even surprise myself…

Monday, December 5, 2011

Road Trip Photography

A Farmer’s Mailbox


I’ve gone past this mailbox many times and I’ve never had a chance to stop and photograph it.

However, on this one particular day, I knew I was coming up on it and I kept checking the road in front of me and in back. As I got close I started to slow up to stop but just as I got there several cars came around the turn down the road and I knew it was either going to be a drive by shot or forget it.

I wound down the driver side window and slowed as much as I could. As I got close I pointed the camera and snapped the shutter just before the cars went past. Well, I got my photo and it turned out better than expected.

It is amazing what one can find and see when they go driving off of the beaten path, especially down country roads. This is but one of many photo ops that I find on a regular basis. Hopefully there will be many more to come with retirement coming up in about three months… :-)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Black & White Photography

A Walk Down Foggy Lane


It was early in the morning and as I was driving down the back roads in the fog I came across this lane. Immediately I had in mind a B&W image.

After photographing this view and converting it to a B&W image I’ve looked at this photo time and again. To me it’s a place of wonder and of imagination. Would you go down this road? What lies at the end of it?

For me, I see a road that leads to a place of solitude, where a fireplace in a rustic home awaits. The air is cool and the misty fog envelops my thoughts. I arrive at the door and as I walk in I’m greeted with, “Have a nice walk?”

“Yes”, I reply. “It was wonderful walking down to the road, but it’s good to get back and be greeted with a nice cup of cocoa. Especially when it is made by you. Thanks.”

OK, it’s my blog so I can imagine anything I want. Anyway, hope you like the photo… :-)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Road Trip Photography

Foggy Morning


Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven.
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass.
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden.
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass.

From the Gaelic melody called “Bunessan”. A song for which the singer Cat Stevens is noted. You may also know it by the title, "Morning Has Broken".

Early morning in Garrett Co, MD. The rain has cooled the air at ground level, leaving it moist, creating this foggy meadow scene. As the tree stands out, the background fads into nothingness, giving an overall softness to the landscape before me.

I’ve come to have a great appreciation for softness in a photo. Softness, caused by fog in an image, gives a feeling of solitude and peace.

Here, the log fence frames the scene and in the background, if you look closely, you can see a house almost hidden by the fog. I love being out in weather like this as many times it gives me a sense of being at one with nature, and being at peace with God.

Yeah, this is a different side of me that most people don’t know about, but this, too, is my world and you are welcome to it… :-)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Black & White Photography


Walking Home At Lock 75


In Monday’s post “ Lock 75 Overflow Channel “ you saw a photo of how the channel looks today, and you were seeing it from the upper portion of the lock.

This photo shows not only Lock 75, but the lock overflow channel as seen looking back from downstream. To give an idea of large this lock is, included here is a person on the towpath walking back towards the Lock 75 Lockhouse.

At this entrance of the lock were two rather large gates. Each had to be manually swung open. While one set of gates were closed, the canal water became diverted to the overflow channel and came out through the opening beside the lock itself.

If you look at this film, made in 1917, – “ C & O Canal, 1917 “ (Part 1 of 3) - beginning at the 2 minute and 15 second mark, you will get a quick view of Lock 75 and you will be able to see the water coming through the overflow channel as the lock was opened to let out a small boat. The film is quite interesting to watch as it shows what it was like traversing the canal waterway.

Today, the towpath is used for walking and biking, and camping along side it. People travel parts or all of it from Washington, D.C. to Cumberland (150 miles) where it meets up with the Great Allegheny Passage.

From Cumberland, the Great Allegheny Passage offers 141 miles of hiking and biking all the way to Homestead, PA, near Pittsburgh.

Yeah, this is my world. It’s a great place to live and a great place to visit. Why don’t you come by and see for yourself? You are definitely welcome to it… :-)

Monday, November 21, 2011

A View From Western Maryland


Lock 75 Overflow Channel


A canal overflow channel was an important addition to any canal lock. After the boat went into the lock and the gates were closed the water in the canal had to be diverted to keep it from flooding the area.

Here, looking East, at Lock 75 of the C&O Canal; just five miles East of Cumberland, MD, is a view of what the Overflow Channel looks like today. In the area of Lock 75 is one of my favorite places to go for photo ops.

It doesn’t matter what time of the year you visit the lock there is always something to see and photograph. It is a great place of historical interest and the four seasons provides continuous opportunities for photography. This is just another example of why I love where I live.

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

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Black & White Photography

Old Country Post Office


Sometimes, out of the blue, one will come across something that just seems out of place. This building is one of those moments.

This is an old Post Office on a country road in WV. I’ve been wanting to photograph this for some time and I finally got a chance. When I took this photo I had in mind an old b&w square photo and this is the finished image.

The post office is nestled in a grove of trees along side a road and it’s just sitting there slowly deteriorating. I’m not sure how old it is but I would imagine that it is at least 50 years plus.

So, that finishes a week of “old photography” images, but it won’t be the last. Next week starts a new round of photography and I’ll see if I can come up with something along a Thanksgiving theme… :-)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Moment In Time

Old Camera Photo

I first started taking photos back in the 60’s. A Kodak 126 film camera was what I first used. The results were “iffy”. A lot had to do with the lighting of the day as the camera had one shutter speed and one f'/stop.

If it was sunny you got a nicely exposed image, full of color and good definition. However, I found out that if the weather was overcast and bright enough then you  would get a nicely saturated image that was exposed just enough to really look good.

That is what I tried to reproduce in this image. I had in mind, when I took this photo, and old film camera look, along the lines of a 126 film camera and this is pretty close to what you would expect; if you had a good camera.

In the 80’s, when the 126 phase was at it’s best, the film of choice was Kodacolor VR200. It was a 126 film and you got 24 exposures. K-Mart sold it for about $3.19 which would be about $8 to $10 in today’s money.

You almost always got a better image with a slightly underexposed “positive” or slide film and with negative film, like the 126 film, it was mostly just the opposite. A slightly overexposed image would produce better results. Only when it was overcast, and sometimes slightly misty, could one expect to achieve a result like this when you had a slightly underexposed image on negative film.

Yeah, sometimes one would just get lucky and not know it until the film was developed and an image was made. Nowadays, one can achieve the same results, instantly, in photoshop... :-)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Black & White Photography


Sometimes, when I’m out driving, I encounter a scene that just seems to be somewhere that I’m not. Yeah, I know, you just said “Huh?”.

You see, coming across this was like seeing something in a dream. It was early morning, misty with a slight fog in the air. Everything seemed soft and the going was slow. I rounded a curve and this was like stepping into a dream.

I don’t think that I actually fell asleep, for I didn’t go off of the road. That’s not what I’m saying, but it is like I went into a different time zone or a different world. It even felt different. The thing is, that just as soon as I went around the next curve, the fog was gone and a little sun was trying to break through the overcast sky.
 The “Dreamscape” was gone.

It was at this point that I noticed that I was holding my camera and I don’t even remember picking it up. Now my camera is always beside me when I’m out, and I am so used to reaching for it and turning it on in one motion that it is possible that this scene so captured my attention that my reflective instincts just reacted to my visual senses.

My settings are always preset and all I have to do is just point and shoot. This time this is what I captured… a “Dreamscape”…

Monday, November 7, 2011

Road Trip Photography

Antiques For Picking


When I came across this building the first thing that I thought of was the TV show called “American Pickers”.

This is a show that is on the History Channel and stars Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz as the "Pickers". Of course there is Danielle Cushman as well. She’s the one that keeps the guys busy with all of the leads that she finds and passes on to them; not to mention that she is a lot easier to look at than are the boys... :-)

Speaking of Mike and Frank, they are antique seekers and they travel the country to find unique items that they can buy and resell. They have even been in our area and that, in itself, was an interesting show to watch, and I’m glad that I saw it.

Now this barn can be found on Rt. 50 east of Romney, WV in a little town called Augusta, and it just seems like the type of place in which the Pickers would be interested. I’ve never been in here, but I hope to one day get back there and go in for myself and see what they have. I do know that Mike and Frank would be quite interested in the signs that are on the building as that is something they do look for.

Who knows, maybe one day they will come back and check out this place. In the mean time, one can only wonder what can be inside. Maybe I’ll be able to find out one day…

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A View From Western Maryland

End Of October Snow Fall

I usually only put up two posts a week, but I wanted to share with all of you scenes from the past weekends (Saturday) End Of October Snow Fall.

Monday’s post… A Country Morning… was what the weather was like the day before, and by Monday morning this snow was pretty much all gone and we are back up in the 50’s.

These five images are my favorite ones. Three are of country scenes, as seen from the back of my little house, and two of the views are from out front. So, a little diversity, but they all portray what happened with this unexpected storm and, for once, I loved it.

Yeah, I know, I’m a little crazy, but we didn’t have to drive anywhere, I went for a walk in the snow and we had a wonderful pot of Chile simmering all day. Ummm, supper was delicious… :-)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Black & White Photography

Into The Fog


About a twenty minutes after taking the “Country Morning” photo, that I posted on Monday, I came to John Blue Bridge. Boy was the fog thick.

This bridge crosses the South Branch of the Potomac River at a place called “Blue Beach” in Hampshire Co. WV. Being in the valley, and close to the river, it was already getting foggy, and as I rounded the curve I noticed that the Bridge was so shrouded in fog that the mountain, which is on the other side of the river, could not be seen.

I only had time to raise my camera and take this photo before getting on the bridge itself. I’ve been here before many times when it was foggy, but not so thick that you could not see the mountain which rises far above the bridge on the other side and I just wanted to document the scene at which I was looking.

So I did…

Monday, October 31, 2011

Road Trip Photography

A Country Morning


Last Friday morning, while heading over to a call in WV, I came upon an accident and the traffic was stopped. It was a pretty bad accident which resulted in needing three ambulances. I did get a photo of the cars involved but this is what really caught my eye.

While sitting in the traffic, waiting for a lane to be opened, I looked over to my left and this is the scene that was before me. It was amazing how this could look so idyllic just a few hundred feet from something so horrible as the accident.

I already had my camera on the seat beside me and I took a few photos, and this is the one that I liked the most. Even when ugly is not far away, if you will just look, one can find some beauty close by.

For the most part, any morning in the country can provide one with scenes like this. That is what I like about my world. If you look for ugly you will find it. If you look for beauty, there is more of that and you will easily find it. The thing is, however, if you are not looking you will never see.

This is my world and you are welcome to it…

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Road Trip Photography


Evitt’s Mt Orchard


One of the reasons that I started this photo blog was to show what it is that I like about where I live. I’ve somewhat gotten away from that and I want to get back on course, beginning with Evitt’s Mt Orchard.

I’ve been wanting some Stayman apples and I haven’t been able to find any locally. I heard about this place just a short drive up in PA in a town called Centerville so, last Saturday, my wife and I drove up there.

We went with the idea of just getting some apples but, after getting there and looking around, we not only got some Stayman apples, but we also bought some Apple Butter, Apple Cider, Southern Sunshine Preserves and some very delicious Pumpkin Butter.

Never had Pumpkin Butter before, but after tasting some we just had to take a pint home with us. It is great on homemade bread or on our favorite, Portuguese Bread. It is places like this, where we can buy locally, that gives us the biggest satisfaction and, for the most part, provides us with the best bargains as well.

So, when you come to my world, here in Western MD, you will have to take a little detour up to Centerville, PA to visit Evitt’s Mt Orchard. They are very friendly, will tell you all about what they have and give you the opportunity to take a taste before you buy.  BTW, they are only open from about July 31st, through the Summer, until they sellout in the Fall. It is worth the trip.

Yeah, this is my world and you are welcome to it… :-)

Monday, October 24, 2011

A View From Western Maryland


Fall Scenes – Up & Down

A Fall Sky    

This is not a timed photo. I did not set my camera on a tripod and then set a slow shutter speed in order to capture this sky view. Recently, at a youth soccer game, in between quarters, I was looking around and as I turned I noticed the sunset view.

The clouds were being blown by strong upper winds as I captured this scene. My camera settings were ISO at 1600, as the light on the ground was getting quite dark and I needed the high ISO in order to give me a fast enough shutter speed for capturing the action. I was shooting in Aperture Priority mode, set @f/4.5, and this gave me the 1/3200 shutter speed as I pointed my lens at the bright sky.

So you can see that I had a fast shutter speed and that’s how I was able to capture these clouds being blown by the winds making the photo look like it was taken at a slow shutter speed.

Fall On The Ground

How many times do we see photos of the landscape in the Fall showing all of the colors of the changing trees? However, as seen in the first photo, there are other Fall scenes that can be captured as well.

This photos is of ground cover on a hillside in my backyard. To me, it is every bit as colorful as any tree one may see this time of the year. In fact, almost all of the trees in my neighborhood have beautiful colors on them and any one would make an excellent Fall photo. However, I choose to capture this image as it is not your normal Fall scene.

So, as you can see, no matter what is the season, don’t just look for the expected scene in which to photograph, look for the unusual that also describes the season. Then see how it can be captured to represent the glorious time of the year in which you find yourself. You might just capture something just as exciting but completely different than what is expected.

In fact, it can be downright fun to do so…

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Black & White Photography


A Foggy & Rainy Morning In Ol’ North Cumberland


Last week we had quite a few days of rain. I took the opportunity of the weather to take a few dismal day photos.

From a nice view point, I liked the way this part of Cumberland looked with the rain and the fog in the background. Looking towards Wills Mountain and the Narrows, up North Centre St., provided me with a scene that sort of reminded me of how Cumberland may have looked in the past.

When I took this photo, I had in mind an old looking B&W image and this is pretty much what I had envisioned when I snapped the shutter. If you click on the image you will get a slightly bigger, and better, view of this photo.

Yeah, this is my world, past and present, and you are welcome to it…

Monday, October 17, 2011

A View From Western Maryland


Fall Along The Potomac River


Sometimes being at the right place at the right time creates a nice blessing.

It had been a rainy morning and in the afternoon I had gone out for a walk along the Potomac River, just East of Cumberland, on the C&O Canal Tow Path. I had been looking for something to photograph to show how Fall was coming along and as I came to his point and looked back towards Cumberland I thought, “This is it.” This was the view for which I was looking.

It was still overcast and everything still had moisture on it from the rain. The lighting was soft and diffused, and I could not have asked for better conditions. I would rather photograph on an overcast day, with just a little directional light than in the sunshine and for me, this image shows why.

Fall along the Potomac River shows how beautiful Western Maryland can be as Autumn comes around, even if you are still within the city limits, as here.

When you come to my world, if the timing is right, the colors are there for you to see, All you have to do is to look, and when you do you will see…

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Street Photography / Black & White


I Wonder What She Is Thinking?     

I came across this foursome the other day and I noticed how the two men were listening quite intently to what the woman at the other end of the bench was saying.

Then I noticed how the fourth person, the Lady in the hat, seemed to be off somewhere in a world all her own. I don’t think she was listening to what the others were talking about, but it amazed me that she just seemed to be all alone in her thoughts.

It was at this point when I realized that I was wondering what she was thinking? I quickly lifted my camera and took this photo. None of them seemed to notice that I was there and the other three just kept on talking, and the Lady in the hat just kept looking off, just being someone in a place of her own choosing. As for what she was thinking… we’ll never know.

Ummm, I wonder what she really was thinking?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sports Photography

SavageMan 30 Triathlon

A few weeks ago I had the privilege and fun of being one of the photographers to cover the SavageMan 30 Triathlon.

The year before I had covered this event and where I set up to photograph the run portion had me seeing nothing but “greenery” as the background for each shot. So, this year I wanted something different.

I had walked along the portion of the run, where I was to work, and I discovered this view where the Lake would be in the background. I felt this was the best place to setup. The open space was being lite by an overcast day and, for most of the event, that is how the lighting stayed. It sure made photographing the Athletes that much easier.

In the first photo you can see where I set up my little photographers seat and “accessories” and from here I could sit and photograph the runners as they came by; and I did.

In the second photograph you can see what the result was. For me, this was far better than last year and it did allow me a little more room for shooting the runners as they came by.

Even though this was within a mile of the finish line you can see that this athlete, at least, was still in good spirits. Maybe it was because he knew the finish line was close and the Triathlon, at least for this day, was almost over.

In fact, almost all of the Athletes that came by were still in a pretty good mood and most acknowledged that they saw the camera and quite a few give different looks from thumbs up, a heart symbol with their hands, to hands flying in the air. They really made good subjects to photograph.

I do love the smile and the look on this Athlete. I call this one "Red Runner"... :-)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Black & White Photography


Dance Of The Mushrooms


No story with this one. I am, however, reminded of the Chinese Dance from the Disney Movie “Fantasia”. If you have ever seen the movie then you will know what I was thinking...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sports Photography


Cross Country Runner

This image is quickly becoming one of the most favored cross country photos that I’ve done.

In most cases it is hard in capturing a runner without some kind of distracting background or other elements in the scene. Usually there are other runners in the photo or views of the track or the seating area, etc.

However, on this occasion I was able to capture this runner with nothing else but the sky as the background. I was in a low position and the runner was by himself and up on a path at which I had just arrived. I just pointed my camera and followed him until I liked what I saw and was able to snap the shutter at just the right time.

I greatly enjoy doing sports photography and every once in awhile I’m able to capture something quite different from the others. This is one of those moments…

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Road Trip Photography


A Fall Weekend In Garret County, Maryland


This past weekend, the first weekend of Fall, I was in Garrett County photographing a Youth Football Game. On the way back, my wife and I decided to take the back roads to check out the scenery.

These images show the early stages of Fall already present in the county. All of these photos were taken while driving on Rock Lodge Road. It was late in the afternoon and the Fall colors were already making their presents felt. I can just imagine what it will be like in another week or two.

Yeah, I can, it will be fantastic…

Monday, September 26, 2011

Black & White Photography


Down To The Lake


On a recent trip to Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County, MD, I was involved in taking photographs of the SavageMan Triathlon. On walking out the area where I was to setup for the race portion of the Triathlon I came across this scene.

What was unusual was that this was in an area where there is no foot nor vehicle traffic leading down this path. It was interesting not only to look at, but to wonder how this came to be and, if it was man made… why.

I loved the lighting and thought it would make an interesting B&W image. Now you can wonder at it as well. Let your imagination freely go and make of it what you will. Just relax, wander onto the trail, and let yourself take a little trip down to the Lake…

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Black & White Photography


The Pavilion


Sometimes the seemingly mundane subject can have an attraction that most people never see, because they do not take the time to look. For me, this is an example of that theory.

This is a simple pavilion in Deep Creek Lake State Park. It was close by to where I was set up for photographing the run portion of the SavageMan Triathlon this past weekend.

At one point I walked up to check it out and I just loved the rustic look of the whole building. And with it being empty, clean and silent it took on an aura of oneness. That is, a feeling of being alone in the outdoors where there were people walking and running just a few feet away. For the briefest moment I was in another world and another time.

Then I heard the running of footsteps and the sounds of cheering and I knew that my fantasy world had just stopped and it was time to get back to reality. In a moment of time all was peaceful and calm. Then life resumed and the world continued on.

The Pavilion stays the same…

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Black & White Photography


Visitor Center


If you look at this and wonder anything about it like the photo, the location, the technique I used, just leave a comment on the blog and I will do my best to answer.

I have a lot of fun working in my digital darkroom on images like this and I’m thinking about doing a lot more in similar fashion.

Yeah, I do live in a world like this and you are welcome to it…

Monday, September 12, 2011

Moments In Time

Robin and Son
Sometimes we forget the simple things in life of which we take for granted. This is an example of what I mean.

I can sit on my very small back deck and view scenes just like this. These two birds had jumped down from off of my garage and were less than ten feet from me. They had to know that I was there as I kept talking to my wife and moving slightly as I photographed them.

This is one of my favorites. It was as if they said, “OK, here’s how we want to look, so take the photo already.” You see, they had stopped their hopping around and just stood there for about five seconds just like this and then moved on.

Yeah, I know, I have a child like sense of imagination but, hey, it’s my imagination, and it can be what ever it wants for the moment I’m in. Remember, this is just one of the many “Moments In Time” that we all share…

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Black & White Photography


Steps To Imagination


At Harper’s Ferry, when you climb the mountain to get to Jefferson’s Rock, there is a path that leads on up past the rock to a cemetery that is on top of the hill. This is that path.

The day that I took this photo, the path seemed so brightly lighted while the trees and vegetation on both side were dimly lit. I had in mind a B&W image when I took this photo and this is how the finished image looks.

The path does look like it goes nowhere, but if you ever get to Harper’s Ferry you will have to finish the climb yourself to see what is at the top…

Monday, September 5, 2011

Moments In Time


The Time Out Chair


This past Saturday I was photographing a youth football game. The weather was sunny but it was hot and very muggy. The “feels like” temperature was around 100 degrees. Even in the shade, if there was no wind, I would glisten like crazy. Was not a good feeling.

However, next to the field, where I was at, was an old high school that is not in use anymore. Many of the windows were broken out and as I walked past several of the windows at ground level I could feel cool air coming out from inside the building.

There was this one special window of the building, behind the bleachers, that seemed to have some especially cool air coming out of it and several times I would stop by it and just stand there. It was like standing in front of an air-conditioner with the air on low. It really felt good.

Out of curiosity, though, I could not help but get close to the window and look inside. As it turned out, it was the schools gym locker room and shower. As I let my eyes adjust to the darkness I noticed over in the shower stalls that there was a school chair sitting over in the corner. Right in front of it was an old checkered shirt jacket. It wasn't easy to view in the dimness and it took a few moments before I could figure out what it was.

I didn’t hesitate. I already had my camera set on aperture priority and quickly set the ISO to 800. I placed the camera on a broken window ledge, lined up the chair through the viewfinder and took this photo.
I gave the finished image a slight “old photo” look just to go along with the old look of the shower room.

As for the chair and the jacket? I will leave that to your imagination as to why they are there. Maybe this is where they put those who where getting out of hand, and little uncontrollable, you know, those who just needed a little cooling off. What better place than in the showers… :-)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Black & White Photography


Flying Through The Defense


Time for Fall Youth Sports Photography.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve started in with shooting some youth soccer and football. I’m also hoping to get in some cross country action as well. Doing this type of photography I greatly enjoy. For one thing, these are among the sports that I played while growing up; you know, back in the ancient days…

Having played the games helps to anticipate what the action might be and where. Sometimes you can get surprised but in most cases, as you follow the action, you can capture some pretty good moments. Just like this one. I didn’t notice that the offensive player’s feet was off of the ground when I took this photo but I think it adds to the image. Hence the title…

Youth sports provides great action shots for anyone with a camera and when you capture a really good one, not only the player or players involved like the image, but so do the parents and grand parents – like me… :-)

Monday, August 29, 2011

A View From Western Maryland


The Bell Tower Building


One of the often photographed structures in Cumberland is the Bell Tower Building. I have several photos of the building myself, but I just couldn’t help but take one more on this particular morning. I just loved the way the early morning sun was coming across the building along with the blue sky in the background.

As for the building itself, the following was taken from the National Park Service site called “All Aboard for Cumberland.

The Bell Tower Building was the first police headquarters and jail built in Cumberland. It remains substantially unchanged since its construction in the late 1880s when it was added to the public building complex surrounding City Hall. The Bell Tower Building is a two-story brick square building, with a rounded short roof featuring a small wooden bell tower at its center. Although the original bells of the tower are gone, this prominent feature inspired the building's name…

The Bell Tower Building served as the police headquarters until 1936, when they were moved to the 1902 U.S. Courthouse and Post Office. It remained vacant until 1941, when the Allegany County League for Crippled Children established a clinic here. Today, the Bell Tower Building houses the Allegany County Chamber of Commerce.

Almost anytime of the day, and from many angles, can one take interesting and colorful photos of this building. The only problem is, will you have a camera with you the next time you go by and you say, “That would make a great photo”. I sure hope you do.

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

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Black & White Photograhy


Court House Rising


I was downtown waiting for the 911 Ride to come through town and this gave me a little time to just look around. I had already taken a few “establishing” photos and was just looking to see what else there was. Nothing!

Man, there has to be something out there, not connected to the Ride, I was thinking. Then, I saw it. From my vantage point all I could see was the top of the Court House, up on Prospect Square, peeking out over the top of the buildings, and I like the way the light was coming across the building. There’s my shot, I said.

I used the tree as a frame and zoomed in to crop out everything else except for that part of the Court House that was showing. Right after I took the photo I felt that this would make a good B&W image, as there was no real color in the frame and a lot of empty space. I felt that with this view, in a B&W setting, I could put some kind of a color in the wide expanse of nothingness; and I did, sort of…

So, having captured this scene, and working it in my digital darkroom, this is what the final image is like. It is a different view of the Court House and I hope you like it…

Monday, August 22, 2011

Road Trip Photography


Left In Time


I have been past this old building many of times, and each time I’ve noticed it I always felt that this would make a good painting. Well, I don’t know how to paint so I never stopped to do anything with it.

However, this particular day I felt that even though I don’t know how to paint I could photograph it and see what I can come up with in Photoshop. So, I did, and this is the finished image.

I sort of like it, in an artistic way, and I hope you do as well…


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Black & White Photography


Into The Past


A garden of dreams or thoughts of the past, memories can be invoked with the smallest touch. Sometimes we look to the future only to see what has gone past, ever looking and never finding what it is that will make us happy.

We know where we’ve been and worry about where we’re going, but there are ways of taking us out of the realm of fear and give us peace within. We seek but never find. We think but never know. We look but never see.

These are the thoughts of one who has been in the past and who knows what lies ahead. For I have seen what I was and who grasps the knowledge of what eternity holds. Dreams come alive when we are set free from the constraints of evil, and love what is given to us in the sacrifice of another…

Monday, August 15, 2011

Road Trip Photography


Welcome Bikers & Welcome Fishermen


I wonder what kind of a brew this mixture would make?

Here's a hint. If you will look closer you will see, above the door, a Nascar poster with the #3 car. Now I know enough about Nascar to know that a number of fans have or like motorcycles and many of them go fishing.

So, don't let first impressions catch you off guard, this just might be a pretty good place to drop by for a cold one, especially if you like Nascar, motorcycles and fishing.

Man, what eclectic offerings my world has to offer, and you are welcome to it... :-)