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demeatria's blog

My journey with photography……..

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

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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!! 😊😊

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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!! 😊😊

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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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!! 😁😁

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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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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