I pretty much take my cameras everywhere these days, but there are specific situations where my big cameras won’t work. Namely, my bike rides. I have, however, adopted the popular saying among photographers “My best camera is the one I have with me.” This is actually an iPhoneography book and app, FYI. I just really want to go back now and shoot this properly.
You just can’t say no to an open road and a day like today.
I took this picture yesterday and was just playing around. Anybody who knows me knows that I usually have my cameras with me and I’m taking random shots of just about anything. I may never use the image. I may use it as a background. I may use only part of the image. Regardless of how I use it, it’s in the digital filing cabinet forever. This image was never intended to be anything other than, well a test shot while I was just playing around with settings. I started looking at it , though, and it just jumped out at me as some sort of car ad. The big clear front windshield, the nice motion blur going down the road. It’s a car ad, right? At least that’s what it was screaming at me. It’s funny how some final images started out as throw-aways.
It really demonstrates my “tip of the day” – DO NOT DELETE IMAGES IN CAMERA! Stop fumbling around on vacation, or on the shoot, or at an event with the images you just shot trying to determine what’s good and what’s not. There are really only two things I use my digital viewfinder for: 1) checking for correct exposure and 2) helping me compose a shot (my 60D with it’s articulating viewfinder helps tremendously with this one). Well, make that three. I also use it to access my camera’s menu system.
With memory cards as cheap as they are these days you’ll have plenty of room on the card. Review your images when you get home. While you’re at the event/game/party/wedding or whatever it is you’re shooting – Just shoot.
“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”
– Robert Frost
Apparently my family is very fond of The Olive Garden these days. It’s not uncommon for us to be there late at night even after they’re closing down. It’s nice feeling when you can, occasionally, just let loose and be stupid. And we get stupid. But it’s now been twice this week. I’m sure the wait staff cringe when they see us coming now.
Remember when you were a kid? What were some of the toys that kept you busy for hours? Do you remember? I do. Boy how the world has changed.
So many people are connected on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and so and so on and so on. Yeah, you get it.
I had lunch with a friend recently who posed the question “How do you turn this around?” He was, of course, referring to the culture of today where youth have lost touch with the simple fun of imagination and “traditional” play. My answer, in short – I’m not sure you can. Times have certainly changed from when I was a kid. I left the house in the morning, stayed out all day and came back in time for dinner. No mobile devices, cell phones, video games – sounds a little like Gilligan’s Island, not a single luxury.
Technology is going to keep advancing and today’s society is going to do its best to keep up. This is just how it is right now. So for all those people who have shunned technology, it might just be time to embrace it and see if you can use it to harness that youthful imagination that’s chomping at the bit. Oh, it’s in there. For those who are interested, I lead a team in a youth initiative when I worked in Loudoun County. I encourage you to look it up and learn about it – First Lego League.
Of course, you could always just install a bouncy castle in your house and just have at it – That’s how we roll at First Presbyterian Church.
“You don’t stop playing because you get old. You get old because you stop playing”
– Posted on a sign at the entrance to Winchester City’s Jim Barnett Park
There’s been quite a lot of change in the downtown area of Winchester (aka Old Town). One of the biggest changes, in my humble opinion, is the recent move of the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum. Not only did it move off the Loudoun Mall (really only 1 block away), but it moved into a huge new building. The former space offered a fun learning space for kids, but the new space is enormous and it ads a roof-top component! It’s really cool that this downtown staple was able to find a space to expand its offering. Can’t wait to check it out.
The entire time that I worked at TV3 Winchester, one of the more common misconceptions from visitors to Winchester was that the building where I worked was the welcome center. It was, after all, situated in such a way that if you’re coming off the interstate at the “main” Winchester exit you’d see the TV3 Winchester building straight in front of you, well, welcoming you to the city. The actual welcome center is just a few more blocks down the road and around the corner (within walking distance of what was TV3 Winchester). It’s right across the parking lot from the oldest house in Winchester Abram’s Delight.
I had a friend suggest a new project to me today which always makes the gears turn even faster. He suggested that it might be pretty cool to do a “Steeples of Winchester” motif. So, of course, now I’m noticing all the steeples. You know, kinda like the deal when you buy a new car and you all-of-a-sudden start noticing all those same cars out on the road. Yeah, that’s gonna be me with steeples now for a while. Just you watch.
It’s was an awesome day for a Kidz Fest on the Old Town Walking Mall in Winchester. After shooting an event at my church, I headed out and walked right into this. After all the rain and flooding over the past week, it was good to see blue sky again. As I walked up the alley to leave the mall, the smell coming from the new Cajun restaurant in the Taylor Hotel made me want to go in. I will be back to dine. Yum!
Found another image from our trip to Austria. On our last day, we took a hike up into Alpendorf and we were glad we did. Just look at that view! There are no words to describe it.
The Sound of Music
I’m setting up, and adding to, my Flickr account. I’ve had it for several years and have done nothing with it. Shame on me. Anyway, it’s there now and is being populated and organized as we speak. I randomly started with images from Austria (maybe because I was talking with a friend about the trip the other day). As I’m skimming through – and skipping most (I really wish I knew how to take better pictures back then) – I stop at this one and immediately begin processing it. There was just something about it that stood out from all the rest. When I finished and uploaded it to my galleries I realized that I had processed it before. The difference illustrates how, on different days, you can see and image completely differently.
So this place is really tucked away in Clarke County, VA. I ride by this place just before riding by the Millwood Mill on Tuesday nights. I’ve been here once before when I was shooting weddings and haven’t been back since. Now I want to go inside because apparently there’s an amazing staircase just inside the front entrance (it’s now a goal of mine to shoot it).
I’ll have to admit, I’ve never really been into history. But I sure do find it fascinating there are still so many reenactments of various battles all throughout this area. I’m actually determined to attend some of the larger ones later this year – mainly for the awesome photographic opportunities (but perhaps I’ll learn something new along the way). The oldest one in the nation is actually this weekend at New Market Battlefield in Virginia.
Anyway, since I was in Leesburg today I figured I’d take a little side trip to Ball’s Bluff to get the Civil War “juices’ flowing.
Another edition of “In My Town.” This one’s not technically in my town, but it’s close enough. I go on a group ride on Tuesdays that rides right past this Mill. Wonderful scenery in Clarke County, VA.
I know it’s late, but it’s still Mother’s Day. I think we’ll make it a tradition now to create a very memorable image each year for this holiday. First, a little throw-back Sunday…
…and this year’s image…
Well, that was just fun.
You know how when you get older, you start telling your kids, your nieces and nephews, your students – just anyone younger than you are – about how “none of this was here when I was your age?” That was me at James Madison University today while talking with my daughter. The new part of JMU (east side of 81) is pretty cool and the architecture is dramatic. I might just be exploring more this weekend.
I stumbled across a box today that was just stuffed in a closet. It had been there for quite some time and I’d acknowledged it for several years and questioned what was in it, but never actually looked inside. Curiosity got the better of me today and I’m glad it did. What I found represents about a decade’s worth of memories in my racing “career.” These awards include Commonwealth State Games of Virginia, Duathlon and Triathlon series in Maryland, Virginia Criterium Championships and countless memories. Everybody should be so lucky to find a similar box of memories. Good times…
Man’s (and Woman’s) Best Friend
A person who has never owned a dog has missed a wonderful part of life.
– Bob Barker
Alright, gearing up for the senior portraits in the next year. Took some test shots this afternoon and am pretty happy with them. I certainly have some improving to do, but this was a good start – I really need a hair light to make this image really pop. I got a new light diffuser kit just before Apple Blossom – I knew I’d be using it everywhere. I’ve tried plenty of light diffusers in the past, but none have had very pleasing results. I’ve made them work for me, but have always known I could do better. Along comes Gary Fong. Granted, he’s been around for a while, but I’m just now trying his stuff. And I’m loving it. It’s not just the products themselves, but the techniques that I’m learning along with them. I’m kinda digging portraits and am looking forward to doing more.