photomatix

Captures from the Caverns

In Luray Virginia there are caves that date back to the tertiary period (2.6 to 65 million years ago) that lie within the Blue Ridge mountain range. This is a part of the Shenandoah Valley, where the scenery is just spectacular. I visited Luray Caverns recently, a place I had not been to since the mid 1980s and found it to be exactly as I remembered. These are limestone caves that show extraordinary colors and formations created by dripping water through the limestone.

There is a good amount of artificial lighting installed throughout, some of which is a bit harsh for photogs, but overall it's one of the wonders of the world.

Below are a few images from that visit.

The first image shows the point of discovery, the original entry point of August 1878. The staircase, obviously was installed later, but this is where you enter the caverns today from a building above.

Luray Caverns Discovery Point
Luray Caverns Discovery Point

Among the Stalactites (formed from the ceiling downward) and Stalagmites (formed from the floor up), we find an odd but curious object.

An organ!

As it turns out, many wedding ceremonies are performed in this chamber some 150 plus feet below the surface. Seems a rocky start to a marriage, but hey, (had to throw that cornball line in there). LOL

Cavern Organ
Cavern Organ

Just above the organ is this busy ceiling and an entryway to another section of the cavern.

Ceiling Above the Organ
Ceiling Above the Organ

In this final image there is an example of stalactites and stalagmites meeting to form a column, a process that can take thousands of years, depending on the distance between the two when the process begins. For instance, it is estimated that a 7 foot structure would develop in approximately 4000 years.

Stalactites and Stalagmites Meet
Stalactites and Stalagmites Meet

Hope you enjoyed the view!

Camera: Nikon D5000Lens: Nikkor 18-200mm Processing: HDR Efex Pro Photoshop CS5 - Color Efex Pro

4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM

Still Standing

In a previous post we visited a tree farm where there were acres of evergreen trees neatly lined up in rows. Today, we take another point of view, one that always causes me to wonder about times past. Whenever I see an old building I think about how things must have been in it's glory days when it was all spiffed up and standing proudly. The builders must have had a high degree of admiration for their accomplishment. But that was yesteryear. Well weathered and worn, these two buildings have seen their better days. One is a barn, while the other may have had another purpose, not sure. You can see that many years have past since the stood proudly. Nevertheless, they are "Still Standing".

Still Standing
Still Standing

I ran the 3 exposure through Photomatix then pulled them into CS5 where a Topaz Adjust layer was employed. Topping things off was a light vignette via onOne Software's FocalPoint 2.

Camera: Nikon D5000

Lens: Nikkor 18-200mm

Processing: Photomatix Pro 4 – Photoshop CS5 - FocalPoint 2Topaz Adjust

4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM

Early Morning Sky Over Business Center

This post shows an early Spring morning sky that is clearing after a night of stormy weather. In a previous post entitled "Lone Office Tower", I explained how I had been out searching for that illusive sunrise. Sunrises are often spectacular after a storm, but not on this occassion as the sky remained cloudy and overcast.

The building below is part of the Owings Mills Business Center, which houses many financial institutions and other business interests. This is the Care First / Blue Cross - Blue Shield Building.

It was my business to capture a show-stopping sunrise that morning but ended up capturing this shot instead. :-)

Early Morning Sky Over the Business Center
Early Morning Sky Over the Business Center

Camera: Nikon D5000 | Lens: Nikkor 18-200mm Processing: Photomatix Pro 4 - Photoshop CS5

4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM