…efforts of a want-a-be photographer


New Techniques

I’m still playing around with my images from Friday’s Cherry Blossom excursion.  I was too lazy this year to get out there early in the morning before the crowds got there, so I had to be patient and find compositions that either eliminated the crowds of people, or minimized the distraction from the main element of the photo.

There is always some sort of construction occurring somewhere on the mall.  For the longest time, they have been working around the WWII Memorial, and now thanks to the 2011 earthquake, the Washington Monument is covered in scaffolding.  I attempted several images with varying success.  This image is a 7-image HDR processed with Nik’s HDR Efex Pro 2 initially.  You can see that image here, along with other images from the day.  I wasn’t thrilled with it, not sure why.

I recently acquired the full Nik Software bundle, thanks to Google.  So I took a crack at the image in Silver Efex Pro 2.  I am pleased with the results.Image


Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

I was down on the National Mall yesterday, attempting a few photos of the Cherry Blossoms.  The Jefferson Memorial is my favorite of all the memorials.  The inscriptions inside are timeless, and we should all read them from time to time, particularly our elected leaders.  Panel four speaks specifically to “change”.


“I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”  Image

The Woodrow Wilson Bridge, Washington, DC

An early morning shot of the Wilson Bridge from the Virginia side. It wasn’t a great morning for a colorful sunrise, unfortunately, so I just desaturated it completely.

iPhone Friday – Various

The last couple of weeks have been very hectic.  My son JP is a high school senior and we were off to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for spring break and a baseball tournament.  I left a little early and circled through northeast Alabama to visit my parents and drop off a vehicle for my daughter, who is a senior at Auburn University.  Here are a few iPhone pics I captured along the way.

My parents are in a wonderful assisted living facility in my home town.  One of their activities is to play Bingo.  I took the opportunity to play with my iPhone during the games.Image

This is my niece, Chasity’s son Drake at a family dinner outing. Image

After arriving in Myrtle Beach, I obtained my morning coffee from a local Starbucks, which sat across the way from this micro-brewery.Image

Of course, there was a lot of baseball.  This is JP on-deck.  I hope to share a few baseball pictures soon.                   Image

Who can deny themselves the opportunity to enjoy a Krispy Kreme glazed donut, hot off the conveyer….             Image

An finally, our last order of business on the trip was to stop in Smithfield, Virginia, to purchase a 1982 Ford truck for JP.Image


Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Out of DC for the latest snow/crapy weather.  We’re down in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to watch my son, JP, play in the Mingo Bay Baseball Classic.  Very cold here too, but no snow.  🙂


No Mail On Saturdays……

If you’ve been following the story, the US Postal Service is about to reduce it’s mail delivery on Saturdays in an attempt to save money.  I remember they previously eliminated a lot of Post Offices in small rural towns attempting to do the same thing.  Somehow this one in Calverton, Virginia, survived that round of closures.  You have to admit this one is pretty cool.Image

Great Falls Park – HDR

It was a beautiful day in northern Virginia, albeit a bit cold.  There’s just something about winter and leafless trees that I do not find appealing.  I grew up in northeast Alabama, and while the trees lost their leaves in winter, the woods were filled with varying types of evergreens.  The pine and cedar trees at least kept a little green sprinkled throughout the landscape.  I’m certainly ready for spring.

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks with little time to get out with my camera.  Here’s my latest effort in learning to use Nik Software’s HDR Pro 2.


And one that isn’t HDR.