Thanks for visiting. The new Loudoun Landscapes blog can now be found here: Feel free to also visit the main Loudoun Landscapes website where you'll find more photography, stories and background information.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Foggy Winter Trees

If you don't know by now, I have a thing for fog and trees. I am drawn to the Blue Ridge especially under these conditions for the feel that it evokes. The black silhouettes of the trees fading into the distance are calming.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Loudoun Landscapes photos to be published

The Loudoun Museum selected a number of my photographs to appear in an large format book, called the "Lure of Loudoun", that will be published in late spring. See below for more details:

The Loudoun Museum’s upcoming pictorial history book titled "The Lure of Loudoun: Centuries of Change in Virginia’s Emerald County" will be published in late spring of 2007 and will coincide with the county’s 250th anniversary. For the first time, the large-format book will cover both text and photographs the history of Loudoun County from its geographical beginnings to its emergence as one of the fastest growing counties in the United States. The book will feature more than 300 black and white and color photographs including some of little known artifacts from the museum’s collection.
Historical content will be mostly based on Charles Poland’s "From Frontier to Suburbia: Loudoun County Virginia, One of America’s Fastest Growing Counties." Poland’s book will be condensed and new material added for the book by former National Geographic staff writer Noel Grove, a resident of Loudoun County for 27 years, currently living near Paris, Va.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Beauty in the mundane

One mans discarded something or other is another mans photograph. These mysterious objects are nestled in overgrown field grass and were left for the the elements to maintain. Wind and time have reclaimed these as their own. Any guesses?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Familiar places

As a Photographer, I often drive past familiar routes while searching for Loudoun moments in worthy of sharing. Then one day, the light and atmosphere in an environment are just so to reveal something entirely different. This, it seems, is the Photographer's purpose: to view familiar places from slightly different angles. This one room stone structure is located on Williams Gap Road in Round Hill. A location I've driven by many times before seeing it in this particular way.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Eastern view from Blue Ridge

I located a new eastern view on the Blue Ridge yesterday where this photo was taken. Late in the afternoon on the ridge was downright cold, winter is setting in. The weather calls for snow tonight and tomorrow afternoon. The change of season is a welcome friend.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Iron silo

While taking time out from a recent shoot to "water mother nature", I stumbled across this strange, studded iron silo. It measures about four feet across and had no roof that I could see. It features a small concrete trough attached at the base. I presume it was a water collection system for cattle. Does anyone know?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Swirling leaves

Hiking along the AT this weekend drove home that fact that fall is ending. The rivers are blanketed in orange, brown, yellow and red. Trapped swirling leaves mimicked small tornados without paths. As the leaves fall, the forest seems to grow tenfold.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Natural Chimneys

Grottoes, Virgina is known for two things: Jousting and their Natural Chimneys. Jousting tournaments have been held in that town for 150 years. The Natural Chimneys have been there for 500 million years and are remnants of the sea bed that once covered this part of the continental US. There are seven limestone towers that look so out of place that I swear they were dropped off by aliens.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Red, blue and green

Western Loudoun approaches peak leave changing season. While the colors are not spectacular this year due to the dry summer, there are spots of brilliant color to be found. The two horses pictured in this pasture get second billing to this brightly colored maple.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Virginia State Arboretum

After attending an Artist's reception in Millwood the Art at the Mill (I'm showing there) , I drove over to the Virgina state Arboretum. This experimental plant and tree farm offers an abundance of growth that I've never seen. If you are in Clarke County looking for something to do, this place is highly recommended. Located near the intersection of highway 50 and 340. Just beautiful!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Finding simple in a crazy world

In this fast paced society, it is often hard to recognize and enjoy the simpler things in life that really matter. This political season is filled with such sensory overload that I'm beginning to tune out; source of apathy? The simple sound of horse hooves can wipe that all away and reintroduce hints life's true purpose. Photo taken in Dayton, VA last weekend.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Knee deep in it

I had a wet but terrific camping trip this weekend in the George Washington National Forest. This river ran along our Hone Quarry campsite which was overflowing from the recent rain. While in Harrisonburg buying supplies, I bought the pair of wader boots that I've always wanted. Now I can venture into the streams and marshes instead of struggling for a shot on shore. More shots from the trip coming soon.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Slimy air

Entire microcosm's are always underfoot. While hiking the AT one day I noticed brilliant green slime coating the river rocks. It ebbed and flowed like sheets in the wind driven by the power of the water. I was facinated by the trapped oxygen contained in the slime (ok, I'm a simple guy).

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Grain trailers

Locals will recogize these grain trailers from thier grassy parking place along Rt. 7 and the WO&D bike trail. This active farm explodes with green every spring as they add nitrogen to the soil in preparation of planting. Right now, the adjacent field is a blanket of yellow from the small field flowers in bloom.

Update Jan 2011 - The new power line runs through this spot today.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Making best of a gray day

Yes, gray days can be depressing but they don't have to be. Grab your camera and hits the fields because they sometimes produce nice photos. Frequent readers of this blog may recognize this spot from previous shoots. I'm still working on getting this location just right. Don't let the grays get you down.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tranquil Pond with Geese

This secluded pond runs along a gentle rise in the earth on Williams Gap Road. The quiet spot is home to an wide array of wildlife including Canadian Geese, deer, hawks and small rodents. The only noise that could be heard was the slight motion of the passing geese and light droplets of rain hitting the mirrored pond. Heaven!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Great weekend at the Bluemont Fair

Thanks to the community for their support this weekend at the Bluemont Fair. This by far was the best experience I've had at an event like this. Not only did I have record sales, but also terrific feedback from the community and offers to shoot on local farms. Thanks a ton to the kind folks of Loudoun County!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Wet Pokeberry

Saturday was a misty gray day that covered everything in water droplets, this Pokeberry is no exception. It's brightly colored pink/purple stems contrast nearly everything around it. While it looks delicious, the berries are poisonous though it young leaves can be eaten as greens. One way to turn a gray day around...

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Old Beaut

This old house must have been a real beauty at one time. All hand build down the handcut boards that covered the stone foundation. Perched just outside of a new neighborhood where all building has stopped (due to market conditions). Everything in cycles.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

My own gallery! Virtually...

I've slacked on the posting lately because I have been spending time building my virtual gallery. Second Life is a 3D online community of thousands of folks. I decided to open shop here as an experiment. Check it out if you haven't already, it's free to join.

See my location from the web instead: SLurl
Already a user? Click here for a teleport: SL Teleport to gallery

Friday, August 18, 2006

Free Birds

What a life large birds must lead. You surf the currents for a while, rest, surf, eat, surf and then sleep. I suppose I lead a similar life, just replace those tasks with drive and work. The game these birds seem to play involves soaring for as long as possible without moving a muscle. They are quite good at it.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Clarke County Fair

Opening day at the Clarke County Fair.

Not much going on except setup.

You gotta love the real thing.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Loudoun Emancipation Association

While conducting Loudoun research this weekend I learned something about black history of the area. Loudoun's first county-wide organization was the Emancipation Association that formed in 1890. The group incorporated and bought 10 acres of land in Purcellville at the corner of 20th and A streets. The sign in this photo marks the former site. Elaine Thompson's book, In The Watchfires, provides a detailed history of these grounds which served the black community for more than 75 years.

After purchasing the book, I drove to the location to see it for myself. A church now occupies this place but remaining is a refurbished stone wall that once served at the gate to this property. While comparing photos in the book to the current site, I noticed debris next to a large tree (same tree but smaller is in the book). After a bit of digging I pulled out remnants of gatherings gone by. These Coca-Cola Soda Water bottles had markings from Frederick and Alexandria. A bottle cap shows a 2 cent tax stamp. After reading about the rich history of this place, it was thrilling to find actual artifacts used by former participants.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Rebel Farmer

Who says a barn has to be red? Steel grain silo? Bah! This Bluemont farmer was cut from a different set of overalls. The barn is green and the silo made of brick. I haven't seen either anywhere in Loudoun County. Be like, different.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Ice Diver

Looking at this photo will make you feel cooler, triple digit temperatures call for such photography. It was taken on freezing morning that called for gloves to be worn. An early morning AT hike last winter provided ribbons of frozen creeks running through bare forests along the Blue Ridge. This photo contains Daliesque qualities including an icy figure diving into the chilly water.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Tapestry of life

Life contains an endless tapestry of shapes, patterns and textures. A gentle breeze can change the configuration on a whim. I am fond of saying "I'm glad the world slowed down long enough for me to peer in." Show schedule updated:

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Deer in flight

While at Sunny Ridge on Sunday, (see previous post) I encountered this young fawn. Before she disappeared out of sight I managed to capture her in mid flight. I finally managed to photograph an interesting action shot of a deer. Not as easy as it sounds.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

A top ten place on earth

Sunny Ridge is wedged between three ridges with views that spill all over Loudoun. Gentle breezes and summer insects made the high grass appear animated. White puffy clouds sailed by without care. Sunny Ridge is one of my favorite places. This north facing photo was at f22 for 1/25 of a second.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Sleeter Farm House

Taken in April of 2005, this photo was captured along Sleeter Lake in Round Hill. This old house could have been part of the Sleeter Farm which was flanked by peach and apple orchards. It appears that the original portion may have been wood and the rear stone section (left) was added later. It must have been quite a site in its day. Today it's reminiscent of the hotel in the Hitchcock movie, Psycho.

Monday, July 17, 2006

It's a woman's world....

...if you're a spider. This large Dolomedes Fishing Spider was found under a bridge in my neighborhood. After my son claimed to have found a "nest of massive spiders", I went to investigate. We waded through ankle deep water under a bridge with little light. A four inch spider counts as massive in my book. I've since learned that these harmless creatures spin no web but instead hunt below the water for up to a half hour. After inspecting the photo at home I noticed a really big female hiding (lower left) in the gap surrounded by devoured males. The camera flash gave her away. Get out of there fella!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

View from atop the grain silo

The view from atop an 85 foot grain silo is exhilarating, I climbed one tonight. The sight of green rolling hills, blue ridges and lush pastures could be seen for miles. This photo was taken from the top, which is located south of Purcellville. Farmer James was gracious enough to grant permission for me to pursue this vertical hike.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Silence of the sheep

I guess these guys never saw a photographer before. Either that or I looked liked sheep food. Taken on a foggy Loudoun morning south of Round Hill.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Painting in the darkroom

Back in college I was quite the creative lad and often carved my own path. Early in my Darkroom 101 class I became more interested in experimentation than actually making prints. I would crumple photo paper, expose it to light and paint on it with the developer chemical. Occasionally the outcome would be striking. I received a B in the class without developing one print from my camera (I took the class again in a proper fashion and aced it).

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Pink Thistle and Blue Ridge

As unspolied stretches of land along Loudoun's Blue Ridge decreases, appreciation for such beauty increases. Spending time in these open spaces is becoming more meaningful and special by the day. The sweet smell of Loudoun air is found nowhere else that I've traveled. Filling my lungs with the stuff means that I'm home. Taken near Bluemont for 1/13 of a second at f16.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Showing in Leesburg tonight

I will be showing in Leesburg tonight at Gallery 222 for the First Friday gallery walk. Stop by from 6-9 PM and say hello.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Fireworks, Loudoun style

Happy Fourth of July all! After a really hot and steamy day in Loudoun, the night cooled off just in time for some excellent fireworks. Shown here are a sampling of the Purcellville fireworks show from about an hour and a half ago. No, did not expand their show. I arranged this collage to bring you the highlights in one image. Most of these were shot at f10 for about 30 seconds each.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Haleakala Sunrise at 10,000 feet

is the dormant volcano that towers over eastern Maui. At 10,200 feet, nearly the entire island is in view. One must begin the drive at 3 AM to watch the sunrise from the edge of the earth. The foreground ridge is draped in clouds that hover at 7000 feet. Unlike Maui at sea level, high winds and 40 degree weather dominate the crater. This photo was taken on Saturday at f16 for 10 seconds.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Oheo Gulch of Maui

This is a photo of southeastern Maui which definately not western Loudoun. The first inlet leads to the Seven Sacred Pools which cascade down from the mountains. If you are wondering why I've not posted in a week, this is it. More to come....

Friday, June 23, 2006

Lightning Everywhere

We were treated to some light show last night. There was so much heat lightning that at times it looked like a strobe light sitting outside. Between releases of strobing energy high in the sky, an occasional bolt would strike the ground. This long exposure photo captured multiple strikes over a period of about three minutes. Shot at f7 in bulb mode.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Loudoun Milking Barn

This photo is of a decaying milking barn located just north of Round Hill. It must have been a site of great activity at one time. A deer was sleeping inside as I arrived and fled in a panic. It likely receives few visitors these days.

Below is a link to an experiment that I am working on. A special lens is used to capture a scene in 360 degrees. The result allows the user to interact inside of the navigable photo. Let me know what you think:

Interactive Top of the Ridge

Saturday, June 17, 2006

You know you're in western Loudoun when...

 see a sign for a lost calf. Yep, we grow 'em smart out this way, especially along Snickersville Tpk. I saw a couple of them climbing fences last year. Seems to me that escape plans slipped into the hands of our livestock. Just set yourself free Elsie, don't make it messy Bessie, open the cell Clarabelle....just listen to me. There must be 50 ways to leave your farmer.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Soaring hawk / Community hug

The first photo shows one of the soaring hawks mentioned in my Monday post. The second photo is of my booth from the Arts in the Alley show this past weekend, my first outdoor show. I can't say enough about the community support I received. Thanks to everyone who visited, for the kind comments and for the sales. I met another Loudoun Photographer (Elizabeth) and a painter (Rayhart) from Ashburn, see their websites listed on my local artists list.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Incredible day on the ridge

Yesterday's hike included acres of waist high field grass, soaring hawks and sprawling views. The sky was filled with wispy clouds that painted spectacular patterns above. These two photos were taken on the east side of the ridge in . The view from bench of the second photo reveals Reston on the horizon (not in this photo, however.)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Blue Ridge Center

The is located on Route 671 in Neersville. This 900 acre reserve serves as an environmental stewardship complete with hiking trails and organic farming. Some of the hiking trails feature civil war era buildings that remain standing today. 1/125 sec. at f10.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Arts in the Ally 6/10

If you are looking for something to do this weekend, June 10, come out to Purcellville for the third annual show. This year, the show will be bigger than ever. My booth will be in the center 21st street. It will be the only booth with a recycled and reconfigured trampoline being used to hang prints. Be sure to say hi if you swing by.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Wine making in the hills of Loudoun

Another spectacular weekend in western Lounoun. After a hike at the Blue Ridge Center, surrounded by lush old growth (photos coming), my son and I stopped by the to enjoy the view. This winery is located along Rt. 9 just north of Round Hill. There are several wineries in the area, each offers tours and tastes. Details: Canon 20D, 24-70mm lens, f22 @ 1/10 sec, actual tripod, very muddy boots, unshaven, thirsty and upbeat.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Furry Little Dipper

This little dipper is standing in the stream that feeds Sleeter Lake. I was so excited about finally getting a decent deer photo shot that I slammed the truck in park and bolted into a neighbor's yard. Not a great photo, but I captured a deer in a creek looking at me (I usually end up looking at deer butt instead).

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Blue Ridges at Reddish Knob

This photo is another from the camping series in March. Reddish Knob provides spectacular views in all directions looking into Virgina and West Virginia. I steadied the camera using an umbrella on this trip, I look forward to returning with my tripod.

Directions to Reddish Knob, click here.

Mooncrazy, thanks for recent comment. I agree with you and will begin posting technical details of the shots I post.
Details: Canon EOS 20D, Canon 24-70mm lens , F22 at 1/30 sec., umbrella, shorts and grubby t-shirt.