Search

demeatria's blog

My journey with photography……..

The Other Part of Great Falls VA

If you live in the DMV (Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia) and you haven’t been to Great Falls (MD or VA side) it’s really something to see. When you think of Great Falls the first thing comes to mind is the waterfalls. I call it a mini Niagara Falls. Who would think all this water is smacked dab in the middle of the DMV? 

Great Falls VA in 2016.

Great Falls is more than just the falls. They also have plenty of trails, and lots of picnic area spaces. On this visit a photographer friend and I decided to shoot macro. Don’t tell anyone but I was soooooo glad we weren’t going to photograph the falls 😉…I’m so tired of looking at water 😁 We walked one of the trails and whatever we found to photograph we did. We met at the park early  but stopping here and there to shoot wasn’t any problems with other people out enjoying their day. If we decided to shoot the falls, well the best time to get there is EARLY and not be in the other people’s way and vice versa. 

I wasn’t for sure what lenses I was going to shoot with so I had my 60 macro, 35 prime, and 10 fisheye lens. As always the lenses are so small and light it didn’t feel like I was carrying a lot of gear. There was a lot of greenery and at times I set my camera to the Black & White film situation but during editing I decided to keep everything in color.

If you get a chance to visit Great Falls remember to check out the trails too – you will definitely enjoy them as much as the falls.

Gear Used: Fujifilm X-T30, Fujifilm XF35mm f/2, prime lens, XF60mm f/2.4  R macro lens. The image of Great Falls was taken in 2016 with the Fujifilm X-T1, XF18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens.

Check out my website: www.dawndhester.com

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😁😁

Natural Bridge State Park

Natural Bridge State Park has been on my radar to visit for quite a few years. I wanted to go and check it out but when I looked at the images online it just wasn’t too appealing. Because of the strange weather lately which made me cancel a few other trips, I decided to make a trip down to the park and make the best of the trip. 

Natural Bridge State Park is located near Lexington VA. Natural Bridge consists of limestone strata and is the remains of the roof of a cave and/or tunnel through which the Cedar Creek once flowed. 

From the visitor center it takes about 10 minutes to walk to the bridge. There are some steps you have to take (walking down). Because of the streams it may cost parts of the path a little slippery but it’s not bad at all. Along the way there’s plenty of places to sit and relax.

There’s more to the park than the Natural Bridge. You will walk past the Monacan Living History Exhibit. This exhibit is a glimpse of what life might have been for Native Americans. Interpreters teach you traditional Monacan gardening, cooking, tool production, pottery making, basket weaving and so much more. Here’s more of a breakdown of the Monacan Living History Exhibit:

Palisade: Palisade is a defensive perimeters. These are seven feet tall fences that was designed to protect the inhabitants from wild animals and territorial infringements.

Horticultural Area: The Monacan people had their own gardens. Crops included corn, beans, tobacco, squash, pumpkins, and gourds.

Because of COIVD I’m not for sure if this exhibit is opened. But if it is check it out. 

Another interesting history is the Lost River. Workmen from the Saltpetre cave heard waters of the Lost River and blasted an opening. A water main was attached to transport water to the hoppers and kettles under to extract the nitrate from the cave. 

At the end of the trail or your walk is a small waterfalls. You can’t get close to the falls which is a good thing. It’s cute and little people (children) will enjoy it. 

It was a HOT DAY and this park was nice and cool. Like any park you have to get there early to really enjoy. 

I am glad I finally went to Natural Bridge State Park. Don’t judge by what you see, read, or heard…check it out for yourself. I will from time to time check out the website to see when they will have the Monacan Living History Exhibit opened. The exhibit alone is worth going back to see.

Gear used: Fujifilm X-pro2, Fujifilm XF16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR lens.

My website: www.dawndhester.com

HAPPY SHOOTING!!  😁😁

Me standing in front of the Natural Bridge
Natural Bridge
Monacan Living History Exhibit
Palisade
Horticultural Area
Lost River
Waterfalls

Practice, practice, and more practice…

When you read practice, practice, practice and saw the images of the Stars 11u Caperton Baseball Team you thought I was talking about them, right? 😉 I’m talking about myself continuing the need of practicing on my photography craft, my skills. 

Last week I was able to meetup with a long time friend Cynthia (at least from 2004) at a baseball field to catchup on old times. Just so happened her son plays on the Stars 11u Caperton team and they practice in Manassas (where I live). Photographers do what they do best – TAKE THEIR CAMERA!! Before shooting Cynthia talked with the head coach to make sure it was okay to take photographs of the team and they had no problems. If the coach said no then I would have just focused on her son. Personally in 2021 I just don’t walk up to a practice and start shooting. Things have changed a lot and I will always be cautious when it comes to photograph children. 

Not often I get to shoot baseball (and empty field yes) so I was very excited about this opportunity. Practice was from 6:30PM-9:00PM. The biggest challenge was shooting through the fence. Not knowing how the ball was being hit by the coaches, or how the ball was going to bounce, the reaction of the player, and oh the fight trying to maneuver within the fence, I had to be fast with my thinking. I left my setting on single focusing and followed one player. I could have set it to zone tracking but I didn’t want it to focus on everything but what I wanted…and I’m still fighting the fence. Left my camera in aperture priority and not program. The only practice the players did not this was hitting. Outfield, infield, running the bases, running a player down, and sliding was practiced and practiced hard. 

If you ever get a chance to shoot a sporting event, even if it’s practice…do it. Take out some lens you don’t use often and get your photography practice in. Just have fun!! 😁😁

***Thank you Stars 11u Caperton Baseball Team for allowing me the opportunity to document your team’s practice. Best of luck with the rest of your season. ***

***Cynthia Cary is CEO and founder of Chameleon Trendz (you can find on etsy.com). Chameleon Trendz creates inspirational apparel and half the profits go back to mental health awareness programs. Check them out! ***

Gear used: Fujifilm X-Pro2, XF55-200mm F/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens, XF23mm F/2 R WR lens. 

Website: www.dawndhester.com

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😊😊

Forget me not – tulip leaves

After a brutal winter, I get excited about spring. It starts to get warm, beautiful clouds and you begin to see all the flowers waking up from the long winter. Now I don’t actually walk around looking for flowers to photograph but if I do see some in my paths I do take time to photograph them because they’re just plain beautiful. 

If I had to pick a favorite it would be the tulips. So many bright, cheerful colors at all times. The sad thing is that they don’t last too long so you have to be ready to photograph them when the time comes. 

There’s a small park in Manassas where I go to get my thrill of tulips. Not much is there but enough to satisfy me. This year we have had so much rain with wind I was surprised they lasted as long as they did. But as the tulips were slowly fading away I decided to go back to see what was left…and it wasn’t much. I decided to focus on what was left with the leaves. And lets’s be real – how many of us do we actually show love to the leaves? 🤷🏾‍♀️ They all were interesting on how they were laying, twisted and bent. The sun was coming in and out of the clouds so I was trying to captured them at the right time. Not only dealing with the sun, it was also where they were and figuring out how to get to them. 

Next time you’re all excited to photograph some flowers, you get there and not too much left? Focus on what’s left and create. 😁

Gear used: Fujifilm X-T30, Fujifilm XF60mm F2.4 R macro lens.

Check out my website: www.dawndhester.com.

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😊😊

anythinggoes newsletter April 2021

**** All of the below Topics are linked to the articles. To get back to the first page, click on the article link ***

anythinggoes newsletter April 2021

Financial Matters

Kkidds Kkorner

Senior Care

Simple Recipes – Milli Williams

Take Care of Yourself

Special Articles:

  1. 6 Tips for hitting the road again
  2. Chameleon Trendz
  3. Relax: Five simple steps for satisfying spring cleaning
  4. Poems by C.L. Carey

Hill Top House, Harpers Ferry WV

Photographing old historical  buildings is something I’ve always enjoyed doing.  Photographing old historical buildings from my home state and where I grew up is totally different. When photographer Renee L. Ferguson (https://www.phinishingtouches.com) mentioned that they were going to demolish Hill Top House and SOON we decided to meet there and shoot. 

Hill Top House, located in Harpers Ferry WV, has been around forever. I keep telling myself we had our first high Schoo, reunion there….I need to find those photographs. When you visit Harpers Ferry you go to the Hill Top. Not because of the hotel (well maybe some people do) but because of the beautiful over look of the river and if you’re lucky you may see a train come through. 

There’s a ton of history about this hotel. I’m just going to mention a few of what I have read:

  • Thomas Lovett – African American businessman built and operated this hotel. It burned down and rebuilt in 1912 and again in 1919.
  • Opened in 1889, was considered luxurious and a centerpiece of Harpers Ferry.
  • W.E.B.DuBois, Alexander Graham Bell, Mark Twain were a few that visited the hotel.
  • Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Bill Clinton visited.
  • 2007 SWaN purchased the hotel. Because of poor structures and lack of up keeping, SWaN closed it and 2009 decide they would rebuild and reopen the hotel.
  • SWaN also want to reopen and buy the streets that leads to the hotel. The streets belong to Harpers Ferry. 

To read more: https://wvmetronews.com/2020/01/01/after-a-decade-of-debate-its-a-make-or-break-year-for-historic-hill-top-house/

Here’s a little history Renee told me: at one time they overbooked. So instead of refunding the people the owner decided to build another building (right across the street)  for those over book people. 

Awwwwww yes it’s a mess! Town of Harpers Ferry vs SWaN….not pretty. The building is a mess. It’s fenced all around. Looking at it if you blew on it you it would probably fall all the way down. After years and years of no up keep – that’s what a building can look like. There’s security at all times. You can walk up and around the building but not inside of the fence. Also there’s private property and they try to keep people from going there. 

I had several lenses with me. I’m really happy that I had my 55-200mm zoom lens. Without that lens, I would have not been able to captures detail images. I wanted to make sure I included the fence in most of my images because the fence is part of the story. The extra building on the other side of the street? I could just barely see over the fence. I was able to hold my camera over my head as high as possible and shoot for a panoramic image. I used two images for that image. 

Will there be a new Hill Top House? I see a long battle.

Gear Used: Fujifilm X-H1, Fujifilm XF55-200mm F/3.5-4.8 lens, Fujifilm XF18mm F/2 R lens, and Fujifilm XF35mm F/2 R WR lens. 

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😊😊

Website: www.dawndhester.com

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

PER`GEAR` 10mm F8 Pancake Fisheye Lens

Reading a photographer blogger’s email, his email was about the PER`GEAR`  10mm F8  Pancake Fisheye Lens for a selection of Fujifilm cameras. From what I know I knew Fujifilm didn’t have their own fisheye lens therefore I was very interested. I read his email and he also mentioned you could purchase this lens at Amazon for $79.00. $79.00!!!! 👀👀 I don’t know about you but $79.00 isn’t anything compared to any other lens you may look into buying. So I clicked on the link to Amazon and did some reading. Lucky for me my camera was one of many that could use this lens. I clicked the button and purchased one. 

This little lens is no bigger than a camera’s body cap…yeah that small. There is a manual focusing lever that you can focus as close to 30cm/1ft or infinity. I think I kept it in the middle and infinity. It really didn’t matter of the settings because I still focused myself. There’s only one aperture – F8. That’s all to it. It’s not a true-true fisheye but it I think I can really create some awesome images once I get comfortable with it. The closer you get to your subject the more distortion you will get. 

I took it out one early morning a few weeks ago on a nice, clear, day with some clouds mixed in with the blue skies. I walked around my favorite places in Manassas to see how this lens worked. I didn’t linger long to get the photographs “just right” but enough to see how it worked. Having the adjustable LCD back helps a lot also…especially if you’re getting close to the ground and/or up under your subject as much as possible. Like I mentioned about the closer you get to your subject the more distortion you will get. 

The next time I take out this lens I will spend more time with it. Don’t shrug off cheap off-brand gear. Sometimes cheaper just might do the job 🤷🏾‍♀️

My website: www.dawndhester.com

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😊😊

Gum Wall

When you go to visit Seattle Washington, you make plans to see the Space Needle. I totally agree. It’s been there forever, it’s old but it’s still something to see…and it’s worth your time. While you’re visiting the Space Needle there are other places to visit in the same area.

Next thing I would think of trying to get close to or definitely buy some of their gear are the Seattle Mariners and Seahawks. Actually back in 2019 when I was there I had to get a new Seahawks hat – GO HAWKS!! 💪🏾

Then Pike Place Market, which is located downtown Seattle. A photographer’s dream and if you want fresh food and beautiful flowers that is the place to go. It’s huge. 

Finally the last thing on your list to see is the Gum Wall…or the official name Market Theater Gum Wall. I have heard of the Gum Wall and seen many photographs but never visited. The Gum Wall is a brick wall that’s located in an alleyway under Pike Place Market. Yup…if you go to the market you need to go to the wall.

The short version of the story – people use to stand in line for tickets for Thearesports which was a popular competition improv comedy show. While standing in line people began to stick chewed gum to the wall and they topped it with a penny. Once it started it never stopped. 

Gum Wall is the most disgusting, nasty, stinky, gross, foul wall I’ve ever seen. But it’s the most coolest wall to see. You can’t go to the market without walking down the alleyway to check out the wall. You just can’t. Yeah you’ll feel dirty walking through but… And NO I did not add my gum to the collection!! 

So when you’re traveling around and you know some crazy known places in that city, check it out. Add some extra fun to the mix. 😁

Gear Used: Fujifilm X-H1, XF27mm F/2 lens. 

www.dawndhester.com

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😊😊

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Mt. Zion Cemetery – Female Union Band Cemetery

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of decluttering. Not a lot physically yet but making plans so I have a place to start when the time comes. If you’re a photographer like me we have LOTS of files. We have LOTS of duplicates all over the place. Then we have files we “put away for a sunny day”. My sunny day came last week.

September 2012 one of Black Female Photographers (www.blackfemalephotographers.com) photography walks was held in Washington D.C. A photography walk is when all people that enjoys photography get together for a day and take photographs. It doesn’t matter what you shoot with, you just have fun with photography and fellowship. Just because it was coordinated with the Black Female Photographers doesn’t mean men aren’t aloud…men were there too.

As we were walking, on our path was a cemetery – Mt. Zion Cemetery, The Old Methodist Burying Ground, Female Union Band Cemetery. Just reading that sounds confusing. A few photographers began to google to find out more information about this cemetery or cemeteries. 

Totally forgot about this cemetery until last week. Now I did some research. On the internet Mt. Zion Cemetery is two separate cemeteries: the Old Methodist Burying Ground and the Female Union Band Society Graveyard. Both of these cemeteries share three acres of land. There are no boundaries separating the two. When we walked through we had no idea what cemetery was what. As you see from my photographs it wasn’t being taken care of…at that time it wasn’t but maybe it is now. 

Dumbarton Street Methodist Episcopal Church purchased land for the Old Methodist Episcopal Burying Ground in 1808. At that time, Dumbarton Street Methodist Episcopal Church was 50% black. The 50% was both free blacks and slaves. According to The National Park Service “ The Female Union Band Societywas a cooperative benevolent society of free black women whose members were pledged to assist one another in sickness and in death. The society was created in 1842 and purchased the land for the burial ground that year. Mt. Zion Cemetery illustrates the significant contribution of African Americans to the development of Georgetown and the work of an early benevolent society organized by black women for their own benefit”. https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/wash/dc10.htm

The Mount Zion Cemetery is located at 27th and Q Sts, NW. The cemetery is open daily during daylight hours, to arrange for a tour contact Mt. Zion Church at 202-234-0148. Metro stop: Foggy Bottom .

For more information: 

https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/wash/dc10.htm

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑