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Calm Reflections Photography shares beautiful photographs that can be placed on mugs, mouse pads, canvas, puzzles, T-shirts, coasters and prints. Joanna Macaulay makes souvenirs of St. Mary’s County for tourists and local residents. Information about St. Mary’s County attractions, travel, events and photography can be found at her site. She now does pet photography as well.

To buy my photos, photo cards, and photo crafts of wildlife, pets, holidays and more, visit my Zazzle Photo store at

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Featured Post

GroundHog Visits

Our neighbor’s groundhog likes to visit.

Monday, October 25, 2010

More Pet Photo practice

I am learning to make high pitched silly noises to make the dog's ears perk up.  It seems to work better than squeaky toys.  It is very important in most cases to focus on your pet's eyes to get them sharp, since most people look right at the eyes of any person or animal in a photo.  We put DJ in a large bucket to add a little color and create a cute pose.

Friday, October 22, 2010

St. Mary's County Camera Club End of Year Competition

 On Oct 20th, the St. Mary’s County Camera Club had the end of year competition including all of the winning photographs from the monthly competitions.  I had entries in the Advanced Digital photos, 1 entry in advanced prints and 2 in Theme.  I was almost embarrassed to win Advanced digital 1st place (Point No Point Lighthouse) and 2nd (Osprey Landing) and 3rd (kitten 2) and both honorable mentions, (St. Mary’s College of MD Sunset and Gladiolus) plus 2nd place in advanced prints (Butterfly and Bee).  Several of the clubs best photographers spent a lot of time teaching and judging the club members at meetings, instead of competing.  I think it made it a lot easier for me to win.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bluhaven Piers in St. Mary's County

Bluhaven Piers, a 50 slip marina in South County is 6 miles from the Chesapeake Bay at 48409 Smith Drive in Ridge MD.  It’s an excellent location for fishing, sailing or just meandering in the creeks.  I took this lovely photo with its’ peaceful reflections last autumn on a calm clear day. (Bluhaven photo and photo merchandise available here) Bluhaven offers covered slips, a ship’s store, Hobie kayak sales and rentals and the usual marina services like bath and shower facilities, electric power, mechanic service, internet and a boat ramp.  It is located on Jutland and Smith creeks, home to bald eagles, great blue herons, deer and osprey.  Nearby attractions include Point Lookout State Park and Historic St. Mary’s City.  Several good restaurants like Sheible’s, Spinnaker’s, Courtney’s and the Brome Howard Inn are in easy reach.  The staff I have met from Bluhaven have always been friendly and courteous.  For more information about Bluhaven, visit their website at or call them at 301-872-5838.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pet Photography Practice

I try to find time to practice pet photography when I can.  I recently read a book I would recommend called "Pet Photography 101:  Tips for Taking Better Photos of your Dog or Cat" by Andrew Darlow.  The book has 101 tips for taking good pet photos.  He also has a companion pet photo tip website and a flickr site.

The first thing I concentrated on was trying to be at the same level as the pet.  For some of these photos I put my sister's Westies on a chair.  The chair was a fairly nice backdrop and I didn't have to lie on the floor to photograph them.  I moved the chair so that there wasn't a lot of extra things in the back and sides of the photos to distract your eye.

I also looked around for helpful props that we could use and found a dog leash, a Fire Chief hat and a silly martian headband.  The dog leash looked the best.  I am especially interested in humorous pet photography, so I also tried putting a dog in the little bathroom sink.

It was helpful to have my husband there to get the dog's attention.  Even with help, it still takes patience to get good photos.

I am gathering ideas for humorous photos.  Please send me any inexpensive ideas you have!  I plan to visit Target to see if they have any cute costumes.  I also got some useful props from the dollar store.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Solomon's Offshore Boat Races

Near St. Mary's County, we were happy to ride the short distance North to Calvert County to view the Solomon's Offshore Grand Prix.  We viewed the boat's on land before the race.  Even though the dreary weather probably reduced the crowd considerably, the race was still exciting. Miss Geico was one of the winners.  There were two races.  The first race had several groups of boats separated by varied starting times and the category 5 boats were limited to 75 mph.  The second race didn't have speed restrictions and included the famous Miss Geico (can't miss that yellow color!)