Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Fading Away As In A Dream

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At year's end and the memories of the many photos are already fading away, as if seen only in a dream.

The empty chairs of Summer and the colors of Winter's beginnings combine one last time for an end of the year image. Soon white will cover both just as dreams fade away and the beginnings of a New Year will fill us with anticipation of what lies ahead.

There is much to learn, much to be gained and much to be treasured. May the coming New Year bring all that it can to fulfill the dreams and expectations of the desires of your heart...

Monday, December 29, 2014

Friday, December 26, 2014

Friday Favorite..... Christmas Eve Snow

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A snow on Christmas Eve from two years ago. Today's Friday Favorite.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Warm Cookies & Hot Coffee

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Warm freshly baked homemade cookies and a hot cup of coffee on a cold day by a roaring fire sure warms up a person... Well, it may not be "roaring" but it is a fire - of sorts... :-)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fork In The Road

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Yogi Berra once said, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it." So, I did...

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sunset In The Valley

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Taken on Saturday evening, coming home from having dinner. The clouds, the sky and all the shadows seemingly pointing to where the sun had just set for the day...

Friday, December 12, 2014

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Last Tree Standing

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There is this little shopping mall close by to where I live. Inside the fence there is only one tree left standing. This is it. Not only is it the last tree standing, it is also the last tree in that area with any leaves still left on the branches. It is as if it just does not want to give in to the colder weather that we have been having.

I would not be surprised if, come Spring, it will be the first tree around to show any signs of life. I will keep track of it and see if I am right.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Neighborhood Garage

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Sometimes you just have to stop, look and wonder. Why are those items there? What is their purpose? Why does this fascinate me? If you can answer those questions, let me know...

Friday, December 5, 2014

Thanksgiving Night

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For day five's photo of the 5 day b&w challenge, I had gone outside Thanksgiving night, and as I was standing in the snow that had started to come down, I was looking around at the sights before me and listening to the  quiet of the night. The silence was so stark that I could hear the sound of the snow as it came down and hit the ground.

Quickly I went back into my house and grabbed my Fuji X20. I came back out and looked down the street and I could see the snow moving through the lights. The slow shutter speed that was required in this light captured the snow in streaks as it came down in the whiteness of the street lights. The camera was handheld and in black and white mode with the yellow setting.

Once back inside I downloaded the photo into my digital darkroom and cropped the photo for a square look. Basically I adjusted the contrast a little, gave it a slight vignetting application and that was it.

This was the last of the photos that I took for the challenge and I hoped you enjoyed viewing them as much as I did in creating them...

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Snow - Leaves Me Feeling Lonely and Cold

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Day 4 of the b&w photo challenge and it was Thanksgiving Day. The snow had finally ended and this was a sight outside of the window on a side of my house. I had gotten up that morning with a little feeling of melancholy; sometimes this hits around a holiday. So, this influenced how I felt about this scene.

As I looked at this little piece of a bush sticking out of the snow it seemed to say what I was feeling... lonely and cold. If it were not for a wonderful wife I would have kept this feeling all day. I am very grateful for her.

Anyway, I gabbed my Fuji X20 with it set in black & white mode, with a yellow filter setting, and took this photo. I cropped it for a square effect and adjusted the contrast a little and that was it. Day four's photos was done. Again, without leaving my yard...

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Over The Road And Through The Woods...

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Day three of the 5 day b&w challenge left me wondering what to photograph that day. Then I heard the noise, the sound of an ATV going up the street.

I grabbed my camera, a Fuji X20, and went to look out of the front window of my house. Of course it was still snowing, as it had been since dawn, and as I looked at the snow, down the road came this ATV with two people on it. I already had the camera on and ready with the settings that I wanted and all I did was to put the camera up to the window, setup a quick composition, and press the shutter button.

In my digital darkroom the only things that I did was to adjust contrast a little and, believe it or not, add a pastel setting to the image and that was it. The pastel action gave me a look of the background that I liked so I left it in. Oh, and I took this photo in black & white mode with the yellow filter setting.

So far, three photos and all from within my yard as I promised that I would do...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Black & WhiteTree Cat

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Yesterday I posted the first of the photos for the 5 day black & white challenge in which I recently participated. Today we will take a look at the day two photo.

This photo is called Tree Cat. It is a neighborhood cat that likes to come into my yard and sort of camp out at the base of this old tree trunk. The cat actually is a black and white cat.

It was about mid morning when I happened to look out of the back door when I saw this cat just sitting there. I went and got my camera (Fuji X20) and went back to the door. I had it setup for b&w shooting and first composed my photo as I wanted it. I then tapped lightly on the window of the door and when the cat turned to look at me I took this photo.

I could not have done better if I had set this whole thing up myself. So, this was day two's photo of the black and white challenge and it did go over well. Hope you like the black and white image of a black and white cat... :-)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Foggy Morning Smiles

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Recently I accepted an offer to do the 5 Day Black & White Challenge. I posted the photos on a daily basis on my Facebook page but no where else. So, I have decided to put them up here on my photography journal.

In creating these images I used the saying that I have stated on my blog about being able to find photos anywhere, even without leaving your yard. So, all of the photos that I made were within the confines of my yard; front and back.

Also, all of the photos for this challenge were taken with a Fuji X20, in black and white mode with the yellow filter setting. In my digital darkroom I might add some contrast or do a little dodging and burning and, only when necessary, added a little sharpening, but only to the subject at hand and not to the whole image.

The first one was taken on a Monday morning. I had gone out to get the morning paper and I noticed how foggy it was. I glanced to the right and the scarecrows that my wife had put out seemed to be smiling more brightly than I had noticed before. Must have been the fog causing the bright look. I took the paper back in and grabbed my camera. I came back out and took three photos. This was the one that I liked the best.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Favorite..... Black Friday

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This image, taken on a Friday, was created on a day that was dark and stormy. For that reason I had called it "Black Friday". So, what better day to publish a photo called Black Friday than on a day that is called Black Friday.

At the end of the day, some people may even think that this day truly did turn into a Black Friday.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


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Five days before Thanksgiving, on a chilly and overcast day, this business place is putting in their Christmas decorations. Sure miss the days when Christmas decorations never even came out of the box until "after" Thanksgiving was over. Maybe I am just showing my age.

Anyway, Happy Holidays to all of "You"...

Monday, November 24, 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014


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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Looking For A Better Location

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This is but one of many murals that are located on numerous walls of buildings in downtown Cumberland, MD. This mural is located on a wall at the entrance to an alley situated between a beauty parlor and a dance studio. The alley ends just a few yards away at the back entrance to a restaurant...

Monday, November 17, 2014

South Cumberland Savings Bank

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A view of the South Cumberland Savings Bank building, built in 1904, from an area that was not available at the time of its construction.

Now, this is what one sees as they exit the railroad underpass that was not here when this bank was built. At that time, the then dirt road ran past the bank over the railroad tracks. Eventually, because of increased vehicle traffic in the area, and the making of hard surfaced roads, an underpass was built beneath the tracks and soon one did not have to worry about that trains as they traveled past the bank.

Now the building is being used as an automotive repair shop ( I think that they are still in business ) and the rear portion of the building is gone; only the front and sides remain as they were built. The bank building is still a visually prominent landmark known by most residents of the area.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Favorite..... Umbrella Man

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He slips out the door with plans under his coat. He knows not who his contact will be. Only the fact that he has an umbrella, with which to makes his presence known, will he be approached by the one who needs the information that he carries. He is known only by the name of Umbrella Man...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014

Friday, November 7, 2014

Lake In The Woods

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Deep Creek Lake, in Garrett Co. MD, as seen through the trees that surround the lake. Taken on an early Fall morning...

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

60 N. Centre Gallery

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Dark and empty just as the night, it waits and watches and wonders who will carry the light, and drive away the darkness within, and fill its empty soul.


Monday, November 3, 2014

A Rainy Fall Day In The Neighborhood

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There are not many Fall colors left for photographing but this scene from my neighborhood caught my interest one rainy morning a few days ago. The soft overcast sky with a chilly light rain coming down seemed to me to show what Fall is really like. It is the change from a sunny Summer to a cold Winter and Fall is the gate through which the seasons change.

The warm colors of Summer with the coming stark cold of Winter is seen in one moment on a Fall morning one rainy day in the neighborhood.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

House In The Trees

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Taken while on a recent road trip on Bear Creek Road in Garrett County Maryland...

Monday, October 27, 2014

Friday, October 24, 2014

Feline Friday - Looking Out The Window

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Our cat Molly likes to sit on a piece of furniture and watch the world go by outside the windows...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bear Creek Road Trip

Went on a road trip recently, with my wife, to look for Fall colors. Bear Creek Road was our target. The first two photos were ones that I took and the last two were taken by my wife. I sort of like hers better. Let me know what you think...

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Yeah, that is yours truly in the last photo. My wife snuck that one in on me when I was not looking.

BTW, that is Bear Creek itself that you see in a couple of these photos. The full length of Bear Creek Road runs along this stream. Hence - Bear Creek Road... :-)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Friday, October 17, 2014

Early Fall In The Neighborhood

This past week has really set me back. Monday morning I started coming down with a cold; must have sneezed over 100 times that day. At my age getting a cold is not a good thing. By Tuesday I was hit hard; sneezing, runny nose, sinus pressure and pain, cough, sore throat and some chest congestion, but no fever. All I wanted was to take off my head so that I would feel good. It is now Friday and I am just starting to get back some strength and am feeling much better.

So, I have not been able to get out and drive anywhere to do any photography. However, as I state in the column to your right called - The Reason For Riff's Photography Journal - "The purpose of this journal is to show that you can find something of interest to photograph even if you don't leave your own yard." I decided to practice what I preach and I went outside and took the following images of an early Fall as seen from my yard. I hope they are something in which you enjoy...

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After looking at these images I am very glad that I have a camera that knows how to take very good photos... :-)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

Country Home

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While out on a recent Sunday Drive, we came across this rather large Country Home nestled quite nicely down in a wide valley. You could take my little four room home and place it anywhere in this building and it would most likely fit, I do believe...

Friday, October 10, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Monday, October 6, 2014

Friday, October 3, 2014

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Not Black and White TV

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As stated, this is not a picture on an old style black and white TV. This is a view through the exit door window of an Amtrak Train at the Western Maryland Station in Cumberland, MD.

Since I am as old as I am the first thing that I thought, when I first saw this view, was that, if this was in black and white, this look is what television was like when it first came out back in the late 40's and early 50's.

Television screens had rounded corners and all the programs were live. This view had both elements of the era...

Monday, September 29, 2014

Brooke - Lady Soccer Goalie

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One of WV's top High School lady soccer goalies leaving the field after another win and another shut out....

Friday, September 26, 2014