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My journey with photography……..

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Last days of the daylilies…

To be honest I never really have much luck just having my camera in the car and see something along the way to photograph. This particular morning I knew I would be driving past a small park that’s located in the middle of Manassas. I was very determined to find something in that was in the park. There’s a water fountain located there and it’s surrounded by flowers. Most of the time you will see the bright colors of the tulips; then after that you may spot the daylilies and other flowers. I knew the tulips were gone but not so sure about anything else. It didn’t matter because  I was determined. 

This summer has been HOT!! With the heat the sun seems like it’s 200% bright by 8AM (okay maybe I’m stretching it a little) but mid-morning it’s been bright. So I wasn’t totally ready for the hot sun but I knew I can last for a few hours (if necessary). I always have water in my car so I can stay hydrated 👍🏾

I was able to capture what was left of the daylilies. Yes, some daylilies are still bloomed, some are there waiting for their moment and some have seen there last days. But they all have beauty and that made me want to capture them in that way. 

There was a slight wind and I had to work my way in and around what was left of the lilies to find ones that interested me. I guess you can say I worked the scene all around as much as possible.

Gear used: Fujifilm XH-1, XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens.

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 🙂 🙂

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It Takes A Village: Clean Cuts Back-To-School Bash

This past Sunday Anthony Johnson and Cliche’ Hair Salon from Inwood, West Virginia collaborated on Clean Cuts Back-To-School Bash. This event was free haircuts to all students that was getting ready to go back to school. Along with the haircuts if any child was in need of a backpack and school accessories they were provided as well. The backpacks were setup for different grades but if need they would have been customized. All the backpacks and school supplies were donated and sponsored by Kingdom Life Cathedral Ministries. Two Chromebook’s were raffled. Anthony reached out to me and of course I volunteered to come and take photographs…that’s the least I could do.

Throughout the day they had plenty of things for the kids to keep busy with games and of course refreshments for everyone. 

It’s amazing what students have to bring to school. Besides the normal paper and pencils (I guess that’s normal) they also have to bring ziplock bags, hand wipes, 12 (yes 12) markers, and many other things. The schools (some) just don’t have the funds to provide for the students. Teachers use their hard-earned money to provide as much as they can for their own classroom. Thank goodness we still have people that want and still enjoy becoming teachers. I’ll continue to hope that it will get better and FAST!!

To all the students: have a great, blessed 2019 school year! 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Those crazy shadows…again

In 2017 I wrote a blog “ Self Assignments – Shadows”. I was visiting a friend in Portsmouth VA when that idea popped up. We were walking back to her home after our mini photowalk and if you pick the right time of the day you will begin to see beautiful shadows. So as we continue to walk back we both began to shoot. 

It happened to me again. I was sitting watching a tutorial when the shadow from my kitchen blinds came across on my laptop. The shadows where so strong that I couldn’t resist creating photographs. We all know shadows don’t last long so I was very fortunate I had a camera with a lens attached ready to go. 

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At times we get into that funk (I know I do) that we wish we don’t have to go far to take some photographs; to create something and enjoy doing so. So when those few times pops up right at home we have to take advantage of it. It may be something corny but it still gives up the opportunity to continue to learn and keep our creativity flow going. When you see something you’re least expecting, it may look cool or crazy but has potential , give it a try and create some photographs. Keep your creative juices growing.

Gear used: Fujifilm X-Pro2, XF 27mm f/ 2 prime lens.

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 🙂 🙂

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Ross G – Still Strong

Throughout my life I have met some wonderful people; and we all know people come and go. But every now and then some stay in your heart and you hope someday you will see each other again. 

I met Ross G over 30 years ago when I worked for the Bureau. We didn’t work together or neither was in the same Unit and/or department…we where just friends. Ross worked for the Bureau a little over five years. He was also a Security Specialist for the US Air Force and a Field Radio Operator for the US Marine Corps Reserves; both combined a little over six years. Through my movements within the organization I lost contact with Ross. Now being retired I sit back and try to think of people that I have met and wonder where they are today. After some researching I found Ross in 2018. This past weekend I finally had the opportunity to see him again.

To me Ross was (and still is) a unique person. You can put Ross in the 1960’s era and he would fit right in – definitely could fit in as a Black Panther member 🙂 😉  He had (and still does) a heart of gold. Would do anything for you. As they say “take the shirt off his back.”  Ross enjoys photography. He use to go to the Clubs, set up his backdrop and take photographs. He can’t do that anymore but he still enjoys shooting 🙂

Ross’s life hasn’t been easy as I would hope. During our visit we sat back and laughed (wasn’t funny at the time) about the time he was living in Maryland and had a motorcycle accident. Instead of people HELPING HIM, they helped themselves by taking his watch and motorcycle and left him laying in the road. Yes a true story. Still Strong. As of today Ross has had three back surgeries (Still Strong), two head surgeries (Still Strong), neck surgery (Still Strong), diabetic (Still Strong), arthritis (Still Strong) and glaucoma (Still Strong). Another side humor: Ross has a hospital bed in his apartment. One night he fell out the bed and broke his collar bone. After he finally healed, he fell out of the bed again and broke the other collar bone. Sometimes luck just doesn’t fall his way (no pun intended). But…Still Strong. 

Ross is truly blessed being a Vet. Without those benefits he doesn’t know how he could survive. With all the medications and visits to the VA Center he keeps going forward. Ross told me you have to have patience with the VA. You don’t walk in there and things happen right away. I’m glad transportation is available that picks him up for each appointment and brings him back home. You do get frustrated but that’s the part of hurry up and wait. 

I asked Ross if I could photograph him around his home and he said yes. I asked if I could write about him and he said yes. Of course I will be mailing him every photograph that I took of him. I asked him if he had a message what would it be. Ross quote: “Never give up. As long as you’re breathing there’s always a way”. 

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Fun in the sun with infrared

This past May I wrote a blog “The Beauty of Infrared Photography”. Even though I have taken many photographs using infrared film and infrared filters during my photography career, I’ve never really took the opportunity to shoot looking for the beauty what the film could create. 

These past few months I’ve been out shooting with Infrared #72 filter using my Fujifilm X-H1 with my 14mm and 50mm lenses. (during my research it was  important to make sure I used the lenses that don’t leave a  on my image). 

Infrared is cool and fun to shoot. Yes they recommend to shoot between 10AM – 4PM. I do know during those times and if the sun is bright, your exposure starts around six seconds (with ISO 200, f/8 which depends on your lens). Set your camera to black & white so you can view your subject easier. The great thing about shooting with a mirrorless camera, you can see exactly how your exposure will look…or close to it. Plus auto focusing with the filter on. And if you like being out in the middle of a sunny day you will enjoy it. How many photographers will you see out there with you?? YES! No clutter of people. 

How hard is it to process and/or edit your work? Not hard at all. I open my RAW images in Adobe Camera RAW, click on the white balance and begin to make adjustments anyway to my liking. Before I upgrade to Capture One 12 I was able to open my images in the software. I can still open them in 12 but they open black & white, not with the IR color (red). Camera RAW works great. 

So if you want to do something different in photography and love the sun try infrared. A couple of dollars for the filter (beats converting an entire camera). 

Gear used: Fujifilm X-H1, XF 14mm f/2.8 R lens, XF 50mm f/2 R WR lens, and Hoya Infrared #72 red filter. 

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 🙂 🙂

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anythinggoes newsletter

The Newsletter July 2019

Good day!

Attached is July’s anythinggoes newsletter. Along with our regular articles, we have “JanMa: handmade soaps (bars) made from Saponified Oils, Essential Oils and Fragrances, and all 100% natural. JanMa also makes Fragrance Free soaps (for people like me). Check it out on Page 12.

As always click on the article on the first page and it will take you directly to the article. Click back and you will go back to the Home Page.

Happy reading!!

anythinggoes 

The Virginia Renaissance Faire

A few weeks ago I went to my first Renaissance festival and boy what an event it was. It’s fun taking photographs of people in character having fun. Age did not matter because everyone was having fun and just a ball of fun.

There was something for everyone and that was cool. Tons of music, magic, food and of course you had the Queen and her court walking around throughout the day. The only time I really understood what the heck they were saying was when one lady told me she loved my hat – New York Yankees. I’m not much a fan of baseball but I do love the Yankees logo and pinstripes uniforms 😉

Shooting I decided to still play around and get comfortable with my Fujifilm 55-200mm lens with the X-Pro 2. The lens has a little weight but I was fine with it all day. I kept the camera in aperture priority and adjusted the ISO when it was necessary. It was a bright day but when I was shooting inside a tent I made adjustments. Plus I was still experimenting so I probably did more adjustments than normal. 

So if you ever get a chance to check out one of these renaissance or something close to it go check it out. Just kick back with your camera and have fun!

Gear used: Fujifilm X-Pro2, XF 55-200mm F/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens. Edit in Capture One.

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 🙂 🙂 

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It’s not always as easy as it seems…

ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS get excited when they have a client to photograph to help make their brand stronger. You know who they are, what their business is all about and what you have in mind how the shoot will go. We all do. Then you get extra pumped: make sure you have enough media cards, batteries charged, flash unit and all the accessories for it, lenses and cameras (if you have more than one), and anything else you can think of. During all this you’re communicating with your client: you understand their vision and begin to see it. Yes everything begins to click.

Then comes the day of your photo shoot…

I had the opportunity to do a branding shoot with Theresa Mechem, owner of Paisley Lady www.paisleylady.com. Theresa is a retired Graphic Designer and continues to use her talents to create custom designed and hand-painted curtains, pillows, towels, table runners and more. Before she retired Theresa had started her business and has grown a great deal.

I couldn’t ask for a better locational shoot than Theresa’s office. She loves color and it shows all through her office. Everything was Paisley Lady: all the fabrics, customs curtains and pillows. As I was looking around and begin to setup Theresa told me that she hates getting her photograph taken. I mean she really hates getting her photograph taken. The one thing I could do was to let her know over and over it will be okay and everything will be fine. I looked in the corner and there was this huge ring light standing in the corner. It belongs to her daughter but we used it for our shoot.

The shoot went very, very well. I won’t say she was 100% relaxed but she did get a little comfortable. As I was shooting I shared with her the images and explained why I did what I did. It was very important to keep her involved. Lucky for me she uses her experience as a Graphic Designer and she loves to sew. I made sure I had her doing both. I photographed her as she was creating then had her to look up. I also tried to make sure I didn’t get too close…again trying to make sure she’s comfortable.

Below is one of the first photographs that I took. Yes her shear curtain is opened a little. Did I care…no? Was it a big deal…no? My goal was to try to get her as comfortable as possible.

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Two things helped me in this shoot: 1) the ring light. If I had to use my flash I don’t think it would have went well. I think the flash would have made her very uncomfortable. 2) Trust. Little by little she was understanding why I did what I did and how branding photographs from all angles will help her in the long run. If you can’t communicate with your client you need to learn how…it’s just that simple.

 

To find out more about Paisley Lady:

540.840.5096

www.paisleylady.com

paisley@paisleylady.com

 

Gear used: Fujifilm X-H1, Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F/2.8-4 R LM OIS lens, Ring light.

 

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 🙂 🙂

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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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