Friday, October 31, 2008

Sky Watch Friday - blue skies

Our skies were a deep blue on Thursday, with contrails in the sky all day. The flag on the building was taken in downtown Frederick.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My World Tuesday - Mountain and river

Farm - northern Frederick County

Along with the rolling hills of Frederick County, there are two significant geological features: Catoctin Mountain and the Monocacy River. Catoctin Mountain is a 50-mile (80 km) ridge that stretches from the Pennsylvania border across Frederick County and into Virginia. Its highest point is 1885 feet (575 m). The mountain contains 2 Maryland state parks, a national park and the City of Frederick Forest, as well as private residences. Nestled in one of the hollows on the mountain is a small lake that we visited recently looking for photo opportunities of fall leaves and water. Marianne and I both posted photos of the lake taken on October 17. My Sky Watch Friday post has photos of the lake and sunset over the mountain taken on the 11-th. The picture below was taken near Mt. Pleasant looking over Walkersville towards Thurmont (at the base of the mountain 6 miles away). The river flows from right to left through the trees between the towns.

Towns and farms and mountain

North of Frederick City, US 15 (also known as the Catoctin Mountain Highway) runs along the valley between the mountain and the river with scenes like below. This is a beautiful drive to Gettysburg, PA.

Farm near the mountain

Monocacy River from Legore Bridge

The Monocacy River winds its way through the county to the east of Catoctin Mountain and empties into the Potomac River. It rises in Carroll County, Md and is fed by numerous streams in Carroll and Frederick counties and Adams County, PA. The photo above was taken in July from Legore Bridge in the northern part of the county. Below is the confluence of the Monocacy and Potomac rivers on the southwestern edge of the county. The photo was taken in August from the Monocacy Aqueduct.

Monocacy and Potomac confluence

Saturday, October 25, 2008

PhotoHunt - Scary?

Yes! This one is in a tree in our neighborhood. The one below is on the lawn.

This one below, not so much. It is our fall decoration and we don't want to scare the little trick or treaters.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sky Watch Friday - Birds, clouds and sunset

The skies have been beautiful this week in Maryland and I spent a good bit of time with my camera pointing up. Tuesday afternoon, white clouds were drifting by to the south and north of our house with little wisps above. There has been a large flock of birds (I think they are starlings) hanging out in the nearby trees this week. They would chatter away in the treetops for a while and then take off in groups of 10 or 12 to another tree or out into the corn field (maybe for a little snack of corn?). As I was trying to capture photos of them, this larger group took off from a neighbor's tree headed toward our front yard. Suddenly they made a sharp turn and flew directly over head to the corn field. A little later, I got a picture of the southern sky through the rear window of my home office.

On Thursday, I was out and about and pulled off the road to get some shots of the clouds near sunset. Below is a zoom on the patch of sunlight shining under the clouds. My daily post for Thursday is also a sky picture.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My World Tuesday - Dinner and movies

My World is defined as much by the people in it, as by the geographical place where we live. Marianne, the lady who graciously agreed to marry me 20 some years ago is at the center of my world. We have 6 kids and 7 grandkids, now scattered across 6 states (NJ, WV, SC, TX, CO, AZ). Our home is in Frederick County, Maryland about 50 miles from Washington, DC. We have two adopted cats and an assortment of wild critters that come visiting. Marianne established her own web site 8 years ago, but then got bit by the blog bug and has been at it since 2005. Last year she started a blog with Project 365, taking and posting a photo each day. She has continued this year, now at 659 posts without missing a day. When I retired last October, one of my goals was to do more photography, so I started Lew's Pics. The content of this blog is a daily view of my world through my camera. I started my other blog, Lew's Other Pics, to post picures from the past and to have a home for my participation in PhotoHunt Saturday, Sky Watch Friday, Bridges Between and now My World Tuesday.

I am starting with two night photos I took last Friday while waiting on carry out dinner. This shopping center is the newest in Frederick. It has a movie theater (16 screens), a bunch of restaurants, and some shops. There is a larger mall a mile or so away with large stores (Sears, Penny's, Macy's, Border's) and other shops. We ocassionaly eat at (or get take out) at the Macaroni Grill and have gone to movies here. We took the grandsons to see Batman: The Dark Knight during their visit in August. Both Marianne and I have posted pictures and some info on places of interest in Frederick and the surrounding area. I plan to revisit some of these places for My World Tuesday and add new ones. Your comments and questions are welcome, and I will try to get info and photos, if specific subjects are of interest.

Visit the home site for My World Tuesday to participate or just take a virtual world tour.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

PhotoHunt - My family

My hunt this week took me back in time to the early 1950's. This is a family Christmas card Dad made with Mom, brother, sister, Dad and me (with airplane). Dad probably took the photo using the camera's timer.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sky Watch Friday - Lake and sunset

Last Saturday we went for a drive looking for fall foliage. We didn't find a lot of color, but did find some beautiful skies and reflections. The lake is in Cunningham Falls State Park and the sunset was taken near our house. More pictures of the lake are on Marianne's blog and my original blog.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Messing with PhotoShop


Above is a picture of impatiens and sedum in our yard that I took on October 13. (There is a close-up of the impatiens bud on my Project 365 blog.) I decided to experiment with Photoshop enhancements for adjusting color. (I have Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 that came with either my scanner or camera). For the first four photos below I used the Enhance -> Adjust Color -> Hue/Saturation feature. For the fifth, I used the Enhance -> Adjust Brightness/Contrast-> Adjust Levels feature. The enhancements were made to copies of the original photo. Only one enhancement was done to each photo below. All photos were resized to 800 pixels wide and saved in a JPG file of about 100KB.

Adjusting the hue results in shifting the colors around the color wheel. Saturation adjusts the purity of the color. The samples below were done to demonstrate the range that is possible. Fine-tuning a photo can bring it to the color that the eye saw, but the camera could not exactly duplicate. Adjusting levels changes the intensity of the shadows and highlights. Large adjustments can make unusual and striking photos of every day objects.

Hue set to -90 (red to blue shift)

Hue set to -180 (red to green shift)

Hue set to +90 (red to yellow shift)

Saturation set to +100

Levels RGB: Input set to 50, .30 235 Output 0 255 (not changed)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

PhotoHunt - Lazy cats

Our two cats are not hunters! Buster perfers to stretch out with Maxine, while Zoey naps in a dining room chair.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sky Watch Friday - Wired skies

Wires were buried in most of the historic section of Frederick City years ago. Since the 1970's electric, phone, TV and Internet wiring in new housing developments was put underground. But there are a lot of places where wiring still hangs on poles. The first four shots were taken back in September on the same day as the ones in my last SWF. The sunset below was shot last Sunday.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Bridges Between - Us and Frederick

The Monocacy river winds its way through Frederick County from Pennsylvania in the north to the Potomac River in the south, with many bridges along its path. The steel truss bridge above is one that I crossed almost daily for 25 years until I retired last year. It is the main crossing of the Monocacy River for the communities to the northeast of the city. About 10 years ago, the road was widened to four lanes and a new concrete span was built for eastbound traffic. For a much older bridge over the Monocacy, see my Legore Bridge post.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

PhotoHunt - Sad hibiscus

As the blooming season ends, flowers normally take on a forlorn look. But the hibiscus actually looks down right sad with the first cool weather. For a cheerful hibiscus, take a peek a Quilly's post.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sky Watch Friday - Cool skies

The lazy, hazy days of summer have departed, leaving us with cooler temperatures, some rain and beautiful skies. Here are some samples of Frederick skies during the week. For other weather-related views, visit my Lew's Pics posts of Tuesday and Wednesday.