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Monday, February 28, 2005


Going Antiquing

You see them all over the place - self-proclaimed antique stores that leave at least some of their stuff on display outside the store, all the time. Well, that stuff may or may not be antique-y, but often, it's quite photogenic.

American Flyer Posted by Hello

I spotted the colorful tableau above last week, once again during my commute, just across the highway, on a sunny but camera-less morning. I brought my camera along the next day, and with the weather cooperating, took the half-block detour to shoot American Flyer.

Antique Store Jugs Posted by Hello

I returned to the store a few days later, again taking advantage of early morning sun on the objects d'art arrayed in front of the store. There was more than enough to occupy me for at least a half-hour, and since it was still well before opening time, nobody to stop or even question me.

I've already made a really impressive print of American Flyer that I matted and placed in an 18"x24" frame - I'm debating whether to bring it by the store and show the owners. I don't know if they'll be pleased or annoyed - maybe a few photos of their objects turned into notecards would be a good peace offering.

There are several more of these "antique" images that are probably worth posting, and I'll put them onto the blog over the next few days.

Meanwhile, find yourself an "antique" store near you and help yourself to some of the treasures they leave outside. Photographically speaking, of course.


Looking Up

Yes, literally, things are looking up. This past Saturday morning, I went back to the Ranger Station on the B&A Trail to take some photos in the morning sun. I had passed by this old, brightly-painted house during my commute the day before, and I thought that with the right lighting, the architecture and colors would make for an interesting image.

B&A Rooflines Posted by Hello
Ranger Station, B&A Trail

Just as in the photos of the church in Pasedena last weekend, the best shot turned out to be one that concentrates on the rooflines.

Sandy and I trekked to Bethany Beach late Saturday and stayed overnight. I was up early Sunday morning, beachcombing for good images, when I walked passed this elegant beach house. By now, I'd learned to lift my eyes and check out the roofline...

Bethany Beach Rooflines Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 27, 2005


Two Gulls
Bethany Beach Feb 26, 2005 Posted by Hello

Monday, February 21, 2005



Here's one of those funny things you run across now and then - I was using the web-based blog editor at Blogger.com, the company that hosts this blog for free, and noticed that it's spell checker has a little problem recognizing a certain familiar term:

Oh, right, sorry, I meant to say Bloch post, what was I thinking!

Saturday, February 19, 2005


A Good Morning

I often take my camera with me when I venture out on weekends because, well... you never know.

This morning, I attended an early meeting of an organization that I belong to. For various reasons, instead of our normal location, we met at Magothy United Methodist Church in Pasadena. I'd been there before, but never in broad daylight. With the meeting over, I started walking towards my car, parked by the old 1887 chapel.

The brilliant sunshine and clear blue sky this morning led me to see the old building in the abstract - the rooflines and steeple as a study in triangles. Glad I brought the camera...

Pasadena Rooflines Posted by Hello

Next stop was Home Depot to look for replacement cabinet hinges and a good utility knife to use for cutting large mat boards down to size. The long line of bright orange shopping carts in the sun made a good pattern, I thought. I'd shot this kind of thing before wide-angle, and today I thought I'd try using a long telephoto to get a compression effect. Glad I brought the camera...

Home Depot Saturday Morning Posted by Hello

Then off to Michael's, an arts-and-crafts supply store, to buy some 18"x24" frames for the prints from my Canon i9900. As usual, they put out on-sale items just outside the store, where I found these bags and bags of plastic Easter eggs. Glad I brought the camera...

A Sign of Spring Posted by Hello

My last stop before returning home was Art Things, Inc. in West Annapolis - a wonderful fine art and graphic supplies store owned and run by several lovely, knowledgable women. I just "discovered" it last week, but this wonderful shop has been a mainstay of the artistic community in Annapolis for over thirty years. I needed some acid-free linen hinging tape and mounting tape, and of course, they had it.

Like Michael's, Art Thing has some items displayed outside their door, only, well, much more artistically. Just as I was about to step off their front porch, I noticed this nicely-displayed tableau.
Tools of the Trade - Art Things, Inc. West Annapolis, MD Posted by Hello

Did I mention - I'm glad I brought the camera...

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Canon i9900 Review... Not Quite!

Yes, I know I promised this review a few weeks ago, and I have had enough experience with the i9900 to say some intelligent things, but I just haven't gotten around to setting them all down in a coherent manner.

Meanwhile, I thought I could get away with a few words and a few photos. The image below shows how I set up the i9900 in my small office. It's a very large printer, at least in terms of width, and would have taken up most of the space I had just freed up in my Massive Office De-Junking Adventure had I not installed this auxiliary shelf.

Canon i9900 - Worth the Space it Takes Up! Posted by Hello

I arranged a few 13x19 prints on and around the printer so that you could get an idea of the size. I can tell you that they are very impressive, both in terms of resolution and color rendition. The short story is that this is a superb printer for large photo-quality color output (I haven't tried B&W prints yet.)

I just took a class at a local arts and crafts store the other evening on mat-cutting, which turned out to be much easier than I had expected. After the class, I bought a Logan mat-cutting kit, although interestingly, the store doesn't sell uncut mat boards. Another local artist supply store had a good variety of 32" x 40" acid-free mat boards for $7.75 each. These are paper-based, the cotton-based "museum-quality" boards are about $14.00.

Sarrah J., a colleague of mine at work, saw my photo of the B&O Museum's clerestory roof that I posted to this blog a few weeks ago and asked to buy a large print. Armed now with my Canon i9900, my newfound mat-cutting skill, and two different color mats, I was able to fulfill her request to bring out the rust colors in the photo with some custom double-matting. I'm bringing the finished product, below, to work today (she'll have it framed.) Sarrah J. is a software test engineer, so I figure that if I can pass her Quality Assurance requirements, I'll be doing OK.

Ben Shows Off Canon i9900 13x19 Print Posted by Hello

Late breaking news: Sarrah J. just gave me the QA Seal of Approval... she loves
the matted photo!

Sunday, February 13, 2005



Orang-Oy!-Tan - Atlanta Zoo Posted by Hello

Make up your own caption for this one!

Thursday, February 10, 2005


Plaza Drugs (oversharpened) Posted by Hello


Plaza Drugs - Virginia Highlands neighborhood of Atlanta Posted by Hello


Supermarket Umbrella Display, Atlanta Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


Pandamonium Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


Showing Off - Atlanta Zoo Posted by Hello

My photo slump is now officially over. A wonderful weekend visit to Atlanta and Birmingham took care of that - more on that later.

For the next few days, I have lots of photos but little time to write, so images without prose will be the order of business for the next few days.

Monday, February 07, 2005


Camp Car Windows - B&O Railroad Museum, Baltimore Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


Give It Time

Sometimes you have to step back and give it some time...

Locomotion - B&O Railroad Museum Posted by Hello

Back in mid-January, I spent about an hour in the yard adjacent to the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum in Baltimore, trying hard to get back into the swing of image-making and thinking I wasn't doing so well.

Even when I got back home and looked at the shots on-screen, I wasn't very impressed.

But I've found it's always worthwhile to go back and have another look. I did that last night with the B&O photos, and did find a few that now look worthwhile.

I took a lot of pictures of locomotive wheel sets that day. The one above is my favorite. I like the tonality (click on the photo to see a larger image) and basically, I think it's a nice composition. Oddly enough, it's the very first photo I took that session.

If I could change one thing, I'd have the museum hoist the engine and somehow push the main rod (the large gray bar) rearward, so that the big end of the eccentric crank (that big white thing at the end of the main rod) points to the lower left corner of the image. Ah, well. Hmmm... maybe someday I'll get good enough to photoshop it that way?

Seeing Red

Camp Car Window - B&O Railroad Museum Posted by Hello

Those of you who have been following this blog for a while know by now that I can't resist shooting anything that's got a good, deep red in it. And look what I found... this great red image of a crinkle-glass window (is that the technical term for it?) set in a wonderfully red parlor car.

This is a Pullman coach that at some point was converted to a "camp car", which I think means a car reserved for use by the railroad line as an rolling office or such.

I think this one will make a good 13x19 print on my new Canon i9900 printer. Speaking of which, I promise, I'll tell you about that Real Soon Now.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Cold-Weather Shutterbugging

Eastport Ice Patterns Posted by Hello

Here in the Baltimore-Annapolis area, we were blessed with a very mild winter until mid-January. It's gotten a lot colder since then, and prior to becoming a born-again photographer, that kind of weather would have kept me shut indoors.

This year, though, I thought the freeze-your-tuchis-off conditions could help snap me out of my photo slump, and it just might have worked. I happily shot away among the boats and the ice, ignoring my numbing fingers, for almost an hour.

Bow Design - Eastport Boatyard Posted by Hello

As usual, Dave Beckerman in New York City has had a lot of great images on his photo blog lately. I was particularly impressed by this delicate and peaceful image taken at the Central Park reservoir. When I woke up Sunday morning to a gentle snowfall, the memory of Dave's resevoir photo inspired me to schlep myself outside and try a few shots myself. Here's what I came up with:

Snowy Morning - Maryland WWII Monument, Annapolis Posted by Hello

Hello Again, Hello

Another forum I participate in uses Hello for posting images, and I thought I'd give it a try. What I don't like about Hello is that I can't control the layout to the extent I can otherwise. On the other hand, I do like the way you can easily include captions, and, most of all, the ability for the viewer to click on an image to see a larger version. We'll see if I stick with Hello.

Canon i9900 Mini-Review

It's great!

More to come on this later.

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