Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fingerlakes Region






Today I was on the road, and arrived around 3:00, but it was a little stormy and overcast. The Purple Asters and the Ragweed, were very pretty in the fields, I passed. After checking in, and reorganizing the car a bit I headed out very randomly, and ended up at Taughannock Falls State Park .

This is the tallest free falling waterfall in the east and very beautiful! Had a nice dinner in Watkins Glen and headed back to process some images. Now I am heading to bed!

Monday, September 28, 2009

A few more from the Baltimore Book Festival






I am becoming a fan of this old toning....it seems appropriate for the old Washington Monument area in downtown Baltimore and the subjects I focused in on.
Now I am getting ready for the Adirondacks. Looks like my Intro to Digital Photography Beginner 2 class at Hopkins in the Odyssey Program is sold out too! That's exciting!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Baltimore Book Festival













Today I went to the Baltimore Book Festival to do some shooting for a program at the Baltimore Camera Club. The challenge was to shoot only with a 50mm lens or equivalent, no zooming!
In addition to that fixed criteria for shooting I decided that I wanted to shoot wide open at 2.8. The last requirement for the program was no post processing cropping, and only curves, levels, hue sat, etc. could be used to process, no clone outs, no plug ins, no tricks...; - )

So these were minimally processed except for the conversion to monotone images. I had so much fun. It was somewhat freeing in that I did not have to constantly think about creative choices with the camera, except for setting the exposure, and composition. There were many times I went for the zoom ring and had to approach the composition differently.

I laughed at the innocence and beauty of the children that were there, enjoying the bands, the dogs, the events and the food, not to mention the Books! It was so nice to see children actually reading books!

Today was the last day of the festival, but it is an annual event and I hope you might mark your calendars, for next year.
All the parents were very accommodating when I explained what I was doing, and the children were great!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Loch Raven Fishing Center







This has been a busy photo week! First night of class Tuesday, with a great group of students eager to advance their photography skills! Camera Club Thursday night. A private lesson this morning and a meeting with a client to select some prints this afternoon. Getting ready to head to Watkins Glen next Wednesday and then on to the Adirondacks. Made some images today while working with a student who wanted to use her Lensbaby Composer. So I also used mine to help compose and demonstrate. We had a great time shooting the canoes and boats at the Loch Raven Fishing Center.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Gleanings

Today, I went to the Apple Store in Towson, Maryland for a remote to control "Power Point" on my laptop. The sales person, made a quick check with another person and then handed me the Apple Remote. I thought great, I'll be set with that for my class which begins on Tuesday. Hopkins only has a Windows remote hook up, and I want to use my laptop in case I need to refer to any docs I have on it. I came home and linked the remote with my Laptop after referring to the help menu on the laptop and activated the remote device. Then I opened up my Power Point and tried to advance it and nothing!!!! Did a few more checks and tried again and nothing!!! Then I Googled the issue on the Internet and discovered the Apple Remote will not work on Power Point, so I Googled some more and found a program "Remote Buddy". I downloaded the program and drivers and Voila! It works beautifully, so I am on their 30 day free trail, but I will surely buy the download when the free trial runs out!

While I was working with the remote, playing slide shows, I decided I wanted to batch process tiff files into jpegs and I learned that process, amazingly simple, when you know how in CS3. Then I wanted to try out I Movie again and put some images to music for a clip, and this is it. I know you have seen these images before, but I also wanted to try and upload a movie clip to Blogger, I had to convert it into a Quicktime clip in order to play it on Blogger. And in between, painted some wrought iron chairs, watched the home team, beat San Diego! Go Ravens! and went to the local farm, Weber's, and bought some apple cider, and a home made Strawberry Rhubarb pie....they were rocking with business, and it was fun to see the pumpkins and fall harvest foods. I made no images today. : - ( But did get a lot done and learned a few things on my own, with the help of Google.) If anyone has any experience with the Remote Buddy Application, I'd like to know your thoughts...


video

Friday, September 18, 2009

Last of the Lilies at Longwood





Made one last run up to Longwood for the Lily bloom, and then did some driving around scouting Amish Country. I am beat tonight, cut the grass after I got home, but I processed a few images from the day. Gotta love those lilies! I am going to head back to Amish country for some shooting in the near future, just wish those roads had some shoulders so you could pull over and do some real shooting.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A few More Lilies From Longwood Gardens





Got caught up in the office a little today, culling images for a print client, still have more images to review before I go over them with the client. We have been working on a collection of black and white waterfall prints and some soft spring floral prints in greens soft yellows and raspberry, to use as interior compliments. The lilies are so vibrant, they won't work, but it gave me a chance to process a few more....I received a real nice compliment from a workshop participant via e-mail today, and worked with the Hopkins tech crew to set up a meeting to go over the equipment for my class which starts next week. Camera Club tonight and a last trip to Longwood tomorrow before fall shooting begins......

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Longwood Gardens





Had a great time making some images at the lily pools again today, and because of the overcast skies the night bloomers and the day bloomers were open at the same time creating quite a show.
I decided to use my 300 2.8 today and shot with that exclusively for several hours. That big lens draws quite a bit of attention, but it is a beauty of a lens to work with. These are just a few I had a chance to process from the day.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Dewy Lights



These are a few more images I made at Soldiers Delight in the dew filled fine grasses. These images were made with a 200mm macro set to a wide aperture.
Cut the grass and washed the car today, that's it! But that was a lot~

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Busy Weekend!



Just catching some time to chill.

Yesterday morning I conducted a street shoot in Fells Point for Penn Camera. It was a great group and we focused a lot on composition, and some technical learning on specific cameras and lenses. I didn't get much sleep the night before and was running on 3 and half hours sleep, but working in the field always cranks me up and seeing students have breakthroughs in their photographic learning curve is such a charge I didn't even feel the lack of sleep until last night.

After the shoot, I had a nice breakfast with Marie and Steve, who assisted me with the group of ten students, at Jimmy's in Fells Point. Marie and I were looking at my maps of Dolly Sods because she is planning a fall weekend there, and Jimmy the owner asked if we were looking at the Appalachian Mountains. It peaked his interest. He came over and started quizzing us on historical stats, like; Where was the first Monument to George Washington?.......well Steve is not only a Wetlands Biologist, he is also a history buff and has participated in Civil War reenactments..so Jimmy was in trouble. Steve correctly answered South Mountain Maryland.
Jimmy had a few more challenges for the group and Steve correctly answered all of them. After Jimmy went back behind the counter to help with the mornings duties, I said hey, he should get a free breakfast for getting all those correct, just teasing, and you know what, Jimmy did just that...he was a good sport! We had a nice breakfast and headed out!

Marie and I are planning some more workshops in Baltimore at The Aquarium, The Roundhouse and The Conservatory in the winter, as well as a 2 hour lecture and slide show on composition, so look for more events on my calendar and the Penn Camera schedule.

This morning I met Steve D, Steve H, Annette, Irv, Don and a guest at Soldiers Delight State Park.

I grew up near Soldiers Delight, where we always were amazed by Gravity Hill, a road where you could put your car in neutral and it would glide up hill, as a kid it was supposed to be some weird gravitational thing, but in the 1980's it was surveyed and is actually a down grade even though there is a slight up hill grade.

OK back to the photo thing: the grasses for which the serpentine barrens are known for were filled with dewy drops, maybe from all the rain or maybe dew. There are no grand landscapes and there are no real water features in this area, it is mostly ground interest and vegetation, although there are some nice hiking trails and some wild life too.

I did not have a lot of time as I had to get to a Ravens Party! So I stopped and played in the dew soaked grasses. I would have done better if I were willing to get a "wet belly" and shoot low and into the sun, but I was not in the mood for soaking myself in what could have been a deer tick and chigger infested area, so I just got as close as I could with out getting on the ground.

There was so much dew on the fine low grasses it was hard to even figure it out! And the breeze was blowing pretty good to get the taller grasses...so I made a few fun shots in the grass and left.
Came home changed and scrubbed, hopefully all and any bugs off, and
I had a great time at the Ravens Party. That was a nail biter of a game, but we won! Yeah!
Now I have to finish my Power Point for the Beginner 2 Intro to Digital Photography, I will be teaching in November at Hopkins.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Effects Of Polarization






Often I am asked about using a polarizing filter by students, and frequently I find many students don't even own a polarizing filter. Well, I almost never take it off my lenses! Yes I have one for every lens I own. A circular polarizing filter gives you a creative choice in the field on many occasions you could not otherwise achieve, even with Photoshop, unless you did a whole lot of work. Sometimes the effects are subtle and some times they are dramatic. While processing a few more images from Longwood Gardens today, I thought I would share with you the vast difference a polarizer can make in your images, along with a few more shots from my trip this week to Longwood. Longwood uses black ink in their water and when you turn the polarizing filter to a certain position, the water is rendered black, as the polarizer has cut the glare off the water, or by turning the polarizing filter the opposite way the water is rendered a tone reflective of the color of the sky.
The first two images were taken a few seconds apart, and show the dramatic effect polarization can have on your images.

Longwood Gardens







Spent the day, backing up images and moving files off the laptop. I hate that, its just boring and it reminds me how I need to be better at organizing and naming files! So I cleaned up the files as I went along. In between I had a chance to process a few more images from Longwood Gardens.