Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fonthill Castle

Today was a great day of shooting in the Fonthill Castle, before it opened to the public. The arrangements had been made in advance by a local photographer. It is not usually available for photographers and there is no flash allowed inside so all the images we made were either straight shots or bracketed shots for processing in Photomatix, as HDR images. A little note on the man who amassed such a fabulous collection and heritage....Between 1908 and 1916, Henry Chapman Mercer built three concrete structures by hand with a small group of laborers: Fonthill as his residence and for his collection of artifacts from around the world, Moravian Tile Works to bring back handmade tile in response to machine made, and the Mercer Museum as a showplace for artifacts of American industriousness (most of the thousands of items were secured by Mercer in the early part of the 20th century, put the collection is always being added to)

Fonthill and Mercer Museum are sister properties and open to the public for tours. They are administered by the Bucks County Historical Society in Doylestown, PA.
It is an amazing structure! I really enjoyed the fun company of some fellow photographers!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Eastern Shore a few more

Here's the last from the Eastern shore run I made with Don Wagner on Saturday. Did some house chores and made preparations for the presentation tomorrow with Steve Gottlieb for Terumo Medical. Steve has been working on a corporate motivational presentation which should be great. I will be assisting him with the logistics tomorrow.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Eastern Shore

Busy day, getting some things caught up around the house...paying bills, office work etc...and I just processed a few more from the Eastern Shore. The Chesapeake Bay and it's bounty is in serious decline. Many oyster men who made their living from the bay are now finding other ways to make a living. The rich heritage of the old water men still exists in small towns on the Eastern Shore and Tilghman Isand is one of those towns. Fishing Charters, Duck hunting excursions and tour boat rentals are everywhere. I enjoyed being there for a little while making some images around the old Marina on the Knapps Narrows.

Eastern Shore

Today I spent the day photographing with Don Wagner from Shadyside, MD, the skipper of Der Baron, who won first place in his class in the Governor's Cup sail boat race last summer. He is also a member of the Annapolis Digital Photography Club and I had promised him a day in the field, since he and his crew were so wonderful to allow me to participate in the race last year as a member on his boat.
We had a really fun day shooting today. The light was a bit of a challenge...hmmm what do you do with bright mid day clear blue sky light? Shoot reflections...? We started in the Annapolis Harbor as a warm up and then headed to Kent Island where the work boats tie up...we worked the boats in dock making images of lines and reflections. After we had finished we had a great lunch at the Narrows Restaurant. I enjoyed a cup of their out of this world cream of crab soup and a fried oyster sandwich. We headed on toward Tilghman Island in hopes of catching some more boats and a sunset. We made a few images there and then headed toward the tip of the island, stopping one more time in a marina area, where the light was amazing but only for a few minutes, we worked fast and made some images. Sunset was disappointing and we headed back. It was a long but great day. I got a few keepers from the day.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Seeing in Black and White

I am a color girl, (interesting though that I chose a B&W image for the blog image) I do love color in my images but every once in a while, I test out some shots in Black and White. That is.... I shoot them in color and convert in PS. I am intrigued with the vision of some photographers who only "see" images in black and white...not because they are color blind, but because they are "wired" this way.
Arthur Ransome, shared this actual thought process with me one day when I asked him about his work. When Arthur came to The Baltimore Camera Club, I was impressed with his work, but he always displayed in Black and White only. I asked why and he said he only "sees" images as Black and White, not color, even though he is not color blind. That was a big awareness for do I get images in my mind in black and white? It is a good challenge to try and see...from another persons perspective...gradually over time I am getting it. These are a few, I converted a couple days ago and never got to posting.....Black and White is such a beautiful classic look....check out Arthur's site for some nice work! and his thoughts.

Sundown is an image overlay in Photoshop: Iced In is a macro image; shot with a 200 mm lens, converted in PS and Tracks is a 3 shot HDR converted in PS.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

B & O Train Museum Workshop

It was a great day to be inside at The B&O Train Museum, even though I would have liked to do some shooting in the train yard, there was plenty of material to keep us busy for four hours inside the car yard and the round house. I had a great group of students and we made lots of images. I however did not make one, until the group had left and the Museum was about ready to close. I wanted to spend some time making a few HDR images and a few multiple exposures I had an idea for, but only had time for two time consuming shots, 10 multiples, and five shot HDR in low light takes time...I look forward to my next visit to the museum for some more shots. The folks there are all terrific and have lots of great info on the museum and its fabulous history..not to mention the very cool trains...if you get a chance I do suggest a visit.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Susquehanna Field Shoot

Today, Don, Steve, Chris, Karen, Offie, Annette, members of the Baltimore Camera Club met for a morning field shoot in Susquehanna State park. I had no expectations as the weather has been warm. Upon arriving at the fishing pier, the light was beautiful on the bridges, so I made a few shots there before the group headed up to the mill to check on the ponds for icy opportunity. Amazingly there was some opportunity in the little ponds by the mill. The melting surface added some very interesting textures and graphics around the leaves. We worked the pond for quite a while. We enjoyed some nice warm coffee and conversation afterward over a hearty breakfast, at the Waffle house!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fun Time

Hmmmmm......Imagine that I took no photos today, but I did get a chance to talk about photography at Penn Camera on Reisterstown Road in Owings Mills. I had a great group of participants with lots of great questions and contributions. I hope to see them again on a future workshop. I am reminded how exciting it is to be a photographer when I do a workshop, give a lecture or teach. Creating an image, sharing your vision and your world with others is very satisfying. Then I think about the network of amazing photographers connected on Facebook, I can look at Volcanic images and then look at images from the streets in India...photographers sharing their world and their vision....imagine a world with out pictures? Thanks to all the photographers who share their world.

Here's a shot from fall that has been sitting on my desktop, waiting for the right time to get on the blog! ; - 0 I made this in fall, loved the gray sky background with the leaves dancing in the light on graceful baring branches as the soft light gave shape and dimension to the trees branches and trunk. A simple image of a tree......

Saturday, January 9, 2010

One more little snow fall

When we get snow around here it just does not stay very long so when we had an overnight dusting yesterday, I decided to make one more quick run to Loch Raven for some snowy images. I must admit I was a little tired...but headed out any way. By the time I got out, the snow had stopped falling, the skies were beginning to clear, and the wind was kicking up bringing yet another snap of below freezing "Canadian Air". The wind started blowing the snow off the pines as the sun was rising, creating a beautiful effect. The lake was freezing over amazingly as just two days before, only some coves and edges had ice. In the afternoon I saw Avatar and enjoyed a dinner at P.F. Changs. Today processed some shots, got the books set up for 2010 and files 2009 for the accountant. Now have to do some updating for my presentation at Penn Camera on Tuesday night.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

In Search of Icy Images

After a few more frigid days in Baltimore I was hopeful there would be some great skim ice in the Susquehanna State Park. A quick check of the Conowingo Dam water flow indicated the water had been stopped all night. But unfortunately by the time Tony and I arrived the water had been cut loose and was flowing fast and high. Oh and it was snowing, so that ruined the chances of getting any images in the pond as the snow had covered the surface of the ice. We made some images of the water with some ice skirts around rocks and edges by a small stream. I also made some images of the large Sycamore leaves filled with snow. After checking a few more shooting spots we decided to head to Loch Raven and see what there was to shoot there. After arriving we decided there was not much, but I made a few icy images in the marshy area while Tony worked the edges of the marsh with icy subjects. It was fun being out and enjoying some great conversation and reminisce about our good friend Barb.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Susquehanna Ice

Today, the alarm went off at 5:30! It was tough getting out of bed as the temperature was 19 degrees and the wind had been howling all night, keeping me up as the large trees just outside my window were making lots of noise as the wind roared through the branches. After putting lots of layers on I headed out. The wind was still blowing steady at about 20 MPH.
(Boy that little 1991 16v VW Jetta loves cold weather! It started up just like that!) Had to shift my gear from one car to the other as I just didn't feel like getting the other car out of the garage.

I met Annette and Steve at 7:00 am in White Marsh and we headed north to the Susquehanna State Park. After riding through the park along side the river and checking out our favorite spots, we saw the water was running high, which meant, no skim ice as it would be washed away. So we checked out Deer Creek for any icy formations along the banks and didn't see any in the immediate area of the parking spot; we headed back to the ponds by the mill. Boy it was cold! The ponds were a little less than clear from the snow we had a couple days ago, but there was some material to work with. We bundled up and got our gear set. We did some steady shooting for an hour and a half before calling it a morning. We were, hungry, cold and ready for some coffee!

These are a few from today:
Frozen White is an overlay of two images. There was only one completely frosted frozen under ice white leaf and I got the idea to just make a white image as it really reflected the cold of the day.
Beech Leaf is a "Quad Mirror" image, that's one image mirrored twice in PS.
Greenbrier leaf is pretty much a straight shot with a touch of Topaz Adjust.
Maple Freeze is a slide sandwich that's a layer of screen a layer of multiply with some Gaussian blur or something like that...."A La Tony Sweet" Check out his Visual Artistry DVD the PS action is demonstrated there! I thought I'd give it a try and see how I liked it..and there also is some selective color adjustments in PS.
Ice Bubbles is also a pretty straight shot, with some Topaz Adjust..
now it's Ravens Time! We better win this one!

Oh and the last shot was made by Steve Harman of the Girls on the icy pond, with our Nikons pointing straight down...this ice work is back breaking. Thanks Steve!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Mirror Images in ; - ) It was cold...then worked on getting the end of year financial statements completed for the Condo Association at the beach, yes I am the treasurer, putting that MBA to work. I finished them, printed out the reports and put them in envelopes ready to go out! That is always a chore I am happy when I complete it. But it also reminded me the beach house will be opening in three months, April 1st... yeah..I'll be sending out letters to potential renters in the next week or two...

Then I cut my finger : - ( darn those file folders, its tough to stop a bleeding finger when trying to wrap a band aid around it! Thank goodness for Neosporin with pain relief, paper cuts hurt! I had to wrap three band aids to get it to stop bleeding! Ouch. Well at least its not my camera hand.

Just as I started to cull images for a client who wants two more images for her collection I received a phone call from a school buddy who now lives in Mass. We were buds in the 1960's...its so nice to have friends who are life long! Thanks for calling Kathy! Nice talking to you.

I received some nice feedback on those mirrored Ice Images I posted yesterday, so I played with two more..
Tomorrow a couple of my friends and I are heading up to the Susquehanna to hopefully get some more icy images...its really only that cold here in Baltimore for a couple of weeks so you have to get out while the weather is right for ice.

So I will have to finish sorting through some images tomorrow for a client. More office work tonight.