31 December 2017 was my one-year anniversary retirement mark. After 39 years of working for one organization I deserve to celebrate. It’s just a blessing to be able to reach that point in life and move on to the second part of my life.

I called my first year The Honeymoon. I went through fazes of this and that, will I get paid on time, will my full benefits be there…will everything fall into place as I hope? On top of that what will I do with my time? I went to the same building for 39 years!! Thanking God, everything fell into place. Whew! Now what?

Through the years I have heard people say when they retire they wouldn’t know what to do with their time. 😦  They lived for work and the majority of their friends were co-workers. That’s a big deal. If I didn’t have a hobby I would feel lost and I most certainly didn’t want to fall into depression (yes people it’s very easy to fall into depression).

Oh did I say I was a photographer for the FBI? And I enjoyed being a photographer for the FBI?? And I traveled around the country and some parts of the world as a photographer for the FBI??? LOL how cool was that? Yes I’m still laughing because it was great. 🙂

Photography helped me with my Honeymoon. I decided to do the 365 project but I called it “a photograph a day”. I did complete the entire project. It’s a tough project but I made it through. During this project, I taught myself to slow down with my photography. There’s no time limit. When I slow down I began to see things differently and that was a good thing. I’m always reading other photographer’s blogs on all aspects of photography. One of the things I read a lot about where the prime lenses: the difference of prime and zoom lenses and how zoom lenses compress your subject(s). Not only did I read I went out to “see” what they were talking about. I shot more with prime than with zoom lenses and I’m glad I did.

Traveling was definitely in the mix. You see the unit I use to work with I traveled and normally a trip was three, maybe four tops, days and we returned home. My trips are called mini trips: I traveled, spend an entire day or two and come back home. During that time I either had plans to shoot the day I arrived, all day the next day or two, and fly back home. Sounds crazy but to me it’s not – I don’t get bored that way. Proper planning you can get a lot done. And guess what…you can always go back! One travel was to San Juan, PR in early spring. This was a workshop trip with the Exposure Group (http://www.exposuregroup.org). This workshop was about shooting with prime lenses. If you didn’t have a prime set your lenses to a certain range and leave it there. A very good learning experience. My other workshop was OCF (Off Camera Flash) with Tyson Pough (http://www.tysonpough.com). This workshop was a refresher class for me with OCF. Great class. I made my normal trip to Washington State and some of the states I have never visited.

Enjoy your life. Have something fun to do. Not just for a day or two but for the rest of your life. And when you retire GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!! 2018 will be just as fun as 2017. I don’t know what all I will do but whatever it is my camera will be with me.

Below are a few of my images from this year. I could have added so many but I don’t want to bore you 😉


DDH_AF Memorial
US Air Force Memorial
The streets of Culpeper, VA
DDH_Frost Cafe
Frost Cafe, Culpeper, VA
Middle School Track & Field Meet, WV


San Juan, PR
Photo-Shoot with Teresa Holmes
The Palouse, Washington State
Medicine Bowl National Forest, Wyoming
The Barber Shop, Manassas, VA
Ithaca, New York
Shooting Hoops, Manassas, VA
Sunflowers Farm, North Dakota
Turner Pond, VA
The Horses