Friday, March 26, 2010

"Dear Blog . . ."

Oh, how I have missed you! There has been so much social media vying for my attention that I've neglected you. Twitter with their quick little tweets, Facebook with their friendly updates, LinkedIn (which I still haven't figured out) . . . need I go on? There are only so many hours in one day and I had to take time for myself! I promise you, I will pay more attention to you from now on. Stay tuned . . .

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Garrett County Fair

The annual Garrett County Fair was held a few weeks ago and I took the opportunity to grab a few practice shots. There is a whole series on my website, however, I think this one turned out to be my favorite:
The reason is that the Ferris Wheel was loading, so I captured it still, while the Zero Gravity Machine was in full motion. The sky was so black and it was threatening rain the whole time. I like the sky so much that I've named this one "Black Night at the County Fair". But the good news is that we got out of there just in time since we drove through a down pour as we were leaving.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Farming for Rainbows

Last week I went with my mother and daughter to dinner and on the drive home we saw the brightest, longest lasting rainbow ever. I drove out into the country for a bit to try to get a good location and when I topped over the hill, there layed a farm in the valley. I thought I better pull over and try to get some shots before the rainbow disappeared. I ended up taking lots of shots where I was, then I pulled down the road a bit and got some with the colors reflected in the pond. I thought I could get by the railroad tracks and get a better shot, but after driving down the road, I realized that you couldn't even see the rainbow by the tracks, so up the road we went again. I took another back road and came across a cemetery and took a few from there as well. I swear, that rainbow lasted for at least an hour. Funny thing was, there were cars parked everywhere snapping pictures. It was like a photographer's feast.
Here's what I consider the best one of the evening, however, I'll be loading additional ones to my website this week if you want to see more.

Monday, August 24, 2009

You may be asking yourself . . .

Where in the world has Marcia been? Or maybe you just don't give a darn, but I'll tell you anyhow. I've been just crazy busy and this blog has been neglected the most, but I promise I'll try to stay updated in the future. But wait . . . I think I've made that promise before and fell back on it. Okay, I'll just promise to blog as time allows, but hopefully more regularly. How's that?

I've taken a ton of pictures since my last post so I'll try to get some uploaded with the story behind them over time, but if you would like to see the best of the best, be sure to visit my website which has been the biggest focus of my time lately. And, I'm a Tweeter! If you'd like to follow me on Twitter, my ID is @MDMarcia.

First and foremost, I should announce that I received Best of Show at the recent exhibit at Sanctuary Studios for one of my newest shots - Ripples. Unfortunately, it didn't sell at the exhibit, so I think it will end up at the Oakland Gallery Shop in September, so check there if you love it. Of course, you can always order a print from my website or contact me directly for details.


In upcoming posts, look forward to shots of the Garrett County Fair (which I had a blast shooting), my attempts at panning (which is harder to do than expected), and the results of my first big group shoot (which turned out as good as I had hoped). So, stay tuned . . .

Monday, August 3, 2009

It Really is the Dog Days of Summer!

I was driving down the road the other day and in front of me was a dog on the back of a motorcycle. Funniest thing I think I have ever seen! The dog had his goggles and bandana and honestly, he looked to me like he was ready to jump at any given moment, but thank goodness he stayed put while I was following him. So, of course, I got out the camera and tried my hand at Glenn Riffey style of photography (in a moving car while I'm driving), and believe me, it's a bit harder than it may seem. While I could have gotten better shots than this one, the rest were somewhat out of focus since I really didn't look through the view finder for very long while I was trying to focus, instead, I sort of pointed the camera in the right direction and snapped. And people think texting while driving is dangerous! As Glenn would say, please don't try this at home. Here's the best shot of "Easy Rider" . . .

You just never know what I might run across, so stay tuned . . .

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I had to take a short sabatical

I'm trying my best to regroup and get refocused after taking an unexpected trip to the Midwest. Since it wasn't a pleasure trip, I didn't get many photo ops, however, we passed some wonderful scenery along the drive. Ohio and parts of Indiana were filled with golden wheat fields. There was the most awesome lightening storm I think I've ever seen at about 2 am in the Illinois/Iowa area and I really wanted to pull off to the side of the road and practice some lightening shots, but I wasn't sure if I dared ask Curt to stop at 2 am to drag out the tripod, etc. just so I could capture what could have very will been my most exciting shot yet. So, on we drove without the shots I so desired.

However, at sunrise in Iowa, it was my turn to drive and as the sun was coming up, it practically illuminated the windmills that lined the interstate, and as luck would have it, there was an exit ramp that was so convenient to the scene, so off I went. But, as luck would have it, it was NOT the ideal place to capture what I was trying to get, but after driving through so many picturesque scenes, I just had to snap something. And, here it is:

Power lines in the forefront and all! Oh well, as Willie Nelson would say - we were "on the road again".

Our short stay in Minnesota was filled with family obligations, so no chance to take any shots there, but on the drive home, I was beginning to get bored and the scenery again was pretty breathtaking with the farm fields spread out all around us and the sky and clouds made for a perfect day. So, I got the camera out and snapped a few shots while Curt was driving. This is what I ended up with:

Again, nothing "award winning" - just a product of my boredom.

Now a personal note for my family in Minnesota - it truly was a pleasure to see you all again, however, I wish it was under different circumstances. I love you all, and rest in peace, Larry.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The 4th of July was a Blast!

As planned, I took my spot by Deep Creek Lake with tripod and camera in hand planning on getting some great shots of the boats on the water with the fireworks reflected in the Lake. And, if I got really lucky, there would be a good orange sunset to add icing to the cake. Well, my plan partially fell into place - I did have a great spot for shooting the fireworks, however, I was a little too far into the cove to capture all the boat traffic and the orange sunset was definately out of the question since it was very gray and threatened rain as I waited for dark to fall. Here are 2 out of the hundreds of the shots I captured:

Now, my critique of the shots are - as mentioned above, I didn't get any of the boats on the water as planned, only a few of the lights from the boats, they were setting the shots off in the middle of the mountain (atop the tubing hill), so they all seem a little disjointed, and lastly, the water was very rough so no reflections in the water.
Therefore, I'll need to scope out a new spot for next year's big show. But, all in all, the rain only started to fall as I was getting in the car to leave, the boats leaving afterward in what seemed to be slow motion was an awesome sight, the fireworks were spectacular, and my shots weren't as bad as they could have been, so it was a blast nonetheless!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Finzel Swamp - June 25, 2009

My fellow photographer, Michelle, and I decided to go on a little field trip last week and we ended up at the Finzel Swamp. It was getting a little later in the day and it was my first time to the Swamp so I didn't really know what to expect. Well, it's beautiful and full of wonderful sights to photograph. We quickly ran out of light so I need to schedule a time to return and stay longer. Only next time, I hope to remember to bring bug spray since the mosquitoes seemed be be hungry that evening.

As we were walking along the path, there was a bunny who had immersed himself in a patch of clover and I tried to get his picture from a distance so I didn't chase him away from his meal, but he would not be deterred. We walked closer and closer and closer . . . and closer! We got right up on the bunny and he still was just snacking away. Unfortunately, however, he didn't lift his head up at all while I had the camera ready to take a shot, but kept his head buried in the clover determined to get every bite he could. So, I ended up with some good "hungry bunny" shots - oh well, you can't win them all!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A welcome surprise for me when I woke up this morning . . .

I'm a member of The Digital Image Cafe and I rarely submit anything for the contest. I am more likely to submit for the Critique Corner so I can learn from my mistakes (and there are many :)). And lately, I've become more of an observer since I've been busy shooting instead of editing. Late yesterday afternoon I was perusing the site and I thought - why not - so I uploaded this one for the Scenic contest category. Lo and Behold! I woke up this morning and learned that I won Picture of the Day today! What a welcome start to my day. I guess I'll need to submit a few more to the contest and see what happens. Stay tuned . . .

A bit of background on my shot . . . it's of Downtown San Diego taken from Coronado. My daughter, Pam, and I were practicing our night shooting on my last trip to visit her and we both got some great shots. Pam, if you are reading this - I miss you lots!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Boy have I been busy!

Once I started this blog, I got super busy and neglected it a bit! My intentions were to write something everyday or at least every other day, but the weather has been almost perfect so I've been out shooting instead of writing. That and we all know where I am when the weather is perfect - car shows! So, I'll post some of the highlights of my recent shoots and try my best to keep up in the future.

My recent shoot was during Grantsville Days this past weekend. I haven't "officially" shot fireworks yet, and my mom's house overlooks the park and the field where they are set off so what better time to practice, right? And, they are held 2 nights in a row, so if I really messed them up on Friday, I had Saturday to correct my settings, which I ended up doing. Friday night I had my camera set at F16, bulb mode. I waited for a good burst, opened the shutter and waited until the burst ended - guess what - Job Noise Reduction! Which meant, if I had my shutter open for 20 seconds, it took 20 seconds to process that shot in camera before I could snap another one. I'm sure I missed out on a lot of decent shots waiting for the camera to process, but lesson learned. The next problem I had Friday night was trying to find something for the camera to focus on. Since the fireworks were shot off in an open field, there was no chance of finding a focal point until a shot got in the range of where my camera was looking. Again, lesson learned. Also, a big problem I had on Friday evening was that they shot off a lot of bright white fireballs that kept blowing out my shots.

Saturday night was a bit more successful. First off, I turned off the Job Noise Reduction before ever starting to shoot. And when a burst went off, I waited until it got into my focal point in the camera before opening the shutter so my camera didn't have to continue to search to find something to focus on. And, if they mixed in a bright fireball, I shut the shutter down before I got blown out shots. So, with all that said, I got much better results the second night. I'm still not sure if I did it the right way, but I was fairly pleased with my first real try.

Now, with this weekend being July 4th, I have a place where I can set up overlooking Deep Creek Lake and my plan is to get fireworks reflected in the Lake with boats in the cove in forefront. I'll either get the shot that's in my head or I'll know where not to stand next year.
Wish me luck!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Welcome to my little corner of the world!

I live in Western Maryland where we have it all - mountains, lakes, and such beautiful scenery that I'm continually documenting through the lens of my camera. Here is where you will find my latest shots and excursions, and possibly a funny story or two!

Maybe you need a little background on how I chose my name. When I couldn't think of anything clever to name this crazy photography business, I started to think of something off the wall that no one else would think of. So, what else am I crazy about besides photography? My cars! Along with my everyday car, I also have a 1969 Mustang and a 2008 Shelby GT500. And, since I don't shoot in a studio, I have to climb into those 4 wheels to get me to where I need to photograph - ta da! 4 Wheels Photography! Of course. Catchy and Clever, don't you think?

So, sit back, fasten your seat belt, become a Follower and enjoy the ride!