Manassas/Bull Run

Posted June 3rd, 2009 by Devin and filed in Civil War, History, Iron Brigade, Photography

img_2374Besides visiting the NASM while in D.C. this past weekend, I also spent more than my fair share of time out at the Manassas National Battlefield Park.  It’s a beautiful woodland area now smack dab in the middle of urban sprawl.  I have to admit to not knowing a lot about most of the first battle of Bull Run, and I have only studied about one aspect of the Second Battle.

My area of interest is Brawner’s Farm, where the Iron Brigade first saw combat as a unit on August 28th, 1862.  The farm remained in private hands after the war and up until the late 20th century.  It’s still a relatively unknown part of the park, as the National Parks Service is still restoring the site and mentions it only in passing in the park literature.  It took me a while to find the place amidst terrific thunderstorms that moved through the Washington area on May 29th, but find it I did, at last, and during a 15 minute break in the weather I was able to walk the field completely alone.

The photos are random shots from the Henry Hill area of the First Bull Run area of the battlefield, and the shots of the white two-story house are the Brawner farmhouse.

National Air and Space Center

Posted June 1st, 2009 by Devin and filed in History, Photography

img_2456This past weekend Kristen and I traveled to Washington D.C. While she was in conferences all weekend, I rented a car and did my usual “visit old stuff” thing. I made several trips out to the Manassas battlefield (more on that in another post) and finally made my way to the National Air and Space Udvar-Hazy Center.  This center, far from the confines of the D.C. mall, is in a remodeled hangar at Dulles airport.  The facility is massive and houses dozens of rare and wonderfully restored aircraft.  I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

Some of the photos are a bit on the dark side as I only had my small camera (one does not take the Chinatown bus while lugging a ton of camera equipment) and the built-in flash just isn’t effective in such an enviroment from any sort of distance.

Just a New Year’s test…

Posted December 31st, 2008 by Devin and filed in Photography, Whatever

manhattan1After setting up the cool new WordPress 2.7 for a friend, I decided to upgrade my old version as well.  This is just a test so I can assure myself I didn’t make the whole thing go BOOM.

Happy New Year to everyone!

Chanel Mobile Art

Posted October 27th, 2008 by Devin and filed in Photography, Whatever

chanel I put together the in-progress shots I have taken during my stint at the Chanel Mobile Art project in Central Park.  The event has opened to the public and runs through November 9th.  The exhibit houses approximately 10 art installations, including painting, photography, film, and sculpture.  Each visitor gets a personal tour,  guided by an MP3 player (which thankfully is NOT an iPod!) and makes for a unique experience.  As I heard a visitor remark yesterday, “Say what you will about liking the art or not, but you’ll never experience anything like that again!”

USS Intrepid Underway

Posted October 6th, 2008 by Devin and filed in History, Photography

 This past Thursday, October 2nd, the floating museum USS Intrepid returned to her west side Manhattan berth, after a yard period and exile to Staten Island.  Intrepid was launched in 1943 and served through WWII and Vietnam.  She doesn’t look a lot like she did back in 1943 anymore, due to upgrades and refits, but she’s still an impressive ship.

The tow was right at mid-day, and there were a surprising number of spectators on the 14th street pier here in Hoboken.  I say surprising because I only found out about the move the day before, and honestly a big gray boat moving along the Hudson isn’t that odd of an occurrence.  I met some very nice people, and some tourists from Boston shared their picnic lunch with me.

The photos are a bit washed out due to the time of day, but the ship still looks better than I’ve ever seen her, sporting a new coat of paint.  More photos here.

The Sun Also Rises

Posted September 16th, 2008 by Devin and filed in Photography

Sept16_1Since I’m preparing to work nights on an art installation in Central Park this coming fall (more on that later) I decided to get up early and watch the sunrise this morning.  I thought these shots a good contrast to the sunset shot of yesterday.

I’ve recently come to the realization of why I love photography.  First, it is simply the art of capturing what is there.  Point the camera, shoot, and the world takes care of the rest of it.  Secondly, photos are process of capturing that which is temporary.  The clouds, the colors, the Empire State Building, and especially the person holding the camera. All temporary.
Sept16_2

Fall

Posted September 15th, 2008 by Devin and filed in Photography

September 15 I’ve been feeling guilty about not posting lately.  I’m making myself more busy than I should, and it doesn’t appear I’m letting myself off the hook anytime soon.  I did get some time just to sit on the deck this evening, though, and caught this photo.  The shadows today and the quality of the light both during the day and at sunset reminded me that fall is upon us.  My favorite time of the year.

Travels Part 2: Upstate Retreat

Posted August 20th, 2008 by Devin and filed in Photography, Whatever

img_1964.jpgAfter returning from the Nationals, Kristen and I went up into the Catskills of New York to spend a few days at the Dai Bosatsu Zendo.  If you want seclusion you can’t do much better than this place unless you know of somewhere that has no electricity.  We spent several days in what they call Beecher House; it has some connection to Harriet Beecher Stowe, but I am not sure exactly what that connection is as of yet (I haven’t researched that hard, though).  Regardless of the connection, it is a great place to write.  I took a few photos of the lake, from the lake, and of the family of 7 snakes that lived under the patio, who would come out every morning and sun themselves on the grass.

Mist on the lake    Beecher House

Snakes!    The mountain

Storms

Posted August 2nd, 2008 by Devin and filed in Photography

stormeast.jpgTwo shots of the weather that rolled through earlier today.  I shot 4 gigs of photos trying to get the elusive shot of a lightning strike.  One of my life’s goals.  No such luck today, but I did catch these funky boiling clouds.

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Gettysburg, once more.

Posted July 13th, 2008 by Devin and filed in Civil War, History, Iron Brigade, Photography

Buford at SunsetThis past week I returned to Gettysburg and spent four days there and at Antietam taking tours, talking to historians, guides and rangers, and doing general research.  I stayed at my usual hotel on the site of General Lee’s headquarters during the battle.  Its proximity to the first day’s field on the west of town is very convenient since that’s the focus of my research.  To be within walking distance on a battlefield that is approximately 25 square miles is a huge bonus. This was my first real summer visit to the area, and I highly recommend it even though it was hot and humid.  The various summer programs going on throughout Gettysburg will keep anyone busy.  I was there four days and there were at least another four days worth of activities I wish I could have stayed around for. The tour guides and rangers were of great help while I was there, especially Joanne Lewis, who came in on her day off to give me a tour of the Gettysburg Day 1 field, Gerry Eak, who gave me a great tour of the town of Gettysburg itself, and Mannie Gentile, who gives a wonderful no-nonsense tour of the Antietam field.

I’ve posted some photos here.  Yeah, more sunset photos.  No matter where I go in the world it seems my camera ends up focusing on sunsets and clouds.