Thursday, March 28, 2013

Road Trip to Virginia Beach, Va (Part 1)

Last week I spent a few days shooting in and around Virginia Beach, VA as my wife was attending the ILLiad Conference.  Over the next week or so I'm going to post more of the photographs from the trip.

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We spent Sunday night in southern Maryland and woke up to a lovely covering of snow.  This red barn at Locust Hill Farm near Port Tobacco Valley, MD   in Charles County, MD

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Emmanuel Episcopal Church on Route 301 in Port Conway, VA.

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Realtor's office at Queen and Church Streets in Tappahannock, VA.

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Rudee Inlet, Virginia Beach, VA.

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A scene from the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center at Virginia Beach, VA back deck, near Rudee Inlet.  The black dot near the top of the tree on the right hand side of the photograph is a bald eagle.

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Fresh water aquarium.  

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Sturgeon with a Gar in the background.

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Female Komodo Dragon.

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Entrance to a large salt water aquarium area known as The Dead Sea.

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The top and bottom fish are Unicorn fish.  I didn't figure out what the guy in the middle is.   I want to call the unicorn fish the "Nixon" fish.

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Brown Pelican

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Loggerhead Turtle

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Aurleiu-mudusa jellyfish. 
The color is from a light at the bottom of the aquarium.  It is used to highlight the jellyfish since they are translucent and aren't easily seen without the light.

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Found around the world these fish are venomous and in certain areas of the Caribbean there is a bounty because they are an invasive species.

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Unfortunately for this guy, the pelicans were catching more fish than he was.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Every few months I get to spend some time in Altoona with nothing better to do that shoot trains.  Last week was one of those times.  There are several good spots along a mile or so of the mainline that I like to use as urban backgrounds for some of my photographs.  All of the pictures shown in this week's blog were shot between 9th and 7th Streets.

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General Motors, Electro-Motive Division (EMD) MP15DC
The 1500 horsepower switcher is shown here working at Norfolk Southern's Juniata plant, seen in the background.

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Following the MP15 is a former Conrail SD60M, which was also built by GM-EMD.

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Broadside of the MD15DC.  I've taken photos of the switcher at different sites in the Altoona and Duncansville area.

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These are both General Electric ES44AC working as helper engines.

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Two SD40E helper units heading west after detaching from an east bound train that had just rounded the Horseshoe Curve.  These are EMD-NS units.  They were built by EMD and modified by NS at their Juniata plant in Altoona, PA. 

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SD60I heading east.  These are old Conrail engines and have been in service since 1999.

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EMD-NS SD40I helper units.

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EMD-NS SD40E passing under the 8th Street Bridge in Altoona, PA.

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EMD-NS SD70M followed by two D9-40CWs heading west with a line of intermodal containers.

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This is the tail end of the train in the previous picture.  These two EMD-NS SD40E will be detached from this line of container cars in Cresson or South Fork, which is on the west side of the Horseshoe Curve.

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D9-40CW coming out of the edge of ever changing cloud cover into the sunlight as an empending snow event that hits the area.

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On the morning that I was shooting these photographs I was surprised to see this GEB32-8CW (Pepsi Can) at the head of the daily passenger train instead of the normal GE P42DC unit.  It is passing under the 7th Street Bridge.

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After coming to a halt in order for the passenger train to get ahead of it, engine number 9354, a D9-40CW, starts to slowly pull away and head back on to the mainline.

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In the background, General Electric ES44 AC heads west as it passes the train in the previous photograph.

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Our last two photographs show yet another D9-40CW as a snow squall descends upon the area. 

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sunny Snow Days

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Cambria County Historical Society Museum located in downtown Ebensburg, PA.

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Of all the older buildings in Ebensburg, this one is probably the most traditional with its bright pastel colors and its white picket fence.

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Fiberglass bear located at Shadowbox Nursery on Route 219 between Ebensburg and Carrolltown, PA.

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This grizzly bear was stolen several years ago.   It was recovered but needed to be repaired and it is now back in its original footing.

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Shipping container probably used as a tool storage unit in an area where rock and dirt are stripped for backfill and other uses.

For years we have driven by these sheds and often remarked about how neat they looked sitting there and kept saying we should stop and get a picture.  They really pop in the snow with a bright blue sky.   I finally decided it was time to stop and shoot them this week.

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Goats at a stable near Carrolltown, PA.

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Fox Run near St. Benedict, PA.

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Euclid R22 earthmover, probably from the 1960s, one of several sitting along Number Nine Road at the local eyesore.

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Another piece of junk located along Number Nine Road.

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The tops of trees attracted extremely cold water molecules in the air to create this picture.  Only the top portions of trees over 40 feet high were covered the morning I took this shot.

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The birds couldn't wait for me to come out and fill the feeders the other day and they got to warring over what little bit of food that was available.

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Several days of warm weather have given the squirrels an opportunity to come out and find a little extra food around the bird feeders.

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It seems to be my week for shooting sheds. These two are located along Route 36 just outside of Patton.

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Windmills standing atop the ridge on a cold but sunny Sunday morning.

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Green ball and canvas bag laying on a counter under a window.

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Three Ball glass jars sitting on a plant stand in our bedroom window.