demeatria's blog

My journey with photography……..

Fall is more than just pretty trees…

Don’t you love the Fall Season? You get all excited because it’s that time of the year when the leaves change and they’re oh so beautiful. The sky is bright and the clouds just make everything so, so sweet. You go to an online website and find out when the leaves will be at their fullest peak when they change colors. You have a few “favorite places” to take photographs. And if you’re an artist you tend to do the same. Sounds like a Hallmark movie 🙂  Yep that’s me.

Reality sets in. They never changed to their fullest peak or if they did it was quick. Remember when they use to last at least 1-2 weeks? Those days are long gone; at least in Northern VA where I live. Who knows maybe I’m looking in the wrong places; but I do know of some places that I go to they would change. And if they have changed they’re spotted here and there.

So a few weeks ago I was in the mood to shoot fall images. I really wasn’t in the mood to drive anywhere; I wanted someplace close. Then I thought, “Fall is more than pretty trees”. What else happens during the fall season? Of course we rake the leaves up to give the grass room to breathe…and to jump in them for fun 🙂 🙂  But how often, as we walk around, look down to see what’s going on? I decided to do that. A couple of days I went to two of my spots and decided to photograph other parts of Fall such as leaves changing on the tree limbs, branches piled up, or how they look after the rain. It’s amazing what you see because we just take it all for granted.


I did find some beautiful trees to photograph! It was awesome and so much fun. Thank you Harpers Ferry National Park parking lot for this beautiful image of Fall 😉 😉

Geared used: Fujifilm X-Pro2, X-T100 cameras, XF18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS, XF60mm f/2.4 macro, XF27mm f/2.8 lenses.
















My Blue Ridge Parkway Adventure

FOREVER I’ve wanted to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway. I don’t have a Bucket List nor do I intend of creating one 🙂 I  know me and knowing I have a list somewhere…I just don’t care. I’ll leave that for other people 😉 I’ve read articles and seen many of photographs of the beautiful mountains and windy roads. Of course the weather was perfect – that’s how it sells right? But if you enjoy looking at the mountain sides or just enjoy a long, peaceful ride then you will enjoy the Parkway.

I made a road trip early October. I went to a friend’s retirement luncheon in Columbia, South Carolina. A few days before I made this trip I found out I had family in Charlotte, North Carolina. Being so close I decided to go to Asheville, North Carolina and drive part of the Parkway back home. This close, and not for sure when I would make this drive again I couldn’t pass up this golden opportunity. From Columbia to Charlotte to Asheville to home. My trip extended from Asheville, NC to Floyd, VA.

The Parkway covers over 460 miles through the states of Virginia and North Carolina. What I enjoy about the Parkway are the many little towns along the way. Not many places in the Shenandoah National Park do the same. I didn’t see any wildlife but just the diversity of the climate was an adventure in itself. Checking the weather the night before I knew the next day would be cloudy. Yes clouds and mountains…very dramatic images to be created!! But when your getting to elevation levels of 4,760? Yeah that was nervous. At that time I was the head car and since I was SCARED I decided to pull over and let everyone go ahead of me. What does a photographer do with their camera? We take photographs!!



All in all it was a great adventure and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to explore a part of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Camera gear: Fujifilm X-Pro2, Fujinon XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS lens and Tiffen ND filter 0.6. The filter help bring out the clouds more. Since I was driving I had more gear than this. I wasn’t for sure what I may see, etc. But the weather was wet and windy so I stuck with just one lens.











anythinggoes newsletter October 2018

anythinggoes October 2018


The link above is another “anythinggoes newsletter”. We have our usual articles: Financial Matters, Senior Care, Health Issues, Take Care of Yourself, Kkidds Kkorner, and Milli’s Simple Recipes.

Since it’s getting a little chilly we decided to treat you with Milli’s famous soups:

KWIK & EZ Cream of Broccoli Soup

Creamy Carrot Soup

Quick Butter Bean Soup

EZ Hamburger SoupYUMMY!

As always click on the category on the left side and it should take you to the article. Click back on the article and it should take you back to page 1. If there’s a link to a website within the article you should be able to click on the link and go to their website.

If you know of anyone that’s interested in being added to the “anythinggoes newsletter” please email: Another way to read the newsletter is on my blog:

If anyone likes to contribute to the newsletter please email. We believe in positive and fun information, no profanity, and definitely no politics. If you’re a poet, love to cook, small tidbits to help others, please let us know.

Happy Halloween,


Wide Angle Challenge…Sort Of

I enjoy Instagram. The majority of people I follow are a wide range of photographers. One photographer I keep in touch with (just about weekly) is Michael Vincent, ‘The Fuji Warrior” ( We converse a little about everything photography and of course we’re both Fujifilm shooters. We talk camera models as well as the lenses we have or hope to someday have.

I was talking with Mike (Michael) about the Fujifilm XF 14mm f/2.8 R lens. It’s a wide-angle lens that’s equivalent to a (35mm) 21mm. The bottom line is that I really don’t shoot with this lens. Years ago I felt I needed the widest lens I could afford to photograph landscapes…so I bought one. But now the last few years I don’t like shooting super wide – I want to focus more on “parts” of the landscape and try to make it unique vs. shooting gobs of information on one image. It’s so much that I lose much more. With that theory I just never get excited to grab and go with this lens. Mike asked me to shoot with the lens for a week or so. And as I’m shooting make sure I take at least one portrait image. Why not? As I always say take what you have and make it work.

The best place for me to take on the challenge…sort of 😉 was to my two go-to places in Manassas: the local park near downtown Manassas, our community homeowner’s park, and of course my cousin in the backyard of another cousin’s home (thank goodness for family) 🙂  All the images have no been cropped. How was it? Wide is wide but I was able to capture everything of what I needed to tell a story of each image. I wanted my images to be “close-up and tight”, not all this distance from what I was trying to capture. Gave me a chance to adjust my depth of field when needed. From 10AM – 2/2:30PM the day was bright and sunny with cool shadows…that made the images stand out. The portrait was surrounded by a lot of greenery but with a little sun peeping through the trees.

It was a fun challenge…sort of 😉  I’m hoping in the near future I will use this lens. Not as a main lens but to capture an image or two that I know my other lenses can’t and will help to tell my story.

For more of my photography:














Petersburg Old Town Historic District

Last month I went to Petersburg, VA and met up with two wonderful photographers: Lisa McFarland and Felicia A. Epps We had decided to do a photo walk around the Petersburg Old Town Historic District. Years ago, as I was visiting family, we drove around this part of Petersburg. I have always been fascinated of that part of the city.



Through some research I found out that Petersburg is one of the oldest cities in Virginia. It goes back as far as 1750. This district that has over 170 buildings, have architectures between the 18th through 20th century. I found so much fascination: historical homes, the Grace Episcopal Church sign that represents the church that once stood, or a church that’s closed and fenced to keep passerby’s safe and the only thing left is the Church Office sign, the beautiful artwork on the sidewalks, benches that were made from old truck gates, Peter Jones Trading Station, and Lt. Col Howard Baugh, Tuskegee Airman (born in Petersburg) park. There’s so much you can see whereas you can take sections at a time to walk around and enjoy.

This day for us was a good day. It was nice, cloudy and a few sprinkles of rain which made photography all the more fun. Thanks again to Lisa and Felicia…hopefully we can meet up for another photo walk in the future. Manassas isn’t as exciting as Petersburg but I believe the three of us we can be creative and capture some awesome images.

Camera a gear used: Fujifilm X-Pro2 and XC 50-230mm f/4.5-6.7 OIS lens. I chose this zoom lens because I really wasn’t for sure how close I was able to get to some of the places I wanted to photograph. The lens paid off. There were some places that we weren’t walking close to but I was still able to capture it 😉

















Petrified Logs Trail at Vantage, WA

The past two years of my visit to Wenatchee, WA has been HOT. I have been hearing and reading a lot of the wildfires out West but normally it’s been in California. Washington State has had plenty of fires. My hat goes off to all firefighters, as this struggle seems to get worse each year.

One HOT day I decided to drive down to Vantage, WA to see the Petrified Logs. Petrified Logs Trail is part of Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park/Wanapum Recreational Area. I did my Internet research and I found it interesting. Now years earlier I would blink twice about going to such a place to look at wood, rocks, or whatever were there. Now I appreciate things just a little more. Why not?? According to Wikipedia “Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park/Wanapum Recreational Area is a 7,470-acre (3,020 ha) Washington state park at Vantage, Washington that includes 27,000 feet (8,200 m) of shoreline on the Wanapum Reservoir on the Columbia River. Petrified wood was discovered in the region in the early 1930s, which led to creation of the park as a national historic preserve.”

There has been a lot of damage to the trail. Again I did some research but I couldn’t find out when they had the fires here. Late June of this year, they had a fire near Vantage, WA and very close to the State Park souvenir store. No one was hurt and no families (I think) had to evacuate.

Before I went to the trail I was told to be careful because at this time of the year they have a lot of rattlesnakes out. With that in the front of my mind (and I was by myself) I didn’t stay too long. Safety is always first.

The trail is a loop; you can either go straight (trees #1-8) or left (trees 9-22). To try and save what’s left of the trees or logs, they all are protected with grates. The visibility isn’t that great but the time I was there the sun was blazing which made it more difficult. At one time all you saw here was green grass with sagebrush and wildflowers. What’s left now is a little life of bushes and trees trying to hang on to life 😦

Some may ask why go there? There’s nothing there but burnt up trees, bushes, rattlesnakes, and petrified logs or trees in grates that we can just barely see. What I saw was how fire can damage our land. And I wondered would and/or will it ever grow back? It wasn’t a gloomy day. The sun and blue clouds were protecting the land letting it know there’s still hope 😉

Gear used: Fujifilm X-Pro2 an XF 35mm f/2 R WR lens.


















My favorite portrait lens: Fujinon 27mm pancake lens

I know many of you read the above title and fell to the floor laughing like super crazy 🙂  I truly believe I can take just about any lens and shoot portraits. Now I didn’t say it would be easy and may take some out-of-the-ordinary adjustments but I think it can be done.

I feel portraits have changed a lot in the past few years. Years ago when I thought of a portrait I thought of full length, mid-shot, and close-ups. Of course that was mainly the military ways of official portraits but then again corporates and other big companies kind-of followed the same plan (and maybe photographers in general have done the same). In homes you had the family camera and most of the time it had one lens and it was a prime (or maybe a point & shoot camera). The home photographs gave character – the family person and/or friend showed more of the house/room…it told a story. When I look back at some of my family old photographs I’m very happy they weren’t all close-up but also added the environment.

I enjoy other photographer’s work. Wedding photographers still have their “traditional photographs” (some parents and grandparents don’t want that other stuff) but they have broadened their styles into more photojournalist styles. Headshots aren’t just a close-up of the person – they now have expanded in showing the sign of the company, or a chef’s kitchen. Everything is more exciting than the past and that’s great. And when you’re shooting a portrait there’s nothing wrong with full lengths, mid-shots, or close-up. Years later when you the photographer or you the client are sitting back and trying to remember when, where, and why that photograph was taken, expanding your style of shooting will help you go back down memory lane.

So here are my portraits with the Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 pancake lens. When you compare it in 35mm format it’s focal length is equivalent to the 41mm lens. It may be a 2.8 but it’s sharp. It’s very small therefore you have to change the f/stops on the camera that you’re shooting with. I grab this lens more than I grab any other. All of my images are SOOC (straight out of camera) or as some of us still say not cropped.

If you have a lens or two and never really used it for anything, take a second look. I guarantee you will find great use for it…you may even take a portrait 😉

















Be Your Own Model…

There’s nothing like wanting to work on your craft and you can’t find help. All my local friends work so that doesn’t help. On weekends they have so much “normal” things to do – that doesn’t work. So you start walking around in your home asking yourself the question “what can I find in here to model for me”?


You see I’m continuing to learn about photography and how to do things better. When I know I have a weakness I know I have to try and fix it (or at least make it better). I read and watch tutorials but nothing is better than doing it. I have this equipment so I need to learn to use it to it’s full potential.

One of my biggest problems when it comes to photography is photographing a person with glasses while using flash. I have the reflections problems, or my flash equipment showing inside of the glasses, or crazy/horrible shadows from the frames or even the glass. It’s always something. I look at other photographer’s images of people with glasses. I zoom in to see just how good their images look. Honestly some are good and some are not good. During my years in the military we had two pairs of frames – black and gold. The lenses were removed from both frames, which took away a lot of headaches for us (and it worked very well). Also during that time we didn’t have a typical studio…just a room with low ceilings that was given to us (make what you have work).

During my morning walk I decided to go home and setup my gear to do some off camera flash test shots. My ceilings aren’t the highest but still I know I can test some ideas out. But isn’t it funny when you follow all the steps from a tutorial or article it doesn’t work right for you??

Before I started I knew the one way to show and try not to get these glasses problems is to bounce my lighting. If you’re some place and the ceiling is super high, no way you’ll be able to bounce. You can try but by the time the light go waaaaaay to the ceiling and comes waaaaaay back down to hit your subject – there’s no light. They’re quite a few accessories you can buy that give you the capability to bounce your flash.

As it turned out I was my own model. I’m not the best subject in the world but it helped. I actually had fun. I was able to use some gear that I’ve wanted to play with for some time. And of course I love black and white and was able to convert a few. I used a tripod to focus on and then changed the camera manual focus. It was a hit or miss but that’s okay too. Here’s the gear I used:

Fujifilm X-Pro 2

Fujinon XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS lens

Godox TT685F flash

Magmod  MagSphere

Magmod  MagGrid

Interfit Studio Essentials 5’x7’ reversal backdrop

RAW images

I’m still learning but this is a start.

So when you have some equipment to test out and you need a model, don’t use your light stand or tripod…use yourself. You may finally get the photographs you want 😉



Images below were taken with the Magmod  MagSphere






Images below were taken with the Magmod MagGrid






SMILE TODAY…tomorrow is not promised

These past few years it seems like every time my family and friends got together it was because of a funeral. Reunions are nice but I don’t like these reunions. To add to that most of them were young. Some didn’t see the age of 30, 50, 60 or even 70 (yes today’s 70 is young). And before you start to say it was because of the way they lived or they didn’t eat right, you know crazy stuff like that…its called LIFE.

SMILE TODAY! Take a few moments out of your day to laugh, talk, or just plain out fellowship with one another. It actually feels pretty good. At the end of the day when you’re sitting back and relaxing you will SMILE.

🙂 🙂










#smile #family #friends #blessed #fellowship

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