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.