Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sand Man

Paid a visit to the Virginia Beach Ocenafront to see the results of the North American Sandsculpting Championship held as part of this year's Neptune Festival. There are 22 sand sculptures on view through Sunday October 10th. This is a closeup from the 3rd place doubles team of Jill Harris and Thomas Koet from Florida entitled In One Ear Out the Other. It's worth the trip and the three bucks ticket charge to see these cool creations. Canon 5D Mark II, 1/60 sec @ f/5.0, ISO 200, zoom at 165mm.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


My grandson Robert and I spent the day at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. It was all decked out for Howl-O-Scream 2012 and Robert quickly got into the spirt. Canon G11, 1/50 sec @ f/4.5, ISO 400.

Friday, September 28, 2012


From the neon marquee at a Norfolk Virginia landmark. Any guesses? Here's a hint - Rocky Horror. Canon G10, 1/400 sec @ f/4.5, ISO 400.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Swimming on Glass

The water in the Hague in Norfolk Virginia was smooth as glass until a small group of Canada geese swam by. Canon 7D, 1/160 sec @ f/8.0, ISO 200, 200mm focal length.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Patiently Waiting

This big lady is patiently waiting for her next victim. She built a large web just outside the window of my home office. I took this photo through the glass window, so I was able to get pretty close. Hope it doesn't creep you out too much. Canon 7D. 1/80 sec @ f/8.0, ISO 800, 100mm with one LED Litepanel for illumination.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Vail Mountain

Still sharing some of my Colorado pictures on the blog. This is the view from the top of Vail Mountain looking down into the "bowl." You can see a grove of aspen trees, and then bands of thick green pines and the cleared sky run areas. I was at about 10,500 feet for this shot. Canon 5D, Mark II, 1/100 sec @ f/18.0, ISO 200, 105mm focal length.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Morning Welcome

This bright yellow daisy provides a nice morning welcome. Canon G11, 1/1600 sec @ f/5.6, ISO 100, in macro mode.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Reach for the Sky

These aspen trees reach for the sky with their bright yellow fall leaves and white bark contrasting nicely with the blue sky. Canon 5D Mark II, 1/320 sec @ f/14.0, ISO 200, 24mm focal length.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Garden of the Gods

When visiting this area of sandstone formations in 1859 Rufus Cable, exclaimed, "Why it is a fit place for the Gods to assemble." Charles Elliott Perkins, the head of the Burlington Railroad, purchased the area in 1879 and opened it to the public. After his death in 1907 his family conveyed the four-hundred eighty acres to the City of Colorado Springs. It would be known forever as the Garden of the Gods "where it shall remain free to the public, where no intoxicating liquors shall be manufactured, sold, or dispensed, where no building or structure shall be erected except those necessary to properly care for, protect, and maintain the area as a public park." Canon 5D Mark II, 1/160 sec @ f/11.0, ISO 100, 28mm focal length.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Manitou & Pike's Peak Railway

Spent my birthday driving from Vail to Manitou Springs, crossing the Continental Divide at Hossier's Pass, and then taking the Manitou & Pike's Peak Railway to the summit of Pike's Peak. Here the cog wheel trains await at 14,110 feet above sea level while we spend time exploring the summit. All in all, a pretty cool birthday. Canon 5D Mark II, 1/400 sec @ f/11, ISO 400, 35mm focal length.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


The is Barney, a Belgian draft horse who along with his partner Fred pulled our wagon for a twilight ride at the 4 Eagle Ranch. Canon 5D Mark II, 1/3 sec # f/4.0, ISO 3200.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Piney Lake

Piney Lake is the highest elevation lake you can drive to in Colorado at 9,350 feet. The journey is just a spectacular as the view from the lake. You drive 10 miles on a dirt road full of switchbacks and white knuckle, right on the edge turns. Canon 5D Mark II, 1/250 sec @ f/14.0, ISO 200, zoom at 88mm focal length.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Aspen Glow

The aspen trees just glow in the fall afternoon light near Vail Colorado. Canon 5D Mark II, 1/100 sec @ f/22.0, ISO 400, 65mm focal length.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Home on the Range

The Colorado range at twilight. We visited the 4 Eagle Ranch for dinner and a night sitting around the campfire. Canon 5D Mark II, 1/640 sec @ f/8.0, ISO 800, 105mm focal length.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sawatch Range

The Sawatch Range in central Colorado taken from atop Vail Mountain. Canon 5D Mark II, 1/200 sec @ f/16.0, ISO 200, zoom at 70mm focal length.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


"This is not what our soldiers die 4" A memorial to the victims at the Century Cinema shooting in Aurora Colorado. A very emotional site honoring the victims of a senseless act of hostility. Canon G11, 1/500 sec @ f/8.0, ISO 200.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hanging On

This dragonfly is hanging on to save energy on a windy day. Canon 7D, 1/200 sec @ f/8.0, ISO 100, zoom at 400mm focal length.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dwarf Fountain Grass

Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln' - Dwarf Fountain Grass. Canon 7D, 1/125 sec @ f/13.0, ISO 200, 100mm macro.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


This is Berggarten Sage a beautiful sage plant with the same flavor as common sage but bred not to flower so that leaf production will not stop. This perennial has beautiful large rounded green-gray leaves and is often used as an ornamental planting at the corners of beds and along walkways. Canon 5D Mark II, 1/200 sec @ f/6.3, ISO 800, 100mm macro, one LED light panel.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Grandcat

This is my son's cat - Haz Mat. He's a great cat with a cool laid back disposition that's required when you share the house with a five-year old boy and a 95 pound black lab.

Canon 5D Mark II, 1/15 sec @ f/4.0, ISO 1600. This was a low light photo with no flash that demonstrates the Canon 5D Mark II's high ISO low noise capability along with Canon lens based image stabilization.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Well-Behaved Liriope

My liriope muscari is full of tall purple blooms this year. Often refered to as the well-behaved liriope because it is the “clumping” kind that does not spread by runners and basically stays where you put it. It shares all the good qualities of the spreading kind — incredible toughness and adaptability — without the invasive behavior. My green-and-white variegated variety of this plant brightens up the borders in my shady backyard. Canon 5D Mark II, 1/125 sec @ f/6.3, ISO 800, 100mm macro, one LED Litepanel for illumination.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Beach Boy

What's better than a handful of wet sand? Two handfuls! — Robert at Sandbridge Beach on a glorious late afternoon in September. Canon G1X, 1/1250 sec @ f/7.1, ISO 100.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Jefferson "Beak" Howell

Lieutenant General Jefferson "Beak" Howell addressed the 2012 Commonwealth of Virginia's Innovative Technology Symposium (COVITS), the state's forum for collaboration and participation in government technology. His topic, Lessons in Leadership, is taken from his long career in the United States Marines and as director of NASA's Johnson Space Center. He had only been on the job at NASA seven months when the Space Shuttle Columbia was lost during a return to earth.
Hosted by Jack Mortimer, National Conference Director Government Technology magazine General Howell discussed he leadership lessons from his long career and shared what has become known as “Beak's Rules of Leadership”:

1. Never stereotype your subordinates; give them the attention and respect they rate as individuals.
2. People normally live up to your expectations of them.
3. Never underestimate the effect that you as a leader have on your subordinates.
4. Let your people do their job.
5. To be a good leader, you must be an effective manager.
6. Where you sit determines what you see.
7. Things are never as good or as bad as first reported.
8. Don't argue with an idiot.

Canon G11, 1/15 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 800.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Steel Curtain

This steel curtain is simply a decorative treatment in the elevator at the Hilton Hotel at Short Pump in Richmond, Virginia. Canon G11, 1/15 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 800

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Night Insulator

An electric power line insulator backlit by the full moon. Canon 7D, 1/640 sec @ f/8.0, ISO 400, 560mm focal length.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


As summer winds down the watermelons are still coming in strong. Watermelons are believed to have originated in southern Africa but evidence shows they were cultivated in China as early as the 10th century. Today China is the world's single largest watermelon producer. A watermelon contains about 6% sugar and 92% water by weight and is a good source of vitamin C. Canon T2i, 1/200 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 400, 40mm prime "pancake" lens.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Let the Sleeping Dog Lie

As the old saying goes, it's best to a let a sleeping dog lie. This is my "granddog" Cinder sleeping off the excitement from a visit by Grammy and Grandpa to his house today. Canon 5D Mark II, 1/10 sec @ f/4.0, ISO 1600.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


The next best thing to being there, a little, made in China, plastic knick-knackery, with an Eiffel Tower of course. iPhone 4, 1/30 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 80, Camera+ app.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Letter Box

This antique mail chute is still in use in the Royster Building. The 13 story "skyscraper" was Norfolk's tallest building when it was completed in 1912. This mail chute was provided by Cutler Mail Chute Company. James Goold Cutler received a patent on September 11, 1883 for the mail chute. The first one was installed in 1884 in the Elwood Building in Rochester, New York. Cutler ultimately received thirty patents for variations of his invention. The original approved patent No. 284,951 design stated that it must "be of metal, distinctly marked U.S. Letter Box. . ." iPhone 4, 1/15 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 1000.