This Great Blue Heron found the perfect perch on the bow of this skiff, joined by an Osprey atop a nearby pole, each patiently watching and waiting for their lunch from this fish net on the upper Rappahannock River.
Specs: Nikon D7000, 300 mm, F/5.7, 1/1250, ISO 400.
© R C Norman Photography, July 2012
The Deltaville Maritime Museum, including its many exhibits and some restored wooden boats, was destroyed by fire Wednesday night. Thankfully, no one was harmed, but local officials are still investigating the cause of the blaze, which firefighters battled for hours. Very hot and dry conditions along with substantial fuel provided by wooden boats and the frame building likely contributed to the fire, which started under a shed behind the museum and quickly spread to the adjacent building. The museum was holding its annual boat building week, and participants were building small wooden skiffs in the yard behind the museum. Sources say the fire started in the evening after everyone had left for the day.
This is a very difficult and sad time for the community, which has had its share of recent hardship, including a tornado that devastated the town last year. Museum officials say other museum-related activities will continue, including its monthly Farmers Markets and Grooving in the Park concert series. They also have committed to rebuilding the museum with fundraising support from the community.
I thought the photo I selected for this story was fitting because I snapped this shot of flowers just outside the museum during a Farmer’s Market last year. They symbolize the hope and promise of a new museum that will blossom in the future.
Specs: Nikon D7000, 105 mm, F/10, 1/320, ISO 200
© R C Norman Photography
Lines, shadow, texture, color. These are some of the elements that the eye notices, either intentionally or not, when we look at a photograph. When we have an obvious subject, like people or a landscape, these characteristics meld with the overall image while our brains interpret the story or action of the subject. With a less conspicuous or more abstract subject, such as this close-up of a tree, we rely more on these fundamental photographic qualities to please the eye. But there is a story. There always is. On a recent trip to Washington, D.C., my kids and I spent a day touring monuments, museums and checking out the Folklife Festival on the Mall. It was a day of walking, sight-seeing, and more walking. On the stretch of land between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, there is a small cluster of old trees that offers a welcome patch of shade. My daughter had run ahead and was already perched up on one of the bent trunks of a tree by the time we arrived. Here we rested. After taking some photos of her on the tree, I noticed the cracks in the lower trunk where the bark had worn away and the wood beneath was smooth like a hand-rubbed piece of furniture. The wood’s warm color was accentuated by the soft light filtering through the canopy of leaves. This well worn tree had been visited and perched on by hundreds, probably thousands, of visitors, just like my daughter, who could not resist the joy of climbing while parents or others with less youthful energy relaxed in its cool shade. This tree is a monument in its own right that has provided amusement and cool refreshment to D.C.-goers for untold years. Its cracks and exposed wood are a tribute to the generation of climbers, and those to come, who find delight in its simple pleasure. I took hundreds of photos that day, but this one stood out because it was unexpected, just like the shade this old tree provided on a hot afternoon in D.C.
Camera Specs: Nikon D7000, 62 mm, F/5.3, 1/250, ISO 100
© R C Norman Photography, June 2012
Recently while kayaking on Broad Creek, I spotted an old salt-treated docking post that had a section of splintering just above the water line. I paddled over and pulled out my Canon PowerShot and captured this pic. Often times, even the most mundane objects can be a source of beauty when you notice the interplay of light and shadow, lines and texture. All you have to do is look…and see.
May 26, 2012, Deltaville, Virginia.
Specs: Canon PowerShot SD 1200, 110 mm, F/4.9, 1/800, ISO 80
Perusing some vacation pics from a couple years ago, I came across this shot of Zachary examining a water bug he found and preserved in a two liter soda bottle. Because of the bug’s swift swimming movements, he affectionately named it “Speedy”. I like this shot because it reminds me of the simple pleasures and delights of youthful curiosity and how I use photography to keep that alive in me when life’s demands come calling. August 5, 2012.
Camera specs: Nikon D50, F/5.6, 1/20
I had ventured off the beaten path of the shoreline trail along Dublin Bay, to catch a closer look at a Grey Heron that was feeding in the shallows. I found a nice perch on a concrete jetty where I could sit and watch this graceful bird. As I was texting my girlfriend on my iPhone, I heard a loud splash in the water that nearly startled me. When I looked up, I saw a disturbance in the water about 30 meters from me and knew something large had surfaced and submerged before I could catch a glimpse. I immediately aimed my Nikon in that direction and waited. A moment later, I snapped this photo as a sea lion broke water again showing me his dinner. He surfaced several times, until alas he swallowed the fish whole and was gone. I waited for more activity, but the tide was receding and soon the inlet would be a mudflat. He and any others had moved out to deeper waters.
Arrived in Dublin this morning and after a nap to adjust from jet lag, I walked to Dublin Bay to photograph the birds and other wildlife at the Irishtown Nature Reserve. While walking along the shoreline path, I snapped this photo with my iPhone looking across the bay toward the city. Had my Nikon and will post other pics, including a sea lion that broke water with a fish in his mouth. Uploading this post from my iPhone while enjoying a pint of Guinness at a local pub.
It was quiet across the creek at Norview Marina while I was waiting for the sun to break the horizon. When it did, a slight breeze rippled the golden surface that was like glass earlier when the sky was a washed out pink.
Broad Creek, Deltaville, Virginia. May 28, 2011
Nikon 40 mm, F/9, 1/320, ISO 100
I admire those who make a living on the water, like this lone waterman who awoke before dawn to prepare for his day’s work harvesting crabs on the Rappahannock River. I snapped this shot just after he left his small dock navigating out Broad Creek, hopeful for a good day’s catch. Deltaville, Virginia. May 28, 2011
Nikon 105 mm, F/6.3, 1/640, ISO 200
Sailboat masts reflect across the glass surface of Broad Creek on an early Spring morning, even before the birds were awake. There is something quite magical and mysterious about this time of day of still waters and quiet shadows. Deltaville, Virginia. May 28, 2011
Nikon 48 mm, F/8, 1/250, ISO 180
This photo brings back memories of an amazing trip to the Southwest with my family several years ago. I was shooting with a Nikon D50 back then (which Jenny now uses). I’ve always liked the lush colors and stark lines in this photo.
July 26, 2006
Nikon 18 mm, F/10, 1/250
This fellow rested for a brief moment on my boat’s weathered teak rail early one morning before moving on with the day’s delights.
Broad Creek, Deltaville, Virginia, May 28, 2011
Nikon 105 mm, F/7.1, 1/200, ISO 200
This Great Blue Heron created a mirror image reflection of itself in the glass-like water of Broad Creek one early morning as it took off and glided effortlessly, it’s wingtips nearly touching the surface.
May 28, 2011
Nikon 105 mm, F/5.6, 1/125, ISO 1600
My brother bought an old farmhouse on 60 acres in rural Virginia last year. They finally sold their house in suburbia and are now making their “new” old house a home. Last year the fields around the house were planted in wheat in the spring. Jenny and I stopped by one evening just when the sun was laying low on the horizon, casting a golden glow over the wheat field. I snapped several shots, but this one captured the color and texture that made me smile.
May 30, 2011
Nikon 105 mm, F/8, 1/250, ISO 180
I was standing on the dock with my Nikon when this Osprey, with its 9-foot wingspan, glided right above me so close I could see the detail of its fanned tail feathers.
May 28, 2011
Nikon 62 mm, F/8, 1/1000, ISO 400
A lone duck silently gliding across Broad Creek one evening caught my eye as I was relaxing on the bridge of my boat with a glass of wine. I reached for my Nikon and captured the image of this waterfowl isolated by the expanse of blue water that held it.
May 28, 2011
Nikon 105 mm, F/9, 1/320, ISO 100
Yes, a faster lens and shutter speed would have made this a sharper photo, but the limitations of equipment did not stop me from capturing the grace and splendor of this majestic bird as it took flight one early morning from its habitat on Broad Creek. Deltaville, Virginia
May 28, 2011
Nikon 105 mm, F/5.6, 1/125, ISO 1600
This brave squirrel sat confidently on the edge, taking in the view from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Even nature can admire itself!
July 28, 2006
Nikon 55 mm, F/10, 1/320
On the Monticello Wine Trail near Charlottesville, Virginia
October, 30, 2011
Nikon 18 mm, F/11, 1/125, ISO 125
August 23, 2009
Nikon 18 mm, F/4.9, 1/320, ISO 100
Great Blue Heron on Broad Creek, Deltaville, Virginia
June 21, 2011
Nikon 165 mm, F/11, 1/400, ISO 400
Close up and personal with this low hanging Maple branch on the trail at the wood’s edge near Rockfish River, Nellysford, Virginia.
Nikon 45 mm, F/11, 1/320, ISO 400
Rockfish River Loop Trail, Nellysford, Virginia, April 15, 2012
Nikon 75 mm, F/8, 1/1600, ISO 1000