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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


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...

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Camera Club 15th Anniversary Celebration

The St.Mary's County Camera Club celebrated their 15th Anniversary last week at their annual holiday party.  Founded on November 2, 1998 at the Trinity Church Parish Hall in St. Mary's City, there were 40 attendees when the new club began.  A few of the original members,  a number of alumni and many current camera club members enjoyed a pizza party and viewed "Islands" slide show, created by Joanna Macaulay and presented at the first meeting.  "Islands" included favorite photos of locations around the world including islands as large as Manhattan and Hong Kong and as small as Spirit Island in Moraine Lake Alberta Canada.  Many lovely photos from the Caribbean Islands and Hawaii were included in the short presentation as well.  Here are a few of my favorite slides from "Islands".

Spirit Island Alberta, Canada

South shore Bermuda

Three cats Avalon, New Jersey

Pelican, Caribbean

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Four Captive Owls

I had a chance to photograph some captive injured owls up close.  It was sort of difficult taking photos in midday light without over exposing the white feathers, but I tried my best.  They had four owls to share with the group of photographers.

The Bard Owl was the largest bird I photographed and very sleepy.  This is the best shot I could get.  In most of my photos, he/she had his eyes half closed.  I did get a chance to see it's additional protective eye lids.


I really liked the Barn Owl (without the barn!) What a face!  Barn owls are one of the most common type of owls and are found all over the world. 

This little owl is an Eastern Screech owl.  They are very small and fairly common in the eastern United States.  I've photographed several of them before including one in my September 6, 2013 and April 23, 2012 blogs if you want to see more.


The long eared owl has asymmetrical ear tufts.  The ears don't line up perfectly, which helps them locate their prey.  The left ear is higher than the right.

A good online source of information about owls is All About Birds.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Hollywood craft show

I am one of the vendors at the craft show at the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Dept this Sunday November 17th from 10am-3pm. The firehouse is on route 235 in Hollywood, MD. Admission is free and lunch is available. Come see my new photo coasters or buy some Holiday gifts. I also have St. Mary's County photo mugs, unique cards, prints and more.
For more information, go to

My friend, Theresa Ford will be there too with her fractals, her books and more.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Shenandoah in autumn

We managed to find a hotel room at the last minute in Luray, VA for a weekend, before all the colored leaves disappeared. The peak colors are about 2 weeks earlier than in Southern MD. I searched google maps for a spot just off a back road along the Shenadoah River with mountains in view. We drove there for the sunrise and found swirling mist on the water. Lovely.

The next morning we drove to the lower entrance of Whiteoak Canyon trail. Along the way we passed an old red barn in nice warm light.

We met some photography friends and hiked to the lower falls. After hiking 1.5 miles, we learned that you need to hop over rocks to get to the falls. I managed to get over the rocks with assistance. It was worth it.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lighthouse Water Tour

Hooper Island LighthousePoint No Point LighthouseBanana SpiderBoat Rainbow

Lighthouse Water Tour, a set on Flickr.

We took a tour of several lighthouses on the Chesapeake Bay on Phil Langley's Lisa S in late September. There were several camera clubs invited. The day was quite windy, so I didn't get an award winning photo of Point No Point with a lovely reflection, but we had lots of fun and had lunch together afterwards.

Friday, October 25, 2013

National Parks are open again

In honor of the "return" of our National Parks, I want to share the winning photos of their Summer Scrapbook. Notice that many of the photos are all about the light, often taken near sunrise or sunset. The color of light is often more saturated and beautiful toward dawn and dusk. At noon, the light if flatter, with short shadows. Get out there and take some pictures of those fall colors in good light!

I'm sharing an August 2013 panorama from Shenandoah National Park's Black rock summit trail taken with an iphone app called Photosynth. A rock slide is at the summit.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Winning photo for the Photowalk!

Hot off the press!

The winners of the local Kelby Worldwide Photowalk in Leonardtown were:

Third place to Pat French for her Sailboat photo.

Second place to Steve Bruza for his coffee cup picture.


First place to Joanna Macaulay (hey, that's me!) for a reflection photo of the Café des Artistes window.

The photo was a little busy, but colorful, picking up the reflection of the flowers in the square by standing at just the right angle and waiting for the cars to disappear.  I think about half of the photographers took a photo of the "happy chef".

The photo will be entered in another contest, and I win something, but I don't know what.  My husband, Jim won the first prize last year, an e-book copy of The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Book for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby.  His photo was a panorama photo of a pond at Flag Ponds Nature Park in Calvert County.  See my blog from October 31, 2012.

To see the other photos in the contest, click Leonardtown Photowalk Contest.

Photowalk Day Leonardtown Photos Taken Before and After the Official Walk

Jim and I participated in the Kelby Worldwide Photowalk in Leonardtown, MD on October 5th.  The light was very interesting before the walk.  There was some low fog hanging around the farms and St. Mary's City on the drive to the walk, with a lovely sunrise at the Leonardtown Wharf.  I was planning to include photos of items in the stores and people walking on the street during the Photowalk.  There were very few people and the stores that I saw were closed till 10 AM on a Saturday morning.  Most of the people I saw were other photographers! 

Sooo,  I am posting photos taken earlier in the day, and photos taken at the Corner Critters pet shop after the Photowalk.  Corner Critters is always an interesting store to visit.  They have many reptiles and also have mice, guinea pigs, fish, birds and there was even a pink parrot.  The staff  I've met have been very nice and willing to share information about the animals.  (To see photos taken during the Photowalk, you can visit my Flickr site or my Facebook page, all listed under Calm Reflections Photography.)

Catholic Chapel Historic St. Mary's City

Bench at Leonardtown Wharf

Kayaker at Sunrise Leonardtown Wharf

Leonardtown Wharf

Photos After the Photowalk at Corner Critters Pet Store

Mouse taking an afternoon nap


Yellow Python

Monday, October 14, 2013

A fun photography app

If you have an iphone, I recently discovered a fun app called Lenslight. As of this writing it is free.

It adds stars, suns, lens flares, bokeh, dust, and color and black and white filters to photos on your phone. And you can add them in layers and move the flares around. I probably wouldn't use it on a serious photo, but it sure is fun and creative.

I added a filter and sun to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and a chroma ring to my Blue angels photo.

For more information see:

Please add a comment and a link if you find lenslight available for android or other phones.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Ferris Wheel at the St. Mary's County Fair

We went to the St. Mary's County Fair in Leonardtown on three different days, Sep 19-21.  One day we bumped into our friend Beth and had fun taking Ferris wheel photos together.  The larger Ferris wheel was covered in little LED lights that made fascinating patterns as the wheel was stationary or spinning.  Here are just a few of the patterns I photographed using a tripod to steady the camera in the dark at a low speed.  The colors were gorgeous!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fair winners Sep 19-22, 2013

Congratulations to the photography winners at the St. Mary's County Fair photo photo exhibit. Adult champion was Beth Fabey for a bicycle on a street, pictorial photo.
Life in st marys champion went to Cindy Pastorius for a corn photo.
The previous County Fair champion winner was Rose Guyther with a photo of goats and sheep.
Junior Champion was a still life by Dana Schwalbe of a "Love" shadow on the sand.
Kids Champions were Halei Long for a mosaic photo with a embedded heart shape and Kaia Ganzell for a photo of a female street vendor with a child. Great job!
I was one of 3 photo judges this year for the contest.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Solomon's Offshore Grandprix boat race

We spent most of the day on Sunday September 15th on Solomon's Island watching the exciting boat races from about 12-5 pm along the boardwalk section of the Patuxent River. It was the national finals.
I photographed a red boat (623) and Cisco with the bows off the water and Cleveland Construction (green) racing by the Solomon's pier restaurant. I am sharing some interesting pictures of Wazzup (purple with yellow flames) accepting a winning checkered flag and the crazy celebration circles it made in the water afterwards.
Some of the winners included Tug It, Cisco, Wazzup, and Miss Mary Mac.
For once, the day was lovely, bright and sunny, which made for poor photos with bright overhead light and a happier crowd.
(overcast days and photos early or late in the day have better contrast)
To learn more about the race, see

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Pops on the Potomac

I'm posting this a little later than I should for a concert on August 17th. We photographed Pops on the Potomac, conducted by Jeffrey Silberschlag from St. Mary's County, with many members of the Chesapeake Orchestra. The concert began at 7pm at the National Harbor, just outside of Washington, D.C. near large hotels and an upscale shopping district. The National Harbor's stage is basically an open area near the water with a large backdrop behind the orchestra.
As the photographer, I was in plain sight, since there was no where to "hide" from the audience. The music sounds great from up close! We're also enjoying meeting lots of musicians. The orchestra members are all nice people.
They played some wonderful movie music including the theme from "Gladiator", "Superman", "Pink Panther" and James Bond music. "Sleigh Ride", the maestro's fun summer joke was played, as well as the patriotic portion of the "1812 Overture".
The next visit for Pops on the Potomac includes the jazz band for the Christmas tree lighting on November 29, 2013, Black Friday.