Monday, September 27, 2010

Raptor Conservancy of Virginia Photo Shoot

Eastern Screech Owl (Red Morph)
Getting up close-up shots of those majestic hawks, falcons and owls fills nature photographers dreams and inspires them to go out and spend thousands on super long telephoto lenses.  For those who haven't made that financial commitment yet, the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia is a wonderful resource.  The conservancy is a non-profit organization dedicated to the rehabilitation and release of injured, ill or orphaned native VA birds of prey.  If the bird can't be released due to permanent injury or some other reason, they use it to educate the public about raptors.  One way they carry out their mission is through photo shoots with some of their permanent resident birds.  These birds are very accustomed to humans, which allows the photographers to get close up shots with normal telephoto lens.

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to participate in one of their photo shoots at the Claude Moore Park Photography Expo.  I shared a session with 2 or 3 other photographers which features two Eastern Screech Owls (red and gray morph), a Barn Owl and a White Faced Scops Owl.

If you ever have the opportunity, I encourage you to participate in one of their photo shoots.  I believe they are planning to be at the Nature Visions Photography Expo in early November.

Some of my favorite pictures after the jump:

Monday, September 20, 2010

Claude Moore Park Photo Expo

I am pleased to announce that a couple of my photographs and three of my daughter's will be shown in the 4th Annual Claude Moore Park Photography Exposition.  If you are in the Northern Virginia area this weekend (September 18th and 19th) , I hope you will stop by and view these and all the images of the local photographers.

Being shown at the Expo include an image of an Eastern Box Turtle that I captured at Balls Bluff Regional Park.

Eastern Box Turtle, Accepted into juried show

I am very pleased that my image of the cadet cannons at Virginia Military Institute received Honorable Mention in the Advanced History and Heritage Category.

VMI Cadet Cannons, Honorable Mentioned, History and Heritage Category

For the 2nd year in a row, my daughter earned more, or at least better, ribbons than I did at the expo.  Her image of Great Falls received 2nd place in the Youth Nature's Backyard Category.

Great Falls, 2nd Place, Youth Nature's Backyard Category

In addition, her image of a Butterfly at Brookside Gardens was accepted into the show in the Youth Winged Wonders Category.

Butterfly on Pink, Accepted into juried show

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Broadlands Community Church 5K Run and Fall Festival

The Broadlands Community Church hosted its 1st annual 5K Run and Fall Festival on Saturday, September 18th, to benefit the Inova Hospital Pediatric services.  Over 160 people people participated in the 5K run.  Click below for a small video of some of the pictures I captured during the event.

A few pictures are featured below.  Check my Flickr page for more images.

Overall 5K winners

Making Cotton Candy

Games for the kids

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What's for dinner

Here's an image I created over the weekend.  The Mindful Eye, a photography Forum I read nearly everyday, has an ongoing member challenge of "Food and/or Drink" and a Community Assignment of "RGB Color."  My family and I came up with the idea of the picture below that I could use for both assignments.   What could be a more balanced meal than chocolate mm's from all the major food groups (or at least colors).

What's for dinner

To create this image, I obviously started with a bag of mm's -- actually two bags, that we separated into colors.  The table setting is on a piece of black fleece fabric and I capture the image with regular room lights.  To help remove some of the glare from the glass, I used a trick I learned in the book by Fil Hunter called Light, Science and Magic.  I placed a polarizer filter on my lens and captured two images, rotating the polarizer 90 degrees between captures.  I then combined the two images in Photoshop.

What do you think?  I look forward to your comments.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

San Francisco

I had the opportunity to travel to the San Francisco area on a business trip last week.  I had been wanting to capture an image of the Golden Gate Bridge, so after my plane landed late Wednesday afternoon, I hurried to try to get to the bridge before sunset.  Unfortunately I missed the overlook I was planing to go to and ended up further down by Fort Barry.  My first set images were clouded by the brown smog from the city.  
Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge
I also captured a view what I think is Rodeo Cove.  I captured 5 different exposures and combined then using Photoshop CS5 HDR Pro to give it a very ethereal feel.
Rodeo Cove
After leaving Fort Barry, I drove back to the Golden Gate Bridge area and found what appeared to be a fishing pier on the northeast side of the bridge.  It still wasn't the angle I was originally looking for, but it provided a nice view of both the bridge and the San Francisco skyline.
Golden Gate Bridge
For this last image of the Golden Gate Bridge, I used a long (~30 second) exposure and then processed the image in Adobe Photoshop Raw Converter to set the white balance to fluorescent to get the colors to look right.

San Francisco Skyline

Thanks for looking and I look forward to reading your comments.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A New Start

I had previously been hosting this photo blog at on my own web space. But, keeping the blog updated and, especially, updating the blog software whenever WordPress released a new version became tiring -- especially since the "automatic" updates never seemed to work, probably user error.  So, I thought I would try blogspot.  At the least it will prevent me from having to update the blog software and hopefully it will be easier to keep updated as well.

And just to get the photoblog started, I'll post one of my first, and still favorite, images taken of the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. as the full moon was setting.
More to come.