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demeatria's blog

My journey with photography……..

Walking in Black and White

The one thing I like about Fujifilm mirrorless cameras are the film simulations. I can “see” exactly what the film simulation is as I’m composing my shot. That’s why I enjoy the black and white simulation. It takes away all the color and let me focus on my composition. Of course when you upload in some softwares such as Adobe RAW the colors come back but at the particular time it’s great.

If you read my blogs (and I hope you do) 😉 you know I take my camera with me when I’m out walking. I will always write a blog about a walk and what my camera captures. We had a hot but rainy summer in Northern Virginia. At the time of this shoot it was early October, my favorite time of the year. My walks are between 7-8AM…or at least I “try” to get started between those times. The leaves are beginning to turn and fall from the trees while some are beginning to fade away. There are still some flowers left and still blooming. It’s brisk enough for me to wear a jacket and you can feel the sun come through the leaves on the trees. Even though the basketball court and the playground is empty they left messages. 

I decided to document all of this with the black & white simulation. Just strip away all the color and see it in blacks and grays. Even though color provides beauty, don’t forget black & white does also 😊

Gear used: Fujifilm X-Pro2, XF35mm F/2 WR lens.

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😊😊

Big Bugs Adventure

This past summer I went to The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, which is located in Winchester VA. Before this trip, I had no idea this museum existed. I say that because it’s only 40 minutes or so from me AND I don’t have to drive in or near Washington D.C. If anyone knows the D.C. area you know exactly where I’m coming from. 😳

Now I didn’t go to the museum alone.  I went with my photographer friend (https://www.phinishingtouches.com) and my podcast partner (Photography Adventures Podcast) Renee L. Ferguson and her granddaughter. They were the ones that told me about the museum. 

We went to Dave Roger’s Big Bugs exhibition. From the museum website “ David Rogers’ Big Bugs features tiny creatures created on a huge scale! The sculptures are created by artist David Rogers using various combinations of found or fallen trees, cut green saplings selectively harvested from the willow family, dry branches, and other forest material”. The bugs were HUGE!! They ranged from 10’ up to 18’. The museum has a seven acre garden…yes big enough for the daddy long legs, praying mantas, and other gargantuan bugs. As you walked through enjoying the Big Bugs you had beautiful flowers flowing everywhere. If you live in and/or near the DMV, check this exhibition out. It’s still there until 15 November 2020. Not only will your kids enjoy it, you will too. 😊😊

To find out more about The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley: https://www.themsv.org

To check out and subscribe to Photography Adventures Podcast: 

Photography Adventures Podcast

Season 1, Episode 13 – DREAM SHOOT

Imagine having a Dream Shoot of a life time. Renee and I talk about what would be our Dream Shoot, how we would handle it from A-Z. Do you have a Dream Shoot? Reach out to us and let us know what yours would be. 

SPOTIFY:  https://open.spotify.com/show/3BAL30S9rF7AyZDgjrXUmn

APPLE PODCAST: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/photography-adventures/id1514672591

 ANCHOR:   https://anchor.fm/dawn-hester

Shoot With Everything!!

If you read my blog (and I hope you still do) 🤞🏾😊 you know I don’t carry much when I’m out and about. I carry the minimum amount of gear just to make life simple…and honestly not to drag a lot with me. But the other night I was thinking how it would be if I use every piece of gear that I had with me that day. 

So that’s what I did. I challenged myself to use every piece of gear that was in my bag. Here’s my gear:

Fujifilm X-H1 camera

XF55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM IOS lens

XF 16-80mm f/4 R IOS WR lens

XF 60mm f/2.4 R lens

XF 35mm f/2 R WR lens

MeFoto tripod

Platypod 

This time of the year the mornings are just plain beautiful. Leaves are falling, frost on the ground and the morning sun peeping through the trees. I found all of this on the grounds of the Manassas Museum. According to my phone, sunrise was 7:11AM. Not that much of excitement with that moment but that didn’t stop me from being creative. 

If you’re bummed out or in a funk with your photography challenge yourself. Just make sure you go to one of your favorite spots.

To check out my work: dawndhester.com.

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😊😊

XF55-200MM F/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS LENS
XF55-200MM F/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS LENS
XF16-80MM F/4 R OIS WR LENS
XF16-80MM F/4 R OIS WR LENS
XF 60MM F/2.4 R LENS
XF 60MM F/2.4 R LENS
XF 60MM F/2.4 R LENS
XF35MM F/2 R WR LENS
XF35MM F/2 R WR LENS
XF35MM F/2 R WR LENS

Gold Star Families Memorial Monument

I love to read. If something catches my eye I read it. As I was browsing through some articles a few days ago I came across an article about the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument that was located in Lovettsville, Virginia. Lovettsville is only an hour away from me. 

Gold Star Families Memorial Monument honors the families of servicemen and women who sacrificed their lives while serving in the military.

Gold Star Family Memorial was created by Medal of Honor Recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams of West Virginia. After the monument was completed in West Virginia, Mr. Williams mission was to establish a monument in all 50 states. As of today 66 Gold Star Memorials have been dedicated, located in 48 states, with 74 more in progress.

Here’s the description of the Gold Star Monuments: “From This stunning black granite monument features two sides. One side bears the words: Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, a tribute to Gold Star Families and Relatives who sacrifice a Loved One for our Freedom.

The other side tells a story through the four granite panels: Homeland, Family, Patriot and Sacrifice. The scenes on each panel are a reflection of each community’s Gold Star Families and their fallen Heroes. At the center of this tribute is a silhouette of the Loved One who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the name of Freedom.” http://hwwmohf.org/index.html

I visited and paid my respects to the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument. For once I didn’t jump into getting my camera gear together and click, click, and click. I stood there and took a moment. Like any photographer, I took my time and put some thought into each photograph I created…but to come home and super edit – not this time. On this bright sunny morning I just wanted to document…and pay my respects. 

This monument was dedicated September 11, 2020.

If you live near a Gold Star Families Memorial Monument please take the time to go and pay your respects. It’s worth it. http://hwwmohf.org/index.html

To learn more about donating to a Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, please contact the Foundation at monument@hwwmohf.org.

Photography Adventures Podcast

PHOTOGRAPHY ADVENTURES PODCAST:

 Season 1, Episode 11 – DIFFERENT ADVENTURES, DIFFERENT THEMES. 

Renee and I both had two different photography adventures. In this episode we discussed our shootings and how those adventures went.  (Sounds like someone felt she was TRAPPED in the house since COVID-19 ) 😂😂

To listen:

SPOTIFY:  https://open.spotify.com/show/3BAL30S9rF7AyZDgjrXUmn

APPLE PODCAST: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/photography-adventures/id1514672591

July Photography Challenge – ’62 VW Van

During this pandemic, I have had the pleasure to join Virginia Beltway Photography Meetup Zoom meetings. It’s been fun…meeting new photographers and just talking about photography. Each month they have a photography challenge and I signed up for July’s challenge.

My first car EVER was a ’72 Red VW Beetle. I couldn’t afford the Thunderbird so I named it the V-Bird 😁  Not long ago I decided to buy a model of the VW Beetle. Since the prices were very reasonable I decided to also buy the ’62 VW Van. As much as I wanted to use the VW Beetle as a subject for the July’s challenge, some parts of it are fragile therefore I decided to take it out from time to time. My July’s challenge was the VW Van. I also decided to use a particular camera setup and I did: Fujifilm X-H1 and the 27mm pancake lens. Because my main goal was to shoot as much as possible to the level of the van, the X-H1 LCD is adjustable whereas the X-Pro 2 is not. 

VWVan_01

I had so much fun! It was hard to select my favorites because they all were. So this blog you will have quite a few to look at. I hope you enjoy as much as I had fun creating these images.

If you’re in a funk and need to get out of it, just take one of your favorite toy, coin, flower, etc. and be creative with if for a few days. 

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😊😊

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Another beautiful morning walk

I must admit I had this blog photographs edit and ready to go; I just forgot I did so. But lately we’ve been getting A LOT of rain which I don’t mind at all because we need it. So as I listen to the rain fall this morning I decided now is a great time to write this blog.

As you all should know by now I go out and walk as much as I can. Most of the time I have my camera with me. I do remember that at this moment I was in the middle of a monthly photography challenge and I was using my VW Van model as my daily subject. Before I began to shoot I make sure I have the majority of my walk done and as I’m walking I’m enjoying what’s around me. I know me – if I start shooting too early I will never finish my walk in a healthy, productive way. Health first, fun second 💪🏾 💪🏾

Lucky for me (I think) my HOA fees pays very well 😳 for the landscapers to keep the flowers fresh in the community facility that includes the pool, tennis & basketball courts. We did get a little rain the night before so a drop of rain here and there gave some of the flowers a little more character. Even though most of the flowers were full bloom with a ton of color, even the ones on the downslide have their beauty. And as we always say “look up”. 

Gear used: Fujifilm X-H1, XF27mm f/2.8 pancake lens. Edit in Capture One. 

Check out my website: http://www.dawndhester.com

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😊😊

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Fun Night At The Carnival – COVID-19 Style

I’m still trying to figure out why Manassas had a CARNIVAL in the middle of a PANDEMIC. I’m not looking for an answer but to each their own. I’m still in Phase 1 because it’s not safe for me and I don’t want an unnecessary illness. Please continue to stay safe. 🙏🏾🙏🏾

In 2019 when there was a carnival in Manassas, I went out and took a few sunrise photographs. The beautiful colors as the sun began to rise gave such a cheerful backdrop for the rides. At times once the sun has risen the colors in the sky can just be blah. It turned out to be a good morning to shoot.

Moving forward to July of this year, I was going back home after I was hoping to get some interesting sunset photographs from the baseball field…but the next morning was sweet (another blog)!! As I was driving home I saw a carnival which was setup on the backside of the mall. So I made a U-turn and went back to the carnival. Besides my camera and lens I had the right accessories with me: tripod and plenty of batteries. When you drive into the mall area the road goes all the way around which gave space between and rides and the mall/mall parking. Pure luck: I was able to get a parking space right off the road and right next to Walmart. I parked, maybe walked 20 steps and setup with my back right against Walmart (no one could walk up behind me). No one was walking close to me or blocking my view. 

day and night

I had so much fun! The ferris wheel was crazy cool. It just continued to change colors…and I continued to shoot, shoot, and shoot. Forever I have been reading about how to photograph carnival rides, mainly ferris wheels; the slow shutter speeds to drag the colors and the motion of the rides. Of course the readings had the photographer right inside of the carnival and up close to the rides. Even if there wasn’t a pandemic, I wasn’t going to take my gear inside to get the close photographs. My distance and was great and stayed out of everyone’s way. 

Gear used: Fujifilm X-H1, XF16-80mm F/4, R, OIS, WR lens. Edit in Capture One. 

Settings: ISO 200, F/13, 1.5-2 seconds

Check out my work:  www.dawndhester.com

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😊😊

day and night2

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