Photo Op at the Old Tree

Before the UVA – VA Tech game last year I spent a couple hours racing all over grounds with my camera and tripod getting some shots before the tailgating started. This was towards the end of autumn and I knew I had to get a picture of this beautiful old tree that always ends the season with a spectacular deluge of yellow leaves. Much to my dismay, when I got there I found out that I couldn’t even fit the whole tree into the frame vertically with the lens I was using. However, it seems this couple had the same idea about getting a picture with this arboreal behemoth, and since they were posing for their own picture they stayed still long enough for my camera to fire off its three exposures.

Float to the Moon

I spent a lot of time playing around with the 15-second long exposure setting on my point-and-shoot camera (see these photos), so being able to hold the shutter open for longer time periods and stabilizing the camera on a decent tripod were two of the things I was really looking forward when getting a DSLR. This was one of the first pictures I took with my D90, a 30″ exposure while the moon was still low enough in the sky to illuminate the water. Apparently this was long enough for the scattered reflection to become a continuous path of light, and if you look at this pic at its original size you can even see some star trails developing in the upper left.

Mist and Mud

Last Thanksgiving all the guys in my family went out to Middleburg to do some skeet shooting and generally make ourselves absent so my mom could work her magic in the kitchen without constant interruption. After a few outstanding hours of blasting away at clay pigeons I spent some time walking around the fields snapping pictures in the fog. This required me to be extremely careful of where I set up my tripod, since there’s a few horses that reside in these pastures, and well, you get the idea.

There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer. – Ansel Adams

The Hiker

On Memorial Drive leading up to Arlington National Cemetery there’s a long line of statues on either side of the road. I like this one because I think he looks particularly noble and adventurous, which probably befits the historical romanticization of our “splendid little war” with Spain around the turn of the last century. When I looked online for info on the statue I found out that this shot is way higher resolution than the pic on Arlington Cemetery’s visitor information page. Maybe they’d be amenable to switching it?

Tiny Glory

After about 20-30 seconds of staring blankly at the Christmas tree I kind of came to and looked around to see if anyone had noticed. Fortunately no one was looking my way at the time, but ever since I started getting focused on photography the same thing has been happening: I go into a bit of a trance after something catches my eye and I’m trying to figure out what it is. What about this scene made me look twice? What drew me in? Should I get my camera out? In this case I did, and got this rather triumphal looking close-up of one of the ornaments on our tree.

Christmas is one of the few parts of winter that I actually look forward to. It’s my favorite time of year. The decorations, the cookies, being with my family, the smell of the tree near a roaring fire, the list goes on and on. I like to think that this picture captures a small part of that spirit. At least it did when I was gazing into the tree and dwelling on it in my mind.