Blazing fall colors

In the coming months as fall begins to settle in the trees will go through the annual ritual of shedding thier leaves in preparation for winter. Depending on where you live this can be an amazing display of color. Years ago I did some work for the Toftrees Marriott Golf Resort in State College, PA. The resort wanted to update the score cards and adverstisements to help attract more visitors. My images were used for this and for a spread in a small magazine called Met Golfer. I did the work in the fall right at the peak for changing leaves. The golf course looked great with the clear sky and vivid colors. Next month we are planning a trip to West Virginia to experience the fall colors in the Appalachian Mountains which we are very much looking forward too.

Fighting the fire

I’m in the process to become an Instructor for the Univ. of MD Fire Rescue Institute. This is a long process that entails hours and hours of training and experience. The end game is to teach Firefighter I or II classes to new students. One of the most exciting things about the classes are the live fire evolutions. This is why they are in the class. To learn how to safely enter a structure that is on fire and control the situation. Sounds crazy right? We wont go into that… During the live fire drills, students are trained for an aggressive interior attack in a very hostile environment. This is no joke and can be extremely dangerous to anyone entering the building much less the room. Instructors follow strict guidelines always keeping everyone’s safety in mind. In the end, material is set ablaze in the room and a group of students go in to learn how a fire behaves and grows. The heat gets intense, you can hear the debris crackling as it is consumed by the chemical chain reaction taking place, the instructors are there right by the students side to keep them calm. It is one of the most incredible things for a student to experience. They are taught to stay low to avoid the heat. The class is trained to properly extinguish the fire along with a multitude of other skills.This environment isn’t exactly made for cameras. I can’t even think of entering the room with something that isn’t designed for this environment, which I don’t have. I have to be very careful not to melt the thing into a useless piece of metal. I have to stay in the room or corridor outside of the burn room. In this shot, Instructor J. Rose, one of the most experienced instructors around with over 32 years of teaching is explaining to a student what is taking place as the fire grows.

NJ Lake Sunset Pt. II

Whenever I am shooting, I always look around at the small stuff in the area. If you look closely enough, you can find another picture right in front of you. Change lenses to a telephoto to isolate an area. Move the camera around and find something that catches your eye. Work the scene to get every last possibility…

New Jersey Sunset

I took this photo awhile ago while vacationing in New Jersey. It is one of my favorites from there because it is so unlike what everyone thinks of when they hear New Jersey. While the sun was going down, I was able to get some close up shots of the water lillies as well. Other than the occasional fishing line being cast into the lake, it was perfectly quiet and still. It just goes to show that no matter where you are, you can find a shot of something captivating…

Tranquility

I spent just about every evening along the shores of the Pamlico Sound while vacationing in Avon. It is hard to describe how calm the water was while watching the setting sun. I recently aquired a Sing-Ray Gold-n-Blue Polarizer and Vari-ND filter which I wanted to try out. It is something you need to practice at and use sparingly. Typically polarizers work best when used at a 90 deg angle to the sun. This polarizer works in all kinds of situations and doesn’t block nearly the amount of light that a circular polarizer does. I couldn’t use the Vari-ND filter because the sun would be moving too much during the shot. I waited until after the sun dipped below the horizon to make use of it. I will post a seperate image of that later. As you can see, the Gold-n-Blue makes for a great image.

Tone Mapped Tobacco Barn

This shot is from last winter – more of the barns of southern maryland series. I happened to revisit this barn on my way home this past weekend to find it in a totally different state. No, it wasn’t getting fixed up, but the Model A Ford is no longer and occupant and some of the junk was moved around. I was somewhat disappointed to find that the car was gone. I had a couple of ideas that I wanted to try out. No luck there unfortunately.  All I can do now is be thankfull that I was able to get the shots I did last winter.

The lucky shot

I spent 4 days in Shenandoah National Park a couple of years ago. If you haven’t been, I highly recommend it. You can hike the Appalachian Trail or any number of trails that lead to some great waterfalls or sweeping vistas of the valley. The end of summer or early fall is a great time to go. The weather is cool at night and warms up to a comfortable temp during the day. If your lucky like me, you can get up to catch a sunrise only to discover something even better – Fog. It has to be one of the most appealing forms of weather out there. It leaves you wondering what is beyond, what you just can’t see. Oh, did I mention that the wildlife in the park is everywhere? Even I get lucky with that at times, as can be seen here…

The Barns of Southern Maryland

There is an abundance of old barns throughout southern Maryland. Whenever Jenn & I visit her parents, I pass by dozens of them. To me, they are symbols of the slower pace of life in this area. Most of them appear to be in good order and are most likely used regularly. Then there are those that are just dilapidated, the vicitms of time and weather. Whenever I can, I setup the tripod and try to illustrate the character of these structures. They almost speak to you at times.  This barn was along Charles Street or Route 6 in Charles County, just outside of La Plata. The setting sun and soy bean field made the shot for me…