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Archive for July, 2009

I missed out on the opportunity to take a macro photography workshop with Lynda Richardson, a local professional photographer, because the class filled up very quickly while I mulled on it for a couple of days. (I met Lynda in my class with Laura Wasilowski at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival last February.) My friend Sandy S. was able to get in, darn her, and that class started last night. It’s a 3-parter, continuing on tomorrow and again on Thursday evening. It’s at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens.

While on the Photowalk a couple of weeks ago, I heard people talking about a meetup group and I checked it out. Yes indeed, there is a Richmond Photography Meetup group and so I signed up. The next outing is tomorrow at Lewis Ginter in the Conservatory where the butterflies exhibit is being held. I’m going to be there with bells on. I expect to run into Sandy’s workshop group as we will be there at about the same time. I doubt that the workshop group will spend all their time with the butterflies, because there are acres and acres of flowers and gardens to take macro photos in. The meetup group outing is specific to the butterflies, but since we have to pay full admission price, we can stay there all day if we want.

So I hope to get some pointers from others in the group. I’m taking my 55-250mm, 50mm and 60mm macro. I expect to use the zoom lens the most, but if I venture out into the flower gardens, I know the macro lens will come in handy.

I’m excited about this meetup group. I hope to meet some nice people who will help me figure things out.

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Photowalk

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So Saturday’s photowalk was a blast! We met at the Belle Isle footbridge (see photo) and spent an hour or so wandering around the island. Ken went on ahead and I didn’t see him again until we met back up to go over to the “mainland.” I hooked up with Luke, a Virginia Tech student, who has ALL the gear. I was in awe of the contents of his Kata backpack. Luke had some wireless flash units that he let me try on my camera. They are pretty awesome. Here’s how they work. You put your external flash somewhere off the camera (he put it on the ground for my experiment, it has a little stand), plug one of these babies into the camera’s hotshoe and the wireless transmitter tells the flash when to go off. “Pocket Wizards” are the ones I keep hearing about on my podcasts and photography blogs, Luke’s are “Cybersyncs.” If I ever get an external flash of my own, I’ll be sure to check into one or the other of these transmitters.

We were walking toward Shockoe Bottom where our final destination was “Stool Pigeon’s” and Ken took Luke and I on the pipeline from the Brown’s Island end. It’s a real pipeline that you can walk on. The end we started on is made of concrete or maybe it’s a metal pipe that’s covered in concrete, at any rate, that’s what you walk on. There is no guardrail, but it’s not very high off the ground. However, the flat part for walking is about wide enough for single file and it just made me a tad nervous. I think when you get more than halfway down (where it goes over the water) there is a metal catwalk with guardrail. Luke has a picture of it here. That made me feel a little more secure but I still wasn’t thinking so much about looking for things to take pictures of. Luke got some awesome shots. The catwalk ends with a short ladder and it brings you up near the floodwall and back in where the Alcoa offices are. This is almost directly behind my office building as the crow flies and I’ve worked here what, 12 years? and just recently learned about this pipeline.

We walked a short ways through the Canal Walk and on to Stool Pigeon’s for a beer and an iced tea. Ken had stuff to do so we didn’t hang around too long. We were glad we made the decision to park in my parking spot at The Martin Agency so that we didn’t have to walk all the way back to the Belle Isle parking lot.

We were blessed with great weather, not too hot, no rain or bugs and I’m glad Chris, our leader, chose to hold the walk at 5pm rather than early in the morning as a lot/most of them probably did. I will do this again.

I took about 75-80 shots and as I expected, most of them were not worth keeping. I did pick a few to upload to our flickr group. And a couple will show up here in future Wordless Wednesdays. I certainly don’t have anything worthy of submitting to the Scott Kelby contest but of the ones uploaded to our flickr site, there’s some good stuff there. Not only are the shots well-composed to begin with, these people seem to be comfortable with post processing as well. I can do a little of the basics in Photoshop but I have a long way to go.

I overheard a couple of people talking about a meetup. I might just check into it and see about joining them some time.

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Worldwide Photowalk

Today my friend Ken
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and I will embark on Scott Kelby’s 2nd Annual Worldwide Photowalk here in Richmond.

That Scott Kelby really knows how to market himself LOL. But from what I’ve seen of him on the web, he seems like a really nice guy. Who can argue with that?

I wasn’t able to do last year’s walk due to having houseguests that weekend so I don’t know exactly what to expect. I think some people might show up with a tripod but because mine is clunky and heavy I’m going to leave it home. I read on his blog that Scott is going to only bring one lens on his walk, his 18-200mm f3.5-5.6. My telephoto lens doesn’t go that wide angle, and since we’ll be starting at Belle Isle with the potential of taking landscape shots, I’ll have my 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 kit lens. After that, I’m torn. Should I bring my other two lenses? My 50mm f1.4 is so versatile and then there’s the 60mm f2.8 macro. Hmm, what to do? what to do? I have a backpack for my gear (which is getting smaller and smaller) so it won’t be a problem to bring everything for Just In Case. Ken has a marvelous 70-300mm telephoto and I think he told me once it’s his only lens.

I need some more pictures for Wordless Wednesday, hope I’ll be able to add to my collection tonight.

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Have you ever been served a dish or seen a recipe with the most unimaginable combination of ingredients and wondered how that came about? Sure you have.

Well, the other day John was waiting for me to finish at the stovetop so that he could make his grilled cheese sandwich. He had everything all laid out on the counter, his cheese unwrapped ready to jump between the bread slices. He thought he would make good use of this downtime and refill the coffee canister. He popped open the freshness seal on the coffee can and as you might have guessed, the coffee grounds exploded all over his cheese.

He cleaned it off as best he could, but decided to go ahead with this new creation.

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So when this new recipe becomes a big hit, you can tell your grandchildren that you know how it came to be.

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