Saturday, June 21, 2008

Burnside Bridge Study

Here is a quartet of photos of Burnside Bridge, a landmark that played a significant role in the Civil War's Antietam Battle.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


There are many farms in my part of Maryland.

Fortunately the weather has been good so far this season, and many crops are off to a good start.

Farmland is quite photogenic, isn't it?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Jamaica 1986

If you're an avid photographer, do you ever look over your earlier work to see how you've changed? Or to compare present technique, style and skill with your past?

I found these in the same box of old photos you see in the previous post. What I've learned from seeing these again is that I've loved sunsets for a long time. I've also learned that editing is sometimes as important as skill; these are the four best shots from at least two rolls of film. Most of the other seventy shots will remain in the box.

Another observation: one of the biggest technological changes in photography isn't really that much of a change. The darkroom. In the film days, the artistic process that began with pressing the shutter button often continued in the darkroom with creative manipulation of selected images. The darkroom has been replaced by Photoshop and a computer, but the idea is mostly the same - additional creative manipulation of a selected image.

Another thing I've learned by seeing these pictures is that landscapes have always been my favorite subjects. I also enjoy event photography and shooting architectural juxtaposition photos (an old building reflected in a modern glass building, for example).

But broad vistas, especially sunsets, are my favorites.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Balloon Race

I was digging around some boxes of old photos today and found these from either 1989 or 1990. I had been invited to participate in the Preakness Balloon Race, one of many events held during the week leading up to the middle gem of the Triple Crown in Baltimore.

The "race" is more about nice visuals than any real competition. It is a "hare and hound" race; the hare balloon lifts off first, then the hound balloons sort of chase it. Whichever balloon lands closest to hare balloon is declared the winner. The balloons lift off from a park and fly over residential areas. It's quite a site!

The balloons in this event usually carry a pilot and either 2 or 3 of the balloon's corporate sponsors or a couple of celebrities. I was an alleged celebrity that year. Here is a shot of the pilot:

I got the invitation just two days before the event, which means I didn't have time to talk myself out of it. I enjoyed the ride and the opportunity to take these unique photos, but I don't think I'd do it again. The thought of three men in a large wicker basket 400 feet above the ground messes with my sense of logic and safety.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


The headliner for my radio station's summer concert was Sugarland, a very popular country music duo.

I usually have pretty good access for this event, but I did not have an official photo pass this time. Security people at concert venues are trained to not allow pro cameras into the seating area; my new digital camera is more or less a pro camera but it doesn't look like one because the usual lens I use isn't all that long. The first set of tickets I had weren't all that close to the stage, so I put my camera back in the car before Sugarland took the stage because I didn't want to get hassled about the camera.

Silly me. Right before Sugarland came out, a co-worker came up with 5th row seats! Because I didn't have my camera with me any more, she gave me hers. It's a decent camera but not as good as mine for capturing moving subjects with tricky lighting.

I did get a few decent shots, however, and enhanced them a bit with Photoshop.

And these were taken earlier in the day with my "good" camera.

Sugarland's "set list":

One of our DJs on stage:

Our staff backstage with the band. I'm the one on the left who needs to lose 25 pounds.

The promotion crew did a "no rain" dance:

It didn't work ... at first. It did stop raining right after the gates opened.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Peaceful Reflections

I like this shot so much that I might post it on more than one blog.

This peaceful little lake is in a peaceful little park in a peaceful little town near where I live. I was nearly alone in the park when I captured this image early yesterday morning. The setting was, you guessed it, peaceful.