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…