Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Force

- The Force is strong with this one, but he's not a photo knight yet. Last Easter I gave Robert his own camera. He took to it immediately and loves taking pictures. You had better have it fully charged and big empty memory card when he gets his hands on it, because he shoots what he sees. It is great watching his creatively grow since he is completely unencumbered with digital. I starting taking pictures when I was 15 using Kodak Instamatic 110 and 126 cameras. But the cost of film and processing was a limiting factor. I can't wait to see what the all digital generation produces. Canon 7D, 1/50 sec @ f/4.0, ISO 800.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Stone Bridge

- The Stone Bridge at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. The cloudy day created a giant "softbox" in the sky allowing the light colored bridge to photograph well with the surrounding fall landscape. On a sunny day it is difficult to get the bridge without blowing out the highlights or leaving too many dark shadows. Canon 7D, 1/60 sec @ f/11.0, ISO 400, with a tripod.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Mediterranean Feel

Yesterday was an unusually warm day for late October with highs in the low 90's. During our visit to Homearama in Norfolk's East Beach neighborhood there was one house that took the bold design step of bucking the modern beach cottage theme embraced by the other homes. The St. Mary house designed by Duff Kliewer of Cox, Kliewer & Co has a very Mediterranean feel with its enclosed courtyards and exterior plaster. This is the rear courtyard under the arbor which made me think of a sunny Mediterranean day. Canon G11, 1/2000 sec @ f/3.5, ISO 200, converted to sepia tone.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Homearama @ Night

- We volunteered as hosts tonight at the Fall 2010 Homearama held at East Beach in Norfolk, Virginia. This is the Armed Forces House, house #1 and our assignment. It was a great house with amazing cherry floors with cool inlays and a kitchen to just die for. The view from the second floor porch includes glimpses of the Chesapeake Bay. We had a great time. Thanks Becky for asking us to help out. Canon G11, 1/6 sec @ f/3.2, ISO 800, camera hand held.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

HDR Gardens

This is a simulated high dynamic range (HRD) photo of the Hunter Savage Colonial Garden at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. This was a cloudy overcast day which made it ideal for capturing details, I just had to avoid the blah sky. This image is a blending of three exposures, one taken at the camera's meter reading, one two stops under exposed and one two stops over exposed. I did the blending with Photomatix Pro. This allowed me to avoid blowing out the highlights on the white gazebo and fence while capturing details in the shadows. Not a great picture but an interesting lesson for me in HDR. Canon 7D, 1/6 sec @ f/14.0, (metered exposure) ISO 400, 70mm focal length, mounted on a tripod.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rethink Your Lash Look

- Check out those eyelashes on Astro one of the kangaroo mob at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk Virginia. I know many women would spend a fortune to get lashes that long and thick and these are wasted on a male kangaroo who doesn't even have a female roo to bat those lashes at. You see the mob at the zoo are all males, apparently its the only way to keep the peace. Canon 7D, 1/2500 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 200, zoom at 170mm focal length.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Emu Watching You

- Shelia the emu at the Virginia Zoo was real interested in our visit with the kangaroos yesterday. She followed us around the whole time and keep a close eye on all of the activity. I think she was really interested in my camera. They are know for their keen eyesight and hearing and for their curiosity. Canon 7D, 1/1600 sec @ f/4.0, ISO 200, 200mm focal length.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Roo is Cool

After a little hesitation my grandson Robert got into to feeding the kangaroos at the Virginia Zoo today. This is Beans who took a liking to Robert and his peanuts. Canon 7D, 1/2500 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 200, zoom at 123mm.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Model Railroader

Today we took my grandson shopping for his birthday at one of his favorite stores, Chuckatuck Collectibles in Suffolk, Virginia. He spent a lot of time operating the accessories on the Lionel train layout. Here he is intently watching the coal loader do its thing. Canon 40D, 1/25 sec @ f/4.0, ISO 800, 50mm prime lens.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Zombie Night!

Tonight was the Survive Norfolk Zombie Tag Game in the Ghent neighborhood. It was a social networking viral marketing sensation featured in USA Today and on the front page of the Virginian-Pilot, above the fold! I didn't make it down to take pictures tonight so I thought I'd share a picture from a zombie encounter I had last year at Zoo Boo at the Virginia Zoo. Canon 7D, 1/60 sec @ f/4.0, ISO 1600.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dare to Stand Out!

- The Ledge is the latest Chicago attraction. Four all glass skyboxes extend out from 103 floor of the Willis Tower, formerly named the Sears Tower into the Chicago sky. You can walk out onto the ledge which is made up of three 1/2 inch glass panels laminated together leaving you standing 1,353 feet up from Wacker Drive directly below. You have to admit it is both scary and cool. This photo was taken from far below on the Chicago River. Canon 7D, 1/320 sec @ f/8.0, ISO 200.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


- An image from today's Landscape Photography class at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. I learned about hyperfocal distance and its use in landscape photography. Canon 7D, 1/2 sec @ f/32.0, ISO 100, 100mm focal length.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Liquid Buildings

- The buildings reflected in this picture look almost liquid. From left to right, the Chicago Apparel Center, Riverbend Condos, and Left Bank at K Station all reflected in the great blue-green curve of glass that is the northwest wall of 333 Wacker Drive. The 333 building is one of my favorites in Chicago as it truly embraces the unique site where the Chicago River splits into its Northern and Southern Branches. Canon 7D, 1/100 sec @ f/8.0, ISO 200.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Long Shadow

This window cleaner casts a long shadow against the side of a Chicago skyscraper in the late morning sun. Canon 7D, 1/125 sec @ f/11.0, ISO 200, 200mm focal length.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Donald's Glow

- Two Chicago architectural landmarks, the London Guarantee Building, 360 North Michigan and the Mather Tower, 75 East Wacker are dappled in morning sunlight reflected by the new Trump Tower just across the river. The Beaux-Arts 360 North Michigan is topped with a small Greco-Roman temple, while the Neo-Gothic Mather Tower at only 65 feet wide is Chicago's thinest skyscraper. Canon 7D, 1/400 sec @ f/9.0, ISO 100, 28mm focal length.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Coyote Tower

The Northwest Tower, popularly known as the Coyote Building, is a 12-story art deco building in the Bucktown neighborhood in Chicago. It was completed 1929 and is considered the first art deco skyscraper in Chicago. In the 1980's it became home to the Tower Coyote Gallery, reportedly named because artists thought the building resembled a howling coyote. The picture was taken at the Damen stop on the Chicago 'L' Blue Line. Canon G11, 1/500 sec @ f/8.0, ISO 200.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Stuffed Pizza

Today we took the Near North Food Tour in Chicago. We visited the Gold Coast, Old Town and Lincoln Park neighborhoods and had a great time. This is Ariana our cultural tour guide from Chicago Food Planet dishing up a spinach and cheese stuffed pizza at out last stop, Bacino's Pizza on North Lincoln Ave. Check out more pictures from our great walking tour. Tomorrow, another food tour at Bucktown and Wicker Park - yum! Canon 7D, 1/60 sec @ f/4.0, ISO 400, pop-up flash used for fill.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Favrile Glass

This is a close up of the Favrile glass tiles in the ceiling of the old Marshall Fields department store, now Macy's, on State Street in Chicago. The store opened in September 1907, and included a Tiffany Ceiling that is both the first and largest ceiling ever built in favrile glass, containing over 1.6 million pieces. Favrile glass is a type of iridescent art glass designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The color is ingrained in the glass itself with distinctive coloring. Favrile glass was used in Tiffany's stained-glass windows. Here's another picture showing the whole ceiling six stories up. Canon G11, 1/20 sec @ f/6.3, ISO 400.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Unity Skylight

We visited Frank Lloyd Wright's modern masterpiece the Unity Temple in Oak Park Illinois today. This is the view looking up at the Wright designed ceiling light screens. This is unlike any church I've ever seen and it was designed in 1905. It was simply awe inspiring. Canon G11, 1/1250 sec @ f/4.0, ISO 400.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


The arched and curved colonnade at the Ferguson Center on the campus of Christopher Newport University in Newport News Virginia. The center was designed by world renown architect I. M. Pei and his firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. Canon 40D, 1/2000 sec @ f/3.2, ISO 160.

Monday, October 11, 2010


- This is what happens when I arrive for conference session and it starts 20 minutes late, I end up taking strange pictures of hotel ballroom lighting fixtures. Canon G11, 1/125 sec @ f/4.0, ISO 400.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

202 Days

The 21 story, 500-room Hilton Palacio del Rio hotel was designed, completed and occupied in an unprecedented period of 202 working days. Built in 1968 for the Texas World's Exposition, HemisFair on San Antonio's River Walk, the modular construction techniques allowed the pre-built rooms to placed by crane in just 46 days. This view at night shows the River Walk, hotel to the left and lightsabers to right. Canon G11, 1 second @ f/4.5, ISO 200 on a tripod.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


- The beautiful golden glow of the Schneider Wiesen Edel-Weisse, a certified organic wheat beer. G. Schneider & Sohn is a Bavarian brewery company founded in 1872 by Georg Schneider I and his son. The owners to this day are descendants of Georg Schneider I, and operate their brewing operations in Kelheim, Germany. Canon G11, 1/13 sec @ f/3.2, ISO 200 in macro mode.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Take ORF!

- I'm a bit of a sucker for architectural symmetry in photos so I just had to make this picture. The Norfolk International Airport, call letters ORF, has a long pedestrian bridge from the terminal building to baggage pickup and the parking decks. I've made the walk down these moving sidewalks time and time a again, so last week I decided to take a few minutes to photograph it. Our local airport is very nice and this walkway can be spectacular in the Spring when the azaleas are in bloom just outside. Canon G11, 1/10 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 400.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wary Eyes

- This juvenile yellow-crowned night heron was keeping a close eye on me as I was taking his picture along the River Walk in San Antonio. The immature birds still have the same coloring all over. They will gain the distinctive yellow crown and other head markings as they mature. Canon G11, 1/8 sec @ f/8.0, ISO 800.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Paseo del Rio

- San Antonio River Walk is quite beautiful and colorful. Originally envisioned as a flood control project following a disastrous 1921 flood, the project was a controversial design of San Antonio native and architect Robert Hugman. Work began in 1939 under the WPA and today it is the economic engine of historic downtown San Antonio. This is the Casa Rio restaurant's outdoor cafe. The Casa Rio opened in 1949 and was the Walk's first restaurant. Canon G11, 1/60 sec @ f/7.1, ISO 100.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Do you want to play . . .

- do you, do you? My new little buddy Sherlock always wants to play. Last Friday night I was building Legos with Robert when Sherlock brought his fuzzy red ball and wanted to play. He has totally forgotten that he's a cat. His older sister Sasha thinks he's shameless. Canon G11, 1/160 sec @ f./2.8, ISO 800, additional lighting from the Litepanel Micro LED.

Monday, October 4, 2010


- I took this photo of the Alamo on may way to a 7:00 AM meeting this morning. I figured the early morning was my only chance to get a picture without the crowds and the night lighting made for a much more dramatic picture. In fact the battle actually took place in the early morning darkness contrary to many Hollywood film versions. The Alamo was pretty cool. I wouldn't suggest a trip to San Antonio just to see it, but if you're in the city it is certainly worth a visit. Canon G11, 1 second @ f/7.1, ISO 100.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Texas Sunrise

The sunrises over San Antonio Texas. The Grand Hyatt Hotel is on the right and the Marriott Convention Center Hotel on the left. Canon G11, 1/500 sec @ f/8.0, ISO 200.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Alamo Lightsabers

- If Davy Crockett and the gang had a few of these lightsabers maybe they could have turned the tide on ol' Santa Anna. These were for sale along San Antonio's Riverwalk tonight and it looked like he was doing a brisk business from the number of kids I saw practicing their Jedi maneuvers. Canon G11, 1 sec @ f/4.5, ISO 200, table top tripod and two second delay timer.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Lego Stock

- Made another investment in Legos tonight. My grandson and I had a great time building these construction vehicles. After raising two sons, and now with a grandson my net worth can be measured in bins of Legos. Canon G11, 1/13 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 800, additional light from the Litepanel Micro LED.