Reinventing The Vision


Contrary to local belief my Head is full of ideas, most of them fleeting and unformed. Some reoccurring, but needing some form of outlet. A few are actually pretty good. Lets see what comes up!
Looking for something motorsport related consider visiting our sister site www.speedovision.com It's HOT!

As of today consider this site a work in progress. Things just are to dated and in no way reflect my current level of competence. Look for lots of unannounced updates, and structure updates. A total redo if you will .. But it all has to start somewhere. Like now!

New Kid in town.

Mainly me, Downtown Baltimore that is. It might have taken over a quarter century but I finally made a visit to the iconic Bromo-Tower in Downtown Baltimore. Thanks to a  Baltimore Bizjournal piece I stumbled across Friday that discribed the upcoming (Saturday) Open Door Baltimore event where 27 building that were not accessable, or had  Limited or sporadic access to the public.  I quickly scanned the list and picked three buildings for targets. The aforementioned Bromo-Tower, the spectacular Peabody Library. And to wrap it up the iconic Baltimore shot Tower.  

About Town Downtown Baltimore  2014 10 12 57 42 1Y6A9033 ©DougMillerPhotography2014

Of the three the Shot Tower was the most disappointing to me. Mainly due to it vast interior space which was dimly lit and very hard to photograph.  Of course all these are accessable at various times, and of course all will be revisited at a later time for additional attempts to capture these treasured bits of Baltimore history.  

About Town Downtown Baltimore  2014 10 13 27 40 1Y6A9075 ©DougMillerPhotography2014

and maybe another lunch at my favorite Baltimore dining spot. Harry Attman’s Deli on Lombard st

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What's New With You?

Nothing much as of now.  Did visit the past in Ilkchester MD, The ruins of “St Mary’s Monastery” and Simkins Paper Mill will warrant a revisit as will the Old B&O rail infrastructure.     

Later on in the week it was a visit to the Providence Cemetery in Gamber MD.  

 

 

 

And then it was up to Abbottsville PA. for some local color. 

And that is what was the week that was. Oh yea, just one more thing before signing off, I did change my watermark logo… 

DMP project 010414 50DMP project 010414 50

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2014 Off and Running

Look how fast this year is already going, it seems only short time ago I was waiting at Liberty Reservoir for the first Sunrise of the New Year. 

And now day 1 is almost history..    One of my New Year’s resolutons is to spend time updating the Doug Miller Photography website, I’ve  been a sadly remiss in that area..   Second New Years Resolution is to post to this blog at least once a week. If for nothing else then getting back on the NSA tracking list..    

I would like to wish all a Happy and Prosperous 2014. 

See you soon. 

DD 

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Here and there and back again.

Had to make the long trip from Maryland to Allentown PA this weekend to say goodbye to an old fried and mother of my wife. As with events of this nature I looked for opportunities to remove myself from the immediate family and allow them to deal with their loss in what ever way they might chose. A circumstance would have it my only "extraction" of note was to revisit a area recently revitalized in nearby Bethlehem, city of my birth.. (Which is another story, for another time.) The area in question was what is locally known as "The South Side" was the home of the sprawling Bethlehem Steel Complex "The Steel" an area roughly 1/3 mile X 2 miles. bordered by the Lehigh River and blighted neighborhoods. Crowned by the Lehigh University Campus on the slopes of South Mountain. It's lot was not helped when The Steel closed down and padlocked the site. Fast forward to the present. I was very happy to see the repurposing of the site as a entertainment area actually seems to be working. Anchored on one end by the "Sands" Casino. located in the former ore pits, going upriver to renovated buildings containing shops and such, to a large area for arts and entertainment known simply as "the Stacks". But what drew me and makes this area unique is the backdrop of one of the original Bethlehem Steel blast furnaces. Surprisingly the area also allowed closer access to these massive modern implementations of 14th century technology, that dominated the city skyline and my childhood memories, then ever allowed me in the past. I was so taken back by these rusting artifacts, not only by their shear size but also by the historical significant and their dramatically different impacts to the area in the past. These mighty machines are literally what make America what it is today,. But I realize that modern technology has put these once mighty icons of our industrial age, out to pasture, but spared the demolition that befallen many of their contemporaries. So now they can sit in the sun, dreaming the soft dreams of a grand past. Slowly rusting way and occasionally providing a subject for a few tourist snaps.
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A passing of an age. fdphotovideo

On Friday night I left the light in www.ffphotovidoe.com  go out for good..  I've had the site up for almost 10 years but lately with the new www,speedovision.com site showcasing motorsport events, It became more and more obvious,that maintaining three sites were just to much of a chore. So it's God Speed and Following Winds to you and all the joys you brought to countless children over the years. Well maybe that part is made up.

To every thing turn turn turn, there is a season and a purpose under heaven.  

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How do you spell "Train Wreck"?

For starters try this example  www.dougmillerphotos.com!

I noticed I hadn't done much with this website since I spun off  www.speedovision.com and www.dougmillerphotos.com from www.fdphotovision.com, while trying to add the Nadirah Nasreen's Annual Hafla! event. It became apparent this puppy need a major overhaul both to structure. and content.  Well there's no time like the present. Please bear with this mess until I can redress, and redo..  What's that I hear Mr. Anderson, sounds like old 99 a coming down the track.  I better get started quick.   

 

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Dance they said, and it was good. Update

This year events seem to be few and far between. Almost at the last second, my young Child Bride (CB) and her dance companion decided to attend Nadirah Nasreen's Annual Hafl at the Pasha Land restaurant in Gaithersburg MD. Reservations were made over the phone for the following night (Sunday) and the excitement slowly started to build for both of us.  Her, because she loves the Dance , and has so for almost 35 years. Me, it was an event, my real passion, photographing events.  I have my favorites but as a rule, The Middle Eastern Dance events are not on the top of my list.. Don't get me wrong, I love photographing Middle Eastern Dancers of all shapes and sizes. And what's not to love, the colors, movements, music? No what's not to love is the venues.. It's a real challenge to capture a worthwhile images of the dancers in a High School Gym, Senior Center, parking lot or worse. Which with small exception is where they are. Fact of life, the girls love to dance where ever they can to show off their skills, and to do this "You takes what you gets."  

But I have, as they say, digressed.  We both went into our usual preparation modes, hers are not for public consumption, mine are more of a mechanical nature.  Batteries  to be charged, cameras & lens' needed to be selected. Which always proves to be a dilemma.  Most times not knowing the where's why and whens of the venue always makes it at best, a guess.  This time not being different, I  decided to travel light  with the 5DMII, a 50mm f/1.2, 100mm f/2.8, and one flash to deal with what ever lighting situations were presented.   

When we arrived at Pasha Land at the appointed time, I was a bit distressed to see the restaurant was really not that large, and was packed with dancers and guests, with space  already at a premium . which built when we came to find out our reservations had more or less,  "flown the coupe".  Lucky for us the owners daughter did some magic logistical redirection and we were ushered to our table, right out front.  This was much appreciated by CB and friend as they almost were out on the dance floor. For me any use of the 100mm F/28, was ruled out. The only other bullet I had was the 50mm f/1.2 which was still a little long for this space.  ("Darn why didn't I pack a wide angle?" )  As the excitement built, drinks ordered, menu choices made, I stated to realize the pickle i was in. When the dancers started to line up for the first group dance, the front line was only a foot and a half away from the front of the lens.

Nor perfect but Oh well, time to make some lemonade.. It's only pixels anyway.  The music started, the light dimmed (I wish) and the magic started. Knowing things were far from perfect but I  would get what I could i sat back, stretched my right pointer finger and started firing away.  The rest of the afternoon was a blur of whirling dancers, delicious food and trying to get that "perfect shot.  

A note of apology to the dancers, I was unable to capture "keepers" of all the dancers due to their proximity and lighting, and I'm still trying to mach the dancer listed in the flyer, to the images.. 

My thanks to all involved in making  Nadirah Nasreen's Annual Hafla!  a smashing success.  The images posted are from my Flickr site but many more are posted or are in process of being posted on my gallery site.  so check back often. . 

 

   

Nadirah Nasreen's Annual Hafla! 1

 

 

Nadirah Nasreen's Annual Hafla! -Shira

Nadirah Nasreen's Annual Hafla! - Nadirah Nasreen  B&W

 

 

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Changing Seasons, Changing directions

Look outside the season is changing, summer is giving way to fall, which will in turn give way to winter.  My approach to images likewise has started to change somewhat. Prior I would accept more of less what ever the camera had captured, perhaps with some minor tweaks in Aperture.  Now more and more I find myself using one, or more, of the NIK plugins, with an occasional forays into PhotoShop to use the AKVIS SKITCH plugin or to provide background effects.   

Above John Brown  - NIK HDR Efex Pro 2,  NIK Color Efex Pro 4 

- The Dancers -  a Reflection

Above "The Dancers"  Post processing With Aperture 3, NIK Color Efex Pro 4, ApertureExpert’s Preset Pack #5 “Film & Funk”

Monday Morning, 3AM

Above NIK Color Efex Pro 4 and Aperture core tools.  

The eyes of a young competitor

NIK Silver Efex Pro 2 and Aperture core tool set. Also becoming a fan of the square crop in many circumstances.   

Battle for Turn Two --- Rejoined

Above Aperture 3, Adobe Photo Shop, AKVIS SKITCH Photo Shop plug-in, NiK Color Efex Pro 4. 

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PressPausePlay by House of Radon

http://vimeo.com/34608191

PressPausePlay

34608191

An extremely well done media project on the current state of electronic media from the inside.

Society has been given a gift. This wonderful film has captured the interior segments, discussed and speculated on it's ramifications.  As is the case of so many of the best gifts, it was dreamed of, but not asked for. Many who profit will find this gift unwelcome and try to control, or even stifle it in the name of .........…whatever.

The "Old" look on this gift with speculation, the norm is changing. The old don't like change.  It means learning new rules and at best once learnt, becoming a second rate player.  Hence the attempts to control change. In the name of………..whatever.

The "Young" don' t look at this gift as a give at all, It's just there. Part of their world. Just there.

In the new paradigm all can play, be a part and produce. But the hard realty is  the collective hive mind of the mass will dictate what will stay today, and what is relegated .   That's the scary part, as this is the same mechanism that gave us chain restaurants, kept American Idol on TV, and of course made "The Twilight Saga" hit media.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gone in 1 Minute 42 Seconds.... BCTRA Indoor Flat Track Racing 121011 on Vimeo

How bout some back story on this Video? When I shoot motion related events I like to shoot a lot of images, lots a lots of images. Why motion is hard to catch, it's easer out side with lots of light, but that makes indoors is even more of a challenge due to the lower light levels. And it is most important to have the camera pointed in the right direction, and focused on the subject(s). To me more shots = a greater chance of catching that "Once in a lifetime" special moment.

Behind every winner, there is a Mother.

This image i shot at a NASCAR race at Dover Dl. Was totally a fluke. The wreck was already in progress and for once I had the camera to my eye, focused on the action, and a clear view, I actually squeezed off 5 shots before before everyone stood up.

But I ramble .. When one is looking at 1800 images, one better have a great workflow tool, and I use the best. Apple Aperture 3. It only took about 1 hour to do a 3 pass selection to get the real keepers and start post production. And what can I do with 1500 some images that are left? Make a movie out of them.. Of which you seen the first quick version I more or less threw together with Apple Final Cut Pro X NLE (Non Linear Video Editing) software and some event sound I recorded on a Zoom H4n. As long as it stays fun, it's all good right?

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It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas. www.wackytackychristmas.com

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Firstly I love Christmas, the memories, the songs, the warm feeling of goodwill, but not what it has become..   Think about it 100 years ago Christmas was basically a secular holiday, family gathering, and light gift giving. Largely seeped in Germanic traditions.  Today it's non-stop exposure to print, broadcast media, even the internet, that invites up to Buy Buy Buy.  Santa ditched his traditional sleigh for a new red Mercedes $250,000 SL300. The media would have us believe that many give new cars to spouse, siblings, wrapped in giant red bows.  Giant RedBows where do you get them anyway? They're not sold in Kmart.  What kind of message does this send out to the masses, well at least to the 99%.. Try harder, work harder and someday this could be you. Or sorry looser, maybe you can dream about buying a winning lottery ticket.  The music. Each year I love to hear all the traditional Christmas songs. Once, not over and over and over, no matter where your go.  Food shopping, why do I need to listen to "Santa Clause is Coming to Town" while buying a can of sauerkraut, some milk.  Or while eating lunch in my favorite store front pizza joint?  If a little medicine is good for you then lets take more cus it must be better.  Well at least until the Alzheimer's, or death takes them away I still have those special memories of Christmas as only a 5 year old can have. All was good, all was bright and Santa and his Sleigh were coming tonight..

But how about WackyTackyChristmas I did this website about 6 years ago as a lark, just a virtual sandbox to play around with I feel is an overlooked segment of the Holiday, mainly bad Holiday outdoor lighting.  Tasteless, excesses, all are fare game.

As   Clark Griswold Jr. said to Senior in that venerable holiday classic movie   Christmas Vacation "Dad. I owe everything I learned about outdoor lighting to you"

Currently playing in iTunes: Fir Coat by Widowspeak

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"Dust-n-Dirt" - A peek into the (my) creative process.

I will fist preface this posting with a single statement "It has been a struggle with this project to date" This video is dedicated to the memory of Gary Nixon..... Over at www.fdphotovideo.com I've finally posted a link to a shot teaser video, ( well a short teaser of the intro segment) of my current video project currently titled "Dust-n-Dirt" (Always subject to change of course, as is my customs) It will be composed of HD video captured on my 5DMII, stills DV video from tape, captured audio from my Zoom 4HN audio record over the last 4 years at Baltimore County Trail Riders @ AMA motorcycle flat track events. Final Cut Pro X has been both a curse and a blessing. A blessing because I understand it more than any of it predecessors, bar none. It's allowed me to do things I never could with the older versions. And I'm still learning which is part of the curse. As I learn something new I want to go back and change what already is in place. So nothing is really completed, ever. And a curse because FCPX & the New Lion OS can really tax a 5 year old low memory computer. Like bring it to a complete halt, freeze, stop, whatever. Until I can "Push Z Button" reboots are now a way of life.

Dust-n-Dirt - Intro Trailer - (Teaser) from DigitalDoug on Vimeo.

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BCTRA After the Gold Rush A retrospect

226:365  - BCTRA  After the Gold Rush  Pano 1

A visit to the track the day after the final event.

 

IMG 7977

How long has it been? July 3?  I'm falling behind almost too much to catch up on but I'll try.

(Quick note, seem my old favorite blogging software BLOGO doesn't support the new Mac OS 10.7,  so I'm giving MarsEdit a try until…….  BLOGO comes up with an updated version, I find something cheaper <$39.00-ouch> , the 30 day trial is up and I have to buy.)

But I digress, back to orginal story line.

The 5 race  BCTRA Kevin Mcnicholas Memorial Short Track Racing Series has come & gone  As schedule would have it, I only had the opportunity to attend the 4 Friday night sessions, but I'll take what I can get.  How can you even begin to look back at those 4 night of action?  The racing was hot (so was the weather for the first 2 sessions if I recall), attendance light compared to other years.  Seeing as the new groundbreaking Mac video software package Final Cut Pro X is in my toolbox, this year I decided to try something completely different.  Less captured images, more HD video for a project I decided to undertake, attempting to capture some of the special magic offered up by the BCTRA and the dedicate army of local racers. Unnamed as of yet, it has been quite the learning experience. The video part is easy as long as one keeps it simple, trying fancy Hollywood techniques, like extreme DOF in daylight using neutral density filters, maybe not the best idea. Slide tracks, again a cool effect, but a real PITA to drag around. The interviews presented a "whole-nother" challenge, like sound. Which bit me in the but all 4 nights. I got better at it but their is room for improvement.  End state I shot less images, maybe less then 2K for the whole series compared to the 10K I shot at last years events. But captured over 2 hours of interviews, race and "B" roll segments. Enough for now, back to processing media from Friday night.  1385 stills 1 hr of DV video, 38 min of HD video. Lots of material to work with.

Gary Nixon RIP  You will be missed by me and the local racing community.

(Note: Links to all my racing images can always be found at my FDPhotovideo Website)

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About the iPad, Netfix and crackers.

iPad's, Netflix and Crackers. What does that have to do with anything?
Last Thursday Craig, a good friend and incredibly talented photographer lent me his older iPad (V1) for a few days. Of course the official task was to check out, and troubleshoot iPad specific WordPress plugin i've installed over at the Central Maryland Photographers' Guild website. Which was done but sadly most of it's use can be categorized as:

Laying in bed, watching documentaries on Netflix, while my hands are exploring the inside of a not doctor approved, box of crackers .

Of course not all the time was spent on Netflix, I played around with apps mirrored over from my iPhone. (Did I mention I love apps?) Time was spent viewing some training vids on Lynda,com, and maybe even a little "Angry Birds" time was logged.


While all but one of the iPod touch/iPhone apps worked on the iPad, some were standouts
The Audubon app was much better on a bigger screen, MovieSlate likewise. The image slideshows of myHDR's from the Air and Space Museumwere breathtaking, as good or better as portrayed. The Flickr experience was much better than on the smaller devices, much....much better.
As I user the iPod Touch/IPhone apps a lot and is painfully aware of the small screen limitations, I'm not surprised how much I enjoyed the iPad experience overall.
But as in many fairy tails.. this one had to end on a sad note....... Mainly I have to package it up so as to give back tomorrow, and the finances just wouldn't support a iPod purchase in the near term. Guess I'm just left with the Crackers box and the need for a winning lottery ticket for the time being.


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Cold as Ice.. and not outdoors.

While working to complete a project due this week it has become evident the aperture library contain all the 2000-2008 projects, versions, keywords, locations. are located on the failed Drobo. Sure I have all the images stored on other drives, but realizing not having that Aperture library, and from web searches, not really not expecting Drobo to proved any real support that will restore the data contained, sends a cold chill down my spine.. My mood is now as fowl as the weather outside. Gone Gone Gone,


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Welcome 2011. Out with the old, In with the new.

Happy New Year to Every One. My wish is that peace and prosperity rein supreme.

Chinese (Cantonese)
Gung hay fat choy (a New Year greeting meaning, "May you become prosperous.")
Sun nien fai lok (meaning, "Happy new year")
Chinese (Mandarin)
Xin nian yu kuai
Danish
Godt Nytår
Dutch
Gelukkig nieuwjaar
Farsi
Aide shoma mobarak
French
Bonne année
Gaelic
Aith-bhliain Fe Nhaise Dhuit
German
Gutes Neues Jahr
Greek
Kali hronia

Hawaiian
Hauoli Makahiki Hou
Hebrew
Shanah tovah
Hmong
Nyob zoo xyoo tshiab
Hungarian
Boldog új évet
Indonesian
Selamat Tahun Baru
Italian
Buon Capo d'Anno
Japanese
Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu
Norwegian
Godt Nyttår
Pilipino (Tagalog)
Maligayang Bagong Taon
Polish
Szczesliwego Nowego roku
Portuguese
Feliz ano novo
Romanian
La Multi Ani
Russian
S Novym Godom
Spanish
Feliz Año Nuevo
Sundanese
Wilujeng Tahun Baru
Swedish
Gott Nytt År
Turkish
Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Welsh
Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
Yiddish
Gut Yor


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Gettysburg, why the fascination?

Over the years I visited the Gettysburg battlefield maybe over 100 times. And with out fail, on each return, I see it in a slightly different light. Over the last few weeks I've been fascinated with capturing sunrise images, which of course, means.

  • Checking the weather forecast.
  • Getting up at 0 Dark 30, & making the 45min drive.
  • Picking the spot to be when the sun come up and hoping it works.

Sometime it's over here.



" A Monument to the Solders and Sailors of the Confederacy" Warfield Ridge. Gettysburg Pa. B&WOther days it's some where else.

But the end state walking (yes walking is involved) around the park, seeing it in early morning "magic light, always adds to my sense of what went on here so many years ago and the sacrifices men of both sides made for their cause. Which of course adds yet again to my fascination with the place.

Two of the big helps have turned out to be a pfd copy of the Official Park Map, which is stored on an ipod touch, and of course, my AMOS AGL3080 Geotagger, which allows me to pin point exactly where each images is taken, which is referenced to above said map.
.... To be continued




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Toying with the technology.

I've become totally enamored with applications that can share with others.
Example is an image of one of the performers in the recent Bellydancers Passionate for Pink Performance on 101610. Image is hosted on Flickr. Just opens up a whole new realm of possibilities. Maybe not new to all, but new to me.


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Photo Exhibition Kick Off Party

The CMPG had a kick-off party for it's Photo Exhibition at the Penn Camera's Laurel MD location. A fine time was had by all who came out and as noted by our President." I hope that you all noticed that we had more of our membership at the Penn Camera opening than at any of our meetings.
Maybe we need to have free food at our monthly meetings." Shamelessly displayed is my "CMPG members selection vote winner"


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Sunflower Fever

3 weeks ago I didn't even know MD had sunflower fields, but thanks to the gang over at CMPG (www.cmpg.org. ) I became caught up in sunflower mania. Which it turns out isn't such the bad thing. Caught the sunrise over this field this morning. I'm really addicted. Might give it another shot tomorrow.


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Workflow is back.. Testing B-T-F post #fb

Have no idea what froze up the system while attempting to Geotag Sundays images from Delta Pa. Aperture 3. But things are more or less back to normal. I noticed while geotagging the entrance to the Delta Fairgrounds is in MD all the rest in Pa.

While we're at it, lets test a Blogger to Twitter to Facebook post


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Workflow is not working

Went up to Delta Pa. today to shoot the BCTRA motorcycle races. Even thought it was hot and dusty, had a great time and retuned home with about 1000 images. The problem at hand is so far it's taken over 2 hours to D/L from the cards. Import into Aperture 3, and Geotagging. I hate to let the program do it's thing overnight. Plus I shot the images, I want to see them!


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Still more advances

Science moves on.. This afternoon I was able to send a calendar event to this twitter account . Can calendar blog posts be far away. Don't think so,


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55th Combat Camera

55th Combat Camera on Vimeo
This team of Army Combat Photographers/ Videographers HQ's is right down the street from my day job. Cutting edge under fire while making sure the batteries are charged & cameras at the ready.


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Happy Birthday (of a sort)

Just noticed this Site has now been in place for one whole month. Maybe it's time to really start to pour in content. Just saying.


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The Story Behind the Image - Hill County Water Garden


This image was shot about 60 miles west of Austin Tx at the Westcave Wildlife Preserve Headquarters, late on a Sunday afternoon, prior to a weeklong business conference. If memory serves this was one of the first images purposely shot just for decoration during the "Awakening" Period .


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CMPG Aug meeting

I think perhaps one of the central themes that is most important to any photographer is peer-to-peer interaction to help foster understanding and help build technique. Tonights critique of images at the Aug meeting of the Central Maryland Photographers' Guild was one of those nights.


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Neuschwanstein the trip home

A close friend posted an image of Castle Neuschwanstein on her flickr site which made me remember this image I shot on a long, cold, wet, walk down from the castle on a earlier that week. Neuschwanstein the trip home


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Penn Camera Display image attached

I guess injecting images need a bit of work



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First Light

As many know, when a telescope is used for the first time the output is known as "First Light".  That stated this will be this Blogs first post/ "First Light".  Can't wait to see where it takes us.
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