Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Finale

It’s time to close out another year of sharing my photography here on the blog.   As I have mentioned several times this year, my work with the Nature Visions Expo had an unintended side effect.  It reduced the time I had available to get out and shoot but  I’m not complaining  The Expo is a prestigious event and I’m honored to do my part.  The fact remains that I need to find a way to better manage my time so I still have time to pursue my passion, photography. 

The shot above was taken at the JW Cooper School in Shenandoah, PA.  I spent the day here last August with friends Corey Hilz, Jeff Johnson, and Andy Jezioro.  The owner of the building is in the process of trying to stabilize the property and make some improvements.  It is very much a work in process and he was very kind in allowing us to shoot here all day.   Visiting this area it is quite clear that the local economy is struggling.    It turns out that at one time Mahanoy City was a boom town but that was about 100 years ago.  While the coal industry is still active, I suspect that the activity is a fraction of what it once was.   

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Concrete City

If you follow my blog or know me personally, you know that I have spent much of the past year working on the Nature Visions Photography Expo.  Our Expo was held last month and I have a couple months of downtime before the planning for the 2012 Expo begins.   We are also heading into the winter months.  While there are still lots of photo opportunities during the winter, I also plan to use the time to work on images from the past year as well as do some training.  

The shot above was taken in early summer at a place called Concrete City.  Wikipedia has a nice article that talks about the place.  My friend Greg Daily and I had spent the weekend in Ricketts Glen and we were having a late  dinner, somehow we struck up a conversation with our waitress and starting getting some local info of places to shoot.  Concrete City was one of the places she told us about and we decided to check it out on the way home.   

I don’t think I would make a special trip to shoot there again, but if I was ever in that part of PA, it would be worth a 2nd look. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

High Tide

Last week I met up with friends Tony Sweet, Corey Hilz, Andrea Phox, Charles Riter and James Indelicarto for a couple days of shooting.  We had planned this get together several months ago, but we should have invited the weatherman.   The clouds rolled in prior to our arrival and did not depart until after we headed for home.   In the end a lot of what we planned to do got rained out. 

In the shot above we arrived at the pier about an hour before sunrise and did a little light painting while we waited for daylight.   The shot above is a 30 second exposure and I used a 2 million candle power light to paint the remains of the pier.  Originally I thought all my shots would be converted to black and white, but I really like the blue cast the pre-dawn light rendered on the scene.  

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Late to the Party

I’m falling behind with the Blog this month and I want  to extend my apologies to those of you who are kind enough to follow my work.   I’m one of the organizers of the Nature Visions Expo that is held annually in Manassas, VA and the Expo is keeping me very busy this past month.  I did get away a few weeks ago to shoot fall color, but the leaves were a little past peak and the color was marginal.  I loaded the pictures into my computer but have not had a chance to review them.  Now that the Expo is over for this year I can start spending my time out in the field, but early next year the Expo planning will start up again.  I’m going to have to find a way to balance my passion and my obligations. 

The panorama was shot last year during my trip to West Virginia.   I was truly late to the party.  There were barely any leaves left on the trees.   I was driving along a county road and noticed this scene and pulled over.  The sun was high in the sky which is normally a deal breaker, but the trees in the foreground were creating these great lines leading up to the next group of trees.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Late February I got together with Tony Sweet and a few other friends at Eastern State Penitentiary for a day of shooting.  I have shot at ESP several times and just when I was starting to think I had seen it all, the melting of the winter snow covered the floor with water, presenting me with new ways of seeing the same old thing.      

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Early Fall

I wanted to share one more picture from my hiking trip in Shenandoah a few weeks ago.    While Shenandoah is famous for the sweeping vistas along Skyline Drive, I have always found the park to be much more inviting in the fog. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

First Snow

Each year around the end of September I start watching fall foliage reports.  I suspect that most landscape photographers do the same.   I usually plan to start my fall photography in the Canaan Valley area around the end of the first week in October.  When I checked the West Virginia Foliage Report, I noticed that area of the state was peaking on October 1st, literally 2 days later.   I canceled my plans to participate in a Photowalk here in town and quickly changed my hotel reservations.   The weather forecast for the weekend was snow, rain, and some fog as a bonus! 

The first stop upon arrival and lunch at a favorite location was Dolly Sods.  Near the top of the mountain the rain turned to snow and what a treat.  In the wooded setting above this was a beautiful sight!  At Bear Rocks on the other hand the snow was blowing at about 30mph.  Combine that with the Gray Sky of Death and Bear Rocks was not the most photogenic place.

The conditions in Canaan Valley were peak color but certainly not the best color.   I’m hoping other areas will have stronger color this year. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ghost Town Ahead

I’m finally getting around to posting a picture from last year, one of my early efforts using textures.   This is a small ghost town located in the New River Gorge area of West Virginia.   It was a cool location and I hope to return one day. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Early Fall

As I start to write this blog I’m struggling a bit with the title.   This is a picture that took a little bit of effort to obtain.   But first I digress.   This past weekend I had marked my calendar to shoot star trails.  But as the weekend approached the possibility of having clear skies seemed doubtful.  So after canceling the planned trip to shoot star trails, I  noticed that the weather forecast called for fog in the Shenandoah area.   Time to switch to plan B.  I decided to get up early to be in the Shenandoah for first light and hopefully lots of fog.  The fog was everywhere but so was the rain.   I had decided to hike into the upper falls of White Oak Canyon.  I typically like to start my hikes going up rather than down.  That helps prevent biting off more elevation than I’m able to handle.   We parked at Skyline Drive and started hiking down in the rain and fog.  By we, I mean Duke and me.   Duke is my Labrador Retriever.  Originally I was going to leave him at home this time, but at the last minute he was giving me a really sad look and I gave in.  I’m glad I had him since I only saw a total of 3 people on the trails, but the downside is I came home with a wet and muddy dog and had to give him a bath.          

I really did not take that many pictures, but I’m really pleased with the few that I have.  I’m also happy that my pack and clothes are waterproof because it sure was a wet day.   With regard to the elevation, I made it back up the mountain just fine but I’m also glad the hike was not any longer or steeper.   Driving and hiking through Shenandoah I noticed some yellow leaves and leaves were starting to fall, but in the photo above is the only place that I noticed brilliant red maple leaves and must say I’m surprised they are turning so soon.  Perhaps fall will be early this year, but more important to me, I wish for much more of this brilliant color. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I recently spent a little time in Chincoteague. The highlight of the trip was spending 2 nights shooting the moonrise on the beach.  Besides being eaten alive by mosquitoes, it was a pretty good trip with lots of variety.    On my return home I find that most of my photo friends recommend going in November and now I understand why.   

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pax River Air Show

This year like most years I shoot an air show.  This year the show was located at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station over Labor Day Weekend and the star attraction was the Blue Angels.   When shooting an air show there  are small details, like the color of the sky, that can make a huge difference in the quality of your shots. This year the sky was barely blue with a hint of overcast, not exactly optimal but better than a cloudy day.  I have experienced that as well.  

Spending most of my time shooting objects that don’t move, shooting an air show can be a challenge.  The speeds of the planes can average over 400 mph and occasionally Mach 0.9.  At that speed the sound starts to trail the aircraft.  As in every type of photography composition matters.  It takes a combination of luck and effort to get the shot.   In general there are few keepers and lots of throwaways.   With some maneuvers I just put down the camera,  knowing they might not make good pictures but are a thrill to watch just the same. 

All things  considered an air show is a huge amount of fun.  Our Military puts a lot of effort into providing a safe and entertaining experience.   I for one am grateful for the experience, but more importantly I am grateful for their service to our country! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Storm Over the Valley

A couple of months ago I spent the evening sitting on top of the mountain called Big Schloss located west of Woodstock, Va.  Our objective for the evening was to shoot star trails.  While we were waiting for it to get dark enough to shoot star trails a thunderstorm was happening to the east.  In this area of the country storms generally move from the west to east so in this case I was not really concerned with being among the highest objects in the area.

Since I don’t have a shutter release that trips when it senses a lightning strike.   I would hold the shutter open for a few seconds and repeat.  The image about is a composite of 4 different shots. 

Regarding  star trails, that did not work out.  About 15 minutes after we set up another storm started approaching from the west and we felt it best to get off the mountain before it arrived. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

What to do


This year, just like the past several years,  I headed over to Potomac Maryland to shoot sunflowers.  But this year I found it somewhat difficult.  One reason I suspect was that I spent half my time talking with other photographers and spreading the word about Nature Visions!  Perhaps that kept me from finding my groove.   I suspect the other reason was that having shot this location several times I just did not see much new to shoot.  I don’t  care to duplicate my prior efforts and each time I shoot I generally try to find a new perspective or something different.   When all else fails I reach for the Lensbaby, in this case the Fisheye delivered some shots I had not taken before. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Early this summer I heard about a location with a collection of old cars.  There are not many of these places left and I was on my way within a week.  These old cars are disappearing and I find myself willing to travel significant distance to shoot them. 

When I was a kid Chrome was a big deal.  While you can still find it on today’s cars, it’s not the design feature it once was.  The neat thing about this collection was that most of the cars were from the 50’s and had some of the most ornate hood emblems that I have ever seen.   The owner is looking to get rid of this collection, I’m not sure if it will be there next year, but if it is I hope to shoot it again.  

Monday, August 15, 2011

Quick Trip


Last week my friend Greg called to say he was going to Great Falls on Friday night after work and did I want to join him.  Something happened the last few weeks and that something is that I have not picked up my camera.  I was just starting to get over a nasty summer cold and decided to join friends Greg and Allen for a night out.  Upon arrival at Great Falls the water level was quite nice but the skies were not happening.  What do I mean by that?  No real color and no clouds.  So we hiked down to the river’s edge which is a mini adventure in itself.   We setup in a favorite spot and shot a few frames and watched a few kayakers go over the falls.  I did not have the right lens for the kayakers, but I was prepared to shoot a panorama.    

Monday, August 1, 2011

Texture Overload


A couple of months ago I took friends JustBob and Karen Messick to my favorite Car Farm.   This is a great location and while there is always something to shoot, I must admit that I’m working hard to find it.   There are some factors that change my perspective such as season, time of day, direction of light, etc.  But still I don’t want to take pictures that I have already taken. I also think this type of exercise helps me develop as a photographer.  It forces me to try and see past the easy shots.

The rusted exteriors of the cars are full of texture, but in this case I decided that some additional texture was the look I was after.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mountain Laurel

For years I have noticed the Mountain Laurel in Shenandoah National Park but before this year I have never seen it in bloom. It seemed like I was always early or late. This past June as I was driving through the Southern section of the park the Mountain Laurel was in peak. I had originally driven up to the park to photograph the fawns and pretty much struck out in that regard. But the Mountain Laurel was a nice surprise and helped make the trip worthwhile.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ricketts Glen

The shot above was taken in late May at Ricketts Glen in Pennsylvania. This was my first trip to Ricketts Glen and I was not disappointed. The best time to go seems to be in the spring when the water is flowing. I had planned to go last fall but called the park to find out that the water flow was barely a trickle. The park has a large number of waterfalls, but a little hiking is required to reach them.

The shot above is a double layer panorama. I used an old Nikon manual focus 28mm perspective correction lens to shoot the double layer. The nice thing about such a large shot will be evident if I ever print the picture. The native size of this shot is 25 by 45 inches.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Incredible Iceland

As I write this post I just finished tweeting with my friend Tony Sweet who is back in Iceland for what I expect will be another great workshop. Last year I “got lost” in Iceland with Tony and Einar. It was the trip of a lifetime! As I mentioned in my blog last year, Iceland is a wonderful country and the people are warm and welcoming. I love America but Iceland in some respects felt like home.

When I look at the few thousand pictures from last year I remember all of them except for this one. I just don’t remember taking this picture. It’s mine, no doubt about it. I considered entering this picture in Nature Visions last year, but something told me it might not do that well. Regardless, it is one of my favorites from the trip.

I know one thing for sure… I can’t wait to see the images Tony brings back this year.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

So much for being timely

When doing a photography blog it seems that two things are necessary, regular posts and perhaps timely posts.  After all in this day of instant communication, it’s about what you’re doing “now”.  I try and post about once a week, give or take a few days.   I also try and keep the work recent, but it seems like I’m failing at the second part of the deal.  I’m working through a considerable backlog of images and see no indication that I’ll be caught up anytime soon.  So I’m going to ask for some forgiveness from my followers in regards to the “timely” part.   If you want to follow my latest adventures,  I would recommend that you follow me on Facebook and Twitter

Above is an image that I took of the Bluebells back in April.  I used a light green fabric for the background and a reflector to put just a light splash of sunlight on the flowers. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

If It’s Red Shoot It!

Last Winter I was downtown on a cold rainy day and noticed this line of bicycles.  The repeating lines and the color were too much to ignore.   

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What to do with a Blue Sky

For the longest time I have avoided shooting a subject with a clear blue sky. Oftentimes I might find it to be a beautiful day but that does not mean the clear blue sky makes an interesting photograph. My friend John Barclay changed all that. John posted a picture on his blog last year that changed my whole perspective.

When I shot this skyscraper in Baltimore at dusk a few months ago, I knew that the creative use of texture would be just what I needed to finish the picture.

Monday, June 13, 2011

It’s Just A Picture

Pictured above is the St. Nichols Coal Breaker in Mahanoy City, PA. I heard about this place last fall and was even told there were not any “No Trespassing” signs. So a couple of weeks ago on my way to Ricketts Glen I decided it was worth a slight detour to do a little site survey. For someone who enjoys photographing decrepitude it just does not get any better. But as they say, “Houston, we have a problem”. Upon my arrival I noticed brand new “No Trespassing” signs all over the property. In photographing a place like this you already take on a fair amount of risk, mostly risk of injury. I was not willing to take on the risk of criminal charges.

Upon returning home I contacted the company that owns the property to seek permission to photograph. As expected I was told the site is off limits. I have always respected the property rights of others and while I would love to photograph this wonderful place, I just can’t disregard the wishes of the property owner as well as risk legal trouble. After all, it’s just a picture.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cape May


As I mentioned in my last post, my friend Tony Sweet invited me up to Cape May for a weekend of shooting.  Tony showed all of us the great sites and I can easily understand why people fall in love with this little beach town.   

Friday, June 3, 2011

One more from the Car-nival

I wanted to post one more panorama from my recent trip to the Cape May. One of the challenges of shooting this location was the clutter and the harsh light. Shooting most of my shots in Infrared helped solve the harsh light problem. My other challenge was trying to simplify the clutter. I’m always thinking about the composition and I do not agree with people who say they will fix it in Photoshop, but this time I was able to use some techniques in post-production that helped simplify the scene. I shot 3 panoramas on this trip. I posted the 3rd panorama a couple weeks ago on Facebook. There is a link on the side of this page if you wish to join my Facebook Page.

Lately I have been in the habit of only posting a select image here on the blog. This time I decided to post a few additional pictures from this trip.

Click here for a gallery.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Car-nival

A few weeks ago my friend Tony Sweet invited me to meet him after his Cape May workshop for a unique visit to a junk yard.  Spending the weekend at the beach with a side trip to a junk yard was just too good to refuse.  What was unique about this particular junk yard was the inventory of cars from the 30’s and 40’s.  I suspect there were at least 200 cars and trucks from this bygone era.  As with most photography subjects, I think it might take multiple visits to fully explore what this location has to offer.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Secret Location

This past Saturday night I was on my way to White Oak Canyon to shoot the falls.  Along the way I saw a familiar road sign that pointed to the Rapidan Wildlife Management Area.   I have been back in this area many times over the last couple of years and find it a great place to shoot.  The Rapidan River runs parallel to the road for several miles with easy access to great photographic material.   I decided to head up to the Rapidan instead and am glad that I did because it was flowing the best I have ever seen it.  I just wish I had remembered to bring my chest waders because there were several shots that would have required me to stand in that deep of water.  Instead the  bottom of my shorts got a bit wet. 

While I have a number of shots I would love to share, as I mentioned in my prior post I’m a bit busy, so just one this time. 

I have seen plenty of campers and fishermen in this area  but never another photographer.   I figured that it was time to spread the word. 

Click here for the location on Google Maps.   Also note the roads are rough, if you decide to go I recommend a truck or SUV. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spring is upon me and I’m not ready

I keep telling myself that I’m a Nature Photographer but in truth I find so many wonderful things to shoot.  I have been spending the past couple weekends up to my elbows in rusted cars.   I also had a nice trip to Cape May, NJ last weekend and  am hard at work on the 2011 Nature Visions Expo.  I’m not complaining but the truth is the Expo work does cut in to my image processing time.  Last year was a great year for the Expo and we are hard at work to make the 2011 Expo every bit as good and perhaps just a little bit better!  This year Art Wolfe will be our Keynote Speaker and we could not be more excited!   

I’m also moderating the Nature Visions Blog this year.  So in addition to checking out my site, I hope you will make frequent visits to the Nature Visions Blog.  

Monday, May 16, 2011

Riding the Back Roads

I love country roads!  Give me the country and the mountains any day.  The shot above was taken near Old Rag Mountain.  I have been past this location many times but on this cold day in December it seemed particularly moody and warranted taking the time to make a few pictures.   This nice thing about nature and landscape photography is that the scene is always changing.  If you don’t like how something looks, wait a little while or visit often.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

History Lesson

Lately I have developed a habit of reviewing my images weeks and sometimes months after I have taken them.  It’s not that I’m not excited about my pictures, I am.   In the case of the shot above, I ventured out on New Year’s morning to shoot a sunrise at a nearby abandoned farm.  The farm was a bit disappointing but I found this little cemetery on the way home. It is now April and I’m just getting around to working with this image.  Truthfully I was not sure what I would do with this shot or more precisely how I would process the picture and that might be part of the reason for the delay. 

I remember being struck by stumbling upon the grave of a former Speaker of the House of Delegates in such a small run down cemetery.   It turns out that John Franklin Ryan was indeed a former Speaker of the House in addition to being a large landowner and farmer.   The Loudoun Independent has a great article on this former farmer and Speaker of the Virginia House. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Last weekend I had just finished hiking in Shenandoah National Park and while riding home I drove by Eco Tulips in Brightwood, Va.   They were having an open house event and were kind enough to let me come in and photograph.    The mid-day sun was quite bright, but with the use of a diffuser and reflector I was able to get the desired results. The Lensbaby is easily one of my favorite tools for flower photography and in the shot above it delivered great results. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday

Last December I drove down to Hollywood Cemetery to meet up with a few of my fellow camera club members.  I had a hard time finding my groove on that cold winter morning.  But after putting the finishing touches on this image,  I think the trip turned out just fine.   Hollywood Cemetery is a very old cemetery that is home to 2 former Presidents and many other historical people.  In the shot above I used my infrared converted camera to take the basic shot and added the glow and color in post processing. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Meet Wendall


That gentleman in the picture is Wendell Shepherd.  But before we get to him, I want to talk about me.   I’m a nature photographer but if you have been following my Blog you might not believe me.   After all, I have lots of pictures of old cars, old buildings, and kids on skateboards.  Even with the kids on skateboards, the picture is more about what they are doing rather than who they are.  A few weeks ago I attended a lecture in Baltimore by my friends Tony Sweet and John Barclay.  During John’s “Dream, Believe, Create” lecture he shows wonderful examples of people he has captured with his camera.  But like me, John is a “nature” photographer and we find ourselves on similar paths.  I know that I’m still passionate about getting out in nature and making pictures and I know John is as well, but I think we both seek something more.  After hearing John talk about photographing people and the barriers within him, we were inspired.  After the lecture I headed down to the Inner Harbor with friends Greg and Bill to shoot at night.  While shooting  we also heard a trumpet player off in the distance.  We were all of the same mind about seeking out the source of the music.   We found Wendell.  He was quite agreeable to letting us photograph him in exchange for some compensation.   I wonder if we had not been inspired by John’s lecture during the day,  would we have set off in search of the music?  The shot above was taken with my trusty Lensbaby.  

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lensbaby Sweet 35


A couple of weeks ago a new toy arrived in the mail--the Lensbaby Sweet 35.  This is a brand new optic for the Lensbaby Composer.  The lens has the effective field of view of a 35mm lens. The normal Lensbaby is 50mm equivalent. This lens is also the first to offer a built-in adjustable aperture ring.   The very next day I was at the Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum for a day long photo shoot and I figured this would be as good a time as any to test the lens.  I was very pleased with the way the lens focused and operated, but the big surprise happened after I returned home.  In the picture above, the rainbow colored shafts of light were a surprise that I did not expect.   I looked at my other shots and did not see this effect so it will take a bit of experimentation to figure out how to duplicate this effect in the future. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hanging out with the Image Doctors

 A few weeks ago my friend Tony Sweet invited me to do some shooting at Eastern State Penitentiary.  I also got to shoot with Jason O’Dell and Rick Walker, otherwise known as the Image Doctors.  We had a great time and I probably should have told them how much they influenced my first couple years of photography.   While Rick and Jason both shoot Nikon, the guests they interview and the topics they discuss will take you beyond camera brands.  In case you have never listened to one of their podcasts,  click here and give them a listen.   

Considering this was a cold February day, the prison had only a few visitors and I was able to shoot the stitched wide angle panorama above without tourists getting in the way.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Shenandoah after the Fire

On a windy day in February I was out scouting the back roads of the Shenandoah Valley with my friends Greg and Dan.   During the day we noticed that a small area of Shenandoah National Park was on fire.  The high winds soon spread the fire across 2000 acres of the park.   A couple of weeks later I decided to do a little hiking and survey the damage.  I could not escape the burnt smell of the forest but surprisingly the damage appeared minor.  Some of the living trees had a little damage to the bark, but most of the fuel for the fire appeared to be the dead wood that litters the forest floor.   Considering the amount of fuel that litters the forest floor in Shenandoah, I wonder if one day a lightning strike or perhaps someone’s carelessness will do far greater damage to this park. 

Monday, March 28, 2011


Recently my friend Karen Rexrode gave  a presentation to our camera club and one of the topics was freezing flowers.  I was intrigued and the results are certainly unique.  With daffodils starting to bloom and no other plans to make pictures this weekend, I thought I would give this a try.  I learned a few things and had a good time in the process.   I’m just getting started and hope to do some more experimentation over the next few weeks.  If you’re interested in learning how to do this drop me an email and I’ll send you instructions. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Work in Progress

A lot of my friends are playing with Textures these days.  I never felt like this was something I wanted to pursue until this past summer.  While in Iceland Tony Sweet showed me how to save a soft image with the use of a texture overlay.  I have been using a lot of textures with my Android Photos, but until now I really have not used them on the photos taken with the big boy camera. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Urban Exploration II

I wanted to share one more shot from my recent trip to Baltimore. This one is easily my favorite.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Urban Exploration

About a 3 months ago I got an e-mail asking if I wanted to come up to Baltimore and do a little urban exploration. Naturally I jumped at the chance. The place in question was an old distillery. We never got to see any of the distilling equipment. I’m not sure if the equipment was still on site or disassembled. Essentially old warehouse space at this point. Still a great trip!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mount Storm

Perhaps the title makes you think I should be talking about a mountain? Mount Storm is a coal fired power plant in West Virginia. I have driven past this plant on my trips to Canaan Valley. I have always thought it might make a nice picture at night, but I never wanted to wait several hours for night fall just to take one picture. During a recent trip through West Virginia I happened to be in the area after dark. An interesting fact is that I had heard about Mount Storm many years ago when I was into scuba diving. The water from the power plant keeps the lake warm, thus this is a popular location for divers in the winter. I never got the chance to dive here, but on the cold night that I took this picture there was a fair amount of steam coming off the water.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tulip Farm

Or perhaps I should title this post Tulip Factory.  Manassas Warrenton Camera Club recently took a trip to Tulips USA.   It was one of the best attended club trips I have ever been on.  I think all of us had visions of a greenhouse full of tulips in bloom!  The reality was quite different.  This facility has multiple rows of greenhouses,  all of them at least a football field in length. The tulips are grown hydroponically and are picked just short of blooming.  After all, they need to be in bloom after the customer takes them home.  The owner of Tulips USA gave us a complete tour of his facility and then turned us loose.  We had free reign to shoot anywhere in the facility, very generous on his part.   As I recall this facility ships about a million tulips a week.  It was a very impressive operation.

While I think most of us showed up on Saturday morning with a vision of rows of tulips in full bloom, it took me only a few minutes to readjust my expectations.  I always try and embrace what is right with the world, at least in regard to making pictures and this was a great place to spend the morning.  I think most of my fellow club members felt the same way.