05 December 2011

03 December 2011

a few days late

I don't often post pictures of my friends or family on this blog, but I think this one is called for. My dear friends Bubba & Liz were expecting when we went for a walk in the woods at Rock Creek Park in the District. The fall colors were beautiful. This week, they welcomed their son to the world with open arms. Congratulations!
(ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/30s)

15 November 2011

hangin' on

Some of the leaves refuse to loosen their grip on any remaining chlorophyll. Upon reflection of the background, other deciduous brethren provide a colorful argument against that course of (in)action.

(ISO 100, f/1.8, 1/200s)

trying to find my way

Life's cycles sometimes get in the way of that which we love. My two passions, photography & climbing, have been usurped by the demands of my classroom this school year. The attack on photography really began last year, and I've struggled mightily to remedy it. This year's assault on my time spent climbing, either on plastic or outdoors, is really wearing on me. The graduate course I've been taking has eliminated a night that I always climbed and has negated any gains in ability or strength I made over the summer. I'm hoping the winter and spring are kinder to my passions.
(ISO 100, f/9.0, 1/50s)

28 October 2011


I'm not real quick on the draw for posting new photos. I'd love to get back to my normal grind and routine, but life keeps getting in the way. From National Harbor, just across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Hope your days are less hectic and afford you the chances to enjoy the sunsets that I somehow miss daily.

(ISO 200, f/11.0, 1/320s)

15 October 2011

cumberland pit stop

I told the story of why I stopped in Cumberland, Maryland a while back. I was hopeful for a clean photograph of the library linked above. I've often seen this town from above on Interstate 68. I'm glad I took the detour to photograph a building or two.

14 October 2011


Composing a shot of an alley on an overcast day to get proper exposure wasn't as easy as I expected it to be. Nothing I'll frame, but it turned out pretty nice with the contrast between the two walls.

13 October 2011

mr. smith's

I had no shot at getting this shot without pedestrians. Well, I guess I could've used a neutral density filter at sunset, but I wasn't about to go there with a roll of film. I'll try that when I'm a bit more confident in my film technique.

12 October 2011

dixie liquors

Dixie Liquors on M Street Northwest in Georgetown has been open since 1934. I have closer stores to my home across the river, but I always thought this building would be photogenic. It took me a while to get this shot sans pedestrians or cars.

(ISO 100, f/?, 1/?s)

11 October 2011

drum major

There's a bit of controversy regarding one of the quotes inscribed on the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the Tidal Basin. It was abridged, and made Dr. King sound a bit arrogant to some. The full context of the quote in question is, "Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter." 

This photo was the final shot on my roll of black and white. I'll be posting more of them this week. Enjoy!

02 October 2011

what i learned

It took months longer than I wanted it to, but I finally finished the roll of Ilford Delta 100 black & white film I purchased in May. It started at the National Arboretum and ended at the Martin Luther King Memorial. It was an interesting few months, with several lulls of activity for sure. I learned that my light meter is a bit off. Dead on exposure seems to be a bit underexposed. My chops with film need honing, and I now plan to have film in at least one of my 35mm from here on out. My penultimate goal: shoot an entire roll of frame-quality photos.

It's going to be a long road.

22 September 2011

ghostly stars

According to the plaque nearby, each of the 4,048 golden stars at the National World War II Memorial represents 100 Americans who died in that war. This photo only represents about 15,000 of the dead.


(ISO 100, f/4.5, 1/200s)

14 September 2011

so close, yet so far

A month and a half ago, I resolved to finish that pesky roll of film before school started. So much for that plan! Time for a new one: going out with a friend on Sunday to finally knock it out. I'm curious to see the difference between this shot and the film version. I'm hoping that the distortion will be nonexistent with the better glass on my 35mm, but I really have no clue about my exposure settings. I sure hope my light meter was accurate!

(ISO 100, f/9.0, 1/160s)

25 August 2011

almost there

It's amazing that for the six years I spent on campus as a student, I never once thought of this vantage point as particularly noteworthy. It's amazing what a few years of camera perspective can do for one's appreciation of beauty. (Of course, I can't take all the credit for the framing. A friend clued me in, then a random student walked by with the same idea and an iPhone.)

(ISO 100, f/9.0, 1/80s)

19 August 2011


I'm trying to see things in black and white these days. It's pretty easy for architecture, but decidedly harder for other subjects. Some things translate well, but others don't. I'm really curious about how my roll is going to turn out when I finally finish it up. It's been nearly five months!
(ISO 100, f/5.0, 1/100s)

07 August 2011


At the intersection of Pitt & Richard Streets is an old building that is filled with old automobiles. I thought at first it was an auto museum. There were no signs at all on the building, and I can't find a thing online. I think I need to ask my relatives for information. They live close enough that they might know something.
(ISO 100, f/10.0, 1/15s)

06 August 2011


I took a detour back from visiting my grandma. It took me over the hills and through the woods. A much nicer drive than the Pennsylvania Turnpike! I stopped in Bedford for a cup of coffee and took my cameras for a walk. I should do this more often.
(ISO 100, f/16.0, 1/15s)

01 August 2011


I planned on getting up at sunrise on our last day to get some shots of the lobstermen taking their boats out. Turns out sunrise is somewhere in the neighborhood of 5AM. My walk started at 7:30 instead, far later than I wanted, but still much earlier than the rest of the tourists.
(ISO 100, f/9.0, 1/30s)

31 July 2011

summertime waves

Something about summer makes me want to go to the beach. Florida still courses through my veins, yet beaches nearby are hard to come by. Sand Beach at Acadia National Park was good for my soul, but the water was far too cold for my tropical blood.

Longtime followers may remember my out-of-focus shots from Monet's house and gardens last year. I decided on this trip to try a few. I think this one turned out the best.

(ISO 100, f/14.0, 1/100s)
Related link: DPS article on intentionally taking shots out-of-focus

30 July 2011

jordan pond, vol. 2

We went for a ride around the park on our last full day in town. We stopped by Jordan Pond, which we'd seen from above on a hike earlier. It looks a bit different up close, yes?
(ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/200s)

29 July 2011

doubled back

On our second day's hike, we walked past this weathered stump on the descent. I thought, "Wow. That'd look great in black and white!" Fortunately, our dads wanted to take a break shortly after, so I doubled back to catch this one. The midday sun was pretty harsh, and I stacked some filters to get the depth of field I wanted. The vignetting was a side effect.
(ISO 100, f/7.1, 1/50s, 0.6 ND filter, circular polarizer)

28 July 2011


Growing up in Florida, I'm still awed when I see craggy coastlines like those in Maine. As a climber, part of me wants to put my shoes on and climb them too!
(ISO 100, f/9.0, 1/125s)

27 July 2011


It was somewhere near this flower that I realized my mistake and frantically went back through the gardens we were in, trying desperately to recreate some of the shots I'd taken in the last 20 minutes or so. The boat cruise was a lost cause.
(ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/250s)

26 July 2011

in the weeds, vol. 2

Following our Cadillac Mountain hike, I noticed an old work truck rusting in the weeds behind our motel. I couldn't just let it sit there without taking a portrait or two.
(ISO 100, f/8.0, 1/20s)

25 July 2011

the reason

Shooting the quick sunset at the summit of Cadillac Mountain was the reason for much of my dissatisfaction. I was shooting in aperture priority mode, dropped my exposure to two stops underexposed, and forgot to reset it for our harbor cruise the next morning. Translation: all of my shots from the boat were severely underexposed and full of noise when I corrected them in post. Guess I'll have to go back to Maine with new glass and a lesson learned!
(ISO 100, f/8.0, 1/30s, eV -2.0)


Upon returning from Maine, I had about 450 shots. I culled them down to about half that, but I'm still not even sure which Maine photos are worthy of sharing. I wasn't able to get some of the shots I anticipated. The heat made me lazy, and I wanted to enjoy the trip beyond my lens. I'll go on popular opinion (of my household anyhow!).

(ISO 400, f/8.0, 1/15s)

20 July 2011

jordan pond

I recently returned from a trip to Maine with my wife, father, & father-in-law. We did a bit of hiking. I took a few photos. Here's an interactive panoramic collage, stitched together by Photosynth. I think I'll take more of these in the future. It's pretty neat.

(ISO 100, f/10, 1/125s)

15 July 2011

thirty clams (or so)

For my wife's birthday on Sunday, we took a trip to the Southwest Waterfront & bought some clams. I made linguine with clam sauce for her and her family. Delicious dinner. Fabulous company. She had a blast.
(ISO 800, f/7.1, 1/6s)

14 July 2011


With the canoe leaking all over my flip flops, I took great care to protect my camera by hanging it on my person. It wouldn't have helped much if we went over, but I was fairly certain that wasn't going to happen.

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

13 July 2011

baiting and waiting

If you get upset when you don't catch fish when you go out, you're doing it wrong. It's called fishing, not catching.

(ISO 100, f/8.0, 1/15s)

12 July 2011

a leaky canoe

Even on the calm Severn River, it's a bit hard to take a stable shot in a boat, much less a canoe. We moored ourselves to this decrepit dock...and promptly snagged the bottom with our rods in opposite directions.

At least the beer was cold.
(ISO 100, f/9.0, 1/160s)

11 July 2011

a week late

As usual, I find myself with much to strive toward in capturing the beauty of fireworks. Perhaps it's because I like them so much that I find my photos don't do them justice. Or maybe it's because I see such great shots by Luis Gomez & Foggy Dew that gives me motivation to improve my own next year!

(ISO ???, f/9.0, 4.0s, 55mm)

10 July 2011

the view

By virtue of her new job, we were able to watch the fireworks with a different vantage point this year. It wasn't too crowded, and we didn't have to deal with the fubar of Metro at Rosslyn like last year.
(ISO 800, f/9.0, 1/5s)

09 July 2011

vineyard vines, v2.0

Virginia is apparently becoming quite the oenophile oasis. It didn't take me long to find an industry page, and each winery I've been to toots their own horn quite loudly. I'm not well-versed enough in wine tasting to tell the difference, but I did enjoy most of the wines at Breaux last weekend.
(ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/30s)

07 July 2011

cooled off

It was a hot day. Finding shady spots in the breeze helped. So did cool bottles of their crisp summertime whites.
(ISO 100, f/8.0, 1/125s, 4x close-up filter)

06 July 2011

geaux-ing tasting

We took a trip to two local wineries to belatedly celebrate a friend's birthday. We spent most of our time at Breaux Vineyards in Purcellville, Virginia. Coincidentally, it was also our anniversary, and we were able to enjoy some time with friends who attended our wedding a year ago.

(ISO 200, f/8.0, 1/400s)

04 July 2011


Whatever your political stripes, we can all agree on days like today that they should be red & white with our field of blue nearby. I'm hoping to snag some fireworks shots this evening, but I'll have to do so without my cousin's long zoom that she let me borrow last year. Have a splendid Fourth of July!
(ISO 100, f/8.0, 1/250s)

somewhere over the rainbow

Way up high...
(ISO 200, f/9.0, 1/125s)

07 June 2011

cliche gear shot

Never have I been able to snap such a good shot of gear on a climbing trip. Perhaps crash pads don't photograph as well? I think it's because his gear has the character of someone that's been climbing for twenty-plus years.

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

04 June 2011


A foggy lens and a little bit of sun flare created an ethereal effect for this swollen waterfall at Summersville Lake in West Virginia. This is pure camera; no post trickeration at home. I think this one will look quite nice in our new bedroom once we get settled.

(ISO 200, f/22.0, 2.2s)

16 May 2011

secretary mabus

During his remarks about my friend, he made several references to Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone. He was also awarded the Navy Cross...after being awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor.

Here. Go read his Wikipedia page. Impressed? You should be.

(ISO 100, f/5.0, 1/500s, 200mm)

13 May 2011

eighth and i

The Marine Barracks at Eighth & I Sts. Southeast is the oldest post in the Corps. I was told on Tuesday night that out of respect for these Marines that the British did not harm their barracks on their way to burn down the White House. Today, they have been charged with protecting the Capital were it to be attacked. In their spare time, they have one hell of a drill squad.

(ISO 100, f/5.0, 1/320s, 200mm)

12 May 2011

three stars

On Tuesday, I was able to attend an award ceremony for my best friend in high school. Aside from family, I was one of very few civilians there as he was awarded the Navy Cross. This three star general wasn't even the highest ranking officer in attendance. Pretty awesome.

(ISO 100, f/5.0, 1/320s, 200mm)

sixteen and a quarter

Think yesterday's bonsai was impressive at a century? Give it a couple more, and see what it becomes. This Japanese white pine is nearly 400 years old.

(ISO 200, f/7.1, 1/125s)

11 May 2011


I want to learn how to train bonsai. Toringo crabapple. In training since 1905.

(ISO 400, f/10.0, 1/200s)

10 May 2011

09 May 2011

little. yellow. different.

The histogram for this seemingly simple shot looks like the Hindu Kush in central Asia.

(ISO 800, f/10.0, 1/50s)

08 May 2011

the others

We went for a walk on the azalea-lined path. Few of those shots came out. I was much more pleased with the random ones I showed some lens love to. This one would've fit nicely with all my out-of-focus Monet-inspired shots from last summer.

(ISO 800, f/7.1, 1/100s)

07 May 2011

old dominion

"Janie, the dogwood is a tree. It's not a flower."
"Actually, it's a tree and a flower."

(ISO 800, f/10.0, 1/200s)

06 May 2011

up trunk

Interesting leading lines or textures can really make a shot like this. I love the contrast of the green ivy and the rough bark on this one. The bokeh bonus didn't hurt either.

(ISO 800, f/10.0, 1/15s)