Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Last One For Now

So nothing great for my last post of the year. Would have loved to end the year with an awesome shot, but I'm just not that good.

Oh well, a little bit of colour from Crabtree Falls for you.

See you in the New Year!


The last time I shot at Crabtree Falls, I winged it without a tripod and thought (wrongly!) that I didn't need it if I braced. Well surprise surprise surprise that didn't work so well. So this time I went prepared with the tripod. Works so much better!


Yes, another shot done in Black and White. Taken from the B/W option in my D1x, saves me some post-processing time and I feel the shots are more "true" than if I convert.

Crabtree Falls again. November (and it was *cold*, duh right?)

Out of Order

My new favourite place, Crabtree Falls. Should have been posted in November, but time and events got away from me so they are being posted after my Christmas greetings.

A series of four from there, and that should be it for the year, barring a sudden snowstorm.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas

Ok no picture to go here, a few things have been keeping me pre-occupied and I haven't had a chance to take anything good as of late (c'mon snow!) but I did want to wish a warm and sincere Merry Christmas to all my friends, both past and present, and all my visitors from around the world. I hope you are having a good holiday and have peace, love and joy in your heart.

I have met some wonderful new people and this message goes out to them:
"Thank you for showing me the greater good in the world"


Monday, October 31, 2011

I know her

I recall her from the last Zombie Walk, when the weather was much nicer. She was in a different outfit as well, but I never forget a face.

Names, on the other hand, are another story.

She likes me for my Brains

More Hatian Voodoo Master than zombie, but very well done and nicely posed in character.

No One is Immune

Even superheros get bitten once in a while. A nicely done villian (at least I think she's a villian) of Poison Ivy.

He's Got The Look

A pose, but in character, thank you Mr Zombie businessman, wherever you are.


I love this shot because she didn't pose for me. I have several shots that are very good, but the people posed, which I'm of two minds about, but in this case the candid nature of the shot makes the pic.

I'm in the Band

Her jacket reminds me of the ones used in the Beatle's "Yellow Submarine"

Pretty sure she wasn't in the film tho.

Did I mention...

As has been my luck lately, I was running with a half-charged battery and the wrong lens. At least this time I made sure to get the settings right in the camera.

I shot with a 50mm dedicated Macro lens, which has a razor-thin depth of field but offsets this with razor sharp clarity. May have to practice more people with this lens.

Paint the Devil on the Wall

Hands down, the best costume for a Zombie Hunter there. And the most beautiful woman there in costume as well. She was taking donations for cancer research and I chipped in some cash. She was very kind of let me take far too many photographs of her.

Black Friday

Offical Zombie Walk in town. As usual, it was drizzling, freezing and of course overcast. And despite all this, there was a huge turnout of zombies and the pics came out great. Many thanks for all those who put up with me getting in their way with a camera. Of course the brains I had in my pocket for a scooby-snack didnt' seem to hurt either.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Too pretty to be dead

Insider shot at a local movie theatre. She was the capture of a zombie hunter and stayed in character the entire time. She was nice enough to stop shuffling and pose for me on multiple occasions.

Wish I could find her again and photograph her without the makeup.

Let's make some Noise!

A tough shot here, it was night, I wasn't using flash, and the ISO curve on my D1x leaves a lot to be desired, after all, it's a 10 year old camera. But in order to have any chance at all to shoot at a zombie clown (?) event, I needed to max out the ISO (at a whopping 800, modern cameras go much higher and show very little noise) and shoot wide open (1.8) with my 50mm.

Hence the very shallow Depth of Field and heavy noise. Ah well, I knew this going into the shoot so I can live with the results.

Cute zombie tho-

Just in time for Halloween

Ooooo, spooky! A river of fog! No, not really, just a long exposure time, but it fits in with the season.

Main area

This is the 1st staging area, there's a long way up to the top but I love the effect of the water rushing pat and over all the small rocks.


Pretty much all the work at the falls was done with my 17-35mm lens, which was dusty and I didn't catch that in time, so you may see some small round spots in the water area, nonetheless, this lens is so useful for me that it's about all I bring on landscape shoots

Black and White

The ability to shoot Black and White in my D1x exists, and I figure out how to do it so it wouldn't save in .jpg (and thus lose pixels) Amazing what you can learn when you read the friendly manual.

No order

There is no order to these posts from CrabTree falls. I was there from before the sun had reached the mountaintop, to well after noon, and several shots, such as this one, were in the shade.

More from there

All of the shots from there are taken handheld, or braced against something. I had brought a tripod but I decided it would be too clumsy to carry. I should have brought it anyway, as I missed some good shots by not using it, but I can always go back.

While on the subject of water

Went to CrabTree falls over the weekend to catch the fall colours and to perhaps climb to the top. I've been before (see winter pics elsewhere) but the area is so frozen over in the winter that one can barely climb to the first section. This time around the weather was perfect and I got lots of good shots.

Digital, with my Nikon D1x

Monday, October 10, 2011

On a roll

Same place, just a little ways down from the previous shot. Also handheld. Probably used up all my luck for handheld shots on these three. That's ok, it was worth it.

Yup, also handheld

Normally I could never pull off hanheld shots, but two in a row! Anyway, taken from a small waterfall area in West Virginia. Still film, still the 17-35mm lens.

Still feeling lucky

I totally didn't expect this shot to turn out at all, it was handheld from on half second. Amazingly, it's sharp.

Watch Me Soar

This moth was attached to the screen door of the place I was staying in over the weekend. I didn't think this would turn out, as I was handholding a macro lens, but I'm very pleased with it.


I'd forgotten to pack any Kodak BW400CN film, so I coverted this shot to Black and White in PhotoShop. Taken pretty much after all the fog was gone.


The fog was so thick that I missed this when I first walked around the bend. It loomed up at me out of the fog and stopped me dead in my tracks. The picture simply cannot convey the sheer size of this radiotelescope. It simple boggles the mind.

57 Channels and Nothing On

Bet you could get great reception on this puppy.

Now I'm Down In It

From just after sunrise, you can see how heavy the fog was. From this vantage point, you should have been able to see several of the 'scopes. Instead of nothing. I love it.

Fall is coming

Two great effects combined into one shot, fog and fall. The fall colours look great on the fallen leaves, and the fog isolates everything. On of my favourite shots from the trip.

Here comes Mr. Sun!

Behind me, and to the right were a row of trees which blocked the sun until it was high in the sky (wel, high for 10am) then at which point it blew away the fog. Here you can see the effect.


An exception to the 17-35mm lens, here I used a 70-210mm, and waited just a bit until the fog had lifted, so I could get the 2nd 'scope in the shot.

The Fog

Here is another angle of the main scope, just after dawn, as the heavy fog was still holding dominance over the land.

If you look realy carefully at the full-sized image, at the far left you can just make out one of the other 'scopes in the area.

The Big One

It's difficult to get a sense of scale for the primary 'scope at Green Bank, but here it is, towering over the trees and staring out at the skies.

This was taken at the late hour of 9am, the sun already having blown away the fog and bringing the early morning light to the ground.

The Scope

Not the main scope, but one off in the distance. I was very lucky, there was heavy fog surrounding the whole area, lending atmosphere and a sense of isolation to my work.

Working with constraints

The following (or next, depending on how you read this journal) series of pictures are all taken with color film. Normally I don't shoot film in colour, only in Black and White. The reason for this change is I got a chance to go photograph Green Bank RadioTelescope in earnest.

Trick is, only film cameras are allowed, digital SLRs generate too much noise and interfere with their research. I'd shot at Green Bank before, but really didn't go prepared. This time around, however, I was ready with four rolls of Fujifilm, tripod, and a desire to walk around the area from sunup until I was all out of film.

The kind people at Green Bank let me walk around as I saw fit, and shoot what I saw. I am posting everything I thought turned out well, with a little commentary for each.

What's this got to do with the picture to the left? Nothing at all, but I didn't use up all my film at Green Bank, so I did a bit of shooting elsewhere. In this case, a National Wildlife Refuge whose name I cannot pronounce.

All images shot with my Nikon f4s and 17-35mm lens.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Catching it

As I had done some years ago when I visited Baltimore's Inner Harbour, I got this shot with no other people around, except for the carriagemen, and their riders, giving the illusion they are only waiting for the Lady of the Manor so they may start their journey.

Truth of course is it was fairly busy out there that day, but sometimes events conspire in your favour.

Again, Nikon F4s and Kodak film.

Gumby's Friends

No I can't remember his name, but a close friend has one in her office so that's what the image brings to my mind.

Old plantation house in the middle of nowhere, taken on a cloudy day with my Nikon F4s and Kodak's trusty BW400CN film.

Straight from the developer to your eyes.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A larger view

A wider (or better, depending on your point of view) look at the Blackwater Falls in West Virginia.

The sun was playing nice on a generally overcast day when I took this, so the land was deep green, with the waterfall still being white.

Would have liked the lake at the bottom some other colour other than brown, but you can't have everything.

Ready for Takeoff!

In West Virginia there is a small community of houses with a runway attached. It's a 'fly-in' where the houses are for people who own personal aircraft.

This plane was there when I was, and the sky was delightfully full of clouds. Shot in B/W on my Nikon D1x and a soft filter applied.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Great Big Thing

AKA Green Bank (Radio)Telescope. Located in West Virginia, and dedicated to sourcing out radio emmissions from the stars, no digital or electronic gear allowed nearby, but you could shoot with film, of which I had with me.

The colour-balancing of the one-hour processing joint was way off, hence the pink sky and greenish land, but I felt it adds to the look of the thing, so I'm leaving it there.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Up Close and Personal

Okay not so much, but rather a closeup of the falls using a zoom lens. Nothing fancy about the image, I just like the step-life effect of the falling water over the rocks.

Accident by Design

Despite what it may look like, this image isn't photoshopped or retouched in any way. It's straight from the camera.

The effect is gained by stacking two circular polarizers on top of my Nikon D1x, and maximizing the amount of light they block, only allowing near infrared through.

Fun with Black and White

Also taken with my 50mm, and my Nikon D1x set to B/W mode and a yellow filter attached to the lens. The yellow filter is supposed to bring out the tone of anything green, but I also noticed it has the effect of removing haze, and thus making the image sharper.

Colour me late to the game, but I've just started to realize the flexibility of filters. Gotta find more soon.


Always wanted the 'cotton candy' like effect of flowing water, but really hadn't been able to get that look until now. Circular polarizer to the rescue!

I could really slow down the shutter time without losing the colour of the surrounding area with thie polarizer. Now I just have to find one for my wider lenses

Morning Sunrise

A little sun peeking through the mists of a morning in West Virginia's Canaan Valley. Experimenting with a polarizer on my 50mm lens. I like the effects.
Taken with my Nikon D1x

Sunday, July 31, 2011


For those of you who have seen the British (aka the only, or the Original) Top Gear, you know where the title of this post comes from.

If you haven't, here's a link to it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWoBb2NVfZA

It was sitting next to the Audi, a Bentley and a Lamborghini (which has too many people around to photograph cleanly)

Ghosts in the Machine

Another excellent shot from the Falls area, this time with my back against the falls, protecting the lens from heavy spray (more or less)

Also going up on my wall.

Street Photography

I'm not sure how street photographers get candid shots. Everytime I try, whether it is with my huge D1x or my tiny (by comparison) Yashica 124g, people notice and either run and hide or ham it up for the camera. Neither result is what I want.

This was as close as I've been able to come for candid work. It's ok, but nothing special. I'm more pleased for the lack of keystoning in the buildings in the background.