Capturing A Tourist Town At Blue Hour

Every year when we visit Ocean City, Maryland I take some time to go out and capture some scenes in good light. Of course with a big group most of the time we end up out eating at that time. This was a rare night when we were at the condo during blue hour. I went downstairs and out the door to this view. I loved the blue sky with the golden lights of the city below. These are the photos that I don’t plan that I often like the best when it is all said and done.

Using the Canon 24-105mm Lens

If you read this blog regularly then you are already sighing. I bought the lens a few years ago for our trip to the shore, and I have overused it ever since then. When you are just out walking around having a range of 24-105mm is amazing. You can get a fairly wide angle photo like the one above, or you can zoom in for details. I use the 105mm end much more than I thought that I would. This year when we go I will have the version II of the lens. So far it seems sharper, but at this point in the digital world it could just be my eyes telling me what I want to see.


Having Fun At The Arcade In Ocean City

Every year we spend some time blowing some money in the arcade in Ocean City, Maryland. It is amazing how your view of the arcade changes as you get older. I do have some fun playing skee ball though. I am no wizard as the title of the post suggests. One of our days last year at the arcade we saw a guy who had a system down to where he could roll nothing but hundo’s (beach lingo for 100’s. He had a pile of tickets to prove it. When you keep running the machine out of tickets you are officially a skee ball wizard.

Hitting the Jackpot

I saw that we blew money in the arcade, but thanks to my step-daughter last year we actually came out ahead. This isn’t like Vegas where everyone says that they came out ahead when they leave. We actually did pretty well. The reason we did so well was my step-daughter kept hitting jackpots. A little luck and skill led to a good time at the arcade. That jackpot money was probably all spent at the Candy Kitchen next door though. You can’t win them all.

My 17 Favorite Photos of 2017

It is really hard to narrow down all of the thousands of photos that I made in 2017 to just 17. The number is arbitrary because of the year. The good news is that with each year that passes I get to add another photo to my year end countdowns. This list is not a list of my best technical achievements. I would rather pick seventeen moments that I really liked from the year. Even doing that it is a hard list to put together.

17. Oh boy he is going to talk about his kids again! Of course this countdown starts with my little one. She is probably the person that is most photographed in my life. Here she has a great time trick or treating in downtown Lafayette. I love the smile and the sense of place of this photo. It is probably my favorite photo of her from last year.

16. On August 21st everyone turned their eyes to the sky. The sun would be eclipsed by the moon. With the sky looking cloudy in our area I made the quick decision to head north to where I saw clear skies. We found a country road that we could park on, and we watched the eclipse. Here my step daughter enjoys the moment. I could have set up gear and shot the actual eclipse, but this seemed more important to me at the time.

15. On our way home from Ocean City, Maryland this year my wife budgeted some time into our schedule to spend in Philadelphia near the Liberty Bell. If you know me then you know that I love American History. This is basically where American history started if you think about it. That is what I love about my wife. She knew I would love this, and she made sure that it happened.

14. The night before our Ocean City, Maryland trip I headed in the other direction to see Metallica play at Soldier Field. I love Metallica, and I had not seen them play live in quite some time. This was a great night listening to my favorite band. This photo also shows just how fluid these top 17 lists have been. This photo wasn’t even included in the Top 17 concert photos post, but it appears here. As I was making this post I realized how much I loved the colors. When viewed larger I think that it looks much better than it did in the thumbnail that I used to choose the concert posts.

13. This photo was made on the way to Indiana State. Here I saw a familiar barn that would allow me to create a starburst through. It was a no-brainer to pull off of the road to make this photo. When you can make colorful photos in the winter you do it.

12. Here is another photo made on the way to Indiana State. This was an early morning drive to cover one of the first football practices of the year. I left a little early on purpose so that I could make a sunrise photo somewhere along the way. I looked fruitlessly for a while. The mist in the air would have made for a good photo, but I couldn’t find anything interesting to put around it. Here I found a scene that looked okay, and then the deer showed up. It ran through the frame and made the photo. This is another photo that looks best larger. Click on the image to see it that way.  Continue reading “Top 17 Photos of 2017”

My 17 Favorite Critter Photos of 2017

I really think that I had an amazing 2017 with the amount of cool critters that I was able to see and photograph. Almost off the bat I was able to capture a few photos of bald eagles grabbing fish out of the Wabash River. From there it was a fun year finding new and interesting wildlife to chase. After fruitlessly looking for a few years I was finally able to photograph a few owls as well. This was a fun year for wildlife, and here are a few of my favorites.

17. I spent a lot of my year waiting for eagles to do something. Often they would just sit in the trees doing nothing. At some point you start to get bored and you try and make an image out of that. Here the light was hitting the branches just right to make that work.

16. Usually I don’t use my iPhone when making photos of wildlife. Here in Ocean City, Maryland though I was able to do just that. While crabbing on a pier one of the crabs came right up to me. The phone was the only thing that I had available so I made the photo with it.

15. When we go to the Indy Zoo the first thing that the girls always want to do is to see the butterflies. Of course I have my camera so I go around and try and find something interesting to photograph. Here we found a female that was fending off many males. One male comes in close to the female here.

14. This year I finally made it up to see the Sandhill Cranes at the Jasper-Pulaski Wildlife Area. They were amazing to watch as they spent some time here before continuing south. Here one grouping takes off out of the marsh.

13. More fun at the zoo. While the kids watch the animals I like to have fun photographing them. I will probably not go on an African Safari in my life so I like to pretend that I am on one while I am there. It is fun to try and make photos of the animals that don’t look like they were made at the zoo.

12. I spend a lot of time in the winter waiting for bald eagles to do something. While I am waiting I am also looking for other things to photograph. Here a flock of geese came by in great formation giving me a good photo. I don’t know that I came away with a good eagle photo that day, but I did come away with a cool silhouette photo.

Bald Eagles Of the Apocalypse

11. When I made this photo I called it “The Bald Eagles of the Apocalypse” With the sun lighting up the clouds behind the eagles that is what came into my mind for some reason. This is another example of me waiting for the eagles to do something. It sounds boring, but at times it can be fun coming up with shots while I am waiting. This is one of my favorites from those times.  Continue reading “Top 17 Critter Photos of 2017”

The View From the Top of the Ocean City Ferris Wheel

I have posted a few photos of the Ocean City ferris wheel over the years. Here is one from the top of it. You get a great view of the roller coaster and the fishing pier from up there. You also can see out into the Atlantic Ocean as well. The views from the top of the ferris wheel are worth the price of admission.

The Fear of Heights

I have talked a few times on here about how I don’t like heights. I still hang remotes and photograph from places that make me uncomfortable, but that doesn’t mean that I like being there. For some reason on the first couple of times around the loop on the ferris wheel here I was not very comfortable. The rickety nature of the ferris wheel combined with the low walls on the sides did not give me any comfort. After I saw a couple of compositions though I put my camera to my face, and concentrated on that.

One Last Photo

When we head to Ocean City each year I try and get to the pier at least once for a sunrise. I have made enough pictures here that I really don’t ever need to go back, but I love sitting on the beach watching the sun come up. While I am there I might as well make a few photos. This year I walked back across the main parking lot instead of back down the beach. I wanted to see what the ferris wheel looked like. It was silhouetted nicely so I made the photo above. Sometimes you do see something new on a trip you have made many times.

The Vacation Lens

My 24-105mm lens is one that I used for a few years now on vacation. I love the range and how compact it is. I bought the lens in time for our Ocean City trip a couple of years ago, and I have enjoyed using it. It has now been retired as I have picked up the version II of the lens. It is still looking for a good home if you want a great lens for most occasions. It made the photo above as well as many others over the course of the last few years. Just looking through what I have as keepers in Lightroom over the course of the last three years I have made over 33,000 photos with it. It is also responsible for images that have been in nearly 400 posts on this blog. That is pretty amazing. Maybe I overshoot on vacations.

The Sun Sets Over Assateague Bay

Part of the fun of the new condo that we have rented in Ocean City, Maryland the last two years is the fact that we have a decent view over Assateague Bay. It allows for me to hang out with family and still make some interesting photos as the light starts to get good. Here I just walked over to the edge of the deck to make this image. It almost seems unfair that it is that easy, but it is. The cross at the top of the St. Mary Star of the Sea church makes the foreground interesting, and the background just slowly melts away. A stiff breeze also allows the flags to stand out a bit as well. This view shows up on the blog quite a bit, but I feel that it looks different every sunset so why not show it off a little? Maybe next year we can get a room a little higher up so that more of the bay is visible.

The Flagship Run of the Canon 100-400mm Lens

This trip was the first time that I was able to use my Canon 100-400mm lens. I ordered it just before the trip with the trip in mind. I received a bad copy so I received the lens just in time to go. The first time that I put it on one of my lenses was on this deck to make the photo above. It is a good lens that definitely has its place. When you don’t need a fast aperture it can really save the day in terms of range of focal length and size. It is a Canon L series piece of glass as well which is always a good thing.

Taking It All In While In Ocean City

This year in Ocean City, Maryland I made a point to get out and photograph more sunsets. This photo was made on our first real day in Ocean City. After quite the trip getting there the first day I did not get to see the sunset. The first sunset that I saw through was amazing. I ran down to the beach to make a few photos. Some of those have made their way onto this blog. As the color moved across the sky I moved across it with my camera as well. This was a simpler photo, but one that I really liked. You get a taste of the boardwalk along with the sunset.

Multitasking At Sunset

I really was going to capture this sunset. I set up my phone in time lapse mode in the building on the far left of the shot above. I was a couple of floors below that spire pointed at the cross that is silhouetted below it. It was one of my favorite time lapse videos from the trip as the sky was changing around the cross. Above is the video that I made with all of those short videos in it. It was nice to make some content from two locations at the same time. I don’t often go all out like that on vacation because it is supposed to be relaxing. A good sunset it worth it though.

Jumping Into a Game of Fetch

While in Ocean City, Maryland we tried quite a few things. One of the most interesting for the whole family was to go crab fishing on the bay side. On our way back down the pier heading to shore I saw this scene off to the side. A dog was playing fetch with its owner. From much farther away I saw how it played out so when it came time to do it again I was right where I wanted to be. Well where I wanted and could be at that time. I would have liked to have been in the water shooting up at the dog, but time and waders were not on my side here.

Finding the Unexpected

When I head to Ocean City every year I have some ideas in my head that I want to carry out. The shots that I end up liking the most can come from that group. Sometimes though the shots I like the most come from moments like this when I am not expecting anything to happen. We were just walking back to the car. When I am on vacation though I always have my camera on me. That allows me to have some fun and capture the moments like this one.