Sunday, September 4, 2016

A Wonderful Weekend





Last weekend we finished our 3rd annual astrophotography and camping meetup at Spruce Knob, WV.  Each year the event becomes a little more popular and this year I think was the best yet.

This shot was taken on the far side of the lake looking north.  The exposures were a collection of 2 minute exposures that spanned a period of about an hour and 45 minutes.   I would have preferred to let the exposures keep going for 2 or 3 hours, but I was also expecting to get up early for sunrise and unfortunately I’m the type of person that needs a fair amount of sleep.   I usually use Photoshop to assemble my star trails but this time decided to try StarStax and really like the little comets on the end of the each point of light.  So I think I’ll be using StarStax a little more often.

If you want to join us on our next camping trip or any of our Meetup adventures be sure to check out our group.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Mother Nature Puts on a Show



Last night I had the pleasure of presenting my program on Abstract Photography to the Upper Uwchian Area Community Photography Club (UUACPC). On the drive home I could tell there were storms in the distance.

 As I neared the Maryland border I was finally able to get close enough and find a suitable foreground at the northern edge of the storm. I did not have my lightning trigger with me, so I just set the camera to take 20 second exposures and just kept hitting the button.

 If you belong to a camera club in the Mid-Atlantic Area and would like me or Denise to speak at your club please drop us a note.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Don't forget to shoot in your backyard




One of the joys of being a landscape photographer is traveling the country or perhaps the world to pursue your craft.  In this blog I would like to suggest that you not overlook your own backyard.   I'm guilty of this I must admit.  For the past several years I have been working to cultivate a nice garden at home.  Last year I was taking another photographer friend to the airport for a trip to Iceland and he looks around my front yard and asked if I had been taking pictures.   It was a reminder that my hard work from years past was paying off and there was a lot to photograph.  I too was guilty of overlooking the beauty in my own yard.  

Since then I have made more of an effort to photograph the beauty of my own yard.  The blog image is one of my Calla Lilies shot with the new Lensbaby twist 60 with a macro adapter that fits between the body and the lens so I could shoot a little closer.  Clients of Road Runner Photography Tours are eligible for a 10% discount on Lensbaby products, so drop me a line if you want to make Lensbaby part of your photography toolkit.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sunflower Season



The middle of summer has arrived and if you live in the DC area we are lucky to have some great fields for sunflowers that are open to the public.   Mckee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area grows several fields each year and currently the flowers are peeking!

Having shot the sunflowers each year for the past several years I find it a bit challenging to come up with fresh compositions.  On the way to the field this year I noticed some fast moving puffy clouds and was hoping to do some long exposures,  but by the time I arrived the clouds had moved out and I was left with a clear blue sky.   I reached for my seldom used fisheye lens and came up with the shot above.  I used a reflector to light up the face of the flower, but fill flash would have been an option here as well.  

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Solitude



When I started thinking about this blog, I was going to title it “How’s Your Friday Night?”.  The only reason for that question is that I see others post pictures on social media asking such questions when they perceive their location is better at that moment in time than yours.

I’m not convinced that everyone would want to be standing in 3 feet of cold mountain water on a Friday Night.  But this is how I spent last Friday evening and I can’t think of any place that I would rather have been.  Even considering the mild case of poison ivy that was a result of this evening.

This little spot is hidden away on the upper part of the Rapidan River just inside of Shenandoah National Park.   The road getting there is a bit of a rough ride and not something I would want to travel without a 4x4 truck.  The entire evening I had this little portion of the park all to myself.   I love doing tours, workshops and meetups but last Friday evening I really enjoyed the solitude of having this little spot all to myself.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Another Great Meetup




This past weekend our meetup group visited East Broad Top Railroad in Pennsylvania.   The East Broad Top was once a short line railroad that transported coal from the mines to another railroad for transport to the end users.

Mother Nature did not really cooperate and we had a fair amount of rain, but there was plenty to shoot indoors and everyone really enjoyed this location.  


We are in the early stages of planning a return trip so be sure to join our meetup if you want to be notified of our next trip.

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Return of Mother Nature



This past weekend while my partner Denise was busy leading a Meetup in Assateague,  I decided to drive out to Shenandoah National Park.  My first plan was to spend the cloudy afternoon shooting waterfalls, but I lost a couple of hours due to a nail in one of my tires and the subsequent trip back to the city to get the tire repaired.   I still made it to the park in plenty of time for sunset.  The clouds were looking quite promising leading up to sunset, but the magical light never happened.  

That’s okay, I still had plenty of time to shoot landscapes, abstracts and even do a little light painting after dark.   Just a few weeks ago the park suffered a forest fire that affected over 10,000 acres.  In the shot above you can see the fire damaged trees but at the same time other trees are leafing out.  I have no idea what the long term damage might be to some of the trees, but to this untrained observer it looks like Mother Nature is quickly repairing the damage.