Going (Temporarily) Offline

Greetings friends! I will be going offline temporarily and won't be posting any new quick shots or blog updates for about a week - we leave Monday for the United Kingdom and will obviously have lots of chores to attend to before I can get back to shooting. I've spent the last two weeks as seen below - working from the floor of our house.... it really isn't very comfortable!

I will be posting lots of updates as soon as I can, but until then, so long!

Video: Aerial Tour of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Finding places to fly around Washington, DC is rather challenging, due to a 30 mile "no fly zone" around downtown DC. This weekend I opted to travel well beyond the city limits to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia to capture some aerial photos and videos of this historic and scenic town. Harpers Ferry sits at the intersection of Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland where the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers come together. It has been a historically significant town, serving a key role in the civil war and still providing rail service up the east coast.

To capture these images, I used the DJI Phantom Vision 2 Plus. In total, it took three flights of about 20 minutes each to capture the footage seen here. Most of these photos and videos were taken from a height of about 100ft above the ground.

I was rather lucky to capture the train footage - on my second flight, near the train tunnel, I was preparing to land when I heard the rumble of a train approaching. I had just second to position the camera in front of the tunnel to capture the CSX train as it emerged! 

Join Kristen from Scenic Traverse Photography for a brief aerial photo and video tour of historic and scenic Harpers Ferry, West Virginia - where two rivers and three states come together!

Quick Shot: Three Car Garage

I love to photograph contrasts, and the contrast of these three cars under this improv shed certainly called out to me! I loved the variety in colors and varying vintages of the cars parked in the shed at Old Car City in White, Georgia.

The biggest challenge with this shot was that most of the subject was under the shade and darkness of the shed, but the hoods of the cars were in the sun -- creating a challenging dynamic range to try and capture in a single image. Normally I'd beat this issue by taking multiple exposures and merging them in post production to create a photograph with more dynamic range (aka HDR), but in this case, I didn't have a tripod and it's hard to hold the camera perfectly still for 3-5 exposures. This is where shooting in RAW and exposure compensation come to save the day! By telling my camera to underexpose the image by 1/2 stop, I collected more of the shadow detail and, because I shoot RAW, I was able to pull all that detail back out in post production - all from a single image! You can't get the same results if you shoot in .jpg. Not sure what I'm talking about when I say to shoot RAW? Check out my YouTube video where I offer a more detailed explanation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPRL2xEr6ok 

For those of you who just come to see some fine art photography and don't care about the technical mumbo-jumbo that I just spouted off, then fret not. The bottom line is that by harnessing the incredible technology in today's digital cameras, photographs like this are now possible to achieve without lots of manipulation in Photoshop. 

Can you ID the three cars parked in this garage?

The three car garage at Old Car City USA in White, Georgia. 

Quick Spooktography: Ghosts?

I am not a believer in ghosts or other paranormal activity, but the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum has rumors of ghosts and other abnormal presence at the now abandoned site. These ghosts are reported to be the patients of the asylum who died while staying there.

Do you believe in ghosts? 

Happy Halloween from Scenic Traverse Photography! 

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Quick Shot: For Nora

Last week I saw my friend Nora (quick plug, Nora is an amazing hair stylist and I've loyally visited her for several years) and we had a conversation about a recent photograph I posted.  The photograph was of a blue heron that I saw at Mason Neck State Park.

When she first saw the photograph, Nora mentioned that the blue heron was significant to her, but I only recently understood why. 

While talking to Nora, I discovered that the blue heron isn't just a bird - for her, it's a symbol of her father. Seeing a blue heron floods her with emotions and memories of her father, and I was honored that my photograph had triggered those emotions. 

I was recently out at a wetland marsh with the goal of photographing an osprey fishing, but I wasn't getting very lucky with those subjects. As I scanned the horizon for osprey, I heard the very distinct screech of a blue heron.

Side note: I am not fluent in bird calls, but a blue heron is very distinctive. If you've never head it, there is a quick exercise to know the call. Close your eyes and imagine a  dinosaur flying over your head screeching. There, you've heard a blue heron call!

I turned towards the sound of the screech and saw a large blue heron flying right toward me. My first thought was to Nora and the story she told me just a few days prior. With Nora's father on my mind, I took aim with the camera and fired a series of shots. I selected this one for the pose - he paused for a minute before flying away to clean his front feathers. This shot caught the grace of the bird as he perched on this log preening his feathers. 

Today's Quick Shot is dedicated to Nora. 

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