Saturday, February 28, 2009

Baltimore Conservatory, thinking green

Today, in between opening and closing the Church for Camera Club School on lighting, we went to the Baltimore Conservatory for a couple hours of shooting. There were four members of the Silver Spring Camera Club shooting in the orchid room, so I moved on to another room. There were not many blooming flowers, but there was new growth on several plants as well as some ragged leaves that caught my eye. I decided to use my macro lens and try swipes, which is moving the camera when the exposure is being made. I have done this before but not with my macro. The technique creates interesting impressionistic images. All these images were exposed for 1/2 second at f32. I had no polarizer with me because I grabbed my gear and ran out with out really thinking about my needs for shooting, so I had to stop all the way down to get the slow exposure time I wanted. The small aperture also "draws" sharper images when moving the camera. In processing I chose to use curves to color some images in the Red or green channels, another way to adjust color in your images.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Beth Am

Barb invited me to go shoot in the beautiful synagogue Beth Am today. One of two non-Orthodox remaining active synagogues in the center of the city. We had a couple hours to shoot before leaving at 3:00. I had to just soak in the beauty of the architecture and the serenity of the place, before I made some compositions. Both of us were commenting on the surrounding area and its demise, before we even entered and recollected times gone by, Barb her picnics in Druid Hill Park as a child and me the encampment in Druid Hill during the riots of the 60's. I did some research because my curiosity was peaked about the age of the synagogue and its history and discovered, an article that appeared in the Jewish Daily Forward: "as early as the late 1800s, affluent Jews had begun their steady march out of central Baltimore toward the northwest, bringing their congregations with them. The Beth Am building, erected in 1922, was already the third building of the Chizuk Amuno Congregation, which was founded in 1871.

“This area was close to 100% Jewish,” recalled Beth Am’s founding president, Efrem Potts, who attended Chizuk Amuno as a boy.

The nearby stores on Whitelock Street bustled with Jews shopping for kosher meat, groceries and clothing. But the Jewish community continued to move outward. In 1956, Potts’s father, then the president of Chizuk Amuno, oversaw the purchase of a plot of land in suburban Baltimore County. For some 12 years, Chizuk Amuno maintained two branches — one in the suburbs, one in the city — until it decided to give up the old synagogue building. But a contingent of members decided to stay, even though most of them already had moved away themselves.

“It was too beautiful a building to abandon,” Potts said.

The congregants bought the building from Chizuk Amuno at a heavy discount and founded Beth Am."

So here is a little glimpse of that beautiful building and I am personally glad it was rescued from the same demise that has fallen on the surrounding areas.
Thanks Barb for sharing! Shalom

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Federal Hill BCC Mentor Event

Saturday, I met about 15 members of the Baltimore Camera Club at the top of Federal Hill for a mentor event where more experienced members of the club assist others with their shooting skills. It was a pretty cold morning and a cloudless sky. In between assisting others I made some shots on the hill. Then we walked south toward the Cross Street Market, looking for interesting images along the way. We found an old carriage house behind a row of town houses, the buildings are from the late 1800's and I can just image their purpose in that time. A neighborhood resident passed us and stopped to inquire what we were doing, when he did we inquired about the stucture and he said there was a rumor they were used for the A-rabbers horses, but then he said not, so we didn't ever find out the whole story but I was intrigued with the place and we made some images there.
We then found a very old church with interesting iron work, and brass door fittings.
We then met up with the rest of the group for some coffee and donuts at Dunkin Donuts on S. Charles Street. Everyone had a good time.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Longwood Gardens

Ok this is pretty cool, I was just playing around and decided to tone map a tone mapped combo of images in Photomatix and the result is the difference between these two images, I like the effect of the Orchid Hall 2 also.

Longwood Gardens

Today Barb, Jeff and myself went to Longwood Gardens. The orchid displays are outstanding this year and the main conservatory room was filled with spring flowers. I made some HDR images and some impressionistic images as well. It was a beautiful day and we had a good time shooting.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Quad Mirror Effect

These two images are HDR shots, one a true HDR combining multiple images at different exposures to capture the range of values in the scene, the other one is a Pseudo HDR, processed to achieve a certain look.

Both are images Quads I call them, first a mirror image is created in Photoshop then a mirror image is created out of that. A pretty far out look with architecture that just screams to be treated in this way.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Yet another trip to The Building Museum

Presidents Day, fitting that we, Steve, Jeff, David,Barb, myself and Tony, went to DC for yet another morning of shooting in the historical inaugural building of the late 1800's. Last trip, Tony did a hand held moving image of the columns just before we left, that I liked, because I do that with trees and oceans and said oh yeah, just like trees, so today I wanted to get some of those for my stock pile of images. Then I went up to the 3rd floor because most of the offices were closed and it afforded us a different view yet again of the magnificent architecture. I also went back to the green room which I like for some reason, and made a few shots there. So I am finished for the night processing the images I like most from today's couple of hours in the museum. Best deal the parking was free on the street.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The National Building Museum

Inspired by my wild and crazy friend Barb Williams. This is a quad mirror image created in Photoshop.

Just a few more from Hampden, Lens Baby HDR SHots

Just processed a few more from Friday's Hampden shoot in preparation for the HDR workshop on March 13, 20 and 27 that I will be conducting. There is a large art community in Hampden and the homes surrounding it reflect the colorful paint of the artist's eye.
Hampden contains a variety of housing styles with the most predominant being the row house. While most row houses are two story, some three-story units can be found as well. Many are over 100 years old, providing the option of small front yards and porches. In addition to the row house, there are also some Victorian single-family homes and duplex homes on many of the streets, particularly on the hillsides adjacent to the Jones Falls Valley. There are also some unique residences ranging from apartments above retail establishments along "The Avenue" and a few renovated warehouses. The mix of housing styles provides a "village within the city" feel.

Hampden derived its name from a developer, Henry Mankin, who named the town after John Hampden, a key figure in the English revolution of the 17th century. Hampden, a member of Parliament, took issue with a tax levied to pay for the royal navy. Hampden maintained that the tax was a form of taxation without representation. Others rallied around the cause that sparked a revolution in 1637. John Hampden, a member of a growing capitalist class, was viewed as a hero and champion of the people.
Brick Hill, bounded by Falls Road and 33rd Street between Chestnut and Falscliff, is another example of a renewed mill village. Part of the area is the most intact mill village in the nation as acclaimed by CHAP. This area includes the old mill, now a "creative business center", the old manor home and the only surviving horse stable.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Hampden, Hon!

Today I did a scouting run for my HDR workshops that I have scheduled in Hampden on March 13, 20 and 27. I was actually born in Hampden, but grew up in the suburbs of Randallstown. It's kind of interesting to me that I began life in Hampden and am also beginning my new workshops there too. Hampden history is very interesting and there is an abundance of interesting subjects to be photographed, these are just a few I had time to make today. The old street car museum is nearby on Falls Road and I also made some shots there. I had a great lunch at Cafe Hon and made a connection there so when we have the workshop we have a great spot that will accommodate the participants and their gear for a great lunch. Hampden is a gritty place, as I was shooting on The Avenue, a local came down the walk cussing as someone raced down the Avenue in their car, " She said what the F---does he think this is? This ain't no highway". Its The Avenue!..... and I thought that's Hampden hon!