demeatria's blog

My journey with photography……..

Fun in the sun with infrared

This past May I wrote a blog “The Beauty of Infrared Photography”. Even though I have taken many photographs using infrared film and infrared filters during my photography career, I’ve never really took the opportunity to shoot looking for the beauty what the film could create. 

These past few months I’ve been out shooting with Infrared #72 filter using my Fujifilm X-H1 with my 14mm and 50mm lenses. (during my research it was  important to make sure I used the lenses that don’t leave a  on my image). 

Infrared is cool and fun to shoot. Yes they recommend to shoot between 10AM – 4PM. I do know during those times and if the sun is bright, your exposure starts around six seconds (with ISO 200, f/8 which depends on your lens). Set your camera to black & white so you can view your subject easier. The great thing about shooting with a mirrorless camera, you can see exactly how your exposure will look…or close to it. Plus auto focusing with the filter on. And if you like being out in the middle of a sunny day you will enjoy it. How many photographers will you see out there with you?? YES! No clutter of people. 

How hard is it to process and/or edit your work? Not hard at all. I open my RAW images in Adobe Camera RAW, click on the white balance and begin to make adjustments anyway to my liking. Before I upgrade to Capture One 12 I was able to open my images in the software. I can still open them in 12 but they open black & white, not with the IR color (red). Camera RAW works great. 

So if you want to do something different in photography and love the sun try infrared. A couple of dollars for the filter (beats converting an entire camera). 

Gear used: Fujifilm X-H1, XF 14mm f/2.8 R lens, XF 50mm f/2 R WR lens, and Hoya Infrared #72 red filter. 













anythinggoes newsletter

The Newsletter July 2019

Good day!

Attached is July’s anythinggoes newsletter. Along with our regular articles, we have “JanMa: handmade soaps (bars) made from Saponified Oils, Essential Oils and Fragrances, and all 100% natural. JanMa also makes Fragrance Free soaps (for people like me). Check it out on Page 12.

As always click on the article on the first page and it will take you directly to the article. Click back and you will go back to the Home Page.

Happy reading!!


The Virginia Renaissance Faire

A few weeks ago I went to my first Renaissance festival and boy what an event it was. It’s fun taking photographs of people in character having fun. Age did not matter because everyone was having fun and just a ball of fun.

There was something for everyone and that was cool. Tons of music, magic, food and of course you had the Queen and her court walking around throughout the day. The only time I really understood what the heck they were saying was when one lady told me she loved my hat – New York Yankees. I’m not much a fan of baseball but I do love the Yankees logo and pinstripes uniforms 😉

Shooting I decided to still play around and get comfortable with my Fujifilm 55-200mm lens with the X-Pro 2. The lens has a little weight but I was fine with it all day. I kept the camera in aperture priority and adjusted the ISO when it was necessary. It was a bright day but when I was shooting inside a tent I made adjustments. Plus I was still experimenting so I probably did more adjustments than normal. 

So if you ever get a chance to check out one of these renaissance or something close to it go check it out. Just kick back with your camera and have fun!

Gear used: Fujifilm X-Pro2, XF 55-200mm F/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens. Edit in Capture One.















It’s not always as easy as it seems…

ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS get excited when they have a client to photograph to help make their brand stronger. You know who they are, what their business is all about and what you have in mind how the shoot will go. We all do. Then you get extra pumped: make sure you have enough media cards, batteries charged, flash unit and all the accessories for it, lenses and cameras (if you have more than one), and anything else you can think of. During all this you’re communicating with your client: you understand their vision and begin to see it. Yes everything begins to click.

Then comes the day of your photo shoot…

I had the opportunity to do a branding shoot with Theresa Mechem, owner of Paisley Lady Theresa is a retired Graphic Designer and continues to use her talents to create custom designed and hand-painted curtains, pillows, towels, table runners and more. Before she retired Theresa had started her business and has grown a great deal.

I couldn’t ask for a better locational shoot than Theresa’s office. She loves color and it shows all through her office. Everything was Paisley Lady: all the fabrics, customs curtains and pillows. As I was looking around and begin to setup Theresa told me that she hates getting her photograph taken. I mean she really hates getting her photograph taken. The one thing I could do was to let her know over and over it will be okay and everything will be fine. I looked in the corner and there was this huge ring light standing in the corner. It belongs to her daughter but we used it for our shoot.

The shoot went very, very well. I won’t say she was 100% relaxed but she did get a little comfortable. As I was shooting I shared with her the images and explained why I did what I did. It was very important to keep her involved. Lucky for me she uses her experience as a Graphic Designer and she loves to sew. I made sure I had her doing both. I photographed her as she was creating then had her to look up. I also tried to make sure I didn’t get too close…again trying to make sure she’s comfortable.

Below is one of the first photographs that I took. Yes her shear curtain is opened a little. Did I care…no? Was it a big deal…no? My goal was to try to get her as comfortable as possible.


Two things helped me in this shoot: 1) the ring light. If I had to use my flash I don’t think it would have went well. I think the flash would have made her very uncomfortable. 2) Trust. Little by little she was understanding why I did what I did and how branding photographs from all angles will help her in the long run. If you can’t communicate with your client you need to learn how…it’s just that simple.


To find out more about Paisley Lady:



Gear used: Fujifilm X-H1, Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F/2.8-4 R LM OIS lens, Ring light.











Support your local photographers: Vorlago Photography

There’s nothing like supporting our local photographers. This past Thursday I was able to do just that with the Fairfax Art League If you’re looking for a group that appreciates photographers and artist (no I’m not a member) please check out their website for more information.

I was able to attend the gallery opening of the Fairfax Art League and the featured artist was Jeffery Bell, owner of Volargo Photography I have known Jeff for over 30 years. We worked together (and Jeff still does) as Scientific & Technical Photographers with the FBI.


Back in the days of film, Jeff was a Hasselblad and Nikon shooter. Like most of us Jeff has opened his arms to digital. And like most of us it takes time to accept this new way of photography. As the featured artist Jeff decided to select some of his favorite photographs (black & white and color) from the past up to today. Back in the 80’s and 90’s Jeff looked at himself as a street photographer and he shared quite a few at the gallery. Jeff also spent time overseas and was able to capture all walks of life. I remember a lot of his photographs from the past…how Jeff use to bring them to work and share with me…which enjoying his work at the gallery brought back a lot of memories of working in downtown Washington DC. Now a few years later 😉 🙂 I was able to enjoy Jeff’s work matted and framed on display for everyone to see.

Besides Jeff’s work it was a pleasure to enjoy all the artist and photographer’s work. I even had the opportunity to chat with a few. There’s so much amazing local talent in all of our home areas.


This night we all had the chance to select the People’s Choice Award. It was a hard choice. Here’s the winner:


Again if you’re looking for a group that includes photographers and artist please checkout Fairfax Art League


To see more of Jeff’s work and find out more about Vorlago Photography:

Jeffrey Bell



Gear used: Fujifilm X-Pro2, XF 27mm F/2.8 prime lens.









Oh what a beautiful morning!!

If you don’t know by now, one of my favorite places to go and shoot is the Shenandoah River. Most of the time it’s only me but it’s peaceful. All depends on the weather and the river itself, I can go there and accomplish what I want. Plus I go away from the DMV (Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia) traffic. If you live in this area you know exactly what I’m talking about 😉


At the Shenandoah River, in the middle of testing out my new Fujifilm XF 55-200mm lens, I first came across two young men fishing and in the middle of it all along came a guy with his kayak. Of course the morning was just beautiful – blue skies reflecting in the river intermixed with clouds. I really couldn’t ask for a better morning.

Here are just a few images of my morning. The fishermen didn’t do too well. One caught a fish but it wasn’t worth keeping. The kayak guy had a good morning. He went a mile down the river and came back. He doesn’t live too far from the river so he can come and go whenever it pleases him. Like me he enjoys the fresh air during the week when everyone’s at work 🙂

Do you have a favorite spot? If so enjoy as much as you can.

Gear used: Fujifilm X-H1, Fujifilm XF F/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens.













Testing 123…Fujifilm 55-200mm lens

I traded in my Fujifilm XC 50-230mm F/4.5-6.7 OIS lens for the Fujifilm XF F/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens. Yes the biggie is probably (HA!! I need to stop kidding myself) the XF 50-140mm f/2.8 but I don’t have the biggie $$$$. As always if you want to know the technical side of equipment you can go to Fuji’s website and check it out.

So what’s the difference between the XC and XF lenses? XC lenses are made cheaper than the XF. Some people will say it’s a beginner, budget lens whereas the XF lenses are built sturdier and are faster lenses. Some even say XF lenses are more professional…OKAY. Like I always say, “make what you have work”.

The XC 50-230mm did what it was suppose to do. At the beginning of getting-switching from a different brand- into new equipment, I want to buy new but then again I look first at used equipment. Never knock used equipment…just buy wisely. I shot with this lens at track meets, football games, and outdoor concerts. I will admit it was a little slow when I was trying to follow the action. I will admit it was a little slow when I wanted to zoom in and out a little faster. I’m glad I had it when I needed it.

So now I have the XF 55-200mm. A little heavier but it will help with my arm curls 😉 The past few days I’ve been just shooting around at different subjects to get the feel of the lens – from close-up to wide. No tripod, just straight hand-held. The XC 50-230mm didn’t have the aperture ring (f/stops) therefore I had to change from the camera whereas the XF does. That can be awkward at times because of the size of the lens and trying to balance it all (at least for me). The images below I had the film simulation set to Classic Chrome (first six images). When I realized it I changed to Standard. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t adding or taking away any colors and/or information.

Gear used: Fujifilm X-H1, Fujifilm XF F/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens.













Sounds of Music

From the time I was in the fifth grade through my senior year of high school I was in the band. Of course I played the best instrument EVER – alto saxophone 🙂 😉 There was the marching band, concert band, and the jazz ensemble. I enjoyed all three but I think my favorite was concert band. To actually sit on one room together, learn new songs together, and worked hard together… it was magical. And above all of that I loved listening and hearing all the instruments that was in the room. I learned how to hear music. To this day (at times) when I’m listening to music it’s not really the words, but it’s the music. I listen and try to hear all the instruments that created that song.


Sunday downtown Manassas had a free event – Prince William Community Band & Ice Cream Social. It was four bands total: one high school and the other three community bands. The community bands are volunteer musicians that still enjoy playing. If I’m correct I believe the high school musicians played with the community bands. The bands played historical and contemporary compositions. It was great! Just brought back so many memories of playing in a concert band again. Sunday I was able to listen and hear all the instruments again under one roof 🙂

Below are just a few photographs I took 😉   So. Much. Fun.

Gear used: Fujifilm X-Pro2, XC 50-230mm OIS lens.


















The Beauty of Infrared Photography

When I was a Forensic Photographer one of the films I used a lot was the 8×10 Infrared (IR) with many types of filters. I would go hours after hours of trial and error trying to find out what would work.

Now I’m not going to get all techie techie about IR because my blog is about fun IR photography. But if you want to know the definition of Infrared photography I grabbed this from the internet: In infrared photography, the film or image sensor used is sensitive to infrared light. The part of the spectrum used is referred to as near-infrared to distinguish it from far-infrared, which is the domain of thermal imaging. Wavelengths used for photography range from about 700 nm to about 900 nm”.

That’s out of the way… 😉

I’ve always wanted to shoot IR for myself but you know, as always you don’t do it. I did buy 35mm IR film and small squares of Red filter but that’s how close I got to actually shooting.

25 plus years later I finally made it!! 🙂 I know two options of shooting IR: 1) convert a camera for IR, or 2) buy an IR filter. A couple of hundred of dollars converting a camera that I can ONLY use for IR or buying a filter for less than $100.00…yep the latter suits me fine. I purchased the Hoya Infrared R72 filter. (not a spokesperson for Hoya but the price was right). It’s a dark red filter that requires a tripod for long exposures. (If you convert a camera to IR I believe you can hand carry). I’ve been shooting long exposures with ND filters lately so I have no probably with patience. I bought two filters: one for the 14mm and 50mm primes lenses. I wanted a filter for my favorite landscape/fine art 35mm but I couldn’t find the size.

Tip #1: During my research about IR I found out that some lenses don’t work well. Some lenses leave a “hot spot” in your image. I found a website that gave me the list of lenses that worked well with IR. It also let you know the ones that worked well, how far you can close down your F/stop. Don’t know if it’s 100% accurate but it could help when buying filters.

What’s so great about shooting IR besides photographing/enhancing evidence? If you convert your photograph to black and white, most likely everything dark (such as leaves) will turn white. Or maybe different shades of white because of what you’re photographing. If you leave it in color, you can create your photograph anyway you may like. There’s no right or wrong – it’s all to your own personal liking. The bottom line – it’s cool! You can create some AWESOME PHOTOGRAPHS!

Tip #2: In my research they recommend to shoot in broad daylight, maybe from 10AM – 4PM. I believe the more sun you have the more pop it gives your images. When I got my filters it’s been cloudy…but I couldn’t wait. It was a little sun trying to peak through but it gave me the chance to see how it all works.

This week (actually Tuesday) we had ONE BRIGHT SUNNY DAY! I got to my location and my first photograph was around noon. It was fun and challenging especially if I tried to shoot flowers, etc. I wanted to see how the long exposure with water would look like. It’s a lot of fun and I plan to do more.

Tip #3: Fujifilm mirrorless cameras I am able to see through the filter. Yes it’s very dark but because there’s no mirror, I can set up, set my settings and auto focus with the lens on. This holds true when shooting with ND filters also

Tip #4: If possible use your lens hood. You may get sun flare. One of my photographs I had my camera right in the direction of the sun just to see what it would look like. There’s some sun flare.

Tip #5: When it comes to post processing I used Adobe Camera RAW and Capture One. From my research I found you can edit in Photoshop using the Channel Mixer. That did not work for me. What I did in both software’s – for color I used the white balance and edit more after that. Black and white I just converted and edit to my liking. Everyone does it differently.

Below are some of my photographs first time shooting IR. Decided to play around and convert to color as well as black and white. I still have a lot to learn but I’m on track.

So if you want to shoot (like me) and don’t want to get up o-dark-thirty (like me) or stay up until midnight (definitely not me), go out in the middle of a sunny day and shoot some IR 🙂

Gear used: Fujifilm X-H1, XF 14mm f/2.8 R prime lens, XF 50mm f/2 R WR prime lens, and Hoya Infrared R72 filter.


IR chart









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