Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sail Boat Races

Tonight, I had the great pleasure of sailing with the Wagner team on board the 41 foot, Der Baron, and what a cool team it is, so in sync with each other and comprised mostly of family and a few good friends. I was fortunate to gain a possible spot on a race boat in the Maryland Governor's Cup this weekend. Don Wagner, the captain of Der Baron, whom I was paired up with through the St.Marys organizers, suggested I sail in advance of the Big Race, to make sure I was comfortable with sailing on board and to make sure he was comfortable with me sailing on board as the overnight race is quite a challenge and can last up to 15 hours, in stormy weather and good. This also gave me an opportunity to get a feel for what type of images I might be able to create and how nimble I could be crawling around the deck shifting from side to side with a Nikon D2X strapped around my neck. Forget the lens would have popped off in no time. Forget changing the lens I mounted the 12-24 and stuck with it. I wondered if we would even sail as the weather forecast was looking a little dangerous with a tornado forecast for Anne Arundel County, but off we went..very cool. I love storms and dark clouds, much more interesting than clear blue! We had a good sail and missed first by 16 seconds! As the race was wrapping up we could clearly see a storm heading our way, the crew moved quickly to the dock and we made it in just before the skies broke loose. After the sail Don said he would be fine with me on board for the race on Friday and Saturday. He filled me in a little about shooting and I will not be able to take any shots after dark with a flash because night vision is so critical to a successful race, looking out for buoys with no lights, crab pots and flotsam, all of which can drag down the speed and do damage. So I will get to shoot until sundown and will stow the camera overnight until sunrise. I enjoyed a nice dinner at The Pirates Cove with the team and family. What a fun time. Thanks Don and team Wagner! Looking forward to the weekend.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Country Fields

Annette and I made it out Jarretsville Road at 6:00 to try and capture some sun flowers, yes, more sunflowers, that she had spotted a couple days ago. We spent a couple hours in the muddy fields making images and headed to Sanders Corner for a nice breakfast..
Funs, done, now I gotta do some work, cut the grass, paybills etc..

Saturday, July 25, 2009

McKee Beshers Nature Preserve

Today, I just couldn't get there at 6:00. Instead I took a leisurely drive through the country roads of Montgomery County, arriving around 8:00 or so when most of the photographers were heading out. The light was getting harsh, I made a few shots from my ladder and decided it was not a big lens morning and the harsh light required a little more creativity, so I put on the Lens Baby Composer with an insert f8 and stacked the macro rings 10+ 4+ and started kissing the sunflowers...literally so close to even get close to crisp, and with that hook up, I worked some abstractions...and had got so hot and the wind started to really kick in...after playing around a little longer I decided to head home and cool off.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fells Point with the Baltimore Camera Club

We had a pretty good turn out for a stormy evening. Mel, Carl, Mike, Annette, Karen D, Diane, Chuck, Steve D., Steve H., Karen and Ozzy, Jim E., Jim M. and his wife, Keith, Lewis, Irv, and I am sure I missed someone, met at Broadway and Thames for some shooting. The evening was threatening with storm clouds hovering, and sure enough within about 15 minutes the skies opened up. We headed for cover under the awning of a local restaurant and waited out the rain. We had some very dramatic skies and a great time.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pines at The Loch

Today, I spent the whole day working on my first six week lesson plan and power point for the class I am teaching this fall in the Hopkins Odyssey program...on beginner intro to digital photography, and I still have lots to do...while simultaneously developing hand outs as I work on the Power Point so there is a good correlation of presentation and material.

I have a new respect for college professors and I don't even have to create tests! But hopefully once it's done I will only have to update it every so often. As evening drew near I got the urge to actually make some photos. I did not want to create straight shots, so I played around with zooming the camera and some Loch Raven on the tall pine trees...with my 70-200 2.8 lens. I just love the big pines there. These are a little funky, but I liked them...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

HDR Antiques in Historic Reisterstown....

I conducted a day long workshop on HDR, shooting for a couple hours in the morning and then headed down to Penn Camera on Reisterstown Road for some classroom processing in Photomatix.......the weather was absolutely awesome, compared to Friday..we had a nice lunch at Alices' Restaurant in Historic Reisterstown....I made a few shots for processing but mostly worked in the field helping students with bracketing and understanding their histograms. We had a great group and a fun we were gathering for lunch an elderly lady came and sat down on the bench, she was a bit of a sad soul with torn stockings, unkempt hair and a pensive stare...I was compelled to catch that moment...and had to use HDR to get the full range of light values as it was bright mid day I quickly made five bracketed shots and hoped she didn't move....

The next HDR workshop is scheduled in Ellicott City on October 11....hope you can join me then.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Floral Bonanza, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, McKee Beshers Nature Preserve

Friday, I left Baltimore at 5:00 to conduct a workshop in The Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, as an instructor for Penn Camera. We had a great group, who literally sweated it out in 90 degree temps and no air movement. Well the no air movement was fabulous for shooting flowers and macro work, but we could have done with out the heat! I was using the Nikon 200 mm macro and the 70 -200 mm telephoto. As soon as the class was ending we had some wonderful diffused light happening so my friend and I stayed for a little while longer making some images....we were both hungry and decided to leave for some lunch and our next shooting location for the day. We arrived at McKee Beshers Nature Preserve around 2:00 made it to the first field of sunflowers and cracked off a couple shots before the down pours arrived....we never had a break in the rain so we headed home, but they were fabulous....and I hope to make it back there next week....

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Just processed a few more from the Annapolis shoot with the BCC, some details capturing the nautical ambiance of the area. Heading off to Gary's annual Margaritaville Party now, then to Annette's opening at Irvine Nature Center tonight....these images are processed in several different methods...the block and line has a soft feel to it because I moved the clarity slider in raw to the left until I liked the quality of the image, I also ran it through Topaz with a very light application. The line is also processed in raw and given a soft effect with the clarity slider..the just worked in PS. The Water Abstract is pretty straight forward with a little color sat and curves...and the Piling was converted in PS and touched with Topaz...OK that's it, of to Margaritaville! ; - )

Friday, July 10, 2009

Annapolis Shoot with the Baltimore Camera Club

Thursday night, many members from the Baltimore Camera Club met on Dock Street in Annapolis to see what images they could create. I joined the group of, 20, Steve H, Steve D, Annette, Diane, Kathleen, Carl, Bob, Sean, Don, Cliff, Jessyca, Erroll, Karen D, Jeff, Jim, Lewis, Mel, and Surgey. We did create some local interest with all out tripods and gear...many folks stopped me and asked what was going on...that's a good thing because then I get to tell them about the Camera Club, which now has 150 members! Awesome! Even the guy in the Lamborghini asked, I did a quick grab shot of his car as he pulled away, not as crisp as I would have liked, but I liked the car so I included it here. We stopped shooting around 9:00 and headed to The Dock Street Bar and Grille for some food and refreshments. That's when I found out that Kathleen, Karen and Diane had made their way on to a large boat and were sharing drinks with newly made friends that were spending some time docked in the harbor. So we went on board and met them, Diane Guthrie, her husband and friend. . Jeff stayed on board with Kathleen and Karen D. while some headed home and others went for food. We finished eating and Kathleen, Karen D and Jeff were still being entertained by their new we went on board again and had some fun conversation and drinks. Boaters are great folks!!!!! We had a fun shoot around the dock, capturing reflections, street scenes, and water front images.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Last Shot

This is a shot from last night I didn't get a chance to process. It is processed as a three shot HDR, in Photomatix and then processes in Topaz Simplify, for an artsy look. The light was sweet, I loved the scene!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Summer Fields

Today Annette and I headed out around 4:00. First stop the Baltimore County Parks on Cromwell Bridge Road where I spotted the gardens of Talmar. They were gated but we made a few simple shots from afar. I plan on stopping there tomorrow to see if we can get in and do some shooting there in the early morning hours before the blooms are gone. Next stop York Road near Sparks for the wheat field to the sky! Then on to the PA. Line...where we found this beautiful landscape reflection in a pond beside the road....I made a few landscape swipes there. We had a nice day in the country in the summer!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Image Process

This Blog is in response to a request by Sue Henry a very talented photographer,
for the process which lead to the image I posted on my Facebook for Fourth of July, so here it is.
From my garden I shot the single daisy with a shallow depth of field and a very managed background to be solid in texture, by the positioning of my camera and the depth of field choice at f4.8 ISO 100 shutter 1/180. Then as I wandered through the garden I made some swipe images of the painted ferns by my patio, at f19 ISO 100 1.5 seconds. Since I shoot Nikon, I have the option of image overlay, which I did in camera with the two images, resulting in the final image which I then processed in Photoshop, and then a touch of Topaz to to finish it off. Here are the three in camera images and the final image.

Main Website Up and Running

Those guys at Better Photo are pretty swell to have suffered a hit to their servers only 24 hours ago and to have recovered this morning, just checked my main site and we are back on line!
Thanks Better Photo!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Main Website Down

Seems there was a pretty big disaster at Better Photo the web hosting photo site of my main site. " had a fire in their ware house that houses their servers, overnight last night. They are offline, as well as the websites they host." I picked up that piece of info from Jeff Lovinger on Tony Sweet's Facebook...this is a big bummer! I had lots of files and info there. I sure hope they can restore the data...if's start from scratch, don't think I can recreate years of file uploads............we'll see, what develops in a few days. I have tried accessing the site and there is no response...Booo : - (
Not good when you are trying to build a business around your word from Better Photo on this yet.......send some good vibes to the universe that they can recover! They had a ton of subscribers...I was going to add these two images to the category sky tonight on the sight, so instead I'll put them here.