Archive for July, 2009

July 13, 2009

Why photography? Ramblings.

To me, the beauty of photography is in the mystery a picture holds.

I think that video is cool in its own right, but still photography has always captured my attention for what is not shown while video gives lots more information about what is going on at the time.   I was thinking about this last night.  I was remembering back when I was a kid and my father was still in the Army.  He had done two tours in Viet Nam and had a bunch of slides he shot with his Canon camera.  Of course, he would periodically make us watch a slide show of these pictures, usually when my parents were entertaining friends or family.  I was always taken by the people in the pictures.  Foreign people from a strange land.  What was going on at the time the picture was taken?  What were the subjects thinking?  Were they happy? Sad? Lonely?  I remember seeing pictures he had taken of the soldiers he was fighting.  What kind of people were they?  Why did they want to kill my father?  Why did he want to kill them?  The thoughts of a 10 year old boy.  I was fascinated by the things I saw in those slides.  These were pictures of the war.  The real thing.  Way better than the movies.

I have always been interested in photography.   Ever since I was a kid, whenever I look at a picture I try to get into the moment it was taken.  I still do that today.  I love to look at the pictures people have in their homes.  Especially pictures that are old.  I wonder about them as I look at them.  I try to get a sense of what was happening when the picture was taken.  It’s the mystery of it all.  That is why I think still photography appeals to so many, certainly me.  Sometimes its what you don’t see that makes you think.

While looking for a photo of my father I found this:

RJD1This is from a scan of an old picture I found and I thought it would be nice to try to repair it in Photoshop.  This picture is probably from a time before he and my mother were married, perhaps his senior picture from high school but I don’t know that for sure and neither of them are with me today so I can’t ask.  And there is the mystery.  A reason to think about this picture as I look at it.

I’m surely no Photoshop guru but here is what I came up with:

RJD2Not bad, I think.  I only spent about thirty minutes with this so I’m sure I could do better if I took more time with it, and I will.

This is a picture of the guy who first got me interested in photography and pictures.  Before life took its toll on him.  This is how I like to remember him.

Thanks, dad.

July 13, 2009


photoI downloaded the free app Polarize and used it on a picture I had taken of Sir Jake, self appointed king of the household.  Kind of cool, I think.  Just playin’ around.

July 10, 2009

Nikon D70

I was playing around with my old D70 this morning.  It really is a neat camera, I had forgotten just how neat.  Small and light, I had a kit lens on it and just walked around the back yard with it shooting whatever I felt like shooting.  I’m thinking that it will be the camera I take on vacation just because it is so easy to carry around.  And perhaps the Hasselblad, just for fun.

Here is a picture from this morning.  Nothing really noteworthy, just some ornamental grass I shot then passed through Photoshop.  Converted to black and white and added some grain.

grassNot so fine art!

July 8, 2009


While resting after a ride at Rocky Gap State Park.

RestThis was my first mountain bike and I love to ride it today as much as when I first got it.  For the shot I used the Helga setting from the Camera Bag app.  Cool!

July 8, 2009

Rhododendron forest

Giant RhododendronThis is from our short trip to Rocky Gap State Park in western Maryland.  We had gone on a hike below the dam, we were geocaching, and ended up in this big forest of rhododendrons.  Really neat and I think we have found another place we will surely visit again.  The lake was beautiful, the campgrounds were really well planned and there was lots to do.  More to come.

July 8, 2009

More Summer

This is my entry into the Strobist contest in the Strobist Boot Camp 2 contest.

Summer FoodI haven’t really done alot of food photography but this was fun.  I tried to just stick to a simple subject and light it nicely.  I like the result.  Nothing earth shattering but ……..