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Brood X Cicadas

This is the year for Brood X Cicadas to arrive in the Northeast of the United States. My backyard has thousands and thousands of them in the trees, shrubs, grass and even my deck! So, I decided to use one as a photographic project. I put a quarter on the ground in front of one and waited for him to crawl near it. The cicada’s big red eyes appear to be looking at the quarter. You can learn more about Brood X by clicking the link below.

What is Brood X, the U.S. cicada infestation coming in 2021? – CBS News

Brood X Cicada eyeing a quarter!
Cicada eyes a quarter!

This photo was taken with my Android smartphone.

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Patterns at the Shopping Mall

Each morning I try to go for a 3 mile walk. It is my only outdoor activity that I try to participate in since the Covid restrictions have darkened my door! A couple of weeks ago, we had snow and ice storms that made walking outside somewhat difficult and very dangerous. I decided to visit the local shopping mall before it opened to use that shelter for my exercise. As I was walking on the second level I noticed the patterns that were created by the skylights and supporting structures. Fortunately, I always have one of my cameras nearby, as usual it was my phone! I hope you enjoy the photo. Keep shooting wherever you may be.

Dulles Towne Center 2nd Floor
Blog PostsDiningEveryday Photos

Dining Al Fresco

Most of us have now experienced the various methods of dining on food prepared in restaurants, cafes, fast food places etc. In the past we would mostly enjoy this food inside the establishment in which we ordered our food and beverages. As many in Europe have done for ages, we sometimes dined al fresco or outside the restaurant on tables and chairs for that purpose. It is a treat to enjoy the fresh air as we dined, I think the food even tasted better.

In the age of Covid things have changed! A couple of days ago while on my morning walk, I passed a restaurant and stopped to take a couple of pictures of a current version of Covid dining al fresco. Bon Appetit!

Dining Igloos
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Focus Stacking

Ok, it is now 2021 and time to get my photography skills enhanced. This blog is not a how to or technical photography blog. My goal has been and continues to be the sharing of my photographic journey with other amateur photographers. Since I began this hobby a couple of years ago, I have learned more about the technical side of photography than the artistic side. Initially this was not my plan, but as it turns out, I do enjoy learning the technical skills. Post-Processing can be simple or you can make it complex with all of the digital photo processing software. The combination of camera, lens, aperture, shutter, ISO and more gadgets than you can imagine gives plenty of opportunity for technical adventures.

Having mumbled about all of this technical babble in the last year, I have made my goal for 2021 to attempt to create more beautiful or artistic photos. This will be a challenge because I don’t view my abilities to lie in the artistic plane. But if you don’t try, you can’t succeed, so here we go! My first photo of 2021 is of roses. The technical skill I tried to utilize was focus stacking to create a sharp image. You be the judge and hopefully we will all become better photographers this year! Happy New Year!

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The Egg

A few days ago, I was trying to find some inspiration for a a photo shoot. It has become more of a challenge this year due to COVID-19 to accomplish much away from your home. This is a problem most of the readers of this blog are also experiencing, so as amateur photographers we need to constantly be looking for inspiration! Nothing was coming to mind, so I went into the kitchen to brew a cup of coffee in my French Press brewer. As I was looking around the kitchen it seemed like a snack with my coffee would be a welcome treat. As soon as I opened the refrigerator’s door I saw a carton of eggs and thought about making an omelet. That is when the inspiration smacked me in the face! Why not try photographing an egg.

I finished my coffee with no snack because I wanted to get started on this egg idea. Now how was I going to set this up? I decided to use one egg and concentrate on the egg and its shadow. Below are three of the photos from this photo shoot. I had a lot of fun that afternoon creating different compositions. Hopefully, you may use this as inspiration to develop your own photo shoot around your home.

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Crescent Moon and Planets

A few days ago, as I gazed into the late afternoon sky a beautiful crescent moon appeared in the eastern sky. It was just visible in the bright daylight, but it gave me a glimmer of an opportunity for a timely photo shoot. The problem was no foreground that would work with the moon so high in the sky. Fortunately, there is a county park within a mile of my home, and I remembered that there was a windmill in an open area that might help create a composition.

The potential for a photo with some sunset light started to get me excited about the possibilities. I quickly gathered my camera gear and drove to the park. After walking around for a few minutes, I decided on the best location to setup my camera and tripod. Now I just needed to wait for the sun to set. Sometimes you just get lucky with photography! As the sun was setting the sky began to light up. The problem was the moon had not moved into a good position in the sky. I could not move the moon or the windmill, so I just waited. As the glorious sunset was beginning to wane the moon was in a reasonably good position, so I began to photograph the scene. After a few minutes with the sky getting darker, I noticed two tiny bright lights in the sky to the right of the moon. As it turned out, the lights were the planets Jupiter and Saturn.

It was too bright to see them clearly, but later in the evening the beautiful sunset light would be gone. I just had to take the photographs that were available to me! I am sure this has happened to many of you. The photo below is one of my shots from that evening. Saturn is the very dim light nearest to the moon and Jupiter is brighter and just below it. I hope you enjoy the photo. There was no real planning for this shot. As I said earlier, sometimes you just get lucky and get a decent photo!

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Autumn Shadows

A couple of days ago I was sitting on my deck and gazing into the woods behind the house when I noticed the sunlight filtering through the trees. The leaves and grass had changed from their early autumn color to a richer and more colorful hue. That looked great, but it was the shadows that the sunlight created that forced me to get up from a comfortable chair and go and get my camera! The photo below is the one I decided to post. I used the Adobe Landscape Profile and adjusted the hue in the shadows, but that is about all the post-processing I did for this photo.

Autumn Shadows

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The COVID-19 Pandemic has been a disaster for many people and my heart goes out to them! It has been a minor obstacle to enjoying my retirement activities and nothing more to this point. For that I am grateful! In the last couple of months I have rarely touched my camera because my motivation to continue photographing around my yard and neighborhood has been lower than an earthworm.

So what to do with all this time and nothing to photograph? I decided to go through my photo archive and re-process some photos. Prior to the pandemic, I was in Washington D.C. near Howard University. This area is undergoing a major amount of gentrification. The photo below, if taken a few years ago, would look like an old, broken down series of rowhomes. Today, with the influx of young urban professionals and their money it has been reborn!

Blog Posts

Snack Time!

I don’t usually take photos of animals, so I rarely post a photo of an animal. Yesterday provided an opportunity to make an exception to this behavior! I was in my home office, when my wife told me to look out the window at a small fawn. It was eating some leaves at the edge of the backyard. I grabbed my camera and as quietly as I could I stepped onto my deck. These animals have fantastic hearing and this one immediately heard me. I just froze for a minute or so and it went back to eating. I managed to fire off a few shots before it ran off. This is the best of the group and I decided to title it “Snack Time”.