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My journey with photography……..

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 https://www.fairfaxartleague.net/. 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 www.vorlago.com. I have known Jeff for over 30 years. We worked together (and Jeff still does) as Scientific & Technical Photographers with the FBI.

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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.

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

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Again if you’re looking for a group that includes photographers and artist please checkout Fairfax Art League https://www.fairfaxartleague.net/.

 

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

Jeffrey Bell

703.980.3178

jeffbell@vorlagophoto.com

http://www.vorlagophoto.com

 

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

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 🙂 🙂

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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 😉

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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.

http://www.dawndhester.com

 

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 🙂 🙂

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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.

http://www.dawndhester.com

HAPPY SHOOTING!!  🙂 🙂

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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.

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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.

www.dawndhester.com

 

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 🙂 🙂

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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.

http://www.dawndhester.com

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 🙂  🙂

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Macro-Walking

Now that spring is here we are also getting a lot of thunderstorms with the possibilities of tornadoes. (That’s a lot for here because years ago once in a while did we had possibilities of tornadoes.) In the middle of it all I’m ready to get back out and walk as much as possible. In most cases I take my camera with me because with spring I’m also ready to escape to photography outdoors. Walking also gives me the chance to think. I have an idea of the direction I’m going to take my photography with a different style of shooting, try to shoot like I did with film (many years ago), but take it in a totally different perspective as before. Yes more to come… 😉

The other morning I went out walking, hoping I could find something to photograph but my thoughts was macro. I wasn’t for sure if I would see flowers, etc. but I wanted to be ready anyway. My first few laps I was surveying the area and if I found a few things on my last lap, I would get my camera and shoot as I walked. Well in the middle of it all I began to feel drops of rain so I grabbed my camera for the last “but I didn’t want it to be my last” lap 😦

Even though I looked up, down, behind and in front of me, I really didn’t want to photograph any full bloom flowers…but I did. I tried to look for the unexpected and I believe I captured those as well. Like I have mentioned before there’s always something to photograph – we just have to slow down and let it come to us.

Camera gear used: Fujifilm X-H1, Fujifilm 60mm F/2.4 macro lens. All photographs were edited in Capture One 11.

My website: http://www.dawndhester.com

 

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 🙂 🙂

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Carnival at Sunrise

The other morning by pure accident I saw that we had a carnival in Manassas. Years ago when we had carnivals it was set up at the Kmart parking lot. A good spot because it was on the main highway that goes through Manassas…everyone saw it. Now they have it on the backside of the mall. If you don’t drive that way you will not see it; probably only know about it from word of mouth.

I have never made any attempt to take photographs at a carnival. You know like…to capture images of the ferris wheel or the merry-go-round at a slow shutter speed to get that super cool effect. I do know most of the time you have to get permission to set up a tripod, etc. Hey a carnival is just like anything else – make money – and they don’t want anything to interfere with that 😉

Tuesday morning I got up before sunrise to get to the carnival and setup my gear. One of the nicest sunrises I’ve seen in quite some time. It made the perfect backdrop for the rides. After I took photographs with the tripod, I walked around and took photographs through the chain fence, which made some sweet frames.

Would I like to some day to be able to go to a carnival and shoot long exposures? Yes! No doubt because it would be so much fun to create in such a way. But to create with a “almost perfect” sunrise with no one around to block your view is just as fun too. Don’t stop at Plan A, always have a Plan B.

By the way I did go back to the carnival Tuesday night. It’s small and tight fit therefore if I wanted to get permission to shoot, it just would have been too tight. There may have been some places outside of the carnival I may have been able to setup. Also looked as if the ferris wheel was having some issues so I’m not for sure what was going on. All-in-all I’m very happy with my visit at sunrise 🙂

Gear used: Fujifilm X-H1, XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS lens, and MeFoto Q1 tripod.

 

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 🙂 🙂

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Renee L. Ferguson – Phinishing Touches Photography

You know sometimes social media can be a pain! But every now again it works out to be a good thing and it did for me. Social media gave me opportunity to meet Renee L. Ferguson. So?? Well…we’re both from West “By God” Virginia 🙂 🙂  and her folks knows my folks (West Virginia talk) 😉  And??? She’s the face of Phinishing Touches Photography and here is her story:

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Renee in her studio with some of her “magic” toys…

 

What is it about photography? Where did it all begin for you? (Did you start out with film, digital or both)

Photography is a passion of mine. I love being able to capture expressions that you may not get in a typical photo session. I started in photography as a young girl. My grandmother gave me my first film camera. I started out with film. Kodak Instamatic.

 

Me as a photographer I like photographing a little bit of everything. How would you describe your photography (macro, weddings, etc.) and why.

I live portrait photography (lifestyle and family photography, and children’s photography) – I just love capturing people.

Macro and landscape – It is peaceful and allows me to see in a different perspective.

I love taking pictures of the moon. (not sure why)

However, my newfound love is documentary photography because of a book project that I have been working. Its purpose is to document the lives of influential African Americans from West Virginia.

 

Photography is challenging. What is your biggest challenge? What is your biggest fear?

My biggest challenge is trying to find my style and niche.

My biggest fear is going beyond my comfort level no matter how I feel and putting my work out to the public.

 

Exactly what it is you want to say with your photographs, and how do you actually get your photographs to do that?

I always look to capture the expressions that you don’t normally see in a portrait.

I keep my eye to the camera as I talk and capture what I see and use those unique images to present to the client. (That is hard to explain.) While I am conversing with my clients before taking their photos, I pay close attention to their mannerisms…(the tilt in their head, frequent expressions, smiles, gestures, and body language.) I will look for those things as I talk during the photo session and capture them as I talk.

 

If you could shoot black & white or color, which one would it be?

I would have to say color, although I know Black and White is timeless.

 

Photography techniques and equipment change quickly, and it’s very important to stay up-to-date. What do you do to always keep up with the times? 

I read a lot of photography articles and follow equipment companies and many photographers. (Social media)

 

You had a day where you could “play” and actually go out and shoot for fun, what would you shoot?

Beach and water scenes

 

Phinishing Touches LLC is…the business name behind Renee L. Ferguson Photography. It was established in 2011 with the initial focus of becoming a greeting card company. It has since evolved and now specializes in lifestyle, documentary photography and digital painting.

 

To find out more about Renee and see what she’s up to:

Website: www.phinishingtouches.com

Email: renee.ferguson@phinishingtouches.com

IG: phinishingtouch & reneelfergusonphoto (moving more towards the latter in the future)

FB: Renee L Ferguson Photography

Twitter: @PhinishingTouch

 

We took a walk around the local park near Renee’s home in West Virginia 🙂 🙂

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anythinggoes newsletter April 2019

anythinggoes April 2019

anythinggoes newsletter is a newsletter for us “average folks”. It’s for people that work hard for their money each day and still want to enjoy life without spending all they had made. Below are the main articles that we have in each newsletter.

  • Financial Matters
  • Health Issues
  • Kkidds Kkorner
  • Senior Care
  • Simple Recipes
  • Take Care of Yourself

 

*** You click on the article located on the left side of the newsletter and it should take you to that page. To get back to page 1, click on the title. If there’s links located within the articles, you should be able to go to that website. ***

Enjoy reading “anythinggoes newsletter”.

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