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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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Cormorants from St Michael’s Manor in St. Mary’s County.  They were very far away, and my focus was off a little, but I liked the reflection...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

St. Mary's County Fair will be held Sep 22-25, 2011

Visit the St. Mary's County Fair Sep 22-25, 2011, or better yet, enter one of the competitions.  If you have a beautiful flower in your yard, a photograph, art or craft item that you think is exceptional, enter it in the County Fair Wednesday afternoon or evening.

The full program is available at the St. Mary's County Libraries.  There are lots of things to see and do from visiting the animals, watching a competition, sampling the food and riding a Ferris Wheel.  Some of my past favorites included watching the Mitchell Showboat Marionettes (the kids are so cute) and viewing the chain saw wood carver.  There are lots of things to photograph at the fair too.  The official St. Mary's County Fair website is easily found.  And you can't beat the price, $5 for adults!

I am also excited and honored to be one of the photography judges this year, so I won't be posting any winning photos this year, but I plan to take photos of this year's Fair for fun.

Blue Angels visited Patuxent River

We recently went to the Patuxent River Air Expo in St. Mary’s County on a warm sunny day. The crowds were out in full force and the Blue Angels were spectacular (as always!). They love catching you off guard and appearing unexpectedly when the crowd’s attention is concentrating on a diverting maneuver. There were so many different planes it was really tough to pick out which ones to share. I decided to also share the Ely-Curtiss Pusher biplane, representing the centennial of Naval Aviation.

To photograph at an airshow, I recommend a zoom telephoto lens with at least 300-400mm for distance shots, the brightest lens you can afford. A polarizing filter or circular polarizer (for digital cameras) is also nice to emphasize blue skies.  It is also handy to have a more standard lens to photograph the stationary exhibits and the spectators.  I often get cute shots of kids on Dad's shoulder watching the sky or looking at the exhibit planes.

To see some official photos and get more information

Monday, September 5, 2011

Photographing butterflies

I recently went to Brookside Gardens with Camera Club friends to visit the “Wings of Fancy” butterfly display in Wheaton, MD, a conservatory in the gardens. The butterflies were very active at 10 am, making it difficult to focus on a moving target. I just loved the blue morphos, which have spotted brown wings when closed and reflected blue wings when open. The butterflies often land on people, making it great fun, but you do have to be careful not to injure them. It is also a good idea to use a macro lens with flash or a telephoto lens to blur the background.

The free gardens are open at sunrise and there is a fee for the butterfly exhibit and special programs. The gardens are well worth a visit.