31 December 2010

empty cafe table

As we wandered in Florida, we stumbled upon a small whole foods market. We were lured in by the promise of hot coffee. We stayed for the bulk dates & the interesting proprietor.
(ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/250s)

30 December 2010


As I wandered in the cold air, I discovered this outdoor seating area in Freedom Park. With the perfect skies, I knew I'd have some contrast even if I decided to convert to black and white later. I think this shot turned out just the way I wanted it to. Thoughts?
(ISO 100, f/9.0, 1/30s)

29 December 2010

iwo jima

On the last day of school before winter break, I got home pretty early. I decided to head to Rosslyn with my camera, walk around, then surprise my wife by picking her up at work. In a bout of photographic karma, I was blessed with some spectacular clouds on a chilly afternoon.
(ISO  100, f/10.0, 1/80s)

21 December 2010

inspired by warhol

In October, when I went to the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, I was inspired to take some pop art inspired shots. On the camera-verboten floors, a few of his paintings made me think, "I can photograph in that style." It sure took me long enough, but here's my attempt at pop art via photography. The tint was added in post. I don't have color gels...yet.
(ISO 100, f/36.0, 14.0s)

17 December 2010

friday update

My first attempted sales were a flop. You may recall I took 12 prints to an art consignment shop nearby in September. None of them sold. I'm going on a different tack now. A coworker and her husband own a wine bar in Vienna called Church Street Cellars. I recently handed over four of those framed prints to decorate their restaurant. If you'd like to check out what's there, head over there. Even if you're not looking to buy, their vittles and vino are quite delicious. It really is a great space! If you can't make it there, click on the tag "Church Street Cellars" below to see the photos I selected. Cheers!

(ISO 100, f/5.0, 1/640s)

UPDATE: One of the photos sold before it even made it onto the wall at Church Street. Very excited!

15 December 2010

the clouds roll in

It wasn't too long in the day before the sun dipped below the ridge line, and the clouds rolled in. It was not a particularly warm afternoon on the boulders. The friction was spectacular. Sending temps. I desaturated this final shot of the trio to give the cool, grey mood of the later afternoon. Which of the three do you prefer?
(ISO 100, f/22.0, 1/6s)

with time to caption

I spent Saturday playing amongst the boulders of Northwest Branch, a tributary that eventually winds into the Anacostia River. One only needs to visit this fallen gem in the summer to figure out why the water quality of the Anacostia is so dismal. According to a sign at the trailhead, it was once a favorite urban escape of Teddy Roosevelt during his presidency. It's hard to tell these days with the stench of runoff & graffiti on many rock faces.
(ISO 100, f/22.0, 1/3s)

12 December 2010

bass thumping

The night before the show, the bass player got karate chopped by her brother. She fell and broke her wrist. She was still able to pound on the strings & belt out the tunes. Tough fifth grader!
(ISO 1600, f/1.8, 1/20s)

29 November 2010

from the hip

I've wanted to line up a shot like this for quite a while now. Unfortunately, I don't get the chance with musically-inclined friends nor with musicians up on stage. I got lucky with a hip shot in between sets at Iota. Hooray for wide apertures!
(ISO 3200, f/2.0, 1/3s)

28 November 2010

food for the soul

Live music is one of the things I miss most about Gainesville. If nothing was going on, we went to a show. Hadn't heard of the band? Didn't matter. We were there. Few nights pan out that way around here.

Last night, we wound up at Iota Club in Clarendon. We were treated to some awesome roots country, courtesy of Ruthie & The Wranglers. I'll have to keep an eye out for their shows when they're nearby. I felt a bit out of place in my bowtie, but my Chucks tapped along just as well as my boots would've.
(ISO 3200, f/2.0, 1/25s)

26 November 2010

follow friday, vol. 1

In the nearly two years since I started posting on this blog, I've likely read thousands of articles and blog posts related to photography. The ones I've chosen to subscribe to are those that have distinct style. Those who help me by exhibiting great work and inspiring me to see the world's beauty in a different way. To do so, I'm bringing a Twitter concept to the verbose blog: Follow Friday. When I sporadically share these others, I encourage you to check out their work. If you're a fan of mine, it's likely you'll see something you like in theirs.

For the first edition, I wavered between blogs that I discovered early on or those that have encouraged me along the way. In the time it took to write that last sentence, I settled on the latter.

National Basilica, Washington, D.C. Photo by Luis Gomez
Luis Gomez is a D.C. photographer who shoots and posts daily. He sees the District with a creative eye. Since I found his blog, he rarely fails to comment on my posts here. I appreciate his words as much as seeing the world through his lens. Check out his work at One Photograph a Day.

23 November 2010

misty mountain morning

We woke up in the morning to frost covering the tent and the field we'd camped in. A hot breakfast cooked over the fire soon warmed us up, as did the sun as soon as it broke this ridgeline.
(ISO 100, f/22.0, 1/25s)

22 November 2010


Hiking with my tripod this weekend was a waste. The shots I took with it attached were throwaways. Terrible composition and execution. This one? Handheld. Go figure.
(ISO 100, f/10.0, 1/2s)

14 November 2010

equal justice under law

On prior trips to the Supreme Court, I was either camera-less or hindered by my focal length. Kit lens to the rescue!
(ISO 100, f/10.0, 1/250s)

13 November 2010

bottom's up

I'm not real sure what compelled me to take a picture of the inside of this bottle. Sometimes inspiration strikes us at the oddest times, no?
(ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/10s)

12 November 2010

standard time

Barely a month ago, this time of day would've been right about sunset. So much for sunlight keeping me sane!
(ISO 1600, f/8.0, 1/8s)

08 November 2010


A shot from my archives to honor the wonderful woman in the foreground. You are greatly missed already.
(ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/50s)

06 November 2010

channeling norman rockwell

As we loaded up the car to head back to D.C. that weekend, I couldn't help myself from snapping off a few photos of those who'd come to enjoy a picnic in the woods awash in autumnal shades. The scene of these two older women setting the table, gingham tablecloth and all, was too picturesque for me not to take a guerrilla shot at them.
(ISO 100, f/8.0, 1/80s)

31 October 2010

munchkin in motion

As I tried to take static photos of the fall colors with a crash pad on my back and a day pack across my chest, a toddler "ruined" my shot. His parents apologized profusely for the "intrusion". I smiled slyly, knowing that the photo he'd joined had far more character than what I was attempting. Can't you hear his laughter echoing through the hillside?
(ISO 100, f/11.0, 1/4s)

30 October 2010

bouldering playground

The road into Coopers Rock State Forest is often populated by daytripping hikers and topropers. We boulderers tend to stay a bit longer, especially with weather and foliage like this. How could we not!?
(ISO 100, f/ 8.0, 1/60s)

29 October 2010

real live fall

The leaves had changed quite a bit in the three weeks that'd passed since I last was in West Virginia. I'm looking forward to them in D.C.
(ISO 800, f/3.2, 1/10s)

28 October 2010

reflected in the lens

Last weekend, I headed off to Coopers Rock State Forest again in West Virginia. While waiting for the campsite to get moving, I took the Nikon out. My eye caught a reflection yet again.
(ISO 800, f/7.1, 1.0s)

27 October 2010

a year of weddings

My grandmother patiently waits for her eldest grandson to get married, the second one this year. She was a trooper at the reception and stayed nearly 'til the end!
(ISO 1600, f/1.8, 1/50s)

25 October 2010

steel & glass city

Pittsburgh is very much under construction. Glittering glass and steel edifices such as this stand next to buildings that've likely been there for a hundred years.
(ISO 100, f/10.0, 1/125s)

22 October 2010

home of the buccos

As a kid, I went to Three Rivers Stadium a few times. It was a lot of fun as a baseball-loving kid, especially because it was before the birth of my hometown Florida Marlins. Since then, the Marlins have been founded and won two World Series titles. Pittsburgh has built a shiny new ballpark, but hasn't won a pennant or a trophy in the meantime.

(ISO 100, f/10.0, 1/125s, polarizing filter)

andrew warhola

In Pittsburgh last Saturday, she and I went to the Andy Warhol Museum. It is seven floors of absolutely awesome. It pained me to keep my camera in the bag for my visit; however, rules are rules, and I don't want to give photographers a bad name. I was restricted to shooting on the first floor where there was a timeline room that laid out Warhol's life for those like me who were largely ignorant of it. On my next free weekend at home, I've been inspired to take some photos a la Warhol, much like my Monet-inspired tangent this summer.

(ISO 800, f/3.5, 1/60s)

20 October 2010

lazy on the quad

One more from our trip to JMU last weekend. Oh, to be a college student again to lay around in the shade with little a care in the world! Or not. I seem to recall that I have more leisure time now than I did then despite its being chronically misspent.

(ISO 100, f/8.0, 1/125s)

19 October 2010

the tiny store

As is the case at most historic mills I visit, there is a small building at Chapman's Mill that was a general store at one point. The interior is quite small on this one and just as bare as Mother Hubbard's cupboard.
(ISO 100, f/9/0, 1/60s)

17 October 2010

chapman's mill

On our way back from JMU, we stopped by a mill that is right along Interstate 66. We've driven past it many times and had to use the best of my creativity to find the road to access it. It's a really cool structure and looks awesome in the late afternoon sun. I can't wait to get access to it when the chain link fence no longer surrounds it, and it once again has an interior. Check out their website for more history and information.

(ISO 100, f/9.0, 1/40s)

16 October 2010

forbes center

The entry foyer of the Forbes Center has some spectacularly curvy benches with clean lines to contrast with the decidedly angular and squared-off windows of the exterior. It's a spectacular building. I wish I knew more about interior architecture photography.

(ISO 800, f/5.0, 1/30s)

14 October 2010

across the quad

For the last of the Wilson Hall photos, here's a decidedly different take from the interior of the new Forbes Center. It's a strikingly modern building. Very photogenic.

(ISO 400, f/6.3, 1/160s)

13 October 2010

cupola attempt numero dos

I took photos of this iconic building on JMU's campus from many different angles. It sits atop Wilson Hall at the head of the quad. It's named for Woodrow Wilson, who was born in nearby Staunton.
(ISO 100, f/9.0, 1/250s)

12 October 2010

high noon

High noon is not the best time for taking photographs. I did the best I could with the hand I was dealt when we arrived in Harrisonburg on a daytrip to see James Madison University's campus. My better half had a great time showing me around her alma mater. It's a lot different from the campus where I matriculated. In December, I'll finally get the chance to show her my old stomping grounds.
(ISO 100, f/9.0, 1/100s)

11 October 2010

new yellow mums

We finally have a bit of color on our patio. After a summer of unruly tomato plants trying to take over like Genghis Khan, we pulled them all out and planted some flowers for the fall. We're hoping the window box does well through December. We're planting herbs and lettuce in the spring.
(ISO 800, f/11.0, 1/160s, 10x close-up filter)

07 October 2010

quiet contemplation

Climbing is my religion. It is in the woods where I see God's grandeur most clearly. I know I am not alone in this feeling.

(ISO 800, f/3.5, 1/400s)

06 October 2010

a new blur

A new (for me) take on static landscape photography. Slow the shutter speed down, and drag the lens downward/upward while the shutter's open. Dreamy.

(ISO 100, f/9.0, 3/5s)

26 September 2010

mail pouch tobacco

On my way up to Pittsburgh, I passed this barn and thought, "I need to stop for a quick picture." I deliberated for more than 30 seconds, and it was gone. On the return trip, I made the snap call. I tried to apply the Sunny f/16 Rule across the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It left me a bit underexposed, so I adjusted accordingly. Hopefully next time, I can get a wide-angle shot.

(ISO 100, f/16, 1/60s)

25 September 2010


I've been to a few so-called "beer pubs" in my day. Some of them have quite impressive lists. Ones that shall remain nameless that don't live up to the hype. Others that do, like Stubbie's in Gainesville. Due to interesting ABC laws in Pennsylvania, I went to a different breed last weekend for my cousin's bachelor party. D's Six Pax & Dogz in Sunnyvale, just outside of Pittsburgh. Great selection, and if we so chose, we'd've been able to take a six-pack to go. I'll never understand it.
(ISO 800, f/2.5, 1/25s)

13 September 2010

summer grillin'

The temps are turning cooler. Our 2010 summer was marked by plenty of Florida-like days filled with sunshine. On days where it dips into the 80s in the shade, it's just perfect for sitting on the patio and catching up with friends over a mojo pork sandwich and some grilled corn on the cob.
(ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/100s)

12 September 2010

attempting to sell

On Friday afternoon, I dropped off these 12 photographs at A Show of Hands in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia. Mpix printed them on metallic photo paper. They are mounted to acid-free foam core and matted. This is my first foray into sales. I'm excited for the opportunity to share my work in a new way: the way most photographers of old had to!

A Show of Hands
2301 Mt. Vernon Ave.
Alexandria, Virginia.

11 September 2010

nine years later

Yesterday, I heard a tribute to September 11 on a local morning show. Nine years later, I still get chills when I see or hear actual media from that day. I'd just gotten back from a morning run. I was stretching and watching the morning news when I saw the second plane hit. Thankfully, no one I knew was lost or injured. May God continue to watch over those who lost loved ones on that dark day.
(ISO 100, f/16.0, 1/100s)

31 August 2010

reflecting on a great photo hunt

Often when I can't fit the subject into my viewfinder, I search for a reflection to do the work my focal length can't. Case in point. I'm getting better at bringing the right lens when I know what I'm shooting, but sometimes 18mm isn't enough either. My eyes are beginning to pick up the reflections without thinking about it. They often turn into better than expected photos.
(ISO 800, f/7.1, 1/30s)

30 August 2010

cafe lunch

I can't wait to retire so I can have lunch wherever I want on workdays. According to the state, I only have 23 years left.

(ISO 800, f/7.1, 1/30s)

29 August 2010

bronze eagle

Upstairs was where I lost the crowds and found some photographic peace. The only people I ran into were the nice people who worked in the museum. Before walking into the shot I was framing one woman asked, "Do you want me to wait for you to take your picture?"

"No, thanks," I replied, "You're working. I'm just playing. Take your time."

(ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/30s)

27 August 2010

arches from above

Arches were first used by the ancient Romans. You can find them all over the city, including here. I believe I've found a new photograph to use in my classroom instruction, if only I can find a work-around for the county block on this blog.
(ISO 200, f/8.0, 1/4s)

26 August 2010

national building museum

Back when we went to Festa Italiana in June, we stopped in the National Building Museum to make use of the restroom. I was stunned by the beauty of the building and knew that I needed to make a trip back for more shots. Last week, I did just that. Today, the first impression. Columns of marble divide the building into thirds. They are beautiful, but often photographed by visitors to the museum.
(ISO 100, f/7.1, 1/20s)