November 11th, 2019
While I enjoy wide-angle fall landscapes it's finding smaller compositions like this that I enjoy the most. They tend to be a little more unique and offer more variety versus trying to cram an entire landscape into the frame. It's not often that I use a polarizer but it was definitely useful in this case to help remove some of the reflections in the water and add some richness to the colors.
October 29th, 2019
The East Coast during the Fall is truly the best time. I say the same thing every year — the colors are spectacular. It's towards the middle and latter ends of the fall season that I enjoy the most. You get a variety in the landscape from the trees that have lost all of their leaves against those that haven't, which makes the colors that remain seem even more saturated. The photograph above is a perfect reflection of that and also one of my personal favorites from this year.
October 14th, 2019
Fall has finally started to show its colors. I visited Great Falls National Park focused on finding a composition that contrasted peak fall colors amongst the otherwise green foliage. It was a search that was surprisingly difficult considering that the majority of the trees are either still green or simply brown from it being so dry. After awhile, though, I finally found the composition above. The leaves were in peak color and partially lit by the mid-morning sun. From a distance it looked like a beacon and was impossible to miss. Thankfully, the sun was slightly filtered through the mid-morning clouds to avoid any harsh, direct light. This was one of those rare moments that actually went according to plan.
October 14th, 2019
It's not often that I get the chance to take advantage of the latest and greatest iPhone. My iPhone is generally a cycle or two behind what's current and that's OK. This year, however, my two year cycle of replacing my existing phone coincided with the release of the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. I was in a fortunate position to be able to consider an upgrade to the latest and greatest and so I did. I traded my iPhone 8 for the iPhone 11 Pro and have been using it regularly for the past several weeks. The reviews are mostly spot-on. It's a great phone with a seriously impressive camera that could also use a little bit of improvement. Continue Reading.
September 26th, 2019
I went out the other weekend looking for a photograph that captures the transition into fall but, so far, the transition has been pretty poor. With the warmer temperatures and it being extremely dry it looks like it might be a low-key fall color wise. I didn't come away with a completely empty SD card though. The striations in the rocks at Scott's Run made for a nice textured black and white composition.
August 22nd, 2019
It doesn't get much better than fog in the mountains but being where I'm at out here on the east coast it's not as accessible as I would like it to be. While I was out west for a vacation I was able to catch a single morning where fog had settled in overnight. The rising morning sun created this great graduated filtered effect between the fog and forested foreground which made for a nice, simple composition.
August 22nd, 2019
Travel tripods are a comprise. You can’t have everything so you are going to have to sacrifice something. Which is often stability in favor for portability. The idea is to find a system that considers those comprises and balances them accordingly. Which is where the Sirui T-2204SK T-S comes in. I’m confident in saying that, for the money, this tripod is about as close to perfecting that balance then any other current travel tripod on the market today. Continue Reading.
August 4th, 2019
This photograph was not 100% what I was looking for, but I still liked it well enough. There used to be two trees on these rocks, but my guess is is that one of the recent storms took care of the one on the right. Compositionally, having both trees would have been preferable but to me it still works. Especially with the added atmosphere from the dissipating morning fog. This was initially intended to be black and white but the already muted colors worked far better in this case.
July 1st, 2019
While the weather has been nice it has been hot and humid, so I haven’t been out as much as I would like over the past couple weeks. I didn’t have to travel far for this photograph though. The setting sun coming in through the backyard and the mist from the sprinkler I thought made for a nice black and white composition. Sometimes you don't have to go far to find something to photograph.
June 24th, 2019
I struggle with landscape photography in the summer months. Everything is green and it's a challenge to find inspiration from just one color. While black and white seems to be an excuse for when everything else doesn't work out, I'm finding that I prefer black and white for woodland photography versus color in most cases. Dappled sunlight in the morning works so well in black and white and I particularly liked how it came through in the photograph above.
June 5th, 2019
Something a little different than the usual. This is a top-down view of the front end of the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird that is housed for display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (the sister site to the Washington D.C. Smithsonian Air & Space Museum). In my opinion the best designed aircraft to ever come out of the military. If you're not familiar with its story it's worth reading and if you're ever in the D.C. area the Udvar-Hazy Center is well worth the visit.
May 8th, 2019
Documentation photography has become an area of photography that I find really interesting. Several years ago I learned about this from watching a video about the new National Park Service photographer Jarob Ortiz. It's an interesting video and I recommend watching it. If you read into any of the comments online there are plenty of people who label the photographs as bland, but I think it's quite the opposite. The photographs are technically and compositionally perfect with the focus on the subject. An ideal record of how things are. I've started to practice this kind of photography as I like the idea of having a collection of images that reference specific places and landmarks, while trying to maintain the principals that make for a good photograph. I point all of this out to say that is the purpose behind the above photograph. It's not particularly flashy or dramatic in contrast, but it's an attempt at approaching landscape photography from that 'documentation' perspective and it's something I look forward to practicing more of.
May 31st, 2019
Anymore, computers outlast what is considered to be the average four years of use. I've been using a 2012 Mac Mini that was still going strong before it was time to consider an upgrade. Those four, or in my case, seven, years is an eternity in the computer world and any upgrade is going to be better in almost every way. Continue Reading.
May 8th, 2019
Water always makes for good abstracts and once you've found something you like the key is choosing the right shutter speed. Even a second or two on the high or low side makes a big difference. This particular spot on the Difficult Run River had a slight change in topography to disrupt the otherwise smooth flowing water. A shutter speed of 1/15" preserved just enough motion in the water without too much blur and in black and white reminded me of a pencil drawing.
May 5th, 2019
The Benro ball head that I had been using regularly for the past few years started to develop a substantial drift when locked into place. I would have to compensate for the drift by aiming slightly above my composition and let the ball head settle into place. While the ball head is still functional that drift is only going to get worse with time so it was time to find a replacement. Continue Reading.
April 30th, 2019
The number of photos that I have specifically of leaves would be enough to fill a moderately sized book at this point. Which I have actually considered making, by the way. I always thought that a photo book dedicated to leaves would make for an interesting project if the photos were carefully chosen and arranged. On days where there doesn't seem to be much compositionally it's worth paying attention to the details as you never know what you might find.
April 22nd, 2019
Sunrise photography always take a little bit of planning to get right. While you can't necessarily control everything what you can control is how early you get up in the morning. Earlier is always better. Continue Reading.
April 17th, 2019
It has been one year, and a couple days, since I started this website. Time flies. I have written 21 blog posts and featured 31 Recent Images. After countless attempts, this is the first website that I have started for myself where I have kept the content current. So what makes this attempt different from all of the others? Continue Reading.
April 9th, 2019
Between the Cherry Blossom Festival and the warm weather over the weekend the National Mall in D.C. was completely packed with people. So much so that I quit my afternoon trip and went home early. The cherry blossoms are certainly worth a visit and I would recommend it to anyone who is going to be in D.C. around this time of year. However, make your visit as early in the morning as possible. So many people end up in the Tidal Basin that it makes it difficult to even move around which takes all of the fun out of it. While walking back to the Metro the mid-afternoon sun had nice shadows on the Smithsonian National Museum of American History which I thought made for a nice B&W composition, so at least it wasn't a completely wasted afternoon.
April 3rd, 2019
The west-facing panoramic windows of the National Gallery of Arts East is a great location because it can offer opportunities for different variations on the same composition. Continue Reading.
March 31st, 2019
The colors of the geology of Mather Gorge at Great Falls National Park can pop depending on the kind of light during the day. The soft-box like light from the thinning afternoon clouds really made the blue stand out more than usual, contrasting nicely with the typical tans and grays and other earthen colors.
March 21st, 2019
There is no other building in Washington D.C. that I have photographed more than the East Building of the National Gallery of Arts. Continue Reading.
March 13th, 2019
The internet is spoiled with options for ways to backup your data. There's Backblaze, CrashPlane, Dropbox, Google Drive, iDrive, Amazon Prime, Carbonite, just to name a few. Most offer unlimited while some offer tiered ranges of limited data. The ideal backup solution is one that is painless, or as pain free as possible, and reliable without costing a fortune. Continue Reading.
February 18th, 2019
I was cataloging some photos from a month ago and forgot about this photograph. At the time of capture I was unsure what to make of it but after processing it the details and colors came through to really bring things together. Returning to a photograph after some time away can help determine whether you're satisfied with a photograph or not.
February 12th, 2019
With Adobe's most recent update to the Creative Cloud ecosystem, the long-standing issue of rendering Fuji X-Trans RAW files has been corrected via the new Enhance Image tool. For Fuji users, this will come as good news, especially for those whose workflow is reliant on Adobe products. Continue Reading.
January 28th, 2019
The lower temperatures lately have started to partially freeze some of the local streams and slightly higher temperatures during the day begin to melt what was frozen the night before to create interesting icicles and a glaze of ice over stream surfaces. Both scenarios came through nicely in this composition with the hanging icicles on the right and the iced surfaces of the foreground. With the color palette, the whole scene reminds me of a painting.
January 27th, 2019
A month ago, I traded all of my Nikon gear and bought the Fujifilm XT3. As a landscape photographer, the mirrorless camera system was always an attractive option and the near-unanimous praise of the XT3 made it a system difficult to ignore. With a month's worth of regular use, I thought I would offer a few of my thoughts on the camera for those who might be considering switching as well. Continue Reading.
January 13th, 2019
Snow has finally arrived here on the East Coast. I was looking forward to it simply because of the change in color palette and new opportunities for photographs. The bland, brown scenery is not terrible inspiring otherwise. Scott's Run was particularly nice this morning and the colder overnight temperatures were enough to create a skim of ice in some places. In this photograph the ice was thicker towards the bottom of the frame and thinning towards deeper water; the graduated filter like effect of the ice over the leaves gave the composition a nice transition of colors that I quite liked.
January 8th, 2019
January 6th, 2019
First image of the new year. The weather has felt more like spring then it does winter and despite the rain there have been a few good days of sunny weather. Saying the local trails were busy over the weekend is an understatement. Everyone, and their literal dog, were out. I choose Scott's Run this morning and took a fork in the trail that followed the river and eventually stumbled across this composition. I know nothing about geology but I'm assuming it's some kind of mineral that's responsible for the Orange color. Either way, it made for a nice pop of color against the neutral surroundings.