The Girl from Cannon Hill

This lovely model is posing in the window at the Cannon Hill antique store Here in Frederick, MD. Okay, so she has no hands. That doesn’t mean that she can’t rock that sweater.

Canon 5D mark II, EF 50 1.2 L, ISO 160, 1/125 @ f/2.8

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Old Anglers Inn

There are national treasures all over in this great country of ours and here in the DMV (D.C.,Maryland,andVirginia) one of the best is the C&O canal. Since I live in central Maryland the various locks in the canal are easy access as I never have to drive too far to get to one. Over the years I have spent many hours hiking the canal either with the dogs or purely for photographic reasons. Although my favorites change all the time, my current go to has been the Old Anglers Inn part of the canal. I call it this because of the restaurant that bears this name sits directly across from the parking lot that gives me access to this part of the canal. Lately I have been spending what little spare time I have sitting on the large, ancient and smooth granite boulders along the Potomac river enjoying the view and taking photos along various points of the river. The photo above is part of the river that seems to be a favorite amongst kayakers. This is just below the famous Great Falls that borders Maryland and Virginia.

Canon 5D markII, EF 50 1.2 L, ISO 160 1/11th sec @f/8

Dumbarton Oaks

A few years back I went to the Dumbarton Oaks gardens in D.C. A nice place to visit as it also has a great museum on the premises and on occasion, some great art installations. This is a shot of a cherry tree (I think) outside what is called the Orangey room that has an orange tree growing up the walls and ceiling.

Canon 5D markII, EF 24-70 2.8 L, ISO 320, 1/200 @ f/7.1

Looking up at the Stafford Hotel

This building was known as the Stafford Hotel in the Mount Vernon section of Baltimore. It was built in 1894. It is now an apartment building.

Canon 5D MarkII, EF 24-70 2.8 L, ISO 160, 1/250 @ f/8

Structures

This is a shot of the store front window of a local hair salon here in Frederick MD.

Canon 5D markII, EF 85 1.2 L, ISO 640, 1/250 @ f/5.6

Ladew Cottage

Canon 5D markII, EF 85 1/2 L, ISO 160, 1/250 @ f/5.6

Blackwater Falls

This is a shot of Blackwater Falls in West Virginia.

Canon 5D markII, EF 50 1.2 L, ISO 320, 1/250 @ f/8

Elakala Falls

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve had off so I took off today to search for Blackwater Falls state park which is about three and half hours from my home. Unfortunately, according to the weather service the morning sun was to give way to rain by afternoon. This meant I had to beat feet and get to my destination, grab my shots, and at least be on the road before the rain starts. I should say that I live in the lowlands of Maryland and the park is up in the Blue Ridge mountains. One of the things I thought I’d do was to stop at the various overlooks along the way to get some shots of the local fall color. Since the impending rain cut short my full itinerary for the day, I thought that I would at least hit a few spots to get something. The first overlook was a rest stop about an hour into my journey. Although I got a few good photos of the mountain, the overlook of the valley was terrible due to heavy mountain fog.

Besides the fog, it was extremely overcast and it was hard to gauge whether the rain was imminent or not. Now would be a great time to turn around, go home and call it a day. At the very least I would only lose an hour. It only took about a minute to kill that thought and I was back on the road. About an hour later I stopped again at another overlook. This time conditions were worse than the last stop. I found myself not feeling too good about the trip but felt I had come too far to turn back. It was about then I met a very nice couple by the names of Randy and Joyce who seemed to be fellow Photographers who had knowledge of the area. During our conversation I learned of some great places to shoot and more importantly, that despite the current shoddy weather situation, it wasn’t supposed to rain until about 4 p.m.

It was now about 1 p.m. and I still had at least an hour and a half to go. After the nice talk with the couple I jumped in my car and pressed on. Two hours later ( I got lost of course) I finally arrived at the park. Since one of the falls (Blackwater itself) wasn’t far from the parking lot, I went there first. There were a lot of tourists which the couple warned me about, but I was able to squeeze myself amongst them to get some decent photos without much of a fuss. The second Falls known as Elakala, was a few miles further done the road and as soon as I got there It started to rain. Just lovely. Not a steady or heavy rain mind you, but just enough drizzle to ruin the shoot. I sat in my car and thought long and hard about whether to stay or leave and cut my loses.

“Okay I’m just going to go home” I thought. It was about this time that the rain stopped. That’s when I decided that I didn’t come all this way not to at least try to reach my goal of getting shots of both falls. I got out of the car, threw on my camera bag and ran for Elakala before the rain started back up. I made it to the falls and set up the tripod and camera and started to shoot. It was then I noticed that the EF 50 lens from the last shoot was still on my camera when I wanted to use my 24-70. No problem, I’ll shoot with the 50 for now until I get cozy and then change it. Well, that was not to be. As soon as I was ready to switch, The rain came back, and this time a bit harder. I then realized that even though I wasn’t going to be able to shoot wide like I wanted, I still got a few pics with the 50 and to be grateful that I got any at all.

I packed up the gear and headed home. when I got back, I uploaded everything and realized that all my shots turned out ok despite me rushing myself due to the rain. It also made me think about how things don’t always go according to plan, but sometimes if you don’t panic (like I did) and just think about the situation before giving up, you can still accomplish something and be very happy. And as for me, I’m very happy.

Canon5D markII, EF 50 1.2 L, ISO 320, 1/8 @ f/10

The Mayfair Theater

As most of you who follow me know, I am quite found of shooting old buildings and structures, but then who with a camera isn’t. The real gems though, are the ones that turn out to have a great and storied past, only to be left to rust or rot in place as if they never existed in the first place. One day while slumming up Howard street in Baltimore I came upon such a place. This is the Mayfair theater. It started its life in 1880 and back then it was known as the Auditorium. I don’t know what the entertainment was like back then was like back then, but considering the details to the exterior, I am sure it housed only the best plays as well as being a grand concert hall. In the early 20th century, some of the country’s finest vaudeville acts performed here. By mid century it became a movie theater when it got it’s name change to the Mayfair. After years of showing B-movies, it finally closed in 1986. There were rumors of bringing her back to her former glory, but sadly in 1998 the roof collapsed all but assuring that it probably won’t happen.

Canon 5D markII, EF 24-70 2.8 L, ISO 160, 1/250 @ f/8

Harpers Ferry

Kayakers take on the Potomac river in Harpers Ferry WV.

Canon 5D markII, EF 85 1.2 L, ISO 160, 1/400 @ f/11

Adams Morgan

This photo highlights the heart of the Adams Morgan neighborhood on Washington D.C. Many years ago this used to be my stomping grounds as it were, but sadly today this area has become something of an ultra trendy locale for tourists and college kids. Nothing wrong with that mind you, but back in the day it was more of a haunt for the locals. The thing that makes  this place so unique is the fact that people from all over the world call this place home. I find it nice that these folks find their spot among the souvenir shops and college bars to sell their wares. Where else can you get a Tibetan massage, shop at a Moroccan bazaar, eat a slice of pizza, get a Dominican haircut (whatever that is) and hit the pharmacy all in the same block?

Canon 5D markII, EF 50 1.2 L, ISO 320, 1/320 @ f/8

Neptune

I know that it seems that I have been on a black and white jaunt lately, and the truth is, I have.  As of late, color has not been on the menu for me. It just happens so bear with me while my fling with various shades of grey runs it’s course. I will try to post some color to break up the monotony, but for now let me present to you this photo of the Neptune fountain in front of the Supreme court of the United States. I got this shot while walking to another destination. The U.S. Capitol building is directly across from it. I almost never venture to these parts of D.C. for tourists reasons so I was pretty shocked when I saw it. All these years of living in or near D.C. and I never noticed it. The Fountain is quite large as it also includes two women holding back horses by the neck on either side. I have shots of them and will post at another time. Maybe in color as well.

Canon 5D markII, EF 24-70 2.8 L, ISO 320, 1/1000 @ f/8

Ladew

Main field at Ladew.

Canon 5D markII, EF 85 1.2 L, ISO 160, 1/500 @ f/5.6

Ladew Gardens

Last summer Sheila and I went to Ladew topiary gardens in Monkton Md. This place is very large and we spent hours walking the grounds despite the spotty drizzle that hung like a haze on occasion. The shot above is a view of the main fountain in the rose garden from outside of one of the four entrances.

Canon 5D markII, EF 85 1.2 L< ISO 160, 1/200 @ f/4.5

Mother and Child

I am a huge fan of street art and Baltimore has it in spades. Just wander around the right neighborhood where the buildings are in various stages of disrepair and all of a sudden you are surrounded by street art painted on brick canvases by artists known the world over. The piece in the photo above is one such masterpiece by an artist Known as Indigo from Vancouver B.C.

Canon 5D markII, EF 24-70 2.8 L, ISO 160, 1/400 @ f/8

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