Monday, December 31, 2007

Out into the World

A young woman looks out of the crossing corridor between the two towers of the Washington National Cathedral. This is another example of the unexpected happening. I was waiting for the women at the end of the corridor to come back into the light so I could get them. This young lady walked up to the window, looked out and then walked away all in about 5 seconds. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Leaping Gargoyle

A stone gargoyle along the south side of the nave at the Washington National Cathedral.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Crypt Lock

I was very pleased how this image came out. Actually it was not shot looking like this but in the end, I was able to match the shot to my vision for it. The crticial element I was looking for when taking the image was the get the key hole lined up properly. Had to twist and bend a lot of get it. Anyway, thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend.

Friday, December 28, 2007

High Altar in High Def

Good evening. Sorry about the delay in getting some images posted. December is a hugely busy time of year with 2 birthdays and Christmas all within a week of each other. Anyway, I finally have gotten some time to process some images from my trip to the Washingtion National Cathedral with my photo club. This is my first high dynamic range image. I used Photomatix to put together 3 images which are -2,0,+2 stops in exposure. This helps get more of the detail that your eye can see but the camera cannot record in a single image. I have been taking a lot of 3 exposure brackets like this to play around with in the future. By the way, this is the High Altar at the Washingtion National Cathedral. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Stone Light

This weekend I went to the Washington National Cathedral with my camera club. It was a great outing. The morning started off cold and very gray, but slowly the clouds came out and the sun started pouring into the Cathedral. This is a shot from the south side of the nave with the light coming in through the stained glass windows. I stayed until I had filled up every last shot on my digital cards. This was the first time I had shot there, and I am now sure I will be back very regularly. Where else can a medievalist like me find my Gothic fix this close by?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Left Behind Redux

I have been playing around with the processing of some of my images and I wanted to repost my previous post of Left Behind. What do you think? Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Rose and Memorial Waterfall

This rose is hanging onto the edge of the fountain at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington DC.

Friday, November 30, 2007

In Memoriam

Last weekend, I came across the St. James Reformed Cemetery near Lovettsville, VA. This old cemetery was in use from 1700 until 1947. There are some very old headstones from the 1700s still clearly visible. It was interesting to see how the styles have changed over time as well.

Being a Dad, I could not help to be drawn to the many headstones for the small children who died at such a young age. It is hard not to feel a close connection to them and their parents. Certainly it was a different time when childhood diseases took many before they got out of infancy. Still I am sure the pain was not less for those parents than it would be for parents today.

This headstone in particular was quite touching. A small child, possibly a cherub, hugging a little lamb, Jesus. The inscription read "Katie Loudell Daughter of C.F. & M.J. Eamich Died July 11 [?] 1878 Aged 7 Mon [?] Ds." Her parents were buried next to her many years later.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Geese over Point of Rocks

Ok, enough of the boot. This is from the same trip at Point of Rocks along the Potomac River. I happened to hear these geese just as they were coming over the bridge. I managed to get only about 4 shots before they were gone, and I liked this one the best. Luckily I was already shooting this part of the bridge working on some abstracts but was zoomed in close so I had to back it off to get them in frame. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Waterproof Boot II

Another view of the abandoned boot. I like this one too since it shows a more expansive view, though the river is missing. Gotta go find that boot again. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Waterproof Boot

Sometimes you find the oddest things just walking around and looking at what is around you. I was out get one of my photo driving tours of Loundon County this Sunday (needed to get out and shoot some since the past few months have been pretty dry creatively). I was at the Point of Rocks Bridge over the Potomac and happened up on this boot sitting on the shore. It is a beautiful spot and is pretty free of trash, except for this boot. Got me thinking again (I know a boot is just a boot, it is trash). Still, why is this boot here? Where is the other one (I always think that when I see a shoe on the side of the road).

Then I thought "how should I shoot this?" I could just take a picture looking down at the boot but that would be too mundane. That would be me looking at the boot. So I decided to try a few different angles of the area from the boot's point of view. I opted not to lay down in the mud so I put my camera down in the leaves and played around with the angles, orientation, framing, etc. A bit of guess work, but I liked the results. I have a few others I like that I will probably post. The one thing I would do differently upon reflection would have been to pull out my flash a pop a bit of light on the boot, just to help bring it out a bit more.

Anyway, it was good to get the ol' juices flowing again. I found a neat old cemetery too that I will be posting about a bit later. Thanks for stopping by, and sorry about the delay in postings.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Happy Veterans Day

Best wishes to all of you who have served or are serving in the military.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Flags along the Wall

Happy Armistice Day.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Carnations at the Wall II

A variation of yesterday's post. Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Carnations at the Wall

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, I am going to post some of my favorite images from the Wall. I tend to go to the Wall either early in the morning or late in the evening, so I don't usually have other visitors with me. I like that though as the Wall is such a powerful memorial. Even though there is no one else there, you get a sense of not being truely alone.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Rusting Packard

Today is a follow up to yesterday's post. This image is of the same Packard rusting on the farm, but is of the side panel. I like the colors and how they blend together along with the chrome arrow leading you into the picture.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Swan in the Sunrise

I found this 53/4 Packard rusting behind an old barn at an inn my wife and I stayed at outside of Charlottesville, VA. Got up at dawn and wandered around the property and found this cool old beat up car. I like how the sun was just catching the hood ornament. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Fall Wheat

Ok, so I don't know for sure that this is wheat, but it looks like to me. I caught this dew covered grass/wheat/grain at Manassas Battlefield early one fall morning back in 2005. It is one of my favorites.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

You Looking at Me?

Taken at Haynes Point in Washington, DC.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tractor Tire

This is a close up of the tractor tire at my grandparents place. I think this is a Ford 8N tractor but I am not sure. I was drawn to the cracked and peeling paint and the many layers that have built up over the years.
Picture-wise my vacation was a bust. I had a cold and it rained most of the time (which is good since we had not had rain in months). Still nice to have some time off.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Amo, Amas, Amat

Not wanting to play favorites, I have to post this impromptu shot of Rowan from this weekend. She came into my office, picked up the book and started to go through it. For those of you in the know, you can see Wheelock and other Latin books on the shelf behind her, including the Latin: An Intensive Course which Drea and I were using in the class where we met. Latin, 8am, 5 days a week.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Duncan's Haircut

Another image with some out of the ordinary processing done to it. I love the older film look to the processing. But in the end, I picked this image for his expression. When Duncan is getting his haircut is about the only time he looks like this. Very serious and distant. He never sits still like this at home.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fallen Apples II

Here is the more conventional processing for the images. I still like it in a different way from the other version. Less aggressively dark and sinister and more a still life about some apples rotting on the grass.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fallen Apples

My wife calls these the "Evil Apples." I was playing around with some presets from the Lightroom community and came across one that emulates the style of the movie 300. I really like how it looks on this image, especially since the original was so different (I will post that one tomorrow). To me this looks like a classic still life from the 18th century.

Sorry about the delay in posting recently. The whole family has been sick with colds this past week. Hopefully with being on vacation this week to get out and take some fall images, I will get back on the mend. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Welcome Fiona and Happy Birthday Duncan

Time for a completely personal post. I just wanted to say happy birthday to my son Duncan who turned 3 years old today. He got his first guitar, and I am expecting great things one day from him. The other big news of the day is that we adopted a chocolate lab mix from the local rescue shelter. She came to us called Brownie but we have decided to call her Fiona. Very busy day.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

In Memory of Tobias Anaya

"In Memory of Tobias Anaya - For those of you who may not know, Tobias Anaya died last Tuesday, November 29th. He was 80 years old and lived in Galisteo all his life..." So says the plague on the cross outside the Old Galisteo Cemetery in Galisteo, NM. Of course, I did not know Mr. Anaya but the memorial that was put up in his honor speaks volumes to the lives he must have touched in his day.
Tobias Anaya has a piece of artwork in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cannons in Snow

I had to wait a long time to get this shot. Not that it took long to get it once I got on site at Battery Heights in Manassas National Battlefield Park, but it took a long time for it to snow here in VA such that I could get a shot of cannons in the snow. I think I had to wait two winters before I had a chance where snow and opportunity matched up. Of course I ended up taking a lot of images that day, until I got worried that my camera and lens were going to be snow-covered too.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Moon over Senate

One morning I happened to be in Washington DC early for some training, so I went wandering around the US Capitol building. I remember it was bitterly cold but the light was great and the Moon was shining. I wandered around looking for various angles to place the Moon. I like this shot because it looks like the Moon is rolling down the roof of the Senate wing.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Washington in Fall

This was taken a few years back but is one of my favorite images of fall in Washington. I hope we have a decent fall this year; however, with the drought it might come and go very quickly.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Make Mine a Rusty Nail

Hold the Scotch and the Drambuie. I found this nail and wire while out and about. I enjoy messing around with depth of field and angles. Also from a design element point of view, I think the triangles, circles and lines come together well.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Rope and Shadow

Ok, I'll give the sailing cruise images a rest with this one. There are so many details on a boat to shoot, you could spend a whole day and not get everything. I often go down to the Washington Marina in Alexandria to shoot boat closeups. This one from the cruise would not have worked without the sun in the right spot to cause the shadows. I like the combination of curve and line as repeated throughout. Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Red Ribbon Curve

Getting near the end of the sailing cruise images, just todays and tomorrows left (I hope you don't mind). This image is of the various sails, rigging and mast of the sailboat. What I really like about this is the red ribbon that matches the curve of the sail. I have others were the ribbon is not in the same place, and I don't think those images are quite as strong. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Little Boats All in a Row

I tried a number of different angles on this image from both sides of the main boom. This was my favorite, but I also liked some from the other side. I thought about cranking down the aperture to get more DOF on this; however, I decided to let the trailing boat go blurry.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Happy Birthday Andy

On the left is Captain Jennifer and on the right is Andy, who was out with his whole extended family celebrating his 85th birthday on the Bay. We all sang "Happy Birthday" to him when we got back to port.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Canvas Abstract

I like the lines and shadows of this image. Lots of nice diagonals, triangles, etc. To me this image is full of motion and direction. Moving forward and up but not to the emptyness of the shadow.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Backlit Sailboats

Not much to say on this one. As far as technique the main challenge was to keep the sun off my lens and not include people on my boat. The sail acted as a great big diffuser and gave me a lot of shade to work from. I'm not yet sure I like quite all that much water in front, but for now I am happy with it.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Come Sail Away

This weekend my camera club went on a field trip to Annapolis for an afternoon sailing excursion with Schooner Woodwind Cruises. It was a great trip with lots to see and photograph. I have a lot of pictures that I am pretty happy with so this week will be images taken on the trip.
As for this image, there is no existential angst here. However, I did have a number of images of this scene and have chosen the only one where the two boats do not actually overlap. The flag of the boat in the background is just within the triangle of the rigging of the foreground boat. This was exactly what I was shooting for here and with three boats (the two here and the one I am on) all moving at different speeds, I am very pleased that I was able to catch it. Having the ability to burst a bunch of frames really helps.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Left Behind

As part of my interest in abstracts, I enjoy images that make you think a bit and ask questions. Here is one of my early images on this subject. Yes on the surface it is a bench, fence and Starbucks coffee cup. But "why is it here?" "Was the person who bought it really finished with it or did they just forget in their hurry?" "What did they order?" But then like I said, it is trash on a bench.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fort Union Flower

Caught this flower struggling to life out at Fort Union, NM. It was one of the only flowers out there at the time, which is not surprising give how hot and dry it was.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Speeding Monument

I have been recently shooting more images while I drive (no not looking through the viewfinder). Mainly just pointing and shooting as I pass something interesting. Often the image is crooked or just plain unusable. But sometimes I get lucky. I am posting this because A Jesse has recently blogged about her doing the same thing, so I wanted to share some of my results.
This is taken in the spring. The daffodils (the yellow streaks) are in bloom, but the trees are still bar. Clearly the Washington Monument and Old Post Office are in the background. I like the effect of movement in the foreground with the trees and daffodils streaking by, while the background remains still.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Renaissance Archer

Took the family to the Maryland Renaissance Festival this weekend (it was our 13th year in attendance). Hard to get many shots with having to keep one eye on the kids at all times. But I was able to slip away during an archery demonstration and get a few shots of the re-enactors with their long and recurve bows. I think my favorite is this one because of his expression. He really just seems to be enjoying himself.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Adobe Sunset

This is of the Museum of Fine Art in Santa Fe, NM. We happened to walk by just as the sun was setting, and I was able to catch the light in the window. You never know when you might come across something like this so having a camera with you is always key. I now keep a point and shoot in my car just in case.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Girl and Her Horse

Now you can see where the orange leg came from in yesterday's image. She had complete control over the large horse, even though it towered over her.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Quarter Horses

Nothing to say about this one. I'll let it stand on it's own.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I happened upon an interesting idea (at least interesting to me) that I am going to explore a bit more. I was out playing with the kids this weekend, and we were kicking around the soccer ball (they are taking a Lil Kickers class). I started throwing the ball up in the air and as it had a highly reflective surface and the sun was setting, it was catching the light and looked very neat. So I ran inside and grabbed my camera (of course). Then I began to experiment with throwing the ball up in the air and taking pictures of it. Lots of weird angles, bad shots, bad backgrounds, near hits to the lens, etc. But the idea was interesting. With the lens on wide angle, the ball did not have to go very high to make it look very small (but the more hang time you have the more shots you can take per throw). The few things I figured out that I want to work a bit more on were: 1) find an even more reflective ball so that I can potentially see more of the surroundings and 2) work on getting a nice background.

Sometimes you just have to play and experiment to see things a bit differently. Hanging out with the kids really opens my eyes at times to things my adult brain might not have thought about.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Mountain Dew

This is another abstract that I just stumbled upon while getting the car loaded to go shooting one spring morning. This is the black diamond plate on the toolbox in my neighbor's pick up truck. I like the shallow depth of field with the streaks of light from the dawn.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Secure Spring

One morning early this spring we had a snow shower. This is just after the daffodils had gone into bloom. Along the George Washington Memorial Parkway, there are lots of areas where they have planted fields of daffodils, so I was interested in getting shots of the snow covered daffodils. While I was down by the Potomac, I started taking shots of the Washington Monument, the river and the daffodils. Joggers and rowers came by regularly which helped to give the shots the extra something they needed. But when the police boat came by, I felt that really added what I was looking for.
To me, the security forces on a beautiful spring day clearly represents Washington DC in the current age. Something about our inability to let down our guard even for a moment, even when you stop to smell the flowers. That is really just too bad.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Flight of Winter

This shot is from my favorite location along Rt 29 north of Madison, VA. This bit of opening along the road gives you some great views of what I consider to be "classic Piedmont Virginia." I love this part of the state, having grown up south of here in Charlottesville.

I used Lightroom (my software of choice) to process this image and give it a bit of zip. Nothing major, just some contrast and cropping. I like the panoramic look without it actually being a panorama. Thanks for stopping by.