The Autumn of 2005

As we near the autumn of 2012, our thoughts turn inward. We think of colder times ahead and we just want to curl up with a book and a nice cup of tea — or look at memories from bygone years, like photos from the autumn of 2005, taken seven years ago. Most of them were taken in Grosvenor Park, a nice, quiet community in Maryland where we were living at the time. You’ll see Ligia in a few of the photos, sitting quietly at the edge of a pond where ducks were getting ready for their annual migration.


The Spring of 2004

Two thousand four was the year I started to get serious about photography. I was still shooting with whatever cameras I had available instead of seeking out the best equipment I could get, but I’d started to examine my composition, my framing, the shapes I tried to capture, and photography started to appeal more and more to me.

I still remember vividly the day I took most of these photos. I’d just made a momentous decision, one which had troubled me for months, and after getting it over with, I felt the need to relax, so I went outside. It was a gorgeous spring day. The birds were chirping in the trees, the sun bathed everything in soft, warm light, and I felt at peace. Even though I was under tremendous stress, I knew everything would turn out alright. I shut every stray thought out and focused solely on the beautiful images I was seeing in nature. After an hour of walking and taking photos here and there, I was fully relaxed and ready to take on the things that would come my way.

The photos were taken with an Elura 40 MC (a Mini DV camera from Canon that took 1024×768 photos) and an Olympus C3000Z, a wonderful camera (for its time) which took wonderful and clear photos as long as it had enough light and the ISO stayed under 400.


A mockingbird calls for mates

During the summer of 2008, we had a fairly constant companion in a small tree right outside our building. It was a male mockingbird, who spent most of the month of June calling out for mates. He was loud, insistent, and didn’t scare easily. He sat in that tree day in, day out, exposing himself to danger from passing hawks and other predatory birds, braving all of that in order to propagate his genes.

I recorded his calls one sweltering afternoon, and only now got around to editing the video, 2½ years later.



Autumn scenes from Maryland and DC

I took these photos in Rock Creek Park, DC, and in Grosvenor Park, MD. I selected them based on their ability to evoke the quiet hours of autumn afternoons, with the soft golden rays of the sun lighting up the burnished hues of the autumn leaves.

You might notice something else if you click on each photo to see it large… I’ll let those of you familiar with my photos to find out what it is. I may continue to do this in the future…


Summer scenes from Grosvenor Park

For the past several years, we’ve lived in a beautiful community in North Bethesda, MD, called Grosvenor Park. The community was built inside a forest that stretches from Bethesda to Rockville. This is a video recorded in that forest, on the shore of a brook that makes its way through the community, in the summer of 2008.

The nature that surrounded us while we lived there was a constant source of inspiration and relaxation for us. I wrote and posted photos taken in Grosvenor Park in the past, too. If you’d like to see more, here’s where you can start:

You can also see several hundred photos from Grosvenor Park and from North Bethesda in my photo catalog.


The June rainstorm

I happened to have my video camera with me one June day as the sky darkened and it began to thunder loudly. Birds, scared by the noise, took flight. Soon, rain began to fall, in buckets. Everyone who didn’t take cover got drenched to the skin in seconds.

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This video was recorded in Grosvenor Park, North Bethesda — a beautiful community near Washington, DC, USA. I have lots of photos from Grosvenor Park in my photo catalog. Some are posted below, but feel free to click through and view all of them.


Grosvenor metro station

There’s a neat tunnel that goes under 355 (one of the main roads in our area) and surfaces right at the Grosvenor-Strathmore metro station, under a beautiful canopy of curved glass, framed with steel ribs and anchored with pillars.



If you’ve ever seen one of the old classic cars (early 1910s and 1920s) that had the pull-down roof which folded in the back, the glass canopy follows the same concept, except (of course) it’s anchored in the up position all the time. Come to think of it, the design also recalls the large, see-through fuselages of the big bomber planes of WWII. The effect is a successful combination of post-modernism with industrial-age design elements.



The same canopy design (initially restricted to just a few metro stations) has now been extended to all of the stations I’ve visited. The canopy sizes are varied based on the size of the tunnel that leads down to the metro. I’m glad to see a good design philosophy being consistently applied and adapted to existing conditions, and I congratulate WMATA on making sure the work was carried through to completion.

This is my Week 6 submission for the 2008 Community Challenge.