Fonthill Castle

This past weekend, I was privileged to join a small group of photographers led by John Barclay, to photograph at Fonthill Castle in Doylestown, PA.  Fonthill Castle was built between 1908 and 1912 by William Henry Mercer.  Constructed mainly of reinforced concrete, Fonthill Castle is a wondrous assemblage of towers and turrets, and the entire interior is decorated with colorful tiles, some of which were made in Mercer’s own tile works.  Normally, interior photography is not allowed at Fonthill, but John has a strong working relationship with the people who manage and care for the castle, and they allow him to bring the periodic workshop group through to photograph in the morning before the regular daily tours begin.

I have included four of my images from this shoot.  All are HDR images, and the final one in this series is an HDR panorama of one of the great rooms on the second floor.



During the shoot, I mentioned to John that despite the colorful tiles thoughout, I saw much of what I was shooting as black and white images.  To that end, I made black and white conversions of almost all the shots I have processed from the shoot.  You can find them here. I am fairly pleased with them, but I feel I need to work on my black and white technique some more.  Look for some more black and white in the coming days as I am heading to Charleston, SC in the morning for a week of shooting with Tony Sweet.  I will post what I can from the week’s critique sessions.

Thanks for reading this post.  I hope you enjoyed it.









Caspersen Beach

This post presents a series of black & white images I made at Caspersen Beach.

We arrived in Venice last Sunday, and along with the cooler than anticipated temperatures, we also seem to have brought along another storm.  Although the storm was brief in our area, it served to stir up the gulf waters, resulting in some reasonably photogenic waves.  I spent much of the day on Caspersen Beach, which is just south of the Venice Pier (and Sharkys!).  This first image was taken before sunrise, just before the rain hit.

The balance of these images were made between about 10am and 1pm after the storm had passed.  There was a very stiff wind and not a cloud in the sky.  In order to shoot at slower shutter speeds under the bright sun, I set the ISO on the D700 to -1.0 (equivalent to ISO 100), shot everything at f/22, and made liberal use of my Singh-Ray Vari-ND (up to 8 stops) and B+W 10 stop neutral density filters. After processing the shots in color, I decided the scenes really needed to be done in black & white. I hope you enjoy them.



Jacksonville …

The timing of this year’s earlier than usual spring trip to Florida was driven by the 2013 NANPA (North American Nature Photography Association) Summit  being held in Jacksonville.  Coincident to this is that our close friends Sinc and Cora currently reside at the nearby Mayport Naval Station (where Sinc is assigned) and we have had an open invitation to visit them in their ocean-front quarters for over a year. We arrived at their house along with the leading edge of a strong rain storm that had followed us up from our nephew’s house in Apopka.  The storm lasted until late morning the next day, and as the tail end of the storm headed out to sea, I headed out on the beach for some shooting.

This shot was taken just outside the set of pilings that mark the boundary of the Navy owned beach and the public Atlantic beach.  As usual, I was experimenting with longish  exposures (1/15th – 1/4th sec.) when one of the legs of my tripod began sinking into the sand, starting a whole series of “panned” pictures at the edge of the incoming tide.

The next morning I went back to pilings to capture the sunrise before heading into Jacksonville for the NANPA Summit. 

I hope you enjoy these images.