Ya never know what you’ll see

Things like this artfully done mosaic made from pieces of ceramic pottery. I saw it recently on the front of an antique shop in Reidsville, NC. A nice little city in the Piedmont Region of North Carolina, just a short drive from our home in SW Virginia. Lesson learned is to always keep your eyes moving about when you have a camera in hand, no matter your purpose at the time. Neat little images like this one may pop up and surprise you.  (Panasonic Lumix LX3, ISO 80, 9.3mm, f8, 1/320 sec. Developed in Lightroom 3 Beta 2)

Difficult Bird to Find

This is a Snow Bunting. I was lucky enough to get fairly close to this little guy during a two–week cruise to the Bering Sea region including Eastern Siberia. Specifically, I took this photo at Providence Bay, near the Russian city of Provideniya. To say this is a remote location is a gross understatement, and I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to walk the ground where few others have been. The best thing about this for a photographer, is that you absolutely do not have to look hard for something to photograph. (Nikon D70s, ISO 400, 300mm, f11, 1/200 sec. Developed in Lightroom 2.7)


One thing about photography that I absolutely enjoy, is being able to discuss that hobby (or profession however it may be) with others who are equally interested. There is one person who fills that role for me better than all others, and is a guy I’ve known for years—and admired along the way for much more than just his photography. Recently I had an all too brief opportunity to sit down and talk with him about camera gear, digital processing and “how–to–do–it” from an image capture standpoint. One thing he does really well is to compose every image he takes in some special way—or so it seems to me. He said to me that no matter the professional purpose of a specific photo shoot in which he is involved, he often tries to capture a scene in some manner just to satisfy his personal  “creative” side. Others have written that one ought to try to photograph (for example) an image of a popular tourist attraction in a way never seen before. I tried to do that with this photo taken of the very popular and scenic church in Harpers Ferry WV last fall. I went down an alleyway in between some historic buildings next to a steep rock outcropping, to get the topmost section of the church. I kinda like it. (Nikon D300, ISO 200, 32mm, f5, 1/250 sec. Developed in Lightroom 3 beat 2)

Ring the Bell

When I was in the Army I used to pass by this Chapel all the time. It is located in the basic training area of Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and has been a place of meditation and solitude for decades, as thousands of new enlisted soldiers enter the Army, to undergo the rigors of basic training. There are numerous chapels, large and small, on Fort Leonard Wood, but the thing I like about this one is the bell mounted on a soldier–made frame. As I developed this photo taken recently, I wondered where the bell came from. Certainly it is NOT soldier–made. (Nikon D300, ISO 200, 55mm, f11, 1/160 sec. Developed in Lightroom 3 beta 2 with a single–image HDR layer applied)

Foot Traffic

Only in the Army would a phrase such as “foot traffic only” be used. In this case the signpost was erected to keep vehicles off a small bridge over a creek in the center of Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, where hundreds of soldiers pass daily. Given that “Earth Day” recently passed, I have to note that there remains lots of “green” open vegetation throughout the center part of the sprawling installation, giving it a much more natural feeling. (Nikon D300, ISO 200, 50mm, f6.3, 1/640 sec. Developed in Lightoom 3 Beta 2)

Simple Things

This wild grapevine winding its way with no specific direction in mind, across an old concrete and rock wall I saw on Fort Leonard Wood Missouri recently, made for a simple close up image—which interested me—and that’s all that counted when I clicked the shutter. Sometimes, simple things are not always so simple. (Nikon D300, ISO 200, 50mm, f4, 1/125sec. Developed in Lightoom 3 Beta 2, with a Topaz Adjust 4 adjustment layer applied)

Air Power

This is an A10 Close Attack Support aircraft (on display at Fort Leonard Wood Missouri) that has been used to support ground combat operations in the past. It is now a prominent part of a joint service equipment display located at a memorial park. The park is one of the most visited displays at the Army’s joint training installation—where soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines train daily—and where hundreds of thousands of family members come to attend their graduations every year. (Nikon D300, ISO 200, 90mm, f11, 1/60 sec. Developed in Lightroom 3 Beat 2, with a Topaz Adjust layer applied to enhance the colors and details)

Butts Go Here

Anyone who served in the Army during the Vietnam era, will remember seeing these placed at several strategic locations within their troop barracks, while in basic training. Clearly, “butts go here”. Different Army back then. Today, soldiers live in relative luxury in relative luxury compared to the past.  (Nikon D300, ISO 200, 70mm, f5, 1/2 sec. Developed in Lighroom 3 Beta 2)

Yard Flowers?

This is, thank God, NOT my yard! Dandelions are sort of pretty when the puffy seed blooms are ready to fly on the wind to spread the kin all over, to torment people like me who spend hours trying to get rid of them. I took this photo at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and I can tell you that I’ve seen no other place that can nurture these weeds to such a high degree. I saw some in Alaska that were triple the size of these, but they were not so numerous. I mean there are FIELDS of them here in Central Missouri! (Nikon D300, ISO 200, 50mm, f14, 1/80 sec. Developed in Lightroom 3 Beta 2)

Alaska Native Heritage center

If you are in Anchorage, I encourage you to visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Not only are there “live” shows put on by native people, but the displays and exhibits are very interesting and educational. When we were there a few years ago, we spent the better part of a day just wandering around and seeing what we could see. The native dancers like in this photo were absolutely great. (Nikon D70s, ISO 200, 112mm, f4.8, 1/60 sec. Developed in Lightroom 2.6)