“Around and around the Commonwealth we go, and where we end up, nobody knows!”

A bird stands on top of a lamppost in Norfolk, VirginiaIt’s that time again – Spring Break week. And for the second year, I am doing a trip around the Commonwealth of Virginia, looking for things to photograph for the Web site, on what is called “The Schumin Web Photo Essay Blitz”. And this year, we’re hoping that it doesn’t break the bank, as the price of gas is outrageous at the present time. What I’m doing is I’m going to a number of areas and seeing what we can see. The plans are to visit Arlington (next to Washington DC), Alexandria, Richmond, Norfolk, Roanoke, Charlottesville, Lexington, Covington, Clifton Forge, and many points in between. I’m also currently trying to improve my own appearance while going about doing this, going from that “tourist” look to that “serious photographer” look. Last year when I did this, I had my little low-end Mavica FD73, and carried floppy disks in a diskette box in a backpack. That was the extent of my photo equipment. Most of what you saw was a guy wearing a backpack and taking pictures of everything. I’ll guess that the people who saw me on the trip branded me as a tourist. This year, things have changed. I have a new, high-end Mavica – the camera I refer to as “Big Mavica”, a Sony Mavica CD400. I also now have a tripod, which is great for night shots, as well as making movies that don’t jiggle all around and make people seasick. I also find it ironic that for a camera I call “Big Mavica”, that it’s made my camera stuff smaller. Instead of a backpack, I now carry the camera in a little camera bag that has a shoulder strap. Since I now use CDs instead of floppy disks, I can hold more pictures per CD than I could on floppies, thus allowing me to carry less stuff around for a day’s worth of photos. On a recent Washington DC trip, I took approximately 700 photos. This came to eight CDs with Big Mavica, whereas the same thing on floppies with the old Mavica would have been 28 floppies. Plus we’re talking much better resolution here, too. So with the tripod, camera bag, and Big Mavica with me this year, I’m hoping that people will think “serious photographer” when they see me going about this year. Also, it’s amusing how naive I was last year. I said last year in my Spring Break quote that I’d get about eight photo essays done, give or take. Turns out that when the dust had settled, I managed eighteen photo essays total. I was impressed. Now this year, I’m more informed, and have one previous excursion under my belt, and so we’re busting a move again.

Date posted: March 7, 2003

Notes: Interestingly enough, Lexington, tied for third place with Roanoke in a survey that ran with this article, was entirely deleted from the itinerary due to time, as the sun went down before I could take any photos. At the time, as I saw things, I viewed Lexington as being so close by that I could do Lexington any time, and thus missing Lexington on this project was not a big loss. However, as of October 2011, when this quote article was migrated to WordPress as part of a larger site conversion, there has not been a photo set made in Lexington.