Now it’s Melford

15 03 2012

I’ve lived in Bowie, MD for approximately 5 years. Just a 2 minute drive from my house is a business development that was called the Maryland Science and Technology Center. The development includes a variety of buildings that all appear only partially filled. The only business I encountered that was based here was Terminex. The appearance of empty buildings all around never peeked my interest enough to go see what was there.

The complex recently changed it’s name to Melford. This name change was surprising since I was under the impression that nothing really happened in this business development anyway. It led me to see if I could find why the name changed. While I didn’t find the answer to that question, I did learn that the property was formerly a plantation named Melford. I guess it was a change to become more historic. I also learned that the plantation house was still intact, which led me to go take a look.

The Melford plantation house is in nice condition from the exterior. A few smaller structures are also on the property. The house sits in a wooded area atop a hill in the middle of the business park. It can’t be seen until you actually drive into the park to find it. There isn’t enough here to make a long journey to see it, but it seems to be a hidden treasure and I’d recommend visiting it if you live locally.

Melford Plantation House

Old Plantation House in Maryland.

Melford Plantation - Slave House Door

The door to the small house (hut) believed to be used by slaves.

Melford Plantation House

Melford house from another angle.





Wait Your Turn

9 12 2010

While visiting Maui in May, my wife and I spent a day driving the Road to Hana. It’s a great drive, unless you get nauseous. For a while, I thought that she would just say she didn’t feel well when we were out taking photos (read “while I was out taking photos and she was along for the ride”) and was tired of stop and go driving. After a few trips out sight-seeing, we learned that she doesn’t do well on windy roads. But enough of the side story; car-sickness or not, driving to Hana along the north coast of Maui is an unforgettable ride. There are great views of the ocean, cliffs, beaches, and a few small towns along way. We enjoyed the adventure of exploring Maui.

During our day out, we stopped at Waianapanapa State Park to check out the black sand beach and the surrounding lava shelves. While there, we walked through a beach cave that led to the ocean. As we walked through the cave, I took my camera out to take some photos. When we got to the end, we came across a boy that was looking at the water. You couldn’t continue through the ocean side without getting pounded by the waves. In my mind, I wanted a photo of the cave and ocean; I had no real inspiration to have a person in the photo. But as I patiently waited for my “turn” at the front of the cave, I decided to snap a shot or two using him as a subject. The resulting photo is posted below. Taking a few moments to wait and get the photo I wanted actually provided the opportunity to take what turned out to be a significantly stronger photograph (at least in my opinion).

When we turned around to leave the cave, we found about 25 people in one of the larger areas. As we approached the exit, we found that it started to rain fairly hard and people came to the cave for cover. We decided to make a run for the car and wait out the short shower there.

Additional photos from Maui and Waianapanapa State Park can be seen in my gallery named Maui: The Valley Isle – 2010.

Watching the Water

A boy watching the ocean through a beach cave at Wai'anapanapa State Park in Maui (Hawaii).





Tree Burst

7 12 2010

In a previous post, I provided a photography tip. I suggested the importance of looking up and seeing what’s above your head. While visiting Muir Woods outside of San Francisco, I found a great opportunity to take my own advice. I used a wide-angle lens and created the HDR image seen below. The long lines formed by the tree trunks, the bright light of the sky, and the distant branches work together to create a fairly abstract image.

Muir Woods - Looking Up - Electric

A photo looking toward the sky at Muir Woods near San Francisco, CA.

For more photos from Muir Woods, please visit my Sights of San Francisco gallery.





Visiting Jefferson’s Treasures

26 02 2010

“I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” ~Thomas Jefferson~

This quote seems to fit my photography pretty well. As I have focused more time and energy on photography, I continue to find better “luck.” It’s also a polite way of saying don’t just sit around and wait for things to happen.

Last weekend I spent part of a day in Charlottesville, VA while my wife spent the afternoon at a conference. I burned a few hours by visiting two of Thomas Jefferson’s historical locations. I was able to visit Monticello for the first time and tour Thomas Jefferson’s home. While the grounds were snow-covered it was still enjoyable to walk around. I was pleasantly surprised by the time I spent there. I thought that I would just be seeing an old house, but I good tour guide re-sparked an interest in the history nerd that lives inside me. The architecture of the building was also very unique and made for some good shots.

I also visited the center of the University of Virginia’s campus and took in the Academical Village and the Rotunda. As a college administrator, I found this area both unique and amazing. I have to admit that one of the first thoughts I had as I walked a corridor along student residences was “isn’t a fireplace a significant fire hazard”. The Academical Village is Jefferson’s idea of a university. It is a place where faculty, staff, and students closely interact benefiting the educational experience of the student. The Rotunda, which is the central building of UVA’s campus, is a great building. I will share some photographs that focus on this building in another post.

Here are a few more photos from my afternoon:

Jefferson’s thoughts also seem to provide a good life lesson. Hard work yields results. And while I do believe that luck does exist, effort leads to more positive outcomes. You’re probably better off putting in a little effort instead of just hoping things break your way!

To view more photos from Virginia, please click on any of the images in this post. My gallery of Virginia is a new project. I still have many places to explore.





Lost in Time

23 02 2010

It is rare that in 2010 that someone is able to capture an”urban” environment in a state that  could have come out of any of the past 50 years. I was able to find this scene earlier this month. Annapolis was still digging out from the 2nd of back to back blizzards.  This scene was captured along Fleet and Cornhill Streets among some historic homes. While the streets were plowed once, they were still covered in deep snow that made driving fairly difficult for the 1 car I saw drive down the road. Outside of a couple of cars buried in the snow, it’s difficult to place a time stamp on this shot.

Feel free to view additional photos from Annapolis, MD by clicking on the image.





New Gallery – Annapolis, MD

12 01 2010

I have lived in the Washington, DC area for more than five years. Last weekend, I began to finally photograph Annapolis. I walked around the historic sections of the city on a cold windy day that provided some good sky conditions for some of my photographs. The resulting photos make up the beginning of a gallery that I hope to expand over the coming months. Feel free to check out my Annapolis, MD gallery by clicking any of the photos below.

The historic Annapolis skyline taken from City Dock.

I found a cold windy winter day to be a good day to try to photograph the city. There were very few people  around. It was nice not having to trip over others to find a spot to take a photo. As I expand the gallery, I hope to take some more shots around sunrise (ha) or sunset. And hopefully some at night as well.

The Maryland State House in Annapolis, MD.

St. Paul's Episcopal Church located in the historic circle of Annapolis.

While I was walking around Annapolis, I also took some time to visit the campus of the United States Naval Academy. While photos from the Academy can be seen in the gallery (by clicking any of the images above), I also posted some of my favorites in a previous post.





Best of 2009 – Part 2

11 01 2010
Part 2 of 3 of my best shots in 2009…

The Seattle skyline taken from a ferry.

A tugboat on Puget Sound in Seattle with the Olympic Mountains in the background.

An abstract shot taken at home.

A sentinel guarding the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.