Category Archives: General Photography

This category is for general photography items such as motivational topics, photography news and information, etc.

Saint John’s Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery

While in the Hocking Hills area for the annual “Shoot The Hills” photography contest, several fellow photographers and I visited Saint John’s Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery, just outside Maxville, Ohio in Perry County. For its age, the gravestones and church are in amazingly good shape. Several of the residents in the area take care of the cemetery and keep the grass cut.


Gravestones under the window

Gravestones under the window – Click image to enlarge


The photo above is from inside the remains of the church and was taken in the early evening around 7:30 PM. Given the bright light outside and the much darker interior of the church, the only way to achieve a balanced exposure was to take a series of 5 exposures, 1-stop apart and combine them in software to produce an HDR image. I used Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro V2 to create the file and then converted it to black and white using Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2 to get the image you see here. I really like this shot of the old gravestones lined up against the wall under the window. Pictured below is a low shot from outside the church that includes the gravestone of Daniel Nunemaker who lived to be a little over 92 years which was amazing given that he was born in 1771! All the images in this post are from HDR files.


Daniel Nunemaker gravestone - Click image to enlarge

Daniel Nunemaker gravestone – Click image to enlarge


Sunstar in the doorway - Click image to enlarge

Sunstar in the doorway – Click image to enlarge


Sunset outside the church - Click image to enlarge

Sunset outside the church – Click image to enlarge


While we were there photographing, one of the residents stopped by to talk to us and gave us a brief history of the church and cemetery. The St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church was started by Rev. Frankenburg July 14, 1841 in Monday Creek Township, Perry County, Ohio. Rev. Frankenburg had been preaching in private homes and barns for six year prior to starting the church. Jacob Goodlive, Wife Mary (Marie), son Henry and his wife Elizabeth were some of the very first members to sign the register.

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Snow Rollers

Snow Roller - Click image to enlarge

Snow Roller – Click image to enlarge


A strange and rare winter weather marvel appeared earlier this week called Snow Rollers. Snow Rollers are weird cylindrical snow formations that are formed naturally as chunks of snow are blown along the ground by wind. Once the “seed” of the snow roller is formed, it begins to roll, and pushed by the wind it collects additional snow from the ground as it rolls along leaving a trail behind it.

Unlike snowballs made by people, snow rollers are sculpted into different shapes such as doughnuts and hollow tubes. Some snow rollers have been seen to grow as large as 2 feet in diameter. For snow rollers to form the ground must be covered by a layer of ice to which the snow won’t stick, the layer of ice must be covered by wet, loose snow with a temperature near the melting point of ice, and the wind must be strong enough to move the snow rollers, but not strong enough to blow them apart.

Many snow rollers - Click image to enlarge

Many snow rollers – Click image to enlarge

The precise nature of the conditions needed to form snow rollers makes them a very rare phenomenon. I have never seen or heard of Snow Rollers, so I just had to go out and photograph them despite the subzero temperatures. I waited until just before sunset to take this shot so that the light of the setting sun would light up the snow roller showing its many layers. I positioned the camera low and very close to the snow roller to create a more dramatic effect using the trail. The actual air temperature when these shots were taken was about -5 degrees, brrrr!

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Grigg Dam In Fog

Griggs Dam - Click image to enlarge

Griggs Dam – Click image to enlarge


You never know what photographic opportunity may come your way so you should always be prepared by having a camera with you. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always have my DSLR with me, but I always at least have my cell phone camera with me. The saying, “The best camera you have is the one you have with you” is very true! This past Saturday I was driving home after doing a little Christmas shopping, and wasn’t even thinking about taking any pictures. The weather had been terrible the previous night and most of the day with heavy rain and wind. Over 2 inches of rain had fallen, but the rain had finally stopped and as I passed Griggs Dam on the Scioto River late in the afternoon I could see that the water was flowing over the dam very fast and fog was forming over the swirling water. I love photographing in the fog and couldn’t pass up an opportunity to shoot in the fog, and I even had my DSLR and tripod in the trunk!

The wind was really blowing the fog around, one minute you couldn’t see a thing and the next it was almost clear plus I was losing daylight since it was almost sunset so I had to shoot fast. These views give you the feeling of how fast the water was flowing over the dam, and how powerful it is by the violent churning and swirling, and the fog adds a sense of mystery. The second image is a very tight shot of just the flowing water, meant to be an abstract view. The camera settings for these shots were 1 second at f/11, 67mm focal length and ISO 100.


An abstract view of the flowing water - Click image to enlarge

An abstract view of the flowing water – Click image to enlarge

Griggs Reservoir Park as it is formally called has biking/running trails the run the full 2.25 mile length of the park. Within the park there is also a nature preserve, disc golf course, various picnic areas, and a boat launch. The dam was dedicated in 1905, names in honor of Julian Griggs who was chief engineer for the City of Columbus for many years.

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Some Fall Color


A beautiful maple backlit by the sun

A beautiful maple back lit by the sun – Click image to enlarge

As I mentioned last week, nice fall color with vibrant oranges and reds has been hard to find in central Ohio this fall. Some trees turned late and I found this beautiful Maple back lit by the sun along Lane Avenue not too far from Ohio State University’s campus.

Enjoy it while it lasts. The weather is turning colder with some winter like weather on the way in a few days.

If you have any questions about this website or my photography, I’d love to hear from you.  Please click here to email me.

Back to the Smoky Mountains Again!

I recently made another trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park for 2 ½ days of photography.  I had an ambitious schedule planned, with the first afternoon at the Mountain Farm Museum and Mingus Mill, then a sunset at the Morton Overlook later that evening.  The next day started with a sunrise from the Foothills Parkway West followed by Cades Cove, a hike to Abrams Falls, then photographing along the Middle Prong of the Little River in the Tremont area.  My last morning in the park was to be spent in the Roaring Fork area.

The historic Mingus Mill was originally built in the 1790’s by the Mingus Family who owned it until the 1930’s when the National Park Service acquired it.  The current mill, built in 1886 by Sion Early replaced the original mill and uses a water-powered turbine to power all the machinery in the mill instead of a traditional water wheel. Today you can buy cornmeal and other mill-related items in the mill house.  This view shows the water swiftly flowing through the millrace to the mill.  I used a polarizing filter to adjust the amount of reflection with a 4 second shutter speed to clearly show the motion of the fast moving water.


Fast moving water flows through the millrace to the mill - Click image to enlarge

Mingus Mill – Click image to enlarge


It was about a 20 mile drive across the Newfound Road to the Morton Overlook from the Mingus Mill.  The clouds were pretty heavy so I was keeping my fingers crossed when I arrived at the overlook that I would get some timely breaks in the clouds at sunset.   I chose the Morton Overlook for my sunset location because in late July the sun sets directly in the “V” of the receding ridgelines. As the time for sunset approached, the clouds were very heavy just above the horizon so I knew that once the sun reached those clouds it would be the last I’d see of the sun.  Although I’m pleased with the image below, it’s not quite the shot I hoped to get.  Little did I know that the cause of those heavy clouds on the horizon was a thunderstorm hidden from my view by the mountains.  I ran into it while driving the dark, narrow and twisty Little River Road to my hotel in Townsend, Tennessee….it was a very long, slow drive to Townsend!


Smoky Mountain Sunset from the Morton Overlook – Click image to enlarge

The next morning I woke to rain, but got dressed and headed out anyway. If you aren’t out there, you won’t get the shot so off I went! When I arrived at the 2nd overlook on the Foothills Parkway West, fog filled the entire valley between my vantage point and the mountains.  Only the tops of the trees were visible above the fog, with an orange glow in the sky from the rising sun.  Just minutes after this shot was taken, the fog shifted and I couldn’t see anything, including the sunrise!


Sunrise from the Foothills Parkway West - Click image to enlarge

Sunrise from the Foothills Parkway West – Click image to enlarge

After shooting in Cades Cove and hiking to Abrams Falls, I was hot and tired from my hike and decided it was past time to get away from all the people in Cades Cove. I thought seriously about going back to my hotel and relaxing, but decided to keep shooting for a few more hours and end my day in the Tremont area, which is a beautiful and much quieter area of the park.  I was really looking forward to the peace and quiet this part of the park offered!  As luck would have it, as I turned into the Tremont area it started raining again. Undeterred, I drove several miles until the paved road turned into a gravel road.  Having photographed in this area before, I knew that all along the gravel portion of the road there were great scenes of the Middle Prong of the Little River.  After getting my rain gear on, I started walking along the river and just a short distance from the car I came upon this scene.  The light was fantastic, the kind every landscape photographer dreams about (and knows won’t last long)…the rain, fog and mist combined to give this image a wonderful ethereal quality.  I could have easily gone back to the hotel and relaxed instead of staying out to shoot in the rain, I’m really glad I didn’t!


Middle Prong of the Little River - Click image to enlarge

Middle Prong of the Little River – Click image to enlarge

To see more of my photography from Great Smoky Mountains National Park, please visit my gallery here.

If you have any questions about this website or my photography, I’d love to hear from you.  Please click here to email me.

City Lights


Click to enlarge

Broad Street Bridge, LeVeque Tower, & Ohio Supreme Court – Click image to enlarge


Earlier this week I met up with some fellow photographers to do some night photography along the riverfront in downtown Columbus Ohio.  Along the riverfront where the Scioto River flows through the city, the City of Columbus built a very nice “urban oasis” made up of some 145 acres of parkland from the Arena District to the Whittier Peninsula  with an integrated system of parks, boulevards, bikeways and pedestrian paths with fountains, restaurants, benches, swings and various attractions called the “Scioto Mile.”  Some of the main attractions are an amazing 15,000 square foot interactive fountain and an authentic replica of the Santa Maria.  Many of the bridges and buildings are attractively lighted which adds even more atmosphere to the area after dark and are the main subjects for our camera’s this evening.  Taken from the promenade along the east side of the riverfront, the image above includes the Broad Street Bridge, AEP Building, LeVeque Tower, and the Ohio Supreme Court.  Below is a close-up of the Rich Street Bridge.


The Rich St. Bridge accented by blue lights - Click image to enlarge

The Rich St. Bridge accented by blue lights – Click image to enlarge

If you have any questions about this website or my photography, I’d love to hear from you.  Please click here to email me.

Old Rusted Truck


End of the road – Click image to enlarge


A photographer friend of mine told me about an old rusted truck he had photographed recently in Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, just southwest of Columbus, OH.  After he showed me a few pictures that he had taken of it, I decided to go photograph it myself since I had not photographed this type if subject before.

Battelle Darby Creek is one of the larger metro parks in the system and features more than 7,000 acres of prairies, fields, and forests along the Big and Little Darby Creeks.  The Darby Creeks are noted nationally for their tremendous diversity and abundance of aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals.  Fortunately I knew the general area of the park that the truck was in, but I had not hiked the trail the truck was on.  My friend told me that the truck was hidden by trees and bushes and hard to see even though it was not more that 10-15 feet off the trail.  He was right, it was definitely hard to see and only after a few helpful text messages from him was I able to find it.  By the time I started shooting, it was after 7 PM and the light was already starting to fade given that the truck was situated in a relatively heavily wooded part of the park so I had no more than an hour to work.  As you can see there isn’t much of the truck left, but fortunately there was room all around the truck so I was able to shoot from a variety of angles and perspectives.  It was a fun shoot and a nice little adventure.

Looking through the rear window – Click image to enlarge


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Beautiful spring tulips – Click image to enlarge


Last week I visited the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and captured this beautiful arrangement of tulips outside on the Conservatory grounds.   A trip to the conservatory is always great, and spring is one of the best times to visit.

The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, located just 2 miles east of downtown Columbus Ohio has an amazing history that dates back 150 years!  The 88 acres of land the Conservatory occupies was originally purchased in 1852 by the Franklin County Agriculture Society as a site for the first Franklin County Fair.  20 years later the land was made the official grounds of the Ohio State Fair, and in 1884 the Ohio Legislature declared the site as Franklin Park and open for public use.

Influenced by Chicago’s World Fair Exposition in 1893, the city of Columbus built a Victorian-style glass greenhouse in the park.  The greenhouse opened to the public in 1895 and is known today as the Palm House.

Franklin Park and the Conservatory became the host site for AmeriFlora ’92, a six-month international horticulture exposition.  In preparation for the exposition, the historic Palm House was renovated and a $14-million expansion began in 1989 adding 58,000 square feet and included expanded plant collections, classrooms, a library, gift shop, café and administrative offices.

Today the Conservatory is a premier horticultural and educational institution and is a very popular location for family gatherings, weddings, and a variety of events.  Needless-to-say it’s a very popular destination for photographers and I’m happy to say that the Conservatory and its staff is very photographer friendly.

To learn more about the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, please visit their website here.

If you have any questions about this website or my photography, I’d love to hear from you.  Please click here to email me or leave a comment.

Bieber Mill Ruin (a.k.a. Carpenter’s Mill)

About a year after Ohio became a state, the first mill in Delaware County was built at Liberty Settlement in 1804 along the banks of the Whetstone River, now called the Olentangy River.  By 1832 the community had grown large enough that it was granted a post office and the town officially became known as Carpenter’s Mill.  The post office remained until 1837.  In 1843-44 a 3-story frame gristmill was built, and a few years later James Bieber bought the mill.  Over the years the mill was very successful so a 3 ½ story stone mill was built next to the original frame gristmill that housed a sawmill on the first floor.  Unfortunately the old frame gristmill met the fate of many other mills and was destroyed by a fire.  Due to the proximity of the stone mill, it was also destroyed losing its roof, floors and massive beam structure in the fire.

Today about a quarter mile south of the intersection of US Rt. 23 and Ohio Rt 315 on the east side of the Olentangy River stands what is left of the Bieber Mill.  The skeleton of the original structure is quite impressive, with 3 feet thick walls made of cut limestone.  The side that faces the river is still intact and as you can see in the image below the mill was a very large structure.  The other 3 sides remain as well but have deteriorated.

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Bieber Mill Ruin River Facing Side – Click image to enlarge



Sunrise from Sanibel Island, Florida – Click image to enlarge


The yard was covered with about an inch of snow this morning, and we’ve had snow showers off and on throughout the day.  With winter showing no signs of releasing its grip on central Ohio, I thought I’d share a nice warm Florida sunrise with you that I captured last fall.

This sunrise was captured from Sanibel Island, Florida last October when my wife and I vacationed there.  Unfortunately, it was also the last day of our vacation, but it was a dramatic yet beautiful sunrise to end our trip on.  For this particular image, I waited until the sun rose high enough in the sky so that it was partially hidden by the clouds and for some seagulls to fly by in the right place in my field of view.  Out of about a dozen shots, this is the one I liked best.  The city skyline on the horizon is that of Fort Myers.  It’s amazing how much the look of the sky can change in just a matter of a few minutes.  The image below was taken 5 minutes earlier when the sun was hidden more by the heavy band of clouds and as you can see in the lower left corner of the image there is a rain shower in progress north of the immediate downtown area.


Sanibel Island Florida Sunrise with rain shower – Click image to enlarge

Today is March 1st so at least we are getting closer to spring and hopefully some nicer weather isn’t too far away.

To see more images from Sanibel Island, please visit my Sanibel-Captive gallery here.

If you have any questions about my website or my photography I’d love to hear from you, please click here to email me.