Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Bright Lights, Big City

Okay, so Falls Church isn't a big city, but anywhere in the suburbs of D.C. qualifies. It's the big city feel of these smaller towns that turn a 10-minute trip out to pick up dinner into a 45-minute ordeal. Tonight, I had the camera with me, and I grabbed a quick shot looking into the side mirror of the long line of traffic behind me -- a line that you can see every day at this time. I only wish I had thought to either put the window down, or wash it before I captured it on film!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I May Have the Eyes of an Eagle, But...

...this blurred photo doesn't look like it. Trying to take a long distance photo out of a car window while sitting at a traffic light and avoiding getting other cars in the shot is exactly as difficult as it sounds; hence the hazy nature of this photo (if only photo software would help with that!). After picking MB up at her daycare center this afternoon, I happened to see this hawk sitting -- rather uninterestedly -- on top of a highway sign in the middle of a four-lane road. For once, I had my real camera with me and not the phone, but the location and pressure of knowing the light was about to change didn't help it much.....

Monday, February 26, 2007

A Job Hunter's Self-Portrait

Now that the snow has ended (at least for the next few days) and my computer is humming again with the sounds of resumes printing and job sites being explored, it was time for me to get out and see how those resumes would pay off. This is in fact a self-portrait (you can see my shadow reflected in the metro pylon) taken while waiting for one of my trains in D.C. today. As you can tell from the platform, I timed it so that it was not during rush hour. The interview went well; the camera phone shot is okay; we'll see how both end up.....

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Some Unexpected Weather

The weather forecast was for a light layer of ice; now, nearly eight hours after the little layer of ice fell, we now have several inches of snow on the ground. It's made for some very pretty pictures. The trees above in our backyard.....

The holly tree next to our porch.....

A black-and-white closeup of snow on one of our front-yard bushes.....

And one of Little Miss waiting for it to stop so that she can go outside and revel in her practice of the fine art of making snow angels.

Nightmare Week

I think I'm officially changing the name of this project to "Project 912," because I feel that's how it's going to take me to get one year's worth of pictures. My computer -- which is only four months old -- died four days ago as the result of one attachment on one e-mail, and as a result I haven't had the opportunity to do any work on anything. This picture shows what I've had to stare out for the past few days, mostly with steam coming out of my ears.....

Saturday, February 17, 2007

A Life Lesson in Ice

I spent quite some time this afternoon trying to get a good shot of this magnificent icicle, hanging off the drain spout of our home office. Shot after shot after shot was blurry, or the focus was on the wrong place in the yard, or the lighting was simply just bad. Yet while I was looking at them all on the computer, I realized that is actually a visualization of a life lesson: don't worry so much about the small things (ice) that you miss the big picture (the tree and the rest of the yard). If you worry too much about putting the small things in focus, the rest of your life will go out of focus; the small things will take care of themselves and, ultimately, will make up the bigger picture.

So this isn't the greatest photograph ever, but it says a lot to me.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Semi-Self Portrait

To get to and from a job interview I had in D.C. this afternoon, I again relied on our really good metro system (one of the better ones around, as far as I'm concerned). On my way home, I happened to glance in the window of my car and saw this reflection of my hand -- which seems to be gripping the seat in front of me rather tightly (a sign of anxiety??). I snapped a quick camera phone pic (since it would have been really odd for the prospective employer to find that I was carrying a camera around in my coat pocket), and was amazed to find the circle of color eminating from my hand; I didn't see it in the window, but when I downloaded it at home, there it was!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Two-Post Day

One of the things that really says winter to me is snow on a holly tree; this was taken just a few minutes ago -- we'll see how much snow we end up with.

Snow Cat

Cat wants out -- cat runs out -- cat finds that it's snowing -- cat spins around on deck -- cat wants back in.....

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Almost Touching History

Tonight, our church hosted a lecture by Dr. Peter Lillback, author of the recently-released George Washington's Sacred Fire -- a sizeable tome that delves in-depth into George Washington's spiritual life and counters the argument that he was a deist with countless examples from his own writing that demonstrate his strong Christian faith. Washington, one of our church's most famous congregants (along with Robert E. Lee), holds a special place in the history of our parish, and the occasion of his 275th birthday has been the cause of much celebration.

As a special treat, and in honor of Dr. Lillback's visit, the Washington family Bible was pulled out of secure storage for use during the service and then for display at Dr. Lillback's session. Actually, even though the Bible belongs to my church, it splits time between there and a display at Mt. Vernon. I took a minute to look closely at it; it was opened to Washington's favorite section, the fourth chapter of Micah -- and the gloves were a good reminder to not touch. But no one said anything about taking snaps.....

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


I finally decided to try the self-portrait, after seeing so many others on other blogs. This one was actually taken yesterday, so it's not quite the current photo, but it's about the best self-portrait I'll probably get at this point.....

Monday, February 5, 2007

In the Presence of Something Far Bigger.....

My wife and I had a meeting today with one of the members of the clergy at the National Cathedral, and since it's my favorite spot in the entire metropolitan area (I'm up there numerous times each year) I always make sure to have my camera with me. These were actually just some quick shots I snapped while we were walking around -- it's 19 degrees here today, so there wasn't much time to set up more formal, artsy shots.

The first two pictures here are pretty self-explanatory; I didn't do anything to adjust lighting or shutter speed, and wanted to see how just the natural lighting would work.

This is an interior shot of one of the stained glass windows in the corridor outside the Bethlehem Chapel, located in the crypt below the main altar in the cathedral.

This is an exterior shot of one of the windows of the Bethlehem Chapel.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Playing with Fire.....

...or at least with pictures of it. My father-in-law cooked out on the grill this evening, and I tried a couple of shots while the coals were flaming up (with the zoom, of course!). These were the best two of the lot.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Following in Washington's Footsteps

My wife had a meeting tonight of the subcommittee she chairs at our church (Christ Church, in Old Town Alexandria), and since she could have the baby at any moment I agreed to drive her to and from the gathering (with her suitcase in the back of the car, just in case). While she was in the meeting, I wandered around the churchyard, trying to get some good night shots of the exterior of the building. I was very disappointed in most, since I'm still trying to master night shots, but I was pretty happy with these -- the entrance to the sanctuary, and the exterior of the building at the altar end of the building.

I really love attending this church: for the liturgy, the congregation and clergy, and the history. George Washington (a vestryman) and Robert E. Lee both attended here, and the Washington pew is still one of the highlights for visitors to the church; in fact, it's rather amusing watching newcomers on Sunday mornings scramble to have the honor of sitting in his box. Sitting in the churchyard, I was trying to block out the traffic and imagine what it would have been like to be a parishioner here two centuries ago.....