Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My First Win

Anyone who reads my blog has probably figured out by now that I love photography and it has become my all-consuming hobby.  I bought my Nikon DSLR a few months before I retired (and while I still had overtime).  One of my retirement goals to learn all that I could about digital photography and post processing.  Now, I have been "into" photography for most of my life, starting with my Kodak Brownie camera when I was about 10 and still own two Nikon film cameras but digital is a fabulous new ballgame.  Wow, remember the days when you didn't know what was on your roll until you got it developed?  I would send my film away in the mail to be developed and then tear open the package excitedly when it arrived just to be disappointed in how the photos turned out.  I used to say that I could take 50 pictures and maybe get one good one!  No more, LOL.  If it sucks, it can be deleted immediately.

I bought my first digital point and shoot in 2005.  Bought a better one in 2008 and learned a lot with those two.  I took a nature photography class from a local college in 2009 which really made me realize that I wanted a DSLR.  When I look back on those photos, which I thought were really good at the time, I feel I have come a long way.

I have been submitting my photos to various internet photography sites that run weekly and monthly contests.  I have gotten some feedback but no wins until now.  Last week I submitted a photo to DSLR.com and won!  No prize, but at least for this week I have "bragging rights."  This was one of my favorite photos from 2011 and I am very happy that it won.

See link below for my winning photo!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Whole Foods and Doctors

This morning was one of those mornings that I have not had a lot of since I retired.  UGH, I had to set the alarm clock.  I had an appointment with my rheumatologist at 9am which, believe me, is extremely early these days.  I used to get up at 5am and be at work by 7am but I'm sadly out of practice.  I also can never estimate how long it's going to take me to get there and I end up rushing like a crazy person and there's always too much traffic.  But anyway, I made it, and all is well for another 3 months. 

I got out of there in about an hour and since I was near Mt. Washington, which is a really cool little area, decided to drive over there and see what was happening since I haven't been there in a while.  It's part of Baltimore City but you would never know it by it's quaint and quiet tree-lined streets.  One of my favorite restaurants, the Mt. Washington Tavern, was there until a few months ago when it burned down.  I drove by and it looks like they are busy getting it rebuilt.  The front windows are boarded up with two huge Ravens banners draped across them.

Mt. Washington is also the home of a Whole Foods store, which I have wanted to go to forever, and have just never had the chance.  I love "hoity-toity" food stores, and believe me, this has to be one of the "hoitiest and toitiest" I have ever been in.  Not like Wegmans, which has all the gourmet stuff on one side and pretty much a regular food store on the other.  Well, only if regular food stores sell books, cookware, appliances, etc.  Whole Foods specializes in organic foods and they have an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables.  The fresh meats and fish looked really good and they also have a great bakery.  I love all those chewy, crusty loaves of multi-grain bread so I definitely got one of those and a large slice of gingerbread.  My favorite thing though, was the hot breakfast bar.  Scrambled eggs, sausage, potatoes with onions, Oh my, I had to get some of this to take home and it was wonderful.  So by the time my next doctor appointment comes around in 3 months it will be April and Spring will be on its way, I will have to take my camera and visit Mt. Washington again and take a few shots.  It's something to look forward to than just talking about my aches and pains.

Monday, January 2, 2012

I Heart Faces Photo Challenge - Silly Holiday Photos

Silly photos show up when you least expect them to.  When I'm looking through my memory card after a get-together with my family, sometimes I find some funny photo that I don't remember even taking.  The best ones are usually from when I give my camera to Haley, my 15-year old niece, because I never know what she will come up with.  She loves playing with the Nikon, and I can sit and talk to my sisters and brothers and she photographs the entire event.  I really think the kid has the potential to be a good photographer. 
So this particular one I can't take credit for as it's one of Haley's.  My sister Lisa (Haley's mom) and her friend Bryan were posing on the stairs and my crazy sister Beth jumps out behind them.  I laugh every time I look at it.  I know my sisters will be thrilled to find out this photo is my entry for the I Heart Faces Silly Holiday Photos, yeah, right!

Family Photo Gone Awry