Aug 042016

I rode over to Lilypons this morning only to find that the peak season for Water Lily and Lotus blossoms is in May & June. There were not a lot of blossoms showing but enough to get some nice shots. Here is one that I ran through one of my favorite filters. You can see all of the images from Lily Pons in my Flickr album here.



 Posted by at 2:43 pm
Jul 212016
pooles orig

My painted version of Seneca Store (Poole’s General Store)


At the turn of the last century, this was one of over a 100 general stores found throughout Montgomery County. But as the Seneca Store celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2001, there were less than 25 of these local mercantile operations that remained.

Since 1901, proprietors have operated a general store from this building. For more than 40 years, the Poole family provided a convenient supply of feed and specialized goods and services to local equestrian, hunting and farming communities in the Poolesville area and throughout the Agricultural Reserve.

Seneca was a small farming center established in 1732 that thrived because of its access to the Potomac River and the C&O Canal. This area contained schools, churches, large homes, stores, hotels, and mills. The Seneca Store is at the heart of that rural community history. Montgomery Parks has researched the history of this wonderful property. – Read more (pdf, 377 KB)

Because of their significant value to the legacy of this community, both the Seneca Store and adjacent Upton Darby House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Seneca Historic District. The Maryland Historical Trust holds an easement on the store and regulates changes to the building and site.  The building is also listed in the Montgomery County Master Plan for Historic Preservation, so any alterations to the exterior and its historic “environmental setting” must be reviewed and approved by the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission.

 Posted by at 2:38 pm
Jun 282016

It was raining this morning so going out on the bike was out. Decided instead to play with this image and see if I could come up with something worth printing. After a few hours in photoshop and various other programs/filters, this is the result. As usual, comments are welcome.


I’m printing the original at 12″x18″ and it will be matted in an 18″x24″ mat and framed locally as you see it below.


 Posted by at 2:18 pm
Jun 122016

Yesterday, I visited a car show in “Terra Rubra” Maryland. I have lived about 30-40 miles south of this community but had never heard the name. After a few wrong turns (thanks Google) I found the show. There were about three dozen cars there, many from the MisFits car club which I’m familiar with. The show was rather disappointing to me since I’m not necessarily a ‘gear-head’ but attend the car shows to view and photograph the cars. I usually look at the distance to show/number of cars ratio and for me, this one doesn’t make the cut. But if you live near Keymar or Tanytown then this might be one to watch. You can see all the photos in my flickr album:

Terra Rubra Lions Club Show-33

Terra Rubra Lions Club Show-20


Terra Rubra Lions Club Show-30

 Posted by at 8:44 am
Feb 122016

The fifties were the time when big things were happening on the automotive scene. Corvette was being unveiled. The Nash Healy was on the list of things to buy and the era of the 50’s hot rods was in full swing.

Aside from the sports cars, some of the other more popular hot rods were also coming out in full bore from the assembly lines. Popping off the assembly, along came the Mopar, all of which were typical 50’s hot rods, from the 1954 Dodgethat was the Indianapolis 500 Pace Car that year, up to the 1958 Plymouth Fury with its back fins reminiscent of the sharks that were also making the news that year.

The cars that were designed in the fifties were not quite street rods, but they weren’t far off. Street rods were common, but they were spin offs, and the bigger more powerful cars of the fifties were nearly all hot rods. They were big and bold and a power of their own. One of my favorites was the 1950 Mercury.  When I was a teen, living in Wheaton (MD for those not in this area) my buddy owned one of these and I can remember long days in front of his house shaving the hood, deck, doors and filling everything in with lead and bondo. Other than the paint scheme, this is what it looked like.  Now that was a car!

50’s hot rods were power cars. Big and bold, sleek and clean, they had more power than most cars today and were not in any way shape or form considered to be compact. They were huge, and took up half the road quite easily. They were a force to be reckoned with and they were definitely not environmentally designed. These guys were gas guzzlers, but the simple truth was that gas was cheap, the cars were no more than a couple thousand for a new one, and in an era when gas was about 25 cents a gallon so no one really cared if your use of it was excessive.

Chevy and Ford also had their answer to the hot rods that were the prevailing cars.The Chevy Nomad was one of the most wanted cars of the fifties, while Ford came back with their own version of the street rod and the 50’s hot rods by offering their own bold new car to add to the fray. The Skyliner and the Fairlane were both bold and big and had a sleek sports car look and could literally fly with the power of their larger motors.

Each of the major car makers had their own version of the sports car and the 50’s hot rods and each of them was sure that theirs was the best. In the end, all of them achieved a loyal following that lasts to this very day, with nearly every classic car fan wanting a fifties car of some variety or another.

Sep 222015

Saturday, I visited the Laural MD “MVA” car show. Fist time there but definitely was not disappointed. While the show did seem down from previous years, there were still enough cars and vendors to view. One of the vehicles that caught my eye was this motorcycle. I played around with it a bit and here are the results. The first shot is the original. As always, I’d love to hear your comments, good or bad. You can view all the cars and bikes on my flickr site at



2008 Harley

May 182015
8 weeks

In March, our beloved ‘Cassie’  (upper right on home page) died of canine cancer.  We knew it was coming so we were prepared somewhat but losing a pet after nine years still hurts.  Cassie was our first female rottie and her personality was totally different from anything we had previously experienced.  She was ‘girlie’ all the way, from squatting to pee to crossing her legs when she was down.  Everyone loved her and she will be sorely missed.

That brings me to the present.  We love our rotties and knew we would be getting Continue reading »

Mar 302015


(click image for larger view)

I went out tonight to try out some of the ‘scene’ settings on the FZ1000. I was especially intrigued by one setting called “hand-held night shots.”  I’ve always wanted to shoot a photo of our local Baja Fresh restaurant because the setting always reminded me of Hopper’s “Nighthawks” painting.  I wanted to see if I could recreate it in photoshop.

I shot a few handheld shots using the normal settings that I would have used and either everything inside the restaurant was  blown out (too bright) or everything outside was way too dark.  I would normally take 3-5 exposures to compensate for the different lighting conditions and then combine them in photoshop. (called ‘HDR’ or High Dynamic Range) but tonight I decided to try the auto ‘hand-held night shot setting’ on the FZ1000 and see how it works.

Well I was very pleasantly surprised.  The software in the camera actually takes a number of images when the shutter button is pressed and then combines them to compensate for the dark outside and bright inside to give a nicely exposed image.

When I got home, I checked it in photoshop and at 100% it was sharp enough to print at 20×30.  Considering it was shot at ISO 2500 and hand-held, I was a very happy camper.

 Posted by at 8:23 pm