Thursday, November 26, 2009

Autumn's Artistry

This year was the first time I really got the chance to capture the vibrant colors of Autumn using my digital camera. Most photos were taken by chance, rather than on outings specifically looking for colorful scenes of Autumn in my area. It is past peak time for leaf-peeping throughout the mid-Atlantic and northeast regions, according to Fall foliage maps on the Web site. So I am looking forward to next year’s round of leaves changing from green to many vibrant, warm shades.

My slideshow of Autumn leaves includes photos from River Winds restaurant in New Jersey, Marcus Hook Park, and downtown Media, PA. Among the last few photos in my slideshow are a few taken from inside my car as it started to rain one evening earlier this month. The rain drops gave the view I had of the red leaves gave it somewhat of a mystical, ethereal look.

With a little luck, maybe I’ll get to do some Autumn leaf-peeping around scenic New England…which I have never visited before. I’ve always wanted my first visit to the New England states to be during the season of Autumn, a classic time to go. Another place I’d love to visit during Autumn next year is the historic New York town of Sleepy Hollow, along the Hudson River.

But for now, hope you enjoy the photos in my slideshow of beautiful Fall foliage!

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Parade for Veterans Day

On Veterans Day, I went to downtown Media, PA for a parade honoring and saluting those who serve in our military. My family has some military history within it, so anything veteran-related is close to our hearts. Both of my grandfathers (no longer living) served during WWII; one in Europe and the other who served in Pearl Harbor when the attacks happened. Then my dad went on to become a part of the 101st Airborne during the Vietnam War. He was not able to get the day off from work on Veterans Day to go to the parade, so it was just my mom and I attending.

While at the parade, I was able to get a number of patriotic photos as it is another subject area I like to photograph. Anything that has that All-American spirit to it is inspiring to me, so when I see something symbolizing America, I want to represent it in my favorite form of art. In the slideshow below are some of the photos I took at the Veterans Day parade, along with the last two photos in the slideshow. The first of those two is my dad’s 101st Airborne hat and a bag of brochures from the PA Veterans Museum.

The very last photo in my slideshow was taken on the way home from the parade and has some extra background to it.

Shortly after 9/11, I spotted a message in a heart-shaped sign and the American flag hanging on someone’s wooden picket fence along Pennell Road. The stretch of road with one lane in each direction is usually pretty busy, so getting a photo wasn’t easy. It is on the passenger side of the road when heading in the direction of Baltimore Pike from Aston, PA; with no place to pull over out of traffic. But on Veterans Day this year, I had an unusual moment of being the passenger at a not-so-busy time of day and with no cars behind us. So I could finally photograph the patriotic display, a display that speaks volumes.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A New Focus

I decided to change the purpose of my blog page slightly, from a focus on various outings to a focus on my overall experiences with photography. This is due to not always getting out for some photography as regularly as I would like to. If the weather is bad or my schedule doesn’t allow it, etc., I might not be able to post anything for a while. Or, I may have something to write about but no new photos to go with it; much like when writing about places I want to visit for the first time.

So to avoid a lack of posts somewhat, I thought I’d change my focus before I get too much further into posting on here. Besides, I have many subjects that I like to capture images of; historic places and nature of course, but also current events, artsy things, etc. The first photo below is one I took at a Peace Rally I covered for the West Chester University of PA campus newspaper, The Quad. The second photo I took is one example I consider on the artsy side.

In starting my new focus, I have a new venture coming up in the general world of art and that is the possibility of being in an art show for the first time. The alumni association of my local community college is holding its annual art show for members this December. I graduated from the community college back in December of 2006 with my liberal arts degree and minor in journalism.

The participant application and fee both have to be in by November 20, and I have a few things to do before then. I’m working on writing a short artist statement, as well as deciding what five photos to submit. After that, I have to get them matted or framed and hand-deliver my photo entries to the alumni association. The easiest part of this is narrowing down my photo choices to only digitals for their sharper appearance.

I’m not sure how much it will cost to have photos matted, and money has been an issue lately what with the economy. If I find a low enough price, I will definitely be able to enter the art show; otherwise, I will wait for future art shows when there is more money.

There are more advanced areas of photography that I want to learn about, such as infrared black and white photography. I’m inspired to do so by the works of photographer Simon Marsden, who takes dramatic and haunting photos of European castles, ruins and landscapes. I upgraded from the 35mm Minolta Maxxum 5 film camera below; and have been using my current camera, a digital Canon PowerShot S5IS for two years now. It doesn’t have an infrared feature, so I’ll need another camera in the future; preferably a digital SLR by Canon or Nikon.

One goal with infrared photography is to capture wedding images. I never really thought of wedding photography to a serious degree before, although my cousin’s wedding photos were very inspiring. They weren’t done in infrared; it was a mix of the scenery, candid and posed shots that inspired the idea to think more about wedding photography as another subject matter.