Thursday, May 31, 2012

Strawberry To Be

- The patio strawberries are just starting their second round of blooms. In a few weeks this will be a tasty red berry. Canon 5D Mark II, 1/200 sec @ f/11.0, ISO 800, 100mm macro.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


- Robert watching for the next set of waves. Canon G1X, 1/250 sec @ f/10.0, ISO 100, 115mm equivalent focal length.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Guiding Angel

- Victorian Funerary Arts produced interesting and beautiful cemeteries during the 19th Century. Many of the customs of the day carried forward into the first half of the 20th century and some still influence how funerals are carried out today. The Victorian cemeteries of the 19th century were treated as parks are today with family outings and picnics often held on their carefully landscaped and maintained grounds. Norfolk has several historic cemeteries from this time period including Magnolia Cemetery in the Berkley neighborhood where this guiding angle can be found. The guiding angel points a finger heavenward to direct the deceased's soul. Canon G1x, 1/400 sec @ f/8.0, ISO 100, converted to black and white in Lightroom 4 using Silver Efex Pro 2.

Monday, May 28, 2012


- Since it was Memorial Day I thought I'd share some memories from Cindy's family during WW II. Cindy's great grandmother Della Bray recieved these two War Department telegrams about her youngest child, SSgt. Vernon C. Bray who was serving in the US Army Air Corps, 93rd Bombardment Group, 330th Squadron.

On December 7, 1942 his squadron along with the 328th and 409th squadrons left their base at Alconbury, England on a long flight that would end at Tafarouri Aerodrome, a former French airfield outside Oran in Algeria. The 93rd was sent for temporay duty to supplement the newly formed Twelfth Air Force, which had been recently activated in North Africa under the command of General James "Jimmy" Doolittle. Vernon's crew flying a B-24D Liberator named the Blastin' Bastard was lost when their airplane crashed into a mountain while attempting to land at Tafaroui. Personnel at the base had not been alerted that the B-24s were coming in and no plans had been made to light up the runway. Gasoline flares were then lit and the rest of the group landed safely on the muddy airfield.

Lost with Vernon were 2Lt. Iceal W. Alford, Jr. (IN), TSgt. James E. Davis (TN), 1Lt. Leo A. Donze (MO), MSgt. Harold J. Hanna (IL), 1Lt. Robert A. (Ox) Johnson (KS), 2Lt. Robert L. Lynch (ND), TSgt. Samuel McNeeley (TN), SSgt. William J. Nagle (NJ), MSgt. Oscar S. Olsen (IL), Sgt. Kenneth R. Pastrof (NJ), SSgt. Jack E. Pinion (TN), SSgt. Samuel F. Powell (UT), and Capt. Richard S. Scott (NY). The crew is buried at the North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial, Carthage Tunis, Tunisia. Names and stories are important, let's remember all who serve and especially those who gave their lives.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Self Portrait

- Thought I'd try a self portrait for today's photo. It was a nice evening to be riding around in the convertible so I took my photo at a stoplight. Canon G1X, 1/500 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 200.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pretty Kitty

- Miss Sasha looking pretty with my messy desk reflected in her eyes. Canon 5D Mark II, 1/40 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 1600, 50mm prime lens.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Then & Now

- THEN - May 1940, 401 Monticello Avenue in Norfolk Virginia was home to Sears, Roebuck & Co. Sears occupied 110-112 Freemason Street around 1930 and in 1939 acquired the corner lot and built an expansion designed by noted Richmond architect Marcellus Wright. Sears remained in the buildings until they moved to 21st Street in the 1950's. The building was then home to the Nelco Department Store. Historic photo courtesy of Sargeant Memorial Collection – Norfolk Public Library.

- NOW - In the mid 1990's the City of Norfolk acquired the old Sears store and the adjoining former Rices Department Store at Freemason and Granby all which had been vacant for some years following the flight of retail from downtown to the suburbs. The City renovated all three buildings to create the Granby Municipal Building now home to the Bureau of Neighborhood Quality and Building Safety, and the Departments of Public Utilities and Information Technology. My office is the third floor corner office directly behind the street lamp globe in the center of the photo. Canon 5D Mark II, 1/500 sec @ f/11.0, ISO 200.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


- The spoon as wall art? This is a big spoon, about 4 foot long. They are used in the Skinny Dip frozen yogurt stores usually hanging on a bright green or purple wall. iPhone 4,1/15 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 200, Camera+ app.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Play Ball

- This is part of a mural being painted by Artist John Hickey on a wall at the Norfolk Baseball Academy in the 700 block of 22nd Street in Norfolk, Virginia. It was featured in an article in today's Virginia Pilot so I drove by to take a look and of course a picture during lunch. The mural is based on a photograph from an exhibition game between the New York Yankees and the Norfolk Tars on June 29, 1934, at Bain Field. Bain Field was located not too far from this site just off Monticello Avenue between 18th and 20th Streets. When completed the mural will also feature Babe Ruth who played in the game. iPhone 4, 1/1027 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 80, Camera+ app.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Future Heat

- First blooms on this year's Jalpaneo pepper crop. Last year's crop produced peppers all the way into December. Canon 7D, 1/250 sec @ f/5.6, 100mm macro, LED Litepanel.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Blues Armory

- The Blues Armory is a large brick armory in downtown Richmond, Virginia. Housing the Richmond Light Infantry Blues, the castle-like structure originally served multiple purposes, with a food market on the ground floor and a drill hall for the National Guard on the top floor. Completed in 1910, it was designed by the Washington, D.C. firm of Averill and Hall. The castellated design was not entirely whimsical, as the structure was designed to withstand attack during riots. The University of Richmond Spiders basketball team played home games in the Blues Armory from 1947 to 1950. The Nation Guard moved out in the 1960's and the building is mostly empty today. iPhone 4, 1/125 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 80.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


- My little buddy Sherlock has a slight cross-eyed trait that is sometimes found in oriental cats. It doesn't seem to bother him at all and his eyes are a striking shade of blue. He's a Tonkinese, Tonk for short, a cross between Siamese and Burmese breeds. Tonks are lively, friendly, often talkative cats, with gregarious personalities. While Sherlock doesn't talk much, he does love to play fetch and will retrieve a toy as long as you're willing to toss it. Canon 40D, 1/10 sec @ f/4.0, ISO 800, 100mm focal length.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


This architectural detail is a terra cotta rosette located within a deep reveal at the central entrance to 130 W. 57th Street in New York City. Built in 1907-08 to provide living and working facilities for artists, the studio building at 130 West 57th Street is a rare surviving example of this unusual building type, and a reminder of the early twentieth century period when West 57th Street was a center of artistic activities. The Art Nouveau structure was designed by architects Pollard & Steinam and was home to American impressionist painter Childe Hassam and painter Irving Wiles. For over ten years the first floor retail space was home to New York's Planet Hollywood restaurant before it moved to the current Times Square location. Canon G11, 1/60 sec @ f/3.2, ISO 400.

Friday, May 18, 2012


- Close-up of the grate over an underground electric utility vault in downtown Norfolk, Virginia. Canon 5D Mark II, 1/3200 sec @ f/5.6, ISO 400, converted to black and white in Lightroom 4 with Silver Efex Pro 2.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Anchors Aweigh

The massive port side anchor of the battleship USS Wisconsin. The ship's two anchors, port and starboard bow, each weigh 30,000 pounds. Canon G1X, 1/250 sec @ f/8.0, ISO 200, converted to black & white in Lightroom 4 with Silver Efex Pro 2 plug-in.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

More Wright Stuff

- Spent this evening building building Lincoln Logs with my grandson. Lincoln Logs were invented in 1916, by John Lloyd Wright, son of Frank Lloyd Wright. The toy was based on the architecture of the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, designed by the inventor's father. The foundation of the hotel was designed with interlocking beams, which made the structure "earthquake proof". This feature assisted in the design of the toy logs, ensuring stability of the miniature buildings created with the toy set. John Lloyd Wright was issued US Patent 1,351,086 on August 31, 1920, for a "Toy-Cabin Construction." Today Lincoln Logs are distributed by K'nex. Canon G11, 1/80 sec @ f/5.6, ISO 400 in macro mode.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

BCR 2014

- Switcher 2014 leased by the Bay Coast Railroad from Locomotive Leasing Partners (LLPX) is used at the southern yard for the Bay Coast Railroad at Little Creek in Virginia Beach, Virgina. The Bay Coast took over operations of the Eastern Shore Railroad in 2006 operating a 90 mile connection on the DelMarVa peninsula from Pocomoke City, Maryland to Little Creek, Virginia via 64 miles of rail and a 26 miles Chesapeake Bay crossing using one of only two remaining "carfloats" left in operation in the U.S. BCR 2014 is an EMD GP38, a 4-axle diesel locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division in July 1970 and was once owned by Conrail and operated as CSXT 1946. Here's a short video of BCR 2014 pulling mixed freight including two massive 16 inch gun barrels from the Battleship Missouri earlier this year. iPhone 4, 1/385 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 80, Camera+ app.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Bug Boy

- My grandson Robert showing off his dragonfly outfit for insect day at preschool. Our cat Sherlock is not too sure what to make of a bug this big. Canon G1X, 1/30sec @ f/2.8, ISO 800.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Beneficial Weed

- Is there such thing as a beneficial weed? Well think of the dandelion. According to Wikipedia it has a wide range of uses, and is even a good companion plant for gardening. Its taproot will bring up nutrients for shallower-rooting plants, and add minerals and nitrogen to soil. It is also known to attract pollinating insects and release ethylene gas which helps fruit to ripen not to mention they are just great to photograph. Canon 7D, 1/125 sec @ f/11.0, ISO 400, 100mm macro, back lighting provided by the sun.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


- The stained glass skylights overhead at Norfolk's MacArthur Center. iPhone 4, 1/1000 @ f/2.8, ISO 80, Olloclip Fisheye lens.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Blue Sky Days

- Just spent six days in New York City and didn't have a single blue sky day for photography. Back in Norfolk for two days and complete cloudless blue skies both days. When there's a sky like this, you get the sun to your back and find something to take a picture of, in this case Norfolk's iconic Scope. iPhone 4, 1/340 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 80, Camera+ App, Olloclip wide angle lens.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Red & Green

- Brand new red and green leaves on the same Japanese Maple. iPhone 4, 1/1000 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 80, Camera+ App.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Big House

- Actor Hugh Laurie plays the bigger than life character Dr. Gregory House on the hit TV series House. In Times Square where everything is big and bright, House is really bigger than life. This billboard is at the NE corner of 46th Street and 7th Avenue. Canon G11.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


- One World Trade Center under construction in lower Manhattan as reflected in the glass of the the Millennium Hilton Hotel on Church Street. The building in the left of the refection is the new 7 World Trade Center completed in 2006. The building with the green dome on top is Two World Financial Center which survived the 9/11 attacks. The original World Trade Center one, the north tower, would have blocked the view of this building from this vantage point on Church Street. When complete in 2013, One World Trade Center will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the third-tallest building in the world by pinnacle height, with its spire reaching a symbolic 1,776 feet. Canon 5D Mark II.

Monday, May 7, 2012


- I saw this group of cobblestones in Central Park West just after we exited the trail around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir near the W 90th Street entrance to the park. The patterns, textures and the little touch a green from the grass growing between the stones caught my eye. Canon 5D Mark II.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Temple of the Spirit

- Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the cylindrical museum building, wider at the top than the bottom, was conceived as a "temple of the spirit" and is one of the 20th century's most important architectural landmarks. From the street, the building looks like a white ribbon curled into a cylindrical stack. Its appearance is in sharp contrast to typically rectangular Manhattan buildings that surround it, a fact relished by Wright, who claimed that his museum would make the nearby Metropolitan Museum of Art "look like a Protestant barn." Canon 5D Mark II, 1/25 sec @ f/13, ISO 200, 24mm focal length converted to black & white in Lightroom 3.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Grand Central Terminal

- This is the Main Concourse in the center of Grand Central Terminal. The space is cavernous being almost as large as a football field. In the elaborately decorated astronomical ceiling the sky is backwards, and the stars are slightly displaced. It is said that when the Vanderbilt family learned the ceiling was painted backwards, they maintained that the ceiling reflected God's view of the sky. Canon 5D Mark II, 1/20 sec @ f/4.5, ISO 400, 8mm circular fisheye lens.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Big Yellow Taxi

- There are over 13,000 yellow taxicabs in New York City and they seemed to always being moving creating a constant yellow blur on city streets. The other common vehicle seen around new York streets are the NYPD's RMPs (Radio Motor Patrol) or police cars to everyone else. Canon G11, 1/4 sec @ f/8.0, ISO 200.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Light Painting

- Some long exposure camera blur from inside Grand Central Terminal in New York City. Canon 5D Mark II, 1 second @ f/13.0, ISO 400, 50mm focal length.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


- Meet Norfolk's very own iRobot 510 PackBot for EOD. This little guy can fit in lots of tight spaces like narrow hallways and bus, train and plane isles. All designed to keep first responders safe. And yes he is made by the same company that brings you Roomba along with pool cleaning and gutter cleaning robots. I guess both products lines are designed to help us clean up a mess. Canon G11, 1/250 sec @ f/3.5, ISO 400, in macro mode.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Spring Show

- Robert and his preschool class preforming at the Kempsville Presbyterian Church Preschool's Spring show entitled "Jammin' for JESUS!" There's just pure joy in watching ten classes of 4 and 5 year olds sing and dance. Preschool teacher's and assistance are truly God's angels on earth. Canon 7D, 1/500 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 1600, 70-200 zoom at 200mm.