As The Sky and Sea Burn Gold

I was a little later getting to the beach that morning but the delay was fortunate because this was the sight that greeted me as I reached the sand dunes. As pretty as sunrises are, they get very samey if you don't have something of interest in your foreground. The beaches at Ocean City Maryland are well tended but there's not much in the way of natural features left, which can result in a bland photo. The fencing here made for some ideal framing.  

Ocean City Pier at Dusk

This photo was taken around dusk and while the sun hadn't set it was getting dark. However, courtesy of an 8 second exposure it looks almost like full daylight. I think it captures the peaceful nature of the moment well. You can see a couple of smudges where people are moving but the long exposure has smoothed out the sea in a very satisfying way and all in all I find it very satisfying to look at.

Sunrise at the Beach

While I enjoy sitting on the beach at sunrise and taking photos, they can get a little samey after a while,  particularly in this case where there was literally nothing but beach and ocean in sight. So I tried something a little different, moving the focus to the sand and having the sun in the background. I think it worked rather well. f/1.7 - 1/125 - 25mm - ISO160


While my new lens isn't a macro lens in any traditional sense the narrow depth of field does make it very good for detail shots because you can isolate just a tiny part of something like this flower for example. I'm having a lot of fun with my new lens but I need to find some additional subject matter for it I think. Maybe try some landscape shots or something. f/2.8 - 1/2500 - 25mm - ISO160

A Rose By Any Other Name

Well it's a tea rose to be precise and you can't smell it at all because, you know, it's a photo, but quoting Shakespeare makes me sound clever and stuff. I'm still practicing with my new camera lens. The previous shots were mostly about taking advantage of the low light capability. Here though there was plenty of light and I wanted to work with depth of field. Once you get down to f1.7 it gets really tricky to get the right bits of the image in focus. I actually misjudged this slightly and the stamen are out of focus, but the petals are nice and sharp so I can live with …Read more  »


Toothless here is not an easy cat to photograph. For a start he's all black which means half the time all you see is eyes. But also any time you get down on the floor to take a photo of him he immediately walks right over to you to sniff the camera. He does, however, love staring out the door when it's open. So I had the opportunity to sneak up on him for this shot. Basically I sat in my chair and hung round the door to snap the photo which accounts for the odd angle.  The speed of the lens let me keep the ISO very low which …Read more  »

Disney Tattoo

Another practice shot with my new 25mm micro four thirds prime lens. This time of one of my wife's Disney tattoos. The f1.7 of the lens is a great thing for taking shots indoors, but that narrow depth of field is challenging. It's very easy to have the wrong thing in focus. But when you've got a narrow target like this it's great. I did do a little post processing to boost the vibrance and focus your eye on the tattoo, but not much. For those who worry about such things this was shot at f1.7, ISO 400, 1/60 speed

Outside Looking In

Trying out my new 25mm Prime micro four thirds lens (so a 50mm equivalent) and I think I like it. I'll have to get used to actually moving instead of just zooming and probably adjust my composition a bit, but it's light and fast which is great in a lot of situations. Here you can see Mouthy, an outside cat who adopted us some years ago. He spends a lot of time looking through the door, meowing pitifully and trying to convince me that he hasn't been fed...

Icy Pond

I'm looking back through my photo archives to see what I haven't posted. This one comes from a couple of months back when we had that ridiculous amount of snow. The photo was taken about 5 days after the snowfall itself and most of what you are seeing is actually a pond covered in ice, covered in snow. Snow is always challenging to shoot but my phone did a pretty good job here.

Spring Morning

Spring in the Washington DC area is a season of wild fluctuations. One day it's 25 degrees and freezing cold, the next day it's 70 and beautiful. In fact it's quite capable of covering 30 degrees within 12 hours. It's a mystery to me how the flowers know what to do. On this occasion though it was a beautiful and incredibly bright spring morning.

Sunrise Safari At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

So my personal highlight from this year's Disney trip was the Sunrise Safari at Disney's Animal Kingdom. This is (or was) an extended version of the regular Kilimanjaro Safari ride plus a buffet breakfast available for a modest, by Disney standards, price to DVC members staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Sadly this has been discontinued (perhaps due to ongoing expansion work at Animal Kingdom or in connection with the planned expansion of regular Safari hours) though our guide said that a replacement was being planned which would focus on the animals in the Savannah's at the Lodge itself. That being the case I'm really glad I got a chance …Read more  »

World Wide Photo Walk 2014 — Harpers Ferry

This is the second year in a row that I've participated in Scott Kelby's Worldwide Photo Walk. Last year I joined a walk at Gettysburg, this year I stayed closer to home and participated in a walk at Harpers Ferry. Originally I planned on doing a different walk since I take photos at Harpers Ferry on a semi-regular basis, but I thought it would be interesting to view the place from other people's eyes and see what that brought to light. One of the reasons I like these photo walks is that they force me to slow my pace down a bit. I have a tendency to walk fast and …Read more  »

Loudon Heights Overlook

Here's a different look at Harpers Ferry. This time round I hiked up Loudon Heights rather than Maryland Heights.While the walk up Maryland Heights is pretty much straight up (well round and round up I suppose) Loudon Heights is a bit more spread out. First you go up, then you walk along the spine of the mountain for a way.At the end of the trail you get this view which is definitely worthwhile.Next time I go up there I need to try out my telephoto lens and get some closer shots of Harpers Ferry itself.

Amber Waves of Grain

Okay well technically it's just regular grass but work with me here. It's also actually a Civil War site, but again, let's not be picky.This panorama is at Harper's Ferry National Historical Park, but it's no at the bit everyone goes to. This is the Murphy-Chambers Farm.While not nearly as visited as the primary site, it does make an excellent walking area with 1-3 miles of mostly flat ground (there are a few ravines if you choose to take them).Amongst other things here you can see the footprint of the John Brown Fort and a gorgeous vista of the Shenandoah River.There are also some earthworks since this is where Confederate General …Read more  »

The Old Vault At Mount Vernon

  As the sign explains (though the text is probably just a little too small in this photo) this is the old Washington family vault at Mount Vernon. George and Martha Washington along with assorted other family members were interred here until the new tomb (which George Washington had instructed be built) was completed in 1831. It's certainly not a very imposing monument. But then I suspect Washington wasn't really anticipating the million or so people who visit Mount Vernon each year. In the absence of any really strong feature I tried to bring out the textures in the wooden door and the brickwork.

George Washington Distillery From The Outside

Here's a more picturesque shot of the George Washington Distillery at Mount Vernon. The building itself is not especially distinctive but the setting is certainly very attractive. The water course adds to the composition of the picture, plus I got lucky with a nice cloudy sky. A little bit of extra processing in Photoshop pulled out the details throughout the picture.

How Much Wood Would A Wood Chuck Chuck?

I went with my son on his recent school outing to Mount Vernon. An interesting place to visit certainly. As part of the trip we also stopped by the George Washington Grist Mill and Distillery. This particular photo is in front of the Distillery portion of the site where a group of people dressed for the part are busy chopping wood. Now keep in mind it was about 90 degrees that day with humidity at 5 billion percent (definitely not a dry heat). It can't have been fun for them. Given the subject matter it just seemed to make sense to go black and white with this one.

Potomac Panorama

On the Maryland side of the Potomac you can walk from Harpers Ferry all the way up to Shepherdstown or further courtesy of the C&O Canal. On the West Virginia side things are a little more limited. But you can walk along the river a way. Which is what I did here, walking until I reached an old rubble dam usually refered to as Dam # 3 (but originally apparently called the Armory Dam). As you can see it makes for an impressive panoramic view of the river.