Tag Archives: cemetery

Memorial Day, 2017

Decorating soldiers’ graves with flowers is an ancient custom.  We’ve done this in the United States since before the Civil War.

Decoration Day was officially established soon after the Civil War ended and observed on May 30 because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.  Memorial Day became a national holiday in 1971 and  moved to the last Monday in May.

It's hard see the end of these graves, and more difficult to imagine the suffering.A gray, cold day – It’s hard see the end of these graves, and more difficult to imagine the suffering.   Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place for more than 400,000 active duty service members, veterans and their families.

The USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii – The resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors and Marines killed on USS Arizona (BB-39) during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  It commemorates the events of that day.  This photo ©MK Rosack, 2017, used with permission.
USS Bowfin (SS-287) Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  The Bowfin made WW II patrols and supported the Korean War. It’s open to the public as a museum and park and became a National Historic Landmark in 1986.  This photo ©MK Rosack, 2017, used with permission.

More information:

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.  Please, take a few moments tomorrow to remember those who perished, and those they left behind.  Heroes all.

©2017, MK and Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

 

The year in review: My favorite 2011 Photos

I hope that all of you, your families, and your friends have a joyful and happy holiday season!

Photographer Jim Goldstein has an annual tradition of organizing a “best photos of the year” listing.   So it’s a good time to put together my own third annual “Favorite photos of the year” post.  You can revisit 2009 here, and 2010 here.

Again in 2011, I’ve been blessed with a huge amount of photo opportunities. The 2011 folder on my hard drive takes up about 178 GB of space. Wow – good thing storage is so cheap now days!  I’m still using the following system to rate my photos.  The numbers in parentheses are the counts for 2011 .

  • 1 star   – The photo is interesting (262)
  • 2 stars – The photo is worth showing to others (400)
  • 3 stars – The photo is the best of (or one of the best of ) any given photo shoot (81)
  • 4 stars – My favorite photo of a year (1)
  • 5 stars – My favorite photo ever (none, I’m not done making photos yet!)

Photos without stars are seconds or not so good versions of other photos. I usually keep them, but they probably won’t get any more attention. I’ve been using this system consistently, and it seems to work for me. I’ve reviewed my 2011 photos and selected what I think are my best.  Of course, this is all subjective and my opinion only. Feel free to disagree, but I hope you’ll enjoy looking at the ones I’ve picked.

You can click on each of these to go to Flickr and see a larger version.  Or you can click this link to go to the set on Flickr.

Here we go.  I have 3 mammals, 3 birds, 2 landscapes, and 3 miscellaneous subjects …

Bobcat in Tree, Circle B Bar Reserve
November:  Bobcat in Tree, Circle B Bar Reserve. I’ve seen Bobcats in the wild before, but I’ve never been able to take a good photo of one. We saw this one resting up on a branch and it posed for a while. In this image, I think it was trying to figure out how to get through the crowd of humans at the base of the tree. More info: http://edrosack.com/2011/11/24/landscapes-and-bobcat-at-the-circle-b-bar-reserve/


Baby mountain goat
July: Baby mountain goat, Mt. Evans summit, Colorado. There were several families of mountain goats on the way up and at the summit. This little one posed for me so I could frame him against the out of focus mountains in the background. It’s amazing to watch them scramble from rock to rock and never slip. More info:  http://edrosack.com/2011/07/10/mount-evans-redux/


Young deer at Viera Wetlands
September: Young deer at Viera Wetlands. View large and check out the eyebrows and whiskers! More info:  http://edrosack.com/2011/09/04/late-afternoon-at-viera-wetlands/


Barred Owl watches photographers
January: Barred Owl watches photographers. More info:  http://edrosack.com/2011/01/30/catching-up/


Eastern Meadowlark
December: Eastern Meadowlark, Blackpoint Wild Life Drive. More info: http://edrosack.com/2011/12/17/merritt-island-scouting-report-saturday-december-10/


Florida Scrub Jay watches us
June: Florida Scrub Jay watches us.  One or two birds in this Scrub Jay family were real posers. And one of those was a “dive bomber”. It flew at our heads a few times trying to discourage us. More info:  http://edrosack.com/2011/06/19/a-summertime-visit-to-minwr-blackpoint-and-scrub-ridge-trail/


Sunrise at the Circle B Bar Reserve
November: Sunrise at the Circle B Bar Reserve. More info:  http://edrosack.com/2011/11/24/landscapes-and-bobcat-at-the-circle-b-bar-reserve/


It was a little cloudy this morning
December: It was a little cloudy this morning. Blackpoint Wild Life Drive. I’ve enjoyed playing with an Infrared modified Olympus EPL-1 camera.  More info: http://edrosack.com/2011/12/17/merritt-island-scouting-report-saturday-december-10/


Tomb of the unknowns, Arlington National Cemetery
March: Tomb of the unknowns, Arlington National Cemetery. I’d never been to Arlington before this trip. As a US Navy Veteran and a patriot, I have to admit it made a huge impression on me. More info:  http://edrosack.com/2011/03/19/washington-dc/


Flavia, in color
December: Flavia, in color. American Photo Model Shoot, Orlando, 12/3/11.  My first time photographing models was a real learning experience.  More info:  http://edrosack.com/2011/12/09/orlando-american-photo-model-shoot-workshop-december-2011/


My Grandfather's Pocket Watch
June: My Grandfather’s Pocket-watch. After the Orlando Watch Company repaired it, it’s working fine.  This is a 1921 Elgin pocket-watch, marked Wadsworth Referee 20 year 5069868.  More info: http://edrosack.com/2011/06/25/grandfathers-pocket-watch/

 

I hope you’ve had a great photo 2011 too.  Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some more photos!
©2011, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

Eagles, Owls, and more at Orlando’s Greenwood Park and Greenwood Cemetery

Intro / Description

Greenwood Urban Wetlands is a 19 acre park in downtown Orlando and was created in 1991 to help handle the sometimes massive rainwater runoff in the area.  The park is right next to Greenwood municipal cemetery, where many of Orlando’s notables have been buried since 1880.

Pre-dawn pond at Greenwood ParkVenus Rising: Pre-dawn pond at Greenwood Park – This is a two image composite that I hand merged in Photoshop.

I arrived before dawn a couple of Saturday’s ago.  I’d heard about it on Flickr and seen photos others had made there, although I still wasn’t sure what to expect.  I was hoping for a sunrise photo, but the sky was very clear and I didn’t know the area.  So, I picked a spot near the parking area and set up for the image above.  For this one, I made two exposures (one for the sky and one for the ground) and merged them as described in this post.  I like the way it turned out, especially with the morning star Venus rising, and the leaves and flowers on the left.

Kevin M. joined me a bit later and we walked around exploring.  There were a few birds (coots, wood ducks, egrets, Great Blue Heron) in the small lakes, but nothing too unusual.  We’d heard about an eagle nest nearby, so we decided to look for it in Greenwood Cemetery.

The nest was easy to find, since there were two juvenile eagles perched right next to it calling quite often.  We made several photos while we waited for better light and were eventually able to get the birds facing us with the sun at our backs.  These two young birds were flying between trees in the area, but didn’t act like they knew  much at all about feeding themselves.  They seemed to be waiting for the parents to bring back food – but that didn’t happen while we were there.

Juvenile Bald EagleJuvenile Eagle

We also saw a very pretty Wood Duck pair in nice light, a couple of Barred owls, and some very aggressive Blue Jays (harassing the owls) on the way out.  You can see the other photos I made in this Flickr set.

Barred Owl 2
Barred Owl

Info for Photographers

Photo hints:

There’s not much to work with for landscapes.  But there’s a surprising variety of birds for such an urban setting.  Make sure you walk through both the park and cemetery if you go.  You could also drive through the cemetery if you don’t have time to walk.

Tripod/Monopod:

Of course.

Lenses:

Take appropriate lenses for your subjects.  Mostly long lenses for the birds.  A flash might help control the contrast for the subjects back in the leaves (owls).

Best time to visit:

February – March might allow eagle nesting activity to be observed.

Other:

This close by park may be an opportunity to snag a few keeper shots for your bird portfolio, and won’t take too long to check out.

Halloween 2012 update:  Don Price, the Greenwood Cemetery Sexton, offers guided moonlight walking tours once a month where you can learn about Orlando and the people who have contributed to the history of the city.  The tour is usually crowded and reservations are required.  Go to the cemetery website and click on “Moonlight Walking Tours” for more info.

Summary

My Gallery / Flickr photo set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/edrosack/sets/72157626518075606/
Website: http://www.cityoforlando.net/fpr/html/Parks/Greenwood.htm
Address / Phone: 1411 Greenwood Street, Orlando, Florida
407.246.2283
Central Florida Photo Ops Rating: A surprising urban opportunity for a few bird photos.

Thanks for stopping by my blog, now – go make some photos!
©2011, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

Washington DC

I’ve written about photography on business trips before (for instance here). If you’re willing to put up with the hassle of carrying your photo equipment (or you can travel “photo light”), and if you have an opportunity to leave early or stay late, then you may be able to enjoy some of the photo ops at your destination.

The pre-dawn Potomac River, Georgetown,  and Washington DC from the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Rosslyn, Virgina

The pre-dawn Potomac River, Georgetown, and Washington DC from the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Rosslyn, Virgina: Getting up at 5:30am and leaving my warm, cozy room to walk down to the river with my tripod and camera in the cold and dark wasn’t easy. Timing the 4 – 8 second exposures between vibrations from passing cars was also a bit difficult. But I like the result.

I had a business trip to Washington DC this week and needed to be there first thing on Monday.  Instead of flying in Sunday night, I made arrangements to get out on the first flight Sunday morning (whew, that was an early alarm!).  This gave me few hours in DC to act like a tourist.  The weather was cloudy with some rain, but that actually turned out to be an advantage for some of the things I photographed and I did manage to make some images that I like in two or three different places while I was there.  Washington is a target rich environment for photo ops – where to start?

At the first place, birds sang as I walked paths through the area.  Looking up and searching for them, I could see trees beginning to bud out with leaves and flowers, signaling the start of Spring and triggering many thoughts about nature.  As I continued, my eyes were drawn back to earth where the sight of graves triggered thoughts about sacrifice by many brave people.  I also thought about predictions of the decline of the USA, and it occurred to me that these don’t take into account the power of our belief system.  Our economy is large, and we are creative — but our true strength is that so many believe in our rights and freedoms and are willing to defend them with their lives.

Tomb of the unknowns, Arlington National Cemetary

Tomb of the unknowns, Arlington National Cemetery: I’d never been to Arlington before last Sunday. As a US Navy Veteran and a patriot, I have to admit it made a huge impression on me.

Arlington National Cemetery is located on a hill across the Potomac from Washington DC.  It’s the former home of Robert E. Lee and was taken over by the Union when the Lee family failed to pay taxes.  Arlington house (his former manor) is surrounded by grave sites of union soldiers so that if he ever tried to return, he’d have to cross that line of soldiers to enter his home.  [4/16 update:  Here is a good article about Arlington house:  http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2011/04/arlington-house-home-robert-e-lee7966]There’s a good view of downtown DC and the country’s power base from up there.  I hope that Congress glances up at Arlington occasionally before it makes decisions that may result in more grave sites.  Arlington is only a few minutes from downtown Washington, and close to Reagan airport.  There’s plenty of info on their web site for visitors.

After Arlington, I drove into downtown DC. Since it was Sunday and raining, there weren’t many people around and I was able to park about two blocks from the Lincoln Memorial and walk over for a few photos. Unfortunately, there is a lot of construction going on right now – the reflecting pool between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument was drained, and this limited the compositions available.

The Lincoln Memorial and me

The Lincoln Memorial and me: Last Sunday in Washington DC was cloudy with a bit of rain, so there weren’t too many people out and about in the city. I circled around to the south west side and set up my tripod for this shot. I think it’s pretty rare that you get a chance to capture an image of the Lincoln Memorial without people in the photo.

The view of the Lincoln Memorial above is a multi-shot panorama / HDR using 27 individual photos.  The full resolution result is about 45 Mega-pixels in size.  The power of the software we have available today always amazes me.

Take advantage of your travel opportunities.  Turn them into photo ops.  You might like the result.

If you click on the photos above you can see larger versions on Flickr.  You can also see these photos and a few others from this trip in this set on Flickr.

Thanks for stopping by, now go make some photos!

© 2011, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

Veteran’s Day, 2009: Thank you for your service

On this day I would like to thank all of our active duty military and and all veterans who have served in our Armed Forces.

You chose to answer the call.  Your commitment to freedom and your courage and sacrifices have brought the blessings of liberty to the people of the United States of America.  Most of the world will never know liberty and freedom like we know it.

It may not be possible for our gratitude to match the enormity of your gifts to us.  We are grateful that you stand between us and those who would do us harm.  We appreciate you giving our children a hopeful future.  And we pay tribute to those who offered their lives in defense of our freedom.

PICT3181

A view of San Francisco National Cemetery located in the Presidio, on Christmas Day, 2005 in the rain.  Minolta Dimage 7Hi @ ISO 100, 28mm eq., f/4.5, 1/45 sec.

©2009, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.