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demeatria's blog

My journey with photography……..

Author

ddhester

I have been involved with many aspects of photography for over 35 years. I am a retired photographer for the Air National Guard and retired Forensic, Scientific & Technical Photographer for the FBI. I enjoy traveling or staying at home photographing landscapes, macro, abstracts, sports, events, color, and black & white.......just a little of everything that involves photography.

Photography Meetup Turns Into A History Lesson, Part 1

Still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing and wearing a mask are a must…but I was so ready to shoot somewhere out of Manassas VA. My photographer friend Renee L. Ferguson (https://www.phinishingtouches.com) and I decided to have a photography meetup. I wanted to shoot the Johnsontown church. Late last year as we were driving around after a photoshoot Renee drove by her church in Johnsontown WV. Growing up I remembered Johnsontown and the church but I don’t think I’ve ever been inside. 

As we began to start shooting, Renee tried to open the church door but we thought it was “locked”. Yes, as we have always heard “the church doors are always opened” well this is 2020 and no place isn’t safe anymore. Jerry Johnson, Renee’s cousin pops up out of nowhere (long but funny story) and he let us in. 😂😂 The door wasn’t lock, Renee didn’t have the “magic touch” 😉

Jerry has been documenting the history of Johnsontown for years. He shared a lot of history to Renee and I this day. He was sharing so much that Renee had to record him. These two history buffs shared information that the other didn’t know. I guess you can say a lot of blank spaces where filled. 

Little history: In 1898, Mount Zion Freewill Baptist Church, also known as Johnstown Church, was built. The JCHLC (Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission) voted unanimously to add Johnsontown Church, under Criteria A, to the rolls of registered Jefferson County Historic Landmarks on March 14, 2018. 

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What an amazing church! It brought back so many memories of my old home church. Renee asked me why I wanted to photograph the church. My home church has been shut down for years. When people grow up, move away or find another church, you have to continue to try to keep members; which isn’t the case for my home church. When they take away your Pastor, you have no one to speak on your behalf. I have plenty of photographs from the outside but I have a sad feeling I will never see the inside again. 

Old churches have so much character and they aren’t built like that anymore. They have so many stories that takes you back down memory lane. It instantly brings a smile to your face. Johnsontown church is one of those churches. As you enjoy the photographs you will visualize what once was. I believe they still have Homecoming Services each year. This year because of COVID-19 there will be no Homecoming Services. 

If possible, go back and record/photograph your home church. You may not be able to walk inside but the outside is just as important. Your church is a part of you. 

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😊😊

www.dawndhester.com

 

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Photography Adventures

 Season 1, Episode 4  – WHEN I’M READY. When I’m Ready is about regardless how many people are in your corner, you have to decide when you’re ready to share your photography and/or any other crafts with the world. You make the final decision. 

To listen:

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

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

 

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The Coolest Ghost Town

Back in December of 2017 I took a last minute trip to Las Vegas. I came back and wrote a blog about Vegas and the surrounding areas. I didn’t go into Vegas but everywhere else.  As I was browsing through old photographs I came up on that trip and began to look at images from Ghost Town, which is located in Nelson, Nevada. 

The official name of Ghost Town is Eldorado Canyon Mine Tours and it’s based in Eldorado Canyon. It’s located at the historical Techatticup Mine. Besides photographers going out to photograph the old cars, trucks, etc, this place has mine tours and used for movie backdrops. There’s always a photography workshop here but I felt I could go out on my own and save tons of money…and I did. 😁😁

When I arrived I went inside (which a museum) to let them know I was here and was going to take photographs. They gave me some information for safety – like SNAKES!! and just to be extra careful and be aware of broken glass, rusty nails, and pieces of rusted metal hanging out from parts of old stuff.

Even though it was December, it was warm and the sun was very bright. I didn’t want to go too early or too late so whatever the weather condition was I just had to deal with it. Being so dusty and dirty I just used one lens. 

Gear used: Fujifilm X-Pro 2 and XF18-55mm F/2.8-4 R LM OIS lens.

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😊😊

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Photography Adventures Podcast

 Season 1, Episode 3  – TELLING A STORY. Telling A Story is about how my photographs helped me tell a story by answering a few questions: who, what, when, where, and why… and how I continue to grow as a photographer. 

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

 

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

 

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Infrared and Baseball

I’m a semi-sports junkie: football, basketball, track & field, golf, tennis, and baseball (just a few). So before this COIVD-19 I had made up my mind that this year I was going to go and enjoy some baseball games. I was going to check out some little league, semi pro and pro games. Had a pro team picked out; was ready to research to find out who was who. 

Late January I was ready to go out and shoot. I wanted to shoot the local little league baseball fields before the season started, etc. I enjoy photographing sports facilities, especially ones that have some age to them…gives them  little character. I can photograph a baseball facility 24/7 (and yes you will probably see another baseball blog 😉 ). 

So I went to Field #7. It was a cold, windy, sunny cloudy mixed day….all good for infrared (IR) photography. Nice thing about infrared you can either keep it in color or black & white. When I edit these, I decided to keep in color and pull back on the saturation. Give it that ol’ time feel. Make you go back down memory lane when all you had was a bat and ball and everyone played the game. Everyone included your grandparents. 😁😁

Gear used: Fujifilm X-H1, XF f/3.5-5.6 LM OIS WR, lens, #72IR filter.

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😊😊

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Photography Adventures

 If you enjoy podcast, I hope you will take some time and listen to:

Season 1, Episode 2 – The Power of Photography   The Power of Photography is about how photography can become your best friend and the things you can do and learn as you’re  having fun. 

 

 

 

 

Going Low With the Platypod

I’m glad before I jump into photographing something I take another minute to think about what I am going to do. I have no clue how many times I’ve photographed dandelions but I always think it’s a challenge. They’re just always different and being semi-limited because COVID-19, I will always find something to photograph, continue to work on my craft.

On this day, I decided after my workout I would go outside and shoot dandelions before I cut them down. Camera and tripod was setup and I took it downstairs with me. But as I was riding my bike I was looking at my camera setup and wasn’t happy. I think I felt that because I was going to get the same old photograph –  from the top and angles from the side…same ol’ blah, blah, blah. 

I soon remembered I had the Platypod. In the middle of my workout I stopped to go outside and shoot. Yes, the Platypod was a game changer. Platypod was a huge difference than with a tripod. I was able to get lower to the dandelions than what I would have had with the tripod. This was the first time using the spikes and they were a big help.

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I didn’t try to avoid pieces of grass or cut/pull them out of my vision. All I wanted to do was shoot and see what I was able to create. The morning was a little cloudy which I liked. My settings were in manual. The good thing about mirrorless cameras you can see all your settings/adjustments before shooting. 

Gear used: Fujifilm X-H1, XF 60mm f/2.4 R macro lens, Platypod.

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😊😊

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Photography Adventures

Good day. I decided to start a Podcast. This has been something I’ve wanted to do for some time and now is the time. Hopefully you will listen and enjoy. Thank you in advance.

https://anchor.fm/dawn-hester

 

Picking It Apart

I don’t have a “green thumb” when it comes to keeping plants/flowers alive. I hold my breathe if they last a week. Of my three flowers I have an African Violet. I’ve had it quite a while so I’m happy it’s still around. 

I sit and have my morning coffee right beside the African Violet. As the morning sun comes through the blinds I see how the flowers sparkle. This particular day I decided that I would go outside and photograph the dandelions. I have photographed them before but was never really happy with the outcome. And why not? It’s not like I have to get dressed to go and shoot. My camera was all ready: X-H1, 60mm macro lens and tripod. As I was sitting there finishing my coffee I asked myself why not photograph this flower? I’m looking at it every morning. 

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I was impressed of what I was able to capture just by taking my time, move the entire flower around and let the sun hit as it may. I adjusted the blinds from time to time to see if the light from the sun would make any difference. I didn’t focus on one; I wanted to see if I could capture different forms/patterns/angles of the flowers. It was challenging to maneuver my camera different ways to capture what I saw. In the middle of shooting I attached the Macro Extension Tube (MCEX-16) but I wasn’t feeling it so I took it off and continued with the 60 macro. 

The next time you decide to photograph something, take a second look at what’s near you.

Gear used: Fujifilm X-H1, XF 60mm F/2.4 R macro lens, MeFoto tripod. Edit with Capture One.

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 

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