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demeatria's blog

My journey with photography……..

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!! 😊😊

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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

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Morning Wake Up

I’m one of those early bird people, or as I normally say I wake up “O dark-thirty”. I get up, get semi-ready and go downstairs for my breakfast, watch a little TV and browse through some social media sites before people think about doing so. 

One morning as I was finishing my cup of coffee and  where I was sitting  I could see my dining room area. All I saw was a silhouette of the room with a little bit of light coming through the sheer curtains. Mind you no lights on and the blinds are still closed. Morning can be so interesting if you take the time to look at it. Most of my house was still asleep. 

Well, you know the rest. I got my tripod and camera gear and went through the house and photograph places that had a little light “as is” (nothing was set up). 

Have you ever documented your home before it wakes up? Give it a try.

Gear used: Fujifilm X-Pro2, Fujifilm XF35mm F/2 R WR lens, MeFoto tripod. Shot in black and white simulation mode in the X-Pro2. 

Website: www.dawndhester.com

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😊😊

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Shepherdstown West Virginia at Night

There are three major towns in Jefferson County (okay they may be called cities now but this is how I see them): Charles Town, Harpers Ferry, and Shepherdstown. Back in the day these towns, just like any other small towns, had their high school sports rivalry. Living out in the country you went to school based on where you lived. Since we were kinda in the middle of things, I went to Harpers Ferry then to Shepherdstown; mostly Shepherdstown. Years later they consolidated the three towns into one high school: Jefferson. 

Shepherdstown is the oldest town in West Virginia.

Shepherdstown will always hold a special place in my heart. With that being said I’ve always wanted to photograph it day and night…just never made a hard attempt to do so. But when my dear friend Teresa L. Holmes (https://www.soulstirringstorytelling.com) reached out to me about an upcoming project that was my time to shoot at night. Teresa was going to hang out with me the night of the shoot but I knew she REALLY didn’t like the cold. I reached out to my photog/podcast partner Renee L. Ferguson (https://www.phinishingtouches.com) to see if she wanted to go out and play. 

The night was awesome!! Businesses come and go but Main Street stays the same. Having Shepherd University right on Main Street helps. Then you have Shepherdstown Public Library; just a small building standing by itself. In the middle of the businesses you have the Opera House. The Shepherdstown Community Club – War Memorial Building is great for all kinds of events. To top it all off is Trinity Episcopal Church. Each time I pass Trinity I’m just in awe…just beautiful. We’re in the middle of a pandemic so that made downtown more calm…and we had the streets to shoot. A few cars came by which gave up the opportunity to some shoot long exposures. 

Yes, Shepherdstown is very special. When I take my camera out to shoot, I try hard to give it 200%. Deep down I think I captured the “town” very well for night photography. But I’m not done. I have some photographs during the day but not enough to my liking. So I guess I’ll be bundling up again to photograph Shepherdstown West Virginia in the daytime. 😊

Gear used: Fujifilm X-H1, Fujifilm XF16-80mm F/4 lens, and the MeFoto tripod. 

My website: www.dawndhester.com

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😁😁

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Reflections on the court

Nothing like going to one of your photography spots after a hard rain. I’ve been carrying my camera gear with me when I’m out and about. Each time I leave it at home I see something interesting to shoot… I’m quite sure many of you can raise your hand on that.

This day after taking care of errands, I decided to stop at our community recreation center to see what I can discover to shoot. I knew the basketball court had some age to it…well a lot. It has cracks here and there, a rim with no net, and a rim with a net that always provides me cool dramatic compositions. What I wasn’t expecting was the unbalanced of the court and how it gives enough for water puddles. Inside of these unbalanced areas were reflections. Yes, there’s only reflections of fences, trees, and basketball nets but it was still interesting to shoot. Trying to angle myself and/or my camera to get all of my subjects the way that I wanted; there was some challenge. There wasn’t much color so I decided to convert to black & white. 

This pandemic has been crazy but don’t give up going out with your camera. We’re so busy wanting to go here and there. We need to slow down just a little and focus what’s in our backyard. So if you get a chance to shoot after it rains, go do it. 

Website: www.dawndhester.com

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😊😊

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It’s not a rock but…

When I was a member of the 147th ANG, Houston TX back in the 90’s, videographer Doris Linton wanted to cross train into photography. Doris was a great videographer. She worked hard at her craft and the ANG appreciated her outstanding work. 

You just don’t jump right from video to photography. Instead of following the movement now you have to stop the movement. I gave Doris the assignment to go out and photograph a rock. She had to photograph the rock 10 (I think it was 10) different ways. One rock, 10 different ways. 

I told myself I need to shoot once a week and Tuesday would be that day. There’s a small park, Nelson Park that’s located in Manassas. A lot of weddings take place there, couple of benches to sit, and a waterfall surrounded by flowers. It has a lot of trees in such a small place. 

I stopped at the park and begin to walk around searching for a subject. I started shooting up in the trees. You can see so much character in trees during the winter because there’s no leaves to hide them all. As I was walking around shadows began to catch my attention. Then I thought about Doris and the assignment I gave her to photograph a rock. In the midst of it all I found this little tree. All the branches bare, hanging over. From there I gave myself Doris assignment – photograph this little tree 10 different ways. It wasn’t easy. A bare tree with nothing. But it made me walk around and around and around the tree. I made my way through the branches to get underneath the tree. I’m quite sure there were a lot of people driving by thinking I’ve lost my mind 😁 I looked up, I looked down. Then I start to look closer, to find branches touching each other in an awkward way. Since everything was dark/brown I had to find a branch or something and shoot with no depth of field so it could stand out on it’s own. 

Here are eleven of my photographs. One is an overall of the tree. Since there wasn’t much color, I converted my images to black & white. With the gear I had with me I wasn’t prepared to shoot like this. But like I always say I use what I have and make it work. Thank you Doris for this interesting assignment. The next time it will be of a rock 😉

Gear used: Fujifilm X-Pro2, XF27mm f2.8 lens. 

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😊😊

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Leesylvania State Park

One thing about COVID-19 is that it has given me a lot of opportunities to visit local state parks. My first park visit of 2021 is Leesylvania State Park, located close to Woodbridge VA. I didn’t know of this park until a family member mentioned it to me. We all know state parks have walking trails. But what else? I’m not known for walking trails by myself. Like I’ve always said it’s 2021 and things a way different from 20+ years ago. Safety is first. But if they have something that may be interesting I’ll go late morning or during the day. We talked about the park, it was mentioned that this park is near and/or near Occoquan Bay. There are boat ramps/docks so you can only imagine how busy it gets. As our conversation grew I was told you can park near the water and go right up to the edge to shoot. That perked my attention. 

A list history about Leesylvania State Park: philanthropist Daniel K. Ludwig donated the land for the park in 1985. It opened full time in 1992. You don’t need the address for the park to get right to the pier. All you need to do is plug in Daniel K. Ludwig and it takes you right there. The road is named Daniel K. Ludwig. 

I made the trip last Wednesday. Even though I went to their website I wasn’t for sure what I would see. A few people were out doing their morning walks, walking their dogs or just sitting on a bench looking out at the bay. As I walked they had a couple of boats that people are trained on – or should I say learn how the small boats operate. The first day the water wasn’t moving too much near the boats so I just did my normal shooting with my tripod. I walked over to the sand/beach area and saw a few logs/branches there almost in the water. I did some shooting there which was fun because I was able to use my ND filters. Right there was also like a gravel/rock road that goes out towards the water (I know I’m saying it all wrong but you get my drift) and I took several images there. I’m done and ready to go home.

Not often I look at my images and see something is wrong and I need to make a small print. The photographs of the log just didn’t look right. It wasn’t as sharp as I knew it should have been. The skies were beautiful – cloudy with a touch of magenta seeping through. I love to shoot on a cloudy day…plus it helps with using ND filters. Getting back to the log…the log was too overbearing. After doing some research I read to angle my camera differently. 

I went back last Friday. If I didn’t I would have thought about it all weekend. Only 40 minutes from home and not many people out I know I could reshoot. There was a family relaxing along the water (too cold for that). It was still cloudy but no magenta and that was fine too. Not only did I reshoot the log, I also reshot the gravel/rock road with different angles. While waiting for long exposures to complete it gave me chance to look around. I saw three pieces of wood not far from me and I shot them also. Even though I liked my photographs of the boats, I wanted to shoot again…because I was already there.  The water was a little more aggressive so I was able to get one decent photograph of them. 

When I was photographing along the water I was shooting wide; not wide open (16mm) but around 25-30mm. That let me go back and crop in square format which was pretty cool. At times I set my camera in 1:1 ratio (normally I have it set 3:2) but not this time. I rather have more than not enough. 

Now I’m happy!! Going back the second time around gave me the opportunity to shoot differently and find other things I missed the first time. Did I leave fast the first time because it was cold? No, it was colder the second time and it was a little later than the first day. I just didn’t look around for smaller things vs the bigger picture. I hung around both times; just didn’t think small. Will I go back? Probably not. It was something there but not enough to keep it in the back of my mind. It just gave me the opportunity to get out of the house and create.

Gear used: Fujifilm X-H1, XF16-80mm F/4 R OIS WR lens, Lees filter Big Stopper ND 10. 

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😊😊

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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My Last Photo Shoot 2020 – Alum Springs Park

HAPPY 2021!! I like many others use to make New Years Resolutions. Now I just keep grinding and try to continue to do the right thing for me. 

Because of limitations to go and shoot here and there I thought to go back to Alum Springs Park. It’s not far from home and I know it’s not crowded. I have been there quite a few times but never photographed it the way I wanted. This park isn’t huge – it has a stream of water flowing through, a little bridge you can walk over, place to sit and relax, and a walking trail. 

To get to the park the road is very, very low and the it rains a lot the water flows and/or floods the road and cause problems to drive over. On this day I decided not to take that chance to drive over. Yes I probably could have BUT I decided NO!! 

Ooooooo did I take my time and shoot! Sometimes I don’t let things fall into place. I was going to shoot in the black & white simulations but changed my mind after two images. Since I was determined to use my ND filter, I wanted to make sure I see in color – yeah that’s weird but what can I say? 🤷🏾‍♀️🤷🏾‍♀️ I think the little bit of color in the water will let me see if I had what I was trying to capture. I did convert my images into black & white. Not much color was there and for some reason I like black and white more during the winter season…especially when I’m in a park-like situation. 

While I was there a few vehicles came through and I was close to the road. I thought I give it a shot and see if I could get any of the vehicles in my frame. Mind you my exposure time was between six to eight seconds. It was fun.

I hope you ended 2020 on a good note with your photography. 😊

Gear used: Fujifilm X-H1, XF16-80mm f/4 R, IOS, WR lens, Lee filters.

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😁😁

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anything goes newsletter – December

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