Sunday, February 21, 2010

Howard Rawlings Conservatory

Yesterday, I had a great group of workshop participants at The Howard Rawlings Conservatory, previously The Baltimore Conservatory, named in 2005 after the late Del. Howard P. Rawlings, a State House legend, and the father of the new Mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
We enjoyed working in the Palm house, the orchid room, the desert room, and the Mediterranean room. These are a few shots I made after the group had left for the day. By then it was late afternoon and the sun was streaming through the conservatory I made some back lit images of a leaf with a slower shutter to blur a little and an abstract of some orchid petals, while shooting with my 200mm macro attached to a 52 mm extension tube. I then wanted to capture some shots of the Mediterranean room pool, where I helped a student see the bubbles in the pool as a possible image. So I switched lens and played there for a while. It was a fun day at the conservatory and it was nice to shoot some images with lots of color...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Winter White

A quick trip to the post office today, turned into a little photo adventure. I admit I did take my camera with me, and one lens, with the idea of riding through Loch Raven to see how it looked after the big snowstorms. It looked beautiful, and some of the coves were frozen over with snow. However, accessibility looks like everything else, huge berms of snow along the road you can hardly see over and there is no place to pull over and I moved on to the Cromwell Valley Park, and worked with the white barn there. On the way home I decided to stop and see how the Hampton Mansion buildings looked like in the snow and did some shooting on the farm side of the property. I played with the white on white theme that emerged when shooting the barn at Cromwell Valley Park.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Shawan Valley

Had a chance to get out briefly today with my camera, to see what opportunities existed in the Hunt Valley area. There were lots of possibilities but the roads were piled so high with snow there was no place to stop, and when I did there was no time to get a tripod out as it was in the middle of the road for a quick couple of grab shots....still I enjoyed looking at the beautiful snow covered landscaped of rolling hills and horse fencing..The sky was almost the same reflectance as the snow and it allowed me to create this very minimalist group of images as the sky merged with the landscape. These are a few shots from the morning.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Blizzard around the Neighborhood

Whew, did some more digging today and got out of the driveway! The snow plow never came down the side street so I shoveled out to the corner. These images were made yesterday as the blizzard was in full force. It was a challenge to keep the lens clean, but I tired to keep the wind to my back when shooting. I was using the 11-24mm lens on my Nikon D2X. I wasn't the only one out, some neighbors were cross country skiing, some shoveling and some had been out very early with their snow blower cutting paths in the neighborhood. Maybe I can get out to do some real shooting tomorrow...and then I am attending the BSO event Pictures of Music, which is a show of Ansel Adams work to the music of Dave Brubeck...I am looking forward to that!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Baltimore Blizzard #2 Second Edition ; - )

Well, I remembered I'd better get the snow shoveled at least to the gates or I couldn't open them...they push out and I am I shoveled a little path to them and then did one driveway....but that was all for now...I do love the snow and used to ski in weather like this so it was no problem getting gear, goggles and stuff work really well! Still coming down hard...but here are some neighborhood shots...that's about all the farther it was safe to walk! Sharing some pictures of my driveway too!

Baltimore Blizzard #2

OK here we go again, maybe I can get out to shovel a little, but it looks doubtful...heavy snow falling and very windy now!!!!! So, the snow blows out of the shovel before you can even dump it! Snapped a few wide angle shots through the window. That six foot fence is rapidly disappearing, the garden shed is almost buried, and I can hardly see my neighbors house out the bedroom window...the garage roof has two feet of snow on it...hope it holds! .....a real blizzard....AGAIN!!!!!!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Snow Day Images

Today was the first day I ventured out onto the roads after the blizzard.....whew...that was a lot of work! After getting more gas for the snow blower, and some staples at the grocery store, I headed back home to try and get the second drive way plowed out before the next 20 inches of snow falls on Tuesday and Wednesday. Too bad the snow blower has a problem..after priming the engine...I noticed gas just pouring out of somewhere and the engine failed to start. Thinking maybe it flooded, I grabbed the shovel and started into the large snow plow berm. A few feet in (and not even to the drive) I went back to the snow blower and tried again with no back to the drive way...when I went back to the snow blower this time it started, I wheeled it down the street to the other drive way ( I live on a corner ) and made a few swipes it conked out! No gas, of course it all poured out on the walk from some where, so I thought well one more try, put a little gas in and no start! So the next 20 inches will all be by shovel! I think I am getting too old for all this! Thank goodness I had a strong neighbor push it back up the street...These shots I made yesterday, on my neighborhood walk........wish I could drive out to get some shots but around here there is just no place to park if you want to get out and make some images...and I guess its just not smart.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Baltimore Blizzard The Day After in Greenbrier

Well, it has been a challenging two days for the residents of DC, Philly and Baltimore! The Blizzard of 2010 really left its mark. Yesterday was all about digging out during the final hours of the storm and today, for me was about walking around the neighborhood, as we still could not get out of the neighborhood. It was nice to see all the neighbors out, engaged in either work or play as a result of the snow. The final tally for Towson was 25 inches! I walked around with my 70-200 lens, really hoping for some artistic images but enjoyed documenting the activities and conditions in the neighborhood. When I was processing these I wanted to use black and white toning as the snowfall reminded me of snows when I was a child. Dad was shooting black and white film then and all our early family pictures were in black and white. It just looked right to for all my friends in Florida, Las Vegas and Tennessee or elsewhere that used to live in the DC Balto metro is what you missed! (As I write this, there is a front end loader outside and a small plow, finally!)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Fonthill Castle

Its snowing in Baltimore now, a good night to finish up some processing on the images I captured at The Fonthill Castle. Thanks to John Barclay, who arranged for a small group of photographers to visit and gain entrance before the Castle opened to the public. This property does not allow indoor photography with a flash and they do not allow "normal" visitors to use we were very fortunate to have John organize this shoot. The property is an amazing assortment of collections in an unorthodox concrete building, with intimate and grand spaces, filled with antique collections, and furniture. It is hard to imagine living in this place with limited light. The Edison light bulbs, used then were only 25 watts and all the electricity is strung on the surface of the concrete walls. Now the bulbs are 60 watts and cost $11.50 each! Oh and I would be amiss if I also didn't thank the "legend" Tony Sweet for hauling me up there in a snowstorm! And for AAA for coming to our aid when the keys got locked in the trunk! It was a really fun time..

Monday, February 1, 2010

Fonthill Castle

A few more from this amazing place, Fonthill. Mercer collected so many interesting things, and had such a creative mind with the creation of this "castle". He was afraid of building fires so he built it from cement, and also because cement was the only material that would support all this tile work. I love ceramic tiles and have a small collection, so I really appreciated all the details. I also collect prints and his collection on the walls was amazing, and I love old home I was really having fun, but I wanted to spend time just looking....I have to go back! Plus I want to visit the museum!