Skyscape


This old farmhouse and barn sits just outside of Westminster, a couple of miles north of the town. I usually drive that route when I want to take a more scenic way into the town, instead of taking MD Rte 97 south from work. This is a very accessible site, just off the road, with easy parking… there aren’t many vehicles around that road (except on Mondays, when a nearby auction house is holding their occasional outdoor and barn auction). I’ve photographed this barn many times over the past year. The pond, well and barn always stop me dead in my tracks., and I pull over for a couple of minutes just savoring the view.

OM-2, Vivitar 24mm 1/500 at f/16, Fuji 400
OM-2, Vivitar 24mm, 1/500 at f/16, Fuji 400
OM-2, Sigma 35-105mm f/1.8, 35mm 1/500 at f/16, Fuji 400
OM-2, Zuiko 50mm, 1/500 at f/16, Fuji 400
OM-1, 50mm f/1.8, Fuji 200
Ricoh 500G, 1/250 at f/16 Fuji 200
Ricoh 500G, 1/250 at f/16, Fuji 200

Photographed with an OM-2, (Vivitar 24mm, Sigma 35-105mm, Zuiko 50mm f/1.8) OM-1 (50mm f/1.8) and Ricoh 500G


text and images © 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.
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I spotted this striking skyscape on my way home from work.. It must have been about 6.30 PM as I was driving south on Rte 27 near Damascus, MD. I looked for a good spot where I could get a clear view and pulled over to take the photographs. The lighting on the underside of the clouds was actually much softer and seemed to make the clouds glow with an inner radiance. The relative brightness of the scene (I was shooting into the sun) underexposed the lower part of the scene a little, and I lost some of the subtle details. I had my OM-2 and a Sigma 35-105mm zoom and was loaded with 400 ASA film, although a slower film would have been better for such a bright scene. I had to use a polarizer and protect my eyes while taking the shot – the Sigma is a beautiful lens, very sharp and ideal when one needs a “all-round” lens for a day trip, It’s surprisingly small and light, and very well constructed. I tend to have this lens in my camera bag a lot, and it has never failed to surprise me with its versatility.

Skyscape 1
Skyscape 2
Skyscape 3

Photographed with an OM-2, Sigma 35-105mm f/3.5-f/4.6 lens and Polarizer, Fuji Superia 400 film, 1/250 second at f/16


text and images © 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.
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These pictures of the evening sky over the Capital region were taken from Westminster, and from near Taylorsville, MD in Carroll County, looking towards the Southwest, which puts the trails in the general direction of Dulles International Airport about 50 miles away. It was about 6 pm in the evening, and I was struck by the number of vapor trails criss-crossing the region. It was a beautiful evening, and the glow of the sunset illuminating the trails made it just perfect.

Skyscape #1 – Westminster, MD
Skyscape #2 – Westminster, MD
Skyscape #3 – Westminster, MD
Skyscape #4 – Taylorsville, MD
Skyscape #5 – Taylorsville, MD

Photographed with a Ricoh 500G rangefinder (40mm f/2.8) 1/260 sec at f/16 on Fujicolor Super HQ 200 film.


text and images © 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.
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I had to visit Indiantown Gap in Lebanon County on business last week, It’s a little town about 20 miles east of Harrisburg, PA. It’s a great drive, 125 miles from Gaithersburg – you take 270 N to Frederick, then US 15 past Gettysburg until you pick up 81E near Harrisburg. Along the way, you pass by Cunningham State Forest and Mt. Mary College at the Maryland border, and its a pretty sight. There was snow on the ground too, and it was a very bright day. Indiantown Gap has a National Guard training center, and range. I was lucky enough to be there when the PA Guard was flying 2 of their A-10 Warthogs. Now that the Air Force does not use them anymore, it’s hard to see them anywhere. I had my Minolta and my OM-1 but since I had a 80-200mm zoom for the Minolta, I was able to take a few quick shots as they banked and flew overhead. Since the Maxxum AF lens is pretty slow (f/4-5.6), and I had fitted a polarizing filter which slows down the lens by another 2 stops, I had my doubts about whether I’d be able to get a worthwhile shot of a small dark object against a bright sky. I needn’t have worried – the Minolta’s metering was spot on, and here are the results – Of course, I wish I had my Tamron 70-300mm with me, but hey, that’s life. A slow 200mm is better than no shot any day. Besides, I had 400 ASA film in the camera, so I can’t complain.

A-10 Thunderbolt II ‘Warthog’
A-10 Thunderbolt II ‘Warthog’
A-10 Thunderbolt II ‘Warthog’
A-10 Thunderbolt II ‘Warthog’

Photographed with a Minolta Dynax 800si, Maxxum AF 80-200mm f/4.5-5.6 lens at 200mm, 1/350 sec on Fuji Superia 400 with a Polarizing filter.


text and images © 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.