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That was fun…

May 4, 2006, 10:07 AM

I had fun while I went out on Tuesday. As I kind of implied in the last entry, I went to Breezewood, Pennsylvania, which as it turns out is feasible to run as a day trip.

Going up, I took I-81 to I-70 just south of Hagerstown, Maryland. Then I took I-70 straight into Breezewood. First thing I did was to drive up to the east end of the strip and reset my trip meter to get an idea of the length of it. Turns out that it’s a half-mile from the first motels to the last. Then, finishing that, I couldn’t find a place to turn around for several miles. No one told me that US 30 becomes a divided highway west of Breezewood. Getting back into the subject area, I first went to McDonald’s, which had been remodeled since I was last there in 2003, and had their Asian Salad for lunch. Then after lunch, Starbucks let me use their lot while I did the photo set. Then from there, I walked back up towards the Ramada, crossed, walked back down to the other end, crossed again, and then returned to Starbucks.

And I took over 400 photos in the process. We’ll see how this turns out as a photo set.

Since I was working along a very busy highway, much of it with an Interstate designation (I-70 follows US 30 through Breezewood), where there were no sidewalks, and for that matter no facilities at all for pedestrians, I used my FliteStar vest to make sure people could see me. It worked out. In fact, I think I accidentally fooled a Turnpike employee into thinking I worked for the PTC. A turnpike worker in his car waved hello to me. I waved back.

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Categories: Photography, Places

What a beautiful day!

May 2, 2006, 6:19 AM

Wednesday, May 2 is looking to be a beautiful day in the neighborhood, just like the last time I went photographing. This time, though, I’m doing a little traveling, as I’m going to cover something I’ve been discussing for a while, but have, for various reasons, been unable to do yet.

Compare this to the last time I went and did some photography, where I traveled to the far-off land of Waynesboro, which is actually the town where I work and also the next town over from where I live.

It’s funny, though. Yesterday at work, a customer came up to me and asked me if I was a photographer. Turns out that they’d seen me doing the photo shoot downtown last Thursday. That kind of caught me off guard, since I usually don’t photograph near home, and thus customers don’t see me doing my photo sets. I do most of my work in DC, and in other cities that are a ways off from home. So fun stuff, indeed.

Meanwhile, today looks like it’s going to be fun, as it’s also laying groundwork for a future photo set at a similar location.

Categories: Photography

I photographed downtown Huntsville, er, Waynesboro, today.

April 27, 2006, 3:53 PM

For those of you who are movie buffs, the upcoming movie Evan Almighty (sequel to Bruce Almighty) had some scenes filmed in Waynesboro, specifically downtown. You won’t find me in the film, but you will see the city. For this, downtown Waynesboro is dressed up as “Huntsville”.

It’s interesting what they did to Waynesboro, too. First of all, banners hanging from the lampposts say “Huntsville Festival of Fine Arts”. Then the Waynesboro Heritage Museum, which is very much under renovation, was done up as a coffee shop, with tables and chairs outside on the sidewalk. The Charles T. Yancey Municipal Building, which was a Bank of America before it became a city building, was disguised as a church. The building’s real sign was concealed by trees, and a fake church sign was placed in front. It said, “Obeying God: That means you, Evan.” The sign was covered by a tarp when I did my shoot. And finally, there were all kinds of fake plants attached to the real ones, and placed in various other places. The trees had fake blossoms tied on with wire. There were also piles of mulch on the sidewalk, with fake flowers stuck in there. All in all, downtown Waynesboro looked pretty good. It makes me want to see the movie, if nothing else but to see how Waynesboro ends up looking in the movie, done up as Huntsville.

And I now have a photo set of it all, which you may very well see in Photography.

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Categories: Movies, Photography, Waynesboro

I make do with what I have, what can I say?

April 9, 2006, 5:59 PM

Some people may be surprised by this, but I have been using the same CDs with Big Mavica over and over for the past two years.

Seriously. I use rewritables. Though it’s a little more interesting than you think. I actually have two sets. The set that gets the most use is my “regular” set, that I keep in little jewel cases in the camera bag. These are for regular photo sets. I can carry my regular camera bag with me, and I’m usually moving at my own pace. This is the one I use most often.

Then there’s the other set, which is the “protest” set. These are the ones that I take along when I’m at an event, such as a big demonstraton, when things might get hairy. What’s the difference? Packaging. These CDs live on little tiny spindles rather than in jewel cases. Thus they take up far less space, allowing me to shed the camera bag.

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Categories: Cameras

Ever get that feeling like you forgot something?

March 15, 2006, 4:29 AM

Somehow, I’m getting that feeling when went to top off the camera batteries for today’s DC trip when the batteries took a lot longer to charge than usual. I get this feeling that I never charged them from the last trip to DC I took on the 28th. This is not a “fatal” error, though. I’ve charged the camera’s batteries en route before using a power inverter, most notably on June 23, 2004, where I ran the batteries dry the day before in Charlottesville, and then fell asleep that evening without charging anything. Then I got up in the morning, realized, oh, crap! and went to work charging them, and ended up taking my charger with me to Washington. That’s also the reason I have the power inverter in the first place. I bought it to charge with on that trip. Thankfully, Washington was far enough away so that by the time I got there, I’d had a chance to charge everything to full power.

And I was going railfanning that day with Oren and Jersey Mike, so I needed a full charge, too.

Of course, that’s similar to this trip, where I’m going railfanning with Matthew Tilley.

Categories: Cameras, DC trips

I would be very flattered if Wal-Mart refused to print my photos…

December 13, 2005, 8:21 PM

Let me explain that for a moment. Wal-Mart’s copyright policy on their Web site states:

“ will not assist in the copying of a photograph that is signed, stamped, or otherwise identified by any photographer or studio as copyrighted material, or any photograph that appears to have been taken by a professional photographer or studio, even if it is not marked with any sort of copyright, unless we are presented with a signed Copyright Release.”

This Christmas, I’m getting gift cards for the family once again. It’s far easier than getting gifts, because I’m not a great shopper, and my family is hard to buy for anyway. So this year, I’m getting the custom gift cards that Wal-Mart sells. I can put my own photo on there instead of the cheesy ones that come preprinted.

I consider myself to be a photographer by hobby, and do take some real gems from time to time. So I picked some photos that I’m particularly proud of and uploaded them to and saved them. I’ll actually order them right before I leave for work the next time I work, which will be Friday.

And if our photo lab refuses to print them because they look professional, I will be quite flattered, to say the least. Then I’d likely have to fill out the bloody release saying that I took the photos myself. But still flattered nonetheless.

Meanwhile, I’m going out tomorrow…

Categories: Photography, Walmart

It’s GOT to be around here SOMEWHERE…

November 5, 2005, 8:21 PM

I am taking a break from hunting for a moment to speak to you now. For the last hour, I’ve been hunting for the CD that contains the original for this image of a Wheelock MT horn/strobe. I want to use it for the photo feature. Why I can’t find it, I don’t know. I obviously knew where the CD was on June 14, when I uploaded it to Wikipedia. As I mentioned, I don’t know why I cannot find it. I’ve practically turned this place upside down looking for it, too. It’s got to be around here somewhere.

And by the way, if you’re reading this, and that photo of the MT is in the photo feature, that means I found it.

Tuesday may have been a wash, but things still went quite well!

August 25, 2005, 10:39 AM

Tuesday was mostly a wash, unfortunately, with rain causing me to scrap most of my outdoor activities. Sad. But I did get to peruse the strip, and got “part 2” of the holier-than-thou attitude of the management of the Holiday Department Store at the corner of 19th and Atlantic (diagonal from my hotel). I photographed a sign on the door of the “boy’s stockroom”, which is just as bad as the one I got last year on the back door about boxes. The writing is readable, and I shall transcribe it when I get back home (I’m at the library again).

Anyway, though, the strip was good, and I made a discovery. To discover the strip, you really only need to walk maybe six blocks in either direction from your hotel (if that), because the strip repeats itself. You have a few classes of stores on the strip. Stores that sell souvenirs and beach crap, stores that offer henna tattoos, oxygen bars, little convenience stores, and restaurants for seafood or pizza. Then they start to repeat. Seriously. Even the same stores. I went a ways south on the strip, and found another “Holiday Department Store”. I found three “Sunsations” stores. It all repeats.

Since it was still raining quite hard by the time dinner came around, I pulled out the umbrella and took a walk down the strip in search of the food that struck my fancy. I walked a LONG way south and didn’t find anything exciting. Not wanting to walk all that way back, I took a VB Wave trolleybus up to about 24th Street and then walked south again. I found a seafood restaurant, and had dinner there. Quite enjoyable, though I hate restaurants with mirror walls. I don’t like looking at a mirror image of myself eating while I’m eating.

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A day without color…

August 4, 2005, 8:44 PM

My, my, my… I realized I’m starting to turn into a Wikipediholic when I sit down at the computer and immediately pull up Wikipedia. From there, I immediately pull up my watch list, and see what’s changed. And then I start reading and editing. Then of course, I was on my discussion forum, and wanted to format a link to a Web page like [[wikipedia article|this]]. Those who are familiar know that [[that]] is how you form a link to another Wikipedia article, with the former using custom link text, and the latter without.

You might want to blame Wikipedia for the fact that my Malcolm X Park photo set is not yet out. I’ve been playing around on Wikipedia, my “intellectual playground”, as I like to call it. It’s fun, but it’s also quite addictive.

So there you are. I’m certainly dedicated, but it’s starting to use time I usually spend on this site. I will get Malcolm X Park and Shades of Gray (both of which have been sorted down some in preparation for the respective sets) up before too long. As long as I can pry Wikipedia from my grasp, it seems.I went to DC on Wednesday with the intention of shooting entirely in black-and-white. And except for seven photos (out of 262 total), I kept my end of the bargain. I also shot two black-and-white movies, both of which were of the Metro, and most likely won’t get used. The photos, on the other hand, will be used for a Photography set, with the working title of “Shades of Gray”. Why did I shoot in black-and-white this time? I wanted to try something new. In the fifty trips to the Washington DC area that I’d made between July 7, 2001 and July 20, 2005, you know how many black-and-white photos I shot? Zero. Everything was shot in color. So for my August 3, 2005 trip, I went and did black-and-white, which made things more exciting for me. I can fire off a color photo with little effort, because I’m used to it. With black-and-white, it’s made me think again. I’ve got to set up my shots differently. I’ve got to pay more attention to contrast rather than color. In color, a red object on a green background might be quite interesting looking. In black-and-white, it all kind of runs together, because it’s all gray. All in all, it’s a different way of thinking, and it was fun. I might just have to do this again one day.

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Categories: DC trips, Photography

This Wednesday, I’m going black-and-white…

August 1, 2005, 10:24 PM

I’m going to Washington DC on Wednesday, August 3, and I’m turning the camera over to black-and-white mode in the morning, and leaving it there all day. So instead of railfanning, which is what last summer was all about, I’m going to spend my day on the town for a bit, shooting black-and-white photos. In the evening, when I usually play with some long-exposure stuff, I’m also shooting in grays. No color! Why no color? It’s something worth a try. Something to keep things interesting for me, if nothing else. And who knows… it might end up as a photo set if it turns out well enough.

Of course, turning the fun into a photo set requires some planning on my part, and so we’ll see what kind of things I can come up with. I know that the Infoshop is on my list of places to go, so you may see some black-and-white pictures of DC’s Shaw neighborhood come up, among other things. It ought to be fun.

Categories: Photography

I should do a black-and-white day…

May 22, 2005, 7:17 PM

Seriously, I should do a black and white day. One day when I go to Washington, I should switch Big Mavica over to black-and-white and see what I can come up with. I think it will make me think differently about how I compose my photos, and kind of break the monotony.

I’ve contemplated doing a photo set or something in black and white before, but I’ve always been a bit timid about actually shooting the originals in black-and-white for fear of missing something good in color, or wishing I’d had something in color that was shot in grayscale. Since you can shoot in color and then convert to black-and-white, but you can’t convert black-and-white to color so easily. But of course, that kind of wimping out really got me far. See any black-and-white photo sets on the site? Answer is that at the time of this writing, there are none there. I shot in color, and thus the photos weren’t designed for black and white. Because when you shoot in color, you think in color. And thus they look funky in grayscale.

Compare for a moment, using the Photo Feature that I ran on April 20 of this year:

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Categories: Photography

There was some unexpected excitement when I went to Washington DC this time…

May 12, 2005, 10:10 PM

Yeah, this was not your average Washington DC trip on Wednesday, though not like I noticed anything different aside from the buzz of the people throughout the city.

Normal start, though. Get up, go on up to DC, and find a parking space at Vienna. This time, I actually found a pretty good one, though. As luck would have it, a woman was leaving the parking garage as I was hunting, and so I got a parking space on the top level of the garage, no more than fifty feet from the elevator. Very nice parking. I saw her walking towards the cars, and I said, “Where are you heading?” She pointed to the car, and I positioned myself to get into place. She pulls her car out, and mine goes in.

Then from there, I did my usual Rosslyn thing, and then went back into the Metro right around noon or so.

Meanwhile, in DC, the fun began, as air controllers noticed a small Cessna plane flying into restricted air space over the White House and such. This led to evacuations of the Capitol, the White House, the Supreme Court, and a few other government buildings.

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“Do you see what I see?”
“I don’t know what you see, but what I see is me!”
“I see me, too!”

February 14, 2005, 1:35 AM

This snippet from the Olsen twins’ movie It Takes Two basically describes my reaction to finding a picture of me from J20 on not one, but two Web sites.

About finding pictures of me, it’s interesting the way I see it. First of all, simply having a picture of me on the Web is no longer a big deal for me. I have a bazillion pictures of myself on the Web already – most of them on here, and taken with the intention of using them here. Finding pictures of me on other people’s Web sites that originated from my site is interesting, but still not as interesting, since it’s nothing new photographically. I’ve already seen all the photos from my site, thank you very much.

However, the occasional spoof is amusing, such as that which was done on Spinnwebe, which used an exaggerated version of my style to create a photo set about a trip to Starbucks. There, they used original photos. On that topic, though, I still find it amusing to read this line: “About the most interesting part was what wasn’t there, which is who the hell am I and how the hell did I get his phone number.” Reason that wasn’t in there was twofold. First of all, I already knew who Spinn was and knew about that which was Spinnwebe for some time, having first discovered his site via Dysfunctional Family Circus (the DFC). I thought it was funny as hell, too. Twas a shame to see the DFC go away, though I understand why it did. And as for how did he get my number? This was in my Potomac Hall room at the time. At that point in the year, there was only one place to find my number: JMU’s Web site. Kind of narrows things down, doesn’t it?

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35 CDs and counting…

August 23, 2004, 4:16 AM

Since I started burning CDs of images from Big Mavica a couple of days ago, I have filled up 35 CDs worth of pictures! Amazing? Yeah. It doesn’t look as big until you count the images. Thirty-five. Wow.

And there’s still more to do. I still have yet to burn my recent Virginia Beach trip to CD, which filled 10 of the mini-CDs that the Mavica takes (no telling how many full-size CDs it will use). Then I still have to do all the College Life and LPCM photo sets that I did with Big Mavica.

And this doesn’t count any stuff I took with the old camera, either. That, having much smaller images, is being handled separately, since I can fit all that onto one CD. Can’t do that with Big Mavica, since images from that are generally around 1.5 MB each.

This is what happens when you’re productive and have a big camera, and put off doing your CDs for a long time. The last time I rearranged my images on CD was in 2002, just after coming back home after my Junior Year at JMU. So it’s been about two years and three months (give or take) since I last redid my Images CDs.

I just can’t believe that I had that many images to begin with.

Otherwise, though, today is the first day of school for JMU, Virginia Tech, and also area schools around here. Fun stuff indeed. And meanwhile, I, as always, have to work. But at least now the little kiddies will be away in school, where they can torment their teachers, vs. coming in our store, tearing apart the displays, and tormenting us.

This is also the first time school has started and I’m not going anywhere. Recall that I graduated from JMU back in December, so this is a really weird feeling, watching a first day of school as a bystander.

Categories: Photography, School

“That’s not a telescope!”

December 28, 2003, 1:40 AM

It’s amusing what happens when you try to take photos sometimes. Let me explain what I mean…

For Christmas, I got a new, heavy-duty tripod, that is MUCH better than my old one. It’s taller, has more features, and a lot of other things that I haven’t figured out how to best use yet.

So on Christmas night (the night of December 25), I took the tripod for a spin to try it out. I went over the mountain to Charlottesville, where I headed to McIntire Park (where I’ve previously photographed on a few other occasions). I chose McIntire Park because it was relatively safe, open until 10 PM based on signage, and a public park (meaning public property).

So I have Big Mavica hooked up to the tripod and I’m doing my thing. A Jeep comes into the park, parks in the lot, powers off, sits for a few minutes, then starts up again and leaves.

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