Road Trip West 2019 - Continued

So on my last posting I left you hanging about the last hour of our road adventures to our final destination. I have driven through mountains and the hills of Pennsylvania, but I was not prepared for what we were about to encounter. Let’s just say the last hour was mentally challenging.

To get to our condo we drove north on US-40 through a mountain pass with multiple switchbacks up and down the mountain. I’ll admit not driving on something like this before was a test on my nerves. Below is a map of a portion of US-40.

Mountain Pass

Mountain Pass

After we got through the mountain pass, we encountered a few snow flurries before reaching our final destination. After we checked in we did not do very much the rest of our first day. The change in altitude coupled with the drive through the mountain pass took a toll on me. We rested and made a run to the grocery store to get food for the week. Side note, there was a grocery store there that took our Kroger’s card. We had not used it since we left Michigan and it still worked for both groceries and gas.

On our first full day in Granby, Colorado we took it easy to be sure we were fully acclimated to the higher elevation. We went out an explored Lake Granby, which is a part of the Colorado River headwaters. Below are some of the photos I made around the lake.

Our first full day ended with us participating in a social hour at the condo complex where a member of the staff gave us lots of information about the area and ideas for things to do and see while in the Granby, Colorado area.

On our second full day on Colorado we ventured out to do some hiking. Stay tuned to find out if we survived our first hiking adventure in Colorado.

Thanks for viewing my photographs!

— Dave —


Road Trip West 2019

As many know Jessica and I went to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina last year. On that trip stayed at Sea Glass Tower (no we don’t own a timeshare) and sat through a timeshare presentation. We agreed ahead of time that we had no intentions in buying and we were mainly there for the free gifts. One of the gifts was a week stay at a condo in a destination of our choosing. Long story short, we ended up selecting Granby, Colorado which is just north of Winter Park, Colorado.

One might think we flew to Colorado, but you guessed wrong. We drove the approximately 22 hours over two and one half days to our destination. The majority of the route was on I-80 and we did some sight seeing along the way. Below are some some photos I made of the sites. Can you guess the theme?

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Capital Building

Des Moines, Iowa

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Capital Building

Des Moines, Iowa

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Downtown

Des Moines, Iowa

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Freedom Walk

Des Moines, Iowa

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Capital Building

Lincoln, Nebraska

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Capital Building

Lincoln, Nebraska

So did you guess the unintentional theme?

Anyways, our last overnight stop before our final destination was in Grand Island, Nebraska. From here we made our final push to the condo. It was easy driving until we were about one hour out from our destination. The story will be continued next time.

Thanks for visiting.

— Dave —

Typewriter Project

It has been a few months since I post a blog. Time just keeps marching on and I have been keeping really busy with my job but I did find some time to finally do a photography project that has been kicking around in my head for a few years now.

The project was to photograph an old typewriter. As some remember a few years back I put out a Facebook post that I was looking for an old typewriter. Well a member of our old church in Michigan found one at a sale. The typewriter sat around our Michigan home and was eventually moved to Ohio when we made our move almost two years ago. So back in early March, while the weather outside was still on the gloomy side, I decided to get out the typewriter and make some photographs.

I set up a backdrop, setup up my mono lights and worked at photographing the typewriter over the course of three different days in March. I primarily used my Tamron 90 mm macro lens (which I have fallen in love with) and I used my android tablet which I tethered to my camera. I decided to tether my tablet to my camera for two reasons. The first was to use it for manual focusing of the lens in live view (gives a much bigger screen than the small one on the back of the camera) and to be able to review the images right after I pressed the shutter. It worked rather well and I think I will use it more often, although I might need to get a holder for it to mount on my tripod.

Below are a sampling of some of the photographs I made of the old typewriter.

Besides the Tamron macro lens I did use my Canon 50 mm f/1.8 lens for a few of the photographs.

I had fun making these photographs and I can’t wait to figure out what to do for my next project.

Thanks for viewing my images.

— Dave —


Post 2018 Polar Vortex

Winter finally decided to make an appearance here in northeast Ohio a week or so back with the first significant snow, which was then followed up by a polar vortex that resulted in some extreme cold temperatures for a few days. Making photographs in the cold and snow is typically not that fun because you need to protect yourself and your gear, but after the extreme cold we experienced this past week the temperatures rose to where it was bearable to be outside for extended periods of time. Plus we had sunshine.

So on Saturday I decided to venture out to downtown Cleveland, specifically along the shores of Lake Erie, to make some photographs of the snow and ice before it melts away due to the spring like temperatures that are being predicted for this coming week. Below are some of the photographs I made while out on my Saturday adventures.

My Saturday adventures started out cold, but I was prepared and wore a few layers and ended up being rather warm. I quickly found out that walking around along the shores of Lake Erie in the winter can be challenging. There was quite a bit of ice to watch out for, which was covered with a light layer of snow. I took my time walking and watched every step I took to ensure I stayed upright.

Thanks for for viewing my photographs. Please feel free leave comments or questions below.

Thanks!

—Dave

Randomness From 2018

Yea, I know the title is not very specific, but I spent a few hours on this snowy day editing some photographs from adventures my wire and I took around Ohio this past Fall.

I know it is only a few photographs with no story, but I hope you enjoyed them. Thanks for taking a look.

-Dave

Vacation 2018 - Part 5

Well, this should be the last posting of my photographs from our vacation this past summer to Myrtle Beach South Carolina. On our last full day we walked the beach again in the morning before it got hot out and before the crowds arrived. Again I was drawn to the colorful umbrellas and the clouds provided a great backdrop as well. Below are a few photographs that I made.

Thanks for viewing my photographs. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below.

— Dave —

Vacation 2018 - Part 4

My wife and I are not really beach people and we sort of got bored with Myrtle Beach so we ventured to see other parts of South Carolina. On my last blog posting, I shared our adventures on the ocean to see dolphins in the wild and a shrimp boat. The following day we ventured down to Charleston, Carolina.

Charleston was a short two hour drive south from Myrtle Beach. We really did not have much of an agenda other than to check out the city. The city is rich in history and I know we could have easily spent more than one day exploring the city but we only spent one day in the city. The homes were beautiful and well kept. We browsed the Charleston City Market, walked a good part of the city checking out the homes and ended our adventures with a carriage ride through the city. If you want to take a carriage ride of the city, I would highly recommend the Palmetto Carriage Works. They were very professional and the driver was very knowledgeable about the city and the history.

After the carriage ride we started our journey back north towards Myrtle Beach, but before doing so we made a side trip to see a light house, because how do you go to the coast without seeing any lighthouses and who does not like to see one.

Below are some photos from our adventures around Charleston, South Carolina.

Thanks for viewing part four of my photographs from our 2018 vacation to South Carolina. I think I have enough photographs for one more 2018 vacation blog posting. Stay tuned.

— Dave —

Vacation 2018 - Part 3

My wife has always wanted to go see some dolphins out in the wild, so while on vacation in South Carolina we decided to take a two hour dolphin adventure cruise out in the Atlantic Ocean in hopes of seeing some dolphins. The boat ride out to the ocean was not too bad and we even crossed the interacoastal water system (honestly we didn’t even know that this existed). Once we hit the ocean the calmness quickly turned into a turbulent boat ride. It was very rough on our way out to see the dolphins.

Pelican - We seen these on our way out to the dolphins. I am not much of a bird photographer, but on occasion I feel the urge to try.

Pelican - We seen these on our way out to the dolphins. I am not much of a bird photographer, but on occasion I feel the urge to try.

The boat pulled up behind a shrimp boat that had its nets deployed and that is when we saw the dolphins following the boat. I should clarify by we, I got my sea legs for a bit to get up and look out the door of the boat to see them and capture them with my camera. I then showed them to Jessica because she was not doing too good with the rocking and rolling of the boat.

A couple of dolphins following the nets of the shrimp boat.

A couple of dolphins following the nets of the shrimp boat.

After we saw the shrimping operation the boat headed back to the dock. The ride back was a lot calmer and the crew even showed the passengers various sea creatures that could get caught in the shrimp nets.

Shrimp boat we had pulled behind to observe the dolphins.

Shrimp boat we had pulled behind to observe the dolphins.

Front of the same shrimp boat as we began our journey back to the dock.

Front of the same shrimp boat as we began our journey back to the dock.

On our journey back to the dock we seen a wreck of a shrimp boat that was grounded due to loss of steering. There were several attempts to free the boat, but it was decided to leave the boat grounded where it lay. We passed the wreck on the way out to the dolphins, but I liked the view of the grounded boat more on the way back.

Grounded shrimp boat that was left as is.

Grounded shrimp boat that was left as is.

Thanks for reading my blog and viewing my photographs.

— Dave —

Photo Adventures 2018 - Part 5

I am finally getting around to writing my next blog of my last photo adventures. After the August photo adventures with James and “The Boy”, James and I discussed about getting together again in the Fall and including Dave D. James and Dave D. found a slot in their schedule that worked for all of us and we got together at the end of October. We planned the date in hopes of getting to see some Fall colors in the Greater Cleveland area, but due to a warm Fall the trees were rather green and had not changed very much. We still managed to venture around to make some photographs. Below are some of the images I made over the day and a half we were together.

It was a fun day and a half hanging out with a couple of good friends and I can’t wait to do it again. Thanks for viewing my photographs.

— Dave —

Thanksgiving 2018

I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Be sure to take a moment today to stop and reflect on what Thanksgiving is all about and what you are truly thankful for. Most times we pray to God to fill a need in our lives, but we neglect to reflect on or pray for what we are thankful for.

I am thankful for my wife for being by my side, my family and friends, a good job that I enjoy very much, a home for my wife and I, my talents and most importantly I am thankful for the day I accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior.

So what are you thankful for today?

So my blog post for today would not be complete without some photographs that utilize one of the talents I am thankful for. Below are some photographs I made on Saturday, November 3rd in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I ended up using my Canon 17-40 mm f/4L, Canon 70-200 mm f/2.8L and my Tamrom 90 mm f/2.8 macro lenes.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving day and don’t overdo it on the turkey!

— Dave —

Vacation 2018 - Part 2

Welcome to Thursday, one step closer to the weekend. Although most social platforms consider Thursday to be throwback day to post images or what not from past events, my blog entry for today is not a throwback blog, but rather another posting from our vacation this past summer to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

While my wife are not beach people, each day of our vacation we seen the lifeguards up and down the beach at the beginning of their shift set out beach chairs and umbrellas and put them away at the end of each day. For first few days of our stay, I was too lazy to go down and make some photographs before the chairs became occupied with beach goers until about a third of our way into our vacation.

Prior to going down to the beach it was sunny and bright, but by the time I hit the beach with my camera the sky had become cloudy. I was not happy with most of the results since the colors of the umbrellas were sort of flat and blah, but I did manage make a few photographs on my first attempt roaming the beach. Below are a sampling of the photographs I created.

Thanks for viewing my non-throwback Thursday post for this post hump day post. Please feel free to leave comments or questions below. Thanks!

— Dave —

Throwback Thursday

Roughly about a month after our first trip to the Packard Automotive Plant in February 2012, we made a second trip to explore more of the vast complex. On March 2012 trip we focused on exploring the buildings south of East Grand Boulevard. Again on this second trip we had good weather and we had good lighting as well. I pretty much photographed all day taking a series of three shots, one at correct exposure, one over exposed by one stop and one underexposed b one stop to allow for the flexibility to process them as HDR images. Also noteworthy is I made these images with an entry level Canon XSi DSLR camera and the 10-20 mm f/4.4 kit lens. Below are some of the photographs I made.

I hope you have enjoyed viewing my latest throwback Thursday post of our second trip to the Packard Automotive Plant located in Detroit, Michigan. Please feel free to leave your comments below.

Thanks,

— Dave —

Vacation 2018 - Part 1

This year my wife and I went to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina at the end of July for our vacation and to celebrate our 12 year wedding anniversary. We stayed at the Sea Glass Tower right in the heart of Myrtle Beach and right on the ocean for one week. It was a hot and steamy week with some sort of rain every day we were there.

One of the places we visited was the Brookgreen Gardens. More information about the gardens can be found here. We were unsure of what to expect on our visit to the gardens, but we ended up visiting a total of two times since there was so much to see, plus the admission was good for one week. If you decide to go, be sure to take the free guided tour of the sculpture gardens. The sculpture garden tour is so worth your time to learn about the sculptures and the property. Below are some of the photographs I made on our visits.

Thanks for viewing my photographs. Please feel free to leave any comments below.

— Dave —

Throwback Thursday

Back in February of 2012, James, Dave, Monroe and I decided to take a photographic adventure to the ruins of the famous Packard Automotive Plant located in Detroit, Michigan. The plant has been open to the elements, scrapers, homeless people, movies, parties and urban explorers for a number of years. It has since been bought by a business man who pledges redevelop it over the next several years and is now guarded so if you try to get inside to take a look around you risk being caught.

When we went to the plant, we thought that we would only be able to photograph the outside of the building. Quickly did we learn, the building was wide open and you could venture inside. Needless to say we ventured inside and we explored the building for the good part of a Saturday and we had unseasonably warm day for February which made it very nice.

Below are a number of photos that I made our adventures to the Packard Automotive Plant. Please note that this was my first time doing and high dynamic photography (HDR) and some of the photos are a bit over processed, which is a common occurrence for those just starting with HDR.

Thanks for viewing my photographs. Please feel free to comment below.

— Dave —

Photo Adventures 2018 - Part 4

Well the second day of the photo adventures with James, "The Boy" and I started out at Brandywine Falls in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and ended in downtown Akron.  We dogged a few rain drops, but still managed to make some photographs.  Here are a few of my photographs I made.

Boardwalk leading down to Brandywine Falls in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Boardwalk leading down to Brandywine Falls in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Brandywine Falls located in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Brandywine Falls located in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Brandywine Falls located in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Brandywine Falls located in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Water pouring over Lock 2 of the Ohio and Erie Canal in downtown Akron, Ohio.

Water pouring over Lock 2 of the Ohio and Erie Canal in downtown Akron, Ohio.

The second day of our photo adventures went by rather quick as James and "The Boy" had to continue on their journeys to their next stop of their adventures.  We quickly concluded that we needed to schedule another day of adventures in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park this fall once the leaves turn to make some more photos.

Thanks for viewing and feel free to leave comments below.

Thanks,

--Dave--

Photo Adventures 2018 - Part 3

After the photo adventures with James and I at the beginning of June we talked about getting together yet again before the unofficial end of summer to explore more of Cleveland.  We made that happen last weekend.  James and "The Boy", his son David, came to Ohio to spend about a day (afternoon and a morning) exploring some areas between Akron and Cleveland.  Below are some of the photos I made, after dodging some rain and tough lighting conditions, on our Friday afternoon adventures.

Cleveland skyline from Edgewater Park.

Cleveland skyline from Edgewater Park.

Cleveland skyline from Edgwater Park.

Cleveland skyline from Edgwater Park.

Cleveland skyline from Edgewater Park.

Cleveland skyline from Edgewater Park.

Great Republic freighter heading up the Cuyahoga River.  Note we just happened to be at the right place at the right time to make photos of the freighter going up river.

Great Republic freighter heading up the Cuyahoga River.  Note we just happened to be at the right place at the right time to make photos of the freighter going up river.

Great Republic freighter passing under the Detroit Superior Bridge on its way up river.

Great Republic freighter passing under the Detroit Superior Bridge on its way up river.

Great Republic freighter heading around a bend in the Cuyahoga River.  This is looking under the Detroit Superior Bridge and looking through supports of the Center Street Bridge.

Great Republic freighter heading around a bend in the Cuyahoga River.  This is looking under the Detroit Superior Bridge and looking through supports of the Center Street Bridge.

Key Bank Tower though the supports of the Center Street Bridge.

Key Bank Tower though the supports of the Center Street Bridge.

Yea, I am an electrical engineer and couldn't resist.  Double circuit tangent transmission structure.

Yea, I am an electrical engineer and couldn't resist.  Double circuit tangent transmission structure.

Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation.  The foreground is the Ohio & Erie Canal, on the right is a double circuited transmission line, the pipe on the left is an interceptor pipeline for sewage and on the far is a very active rail road bridge.

Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation.  The foreground is the Ohio & Erie Canal, on the right is a double circuited transmission line, the pipe on the left is an interceptor pipeline for sewage and on the far is a very active rail road bridge.

More to come of our Saturday morning adventures around the Akron area.  Thanks for looking and feel free to leave comments below.  Also, if you are interested in a print of anything you see, please send me a note.

Thanks!

-- Dave --

Photo Adventures 2018 - Part 2

Well the second day of my adventures with James was at the old Ohio State Reformatory or the Mansfield Reformatory.  We were a part of the Cleveland Photographic Society all access tour that allowed pretty much access to all the areas within the reformatory for four hours before they opened to the public.  The place was large and it is hard to believe that it only closed down in 1990.    Also take note this is where the movie The Shawshank Redemption was filmed in 1994.  Below are some of the images I made during our four hour tour.

Thanks for viewing my photographs.  Please feel free to leave comments or questions on this posting.  I am hoping to process more from our adventures inside the Mansfield Reformatory over the next few weeks.  I am pleased how the photographs turned out using my off camera flash and I am excited to try this with more photographs I make in the future.   -- Dave --

Photo Adventures 2018 - Part 1

Last year was quite busy for my wife and I with deciding to make the move back to Ohio to be closer to family.  We are amazed with how smooth it all went with starting my new job, selling our Michigan home, buying our Ohio home and getting our belongings moved to Ohio over the course of about a month (give or take).  All I can say is that we both know God had his hand on the entire process and it was all with his timing.  We had talked for a few years prior to 2017 about moving back, but it never felt right.  When the job opportunity came up in 2017 everything felt right.

It has been one year and a few days since I have started my new job.  I love my new job and I fit right in with all my co-workers.  My wife and I are also enjoying our new home and being closer to family.

With the move to Ohio we left behind some friends we have made over the years spent in Michigan.  My wife has made a trip back to Michigan to visit, but I have not gone back yet.

A few months back an opportunity was advertised by the Cleveland Photographic Society to tour the Mansfield Reformatory so I asked my friend James to come along.  He was able to make the trip and we spent the evening before hand exploring the mouth of the Cuyahoga River and the Cleveland Metroparks' Wendy Park.  Below are some photos from our adventures for your enjoyment.

Nautica Queen passing under the Norfolk Southern vertical lift bridge.

Nautica Queen passing under the Norfolk Southern vertical lift bridge.

Sam Laud passing under the Norfolk Southern vertical lift bridge as it backs out to Lake Erie.

Sam Laud passing under the Norfolk Southern vertical lift bridge as it backs out to Lake Erie.

Sam Laud backing out to Lake Erie.

Sam Laud backing out to Lake Erie.

Sam Laud turning around behind the Historic Cleveland Coast Guard Station at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River on its way to Lake Erie.

Sam Laud turning around behind the Historic Cleveland Coast Guard Station at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River on its way to Lake Erie.

Historic Cleveland Coast Guard Station at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River.  Located within the Cleveland Metroparks' Wendy Park.

Historic Cleveland Coast Guard Station at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River.  Located within the Cleveland Metroparks' Wendy Park.

I hope you enjoyed the photographs.  I am hoping to post some photos over the coming days of our adventures inside the old Mansfield Reformatory.  Thanks for viewing and please feel free to leave any comments.  -- Dave --

Vacation 2016 Part 2

Well Part 1  covered our first two days exploring/vacationing in the U.P of Michigan.  On day three we ventured out towards Gladstone and Escanaba.

Our first stop was in Gladstone where we took in the harbor before heading over towards Escanaba where we saw our third lighthouse of our vacation.

Sand Point Light, Escanaba, MI

Sand Point Light, Escanaba, MI

Next we ventured out into the country side to see what was around.  We followed a number of signs for a store and after about 10 or so miles we found the small country store which sold decorations made by local artists.  After chatting with the store owner for a bit and making a purchase we continued our adventures though the country side of Delta County and ended up at Escanaba River Dam #1 (Boney Falls Dam).  It was a very unique hydroelectric dam in how it was constructed using the existing rock as part of the spillway.

Escanaba River Dam #1 (Boney Falls Dam)

Escanaba River Dam #1 (Boney Falls Dam)

At the end of our third day (i.e. night) I found the sky to be cloudless and no wind, so I decided to try my hand again at star trails given there was little to no light pollution.  I don’t have a timer remote (hint to my wife).  So I just did one long 20 min exposure instead of stacking multiple images (multiple short exposures keeps the sensor from overheating).  The result was pretty neat.

Star Trails taken on the beach of the cottage we rented.  The north star is the star that is stationary.

Star Trails taken on the beach of the cottage we rented.  The north star is the star that is stationary.

Since I was out enjoying the stars (and waiting for the 20 min exposure to finish), I seen the Milky Way was quite visible.  So while making my star trail photograph, I did a quick Google search to see how to capture the Milky Way.  I made a few different photographs and they looked pretty good on camera, but upon further review when we got home I noticed some star movement.  Oh well, I am still happy with my first attempt.

Can't eat this Milky Way.

Can't eat this Milky Way.

After trying star photography for my second time, I was pleased with my results and I can’t wait to go out again.

Thanks for taking time to read my blog and keep an eye out for the next installment of our adventures of the U.P. of Michigan.

Regards,

David

Vacation 2016 Part 1

My wife and I take a larger vacation every other year.  Last year we went to Mississippi and the Gulf coast so this year we stayed closer to home and decided to go explore the Upper Peninsula (U.P.) of Michigan.  I have only been there once, briefly, about nine years ago for a wedding and we have talked about spending some time in the U.P. so this was the year.  Also on this trip we celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary.  Let’s just say that this trip was awesome!!  Both my wife and I loved the time we spent together in the U.P. and we did not want to come home.

For our first night of our trip we stayed in St. Ignace before heading towards the cottage we rented for the week on Little Bay de Noc (near Rapid River, MI).   Here are some photos of the first few days of our adventures around the U.P.

Wawatam Lighthouse, St. Ignace, MI

Wawatam Lighthouse, St. Ignace, MI

Mackinac Bridge or some call it the "Mighty Mac" taken from a park on the northwest side of the bridge. 

Mackinac Bridge or some call it the "Mighty Mac" taken from a park on the northwest side of the bridge. 

Cut River Bridge on U.S. 2.

Cut River Bridge on U.S. 2.

Underside - Cut River Bridge

Underside - Cut River Bridge

Staircase - Seul Choix Light, MI

Staircase - Seul Choix Light, MI

Seul Choix Light, MI

Seul Choix Light, MI

Sunset - Peninsula Point Light, MI  Yea, I got a little artistic with this one.

Sunset - Peninsula Point Light, MI

Yea, I got a little artistic with this one.

I so want to share more from the first few days of our adventures in the U.P., but I don't want to flood you all at once.  For my next blog I will share some more of our adventures.  If have any comments on my photographs, please feel free to leave them below.  Also if you would like to purchase any of them, please let me know.  Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and view my photographs,

Thanks,

David