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Friday, July 31, 2009

Process Process Process - More Maine

Pemaquid Point Light, ME, originally uploaded by Nadia McIlhany.

It seems like I am ALWAYS processing images these days!!!

One of the benefits of going on a photo tour with John Barclay and Dan Sniffin is that sometime after the shoot, John sends out a DVD with images from everyone on the tour. We all send in 10 images and a bunch of "people" shots from the tour. He sets our images to music and adds silly captions to the "people" shots. It is a nice memory of our time together and it gives us a chance to see what others saw that we didn't.

Of course the problem with this is that (1) you have to process your pics - a tour can net you thousands of images - and (2) you have to PICK 10 - way harder than you would think.

The 10 images that I sent to John are posted in my Flickr Maine Photo Tour Set. Click on the link and you will be magically transported via the tubes and wires of the Internet to Flickr and more of my images.

Come visit again soon.

- Nadia

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sunflower Day

Today was Sunflower Day ... I, and 8 friends, went shooting (with our cameras) at McKee-Beshers WMA's sunflower fields. We got there to find a parking lot full of cars and lots of photographers (there was a workshop this morning) - the more the merrier!!!

We had a variety of shooters - some from my local group of photo friends and some from my growing group of friends from farther a a field. We had shooters from Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York.

I was concentrating on macro until I lent my macro lens to one of my friends, then I used the 70-200 lens. I learning to use this lens so keeping it on my camera was a good exercise. I like to shoot with my 18-200 lens and it is easy composing a shot with that focal range. It is harder (and at times frustrating) to frame for the 70-200 range.

We were there early enough to catch dew on the flowers and leaves. Can you see the reflection of the sunflowers in this drop?

Yes, I shot a lot of the dew.

The yellow of the sunflowers really makes me happy.

It isn't all sunflowers at McKee-Beshers. While going deeper into the field, I happened up a blue morning glory climbing up one of the sunflowers. I didn't like my shot of the blue flower but I loved the shot of this unopened purple/pink flower. Serendipity!!!

After the sunflowers we headed over to White's Ferry for breakfast and some more shooting. I haven't processed any of my shots from White's Ferry yet.

After finishing up there, we took the ferry over the Potomac River and stopped at a unique antique shop in Lucketts, VA, On a Whim. Donna, the owner, was very kind and let us shoot around the shop and even took our picture to feature on her blog. I took my weekly self-portrait there - as well as some other shots. If you're ever in Lucketts, stop by the pink polka dot silo and check out the shop.

We really enjoyed meeting Donna and look forward to seeing the shot that she took of all of us and our cameras.

My self portrait for my Flickr fiftytwo project. Unfortunately my hair didn't appreciate being slept on wet the night before (we had to get up at 4:30 am to catch the sunflowers at dawn) or the rising heat of the day!!!

I love the polka dots!!!

Watch for more images coming soon to this blog.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

When you see red ... (part 2)

OK - so this image has no red in it. This is another sunflower image from my sunflower scouting mission this past weekend. The point of this image is DETAILS ... I wasn't really in the mood for wide open sunflower fields. However, I did want to play with my macro lens and I noticed all the pollen on the leaves so ...

now for the RED.

After visiting the sunflower fields at McKee-Beshers, I decided to deviate from the GPS directed route to White's Ferry and followed River Road. I knew that it went all the way but I also knew that some of it was gravel. Luckily it was a good quality "gravel" so Charles' Honda Civic hybrid had no problems navigating. I was rewarded for my adventurous spirit by a red barn at a turf farm. I shot this out the car window with the 105 mm macro lens that was still on my camera. Not so bad ...

and then I rounded a corner and saw this same red barn from the other direction and there was a pretty cool looking fence. I liked this image a lot better - still shooting out the car window. Next time I will get out of the car and work the scene a little more.

I can't wait to get back to the sunflower field, country roads, and White's Ferry with my photo "buds" on Saturday.

Until then ...

... remember click on any image to see a larger version.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

If you see red ...

... shoot it (of course). Today, I went scouting for a impromptu photo tour that I am arranging for some of my photo friends next weekend. The main activity of the "tour" is shooting the sunflowers at McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area near Seneca, Maryland. These fields of sunflowers are amazing and I did shoot them (see below) but I wanted to add some additional shooting locations for our "tour." About nine miles from the sunflowers is the last ferry still operating on the Potomac River, White's Ferry. It is also the last cable ferry in the United States (I think). While the ferry runs all year long, the little store and snack bar only operates from May to October. Since White's Ferry is on the Potomac River and adjacent to the C&O Canal Towpath, it is a stopping point for hikers, bikers, and boaters. Plus, you can rent canoes (red ones) and rowboats here. I'm looking forward to my photo "tour" next weekend.

Shooting around White's Ferry and the C&O Canal:

After finishing my shooting at White's Ferry, I took the ferry across the river to Loudoun County, Virginia for the "round about" way home to Fairfax. While driving around the scenic roads of horse and farm country, I found an old stone house near Hillsboro,VA that was overgrown with plants. Hopefully they were not poison ivy plants!!! I hope that I can find it again. A plus to visiting this area of Virginia - farm stands with fresh produce (I got some amazing local peaches and nectarines) and wineries (at least 3 in and around Hillsboro - and more in the surrounding county).

As always, enjoy my images. Click on any one to see it a little larger.

- Nadia

Thursday, July 16, 2009

More Maine Images Processed

Pemaquid Light, originally uploaded by Nadia McIlhany.

Slowly but surely, I am processing my Maine Photo Tour images. This is an HDR - High Dynamic Range - shot. Click on this image to get to others in my Flickr Photostream. I've even created a set for the Maine Tour images.

Monday, July 13, 2009

And The Camera Stayed Dry

Just a Peek of Yellow, originally uploaded by Nadia McIlhany.

I had planned to shoot the sunflowers over at McKee-Beshers WMA in Poolesville, MD. But they weren't ready yet. Seems that a wet spring delayed planting and the flowers were not up yet. This, of course, messed with local camera club field trips - as well as my own planned trip. Well, instead of taking the opportunity to sleep in on Sunday morning, I changed my plans and joined local photo clubs and the Washington Photo Meetup Group at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in northeast Washington, D.C. My last trip to these gardens 2 years ago was not so good. That was the trip when my camera decided that it wanted to go swimming. Unfortunately, cameras can't swim. At least it is not one of the Nikon D200's advertised (or unadvertised) features.

I decided that I would try the gardens again and met one of my newest photo friends, Dorine, at the gardens at 7:00 a.m. - and we were late. Luckily my Nikon D300 (the D200's replacement) knew its limits and didn't even try to swim. Yay!!!

The lotus were all overrunning the ponds. I was looking for that shot where you look down into the top of the flower and get the yellow pod and the beautiful pink petals. However, I think that I was about 2 weeks too late for THAT shot. The lotus plants were all very tall - standing anywhere from 2-4 feet (maybe more) up from the surface of the ponds. I could barely see the tops of the flowers, let alone get into a place where I could shoot down at them. I've put an earlier date on my 2010 calendar for next year's shooting.

As one of my mentors John Barclay says ... you need to shoot what you find ... so I did.

Click on the image in this post and you will be wisked away to my Flickr Photostream where more shots from the morning reside. Enjoy and please come back again so seem my evolving photo journey.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Week 21: 7/5/2009

Week 21: 7/5/2009, originally uploaded by Nadia McIlhany.

I continue on with my self-portrait project. Who says that you have to be the only one in a self-portrait.

Independence Day weekend brought visitors to our home, my in-laws. On Sunday afternoon we headed over to the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, VA. Since my father-in-law was in the Air Force and my mother-in-law grew up in the Air Force ... we've been talking about going over there for a while now. We finally made it.

Whenever I drive home from work (when I do drive), I see the memorial from a distance. This was my first chance to get "up close and personal." The sky was not optimum - no blue skies or puffy clouds - it actually started to rain while we were there - not so good when trying to shoot straight up. I'll have to go back - maybe at sunset or at night - they light it up at night.

And, yes, this started as a photograph and then I added some Photoshop Plugin magic - Topaz Simpliy - the cartoon setting. I love the creativity that digital photography allows.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

In the middle of the day

Over the 4th of July weekend, I wanted to do some photography. I pre-scouted the Walney Pond and then went with my husband and his folks who were visiting for the holiday. Unfortunately the light wasn't so great but the flowers were pretty. I played with Topaz Simplify 2 on this shot.