Saturday, November 28, 2015

FREDERICK MARYLAND

Frederick, Maryland, located about 50 miles northwest of Washington, D.C., is a quaint town of about 60,000.  It has all the ingredients of a charming tourist destination--a plethora of steepled churches; a compact shopping district with period storefronts, boutiques, and eateries; and even a small stream crossed by pedestrian bridges, which, even though of modern construction, were attractive.  We spend the better portion of a Saturday there as part of our recent trip to Washington to visit our daughter and her fiancé.

While I did take a few tourist-like photos of the town, I would have to admit that most of the shots I got and kept were a little less orthodox, another instance of my failing to see the usual things and perhaps seeing something else instead.

First, the more orthodox images.  As I mentioned, the town probably has more than its share of churches.  I actually went into one of them, hoping, I guess, for something architecturally interesting, but at least in the case of that church, the interior was quite utilitarian, humble almost.  But then it was Protestant.  Besides, there were people there wondering why I was planning to take pictures  Here is a shot of a different church that was situated a block off the primary shopping district.


Cluttered.  Maybe another time I would have ventured down the street to take a full frontal shot or at least have tried to better frame the church with neighboring trees.  But there were other members to our party.  Around the same time I took this shot of two women who apparently had participated in some sort of period presentation.


Again, ideally I would have taken this shot before rather than after they passed by and from a closer vantage point.  

So much for the more orthodox shots.  Now for the kind of shot I find myself taking.

First, a portion of a wrought iron railing on one of the pedestrian bridges crossing the stream that runs by the shopping district.  I converted the shot to a black & white to reduce distractions present in the background and to better bring out the texture of the wrought iron.


Then there were a series of wrought iron benches that had been painted white and that were casting dark shadows agains a brick wall that they were positioned against.  I liked the contrast between the white bench and the dark shadows.


The creek we crossed was lined by a concrete quay, and I took the following shot.


The midday sun was creating a major contrast between the relatively light texture of the stepped concrete quay and the dark walkway to the left and water to the right.  In post processing, I was able to further darken the walkway and water to convert this shot into a semiabstract.

Looking down, I found myself taking the following (unstaged) shot of debris from nearby flora.


 And I couldn't resist the following detail shot of a manhole cover.


Other photos weren't quite as unorthodox, such as the following signs posted outside a couple of the shops.


(Why do sign writers keep insisting on including unnecessary apostrophes? A pet peeve of mine.)


Unfortunately, I do not speak Spanish and didn't understand what the message in the following shot would translate to in English.  I think it is heartfelt; I just hope it's not indecent.



The above wrought iron spiral shot was actually harder than it looks (and perhaps not worth the effort).  There was no practical way to get this shot without standing on the narrow outside edge of the stairway to which the railing was attached (since standing on the inside would have generated a shadow across the railing.  Moreover, I had to lean forward precariously to get as directly above the center post as I could.  I focused on the top of the brass newel post and set the aperture to f/5.6 to blur out the concrete walkway below but to keep the paint-chipped spiral in as good a focus as possible.  I probably spent five minutes trying to get this shot, long enough to garner a couple of comments from passersby.  Sometimes one needs to be a little think-skinned.

Finally, I took the following shot of a decorative wrought iron "bicycle."  


I thought the sculpture was very representative of the town's personality.  It is, however, a little unfortunate that the bicycle was positioned against some paneling that was also painted white.  But it wasn't my privilege to move the piece in front of a more contrasting background.

John

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