Volunteer Re-Enactment

Outside of Jamestown VA Nikon Coolpix P900 @ f/5.6 = 661.2mm

It was Saturday April 8th at 1:38pm in an open field near Jamestown, VA. We were not looking for a Civil War Re-enactment, but there it was along a public road. There weren’t a lot of spectators around; maybe less than fifty. The soldiers were doing drill maneuvers as the Sergeant barked out his orders. The volunteer troops were properly in-line and turned correctly at each command. I wondered if the 1860’s volunteer soldiers were as precise? Today’s soldiers were tall, short, skinny, and fat; most of them had beard’s and/or mustaches. The sun was shining—the day was hot, for April, at 66° and it looked like the soldiers were wearing woolen uniforms. The marching had stopped, and they were at attention awaiting the next orders.

I quickly scanned the group with the Nikon Coolpix P900 (Super-zoom 24-2000mm). I landed on the face of this man. His beard was full, with a face that looked like he was a re-incarnation of his double that had fought in the War-Between-the-States. The big-bore rifle, by his side, was standing just as erect as he was. His head seemed to be drawn back in anticipation of the coming order of parade-rest or dismissed. It was, “Dismissed.” I was just in time. I only fired off one shot of him.

The image was adjusted from color to black & white in Lightroom; I paid particular attention to his eyes under the shade of his cap using the iris adjustment brush. I sent the image into Nik Silver Effects Pro 2 and continued with other adjustments.

This printed image won 1st Place at the Baltimore Camera Club with a perfect score from a panel of three judges. (The Baltimore Camera Club is the longest continuous meeting camera club in the United States.) Thank you Judges.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Road Less Traveled…

Nikon D700 f/11 1/60sec ISO 200 35mm — Jerry Taylor

A famous poem by Robert Frost begins with —“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…” and ends with “I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” The image is not yellow woods and there is only one road. Frost goes on to say, that both roads were “worn … really about the same” and they “that morning equally lay…” Both roads were very similar; he made a choice.

Frost pursued the successful road of a poet – you and I may have initially taken singular roads; some of us have crisscrossed on many different roads. Maybe you are satisfied with one road or maybe the many roads have defined who you are today. If I keep the “road” metaphor going, some roads were tangled with regret – like the recorded travel of Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. Maybe, you retraced your steps to rediscover a road you wanted to pursue many years ago. Maybe, today you are on that road. Regardless of our choice of roads, our collective journeys continue from birth to death and all the joys and sorrows that are tied to life. Despite all the difficulties of life’s journey or the roads taken I like to think of the book A Long Obedience in the Same Direction written by Eugene Peterson. Read the title again – what does it mean to you? The book is about discipleship; we are all disciples of something. You get to choose.

The photograph was taken on what we call our “34 Days Across America.” I climbed the hill beside the road to get a panorama of the colorful hills. At first, I did not want to include the newly paved road. However, the road was part of our storied 11,244-mile journey. It was a road that weaved us through the painted West, and all the sights from beginning to end.

Whatever, 2019 holds for you. As much as it depends on you be at peace with everyone and travel your road in the same direction that achieves peace, your goals for prosperity, and your service to others.

Happy New Year

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Brexit, Scotland & Independence

Brexit, Scotland, & Independence

Photo and Story by Stephanie Banks

This summer David and I traveled to Scotland to hike in the highlands and on the Isle of Skye.  Inverness was the point of departure for our hike north.  While waiting for our late afternoon train from Inverness to Edinburgh and our flight back to the United States, we were swept up in an anti-Brexit movement.   We learned that the questions Scotland faces are can Scotland block Brexit; can Scotland remain in the EU and the UK while England leaves; and can Scotland leave the UK and remain in the EU?  Scotland has a pro-remain majority and has asserted its sovereign right to determine the form of government best suited to its needs.

The entire town came out with kilts, bagpipes, and banners.  There was a contingent of residents in wheelchairs who showed their support.  Entire streets of Inverness were crowded with motorcyclists, marching throngs of people carrying signs, loud speakers announcing Scotland’s position, followed by a huge assembly at a local park.  We spent over an hour following the protestors.  It was very exciting to be participating in and documenting this very important historical event.

(Editorial Note: “The UK has until the end of 2020 to change its mind about leaving Europe’s single market. Scottish independence, with nearly 85% of the electorate voting, was ‘no’ to independence 55.2% to 45.7%.)

“A Memory, A Story, Stopped in Time” ® is a Registered/Copyrighted phrase used by Maryland Photography Alliance (MPA) with permission from jerrytaylorphoto.com and www.photographystopstime.com Members of MPA can submit photos and stories to Jerry Taylor at jerrytaylorphoto@gmail.com for future entry on the Maryland Photography Alliance’s website or in www.photographystopstime.com — Your image will not be edited and should be limited to 1,200 px on the long side and story of 350 words or less (stories may be edited for clarity or brevity).
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Outside Salatiga, Indonesia Nikon D700 f/10 @70mm @1/400 ISO 200

(Originally Published 2017) I recently heard from Sid Thornton in Indonesia and he sent me a photo to remind me of our day out “shooting” in the countryside. It was November 1, 2012; it was my birthday. It was foggy and warm. His reminder caused me to look back into my own digital image files and I found a similar image that I had processed. Sid told me that the site of this particular image is now a super highway. The image took me back to all the activities of that day. Earlier that morning (4am) Sid and I climbed an extinct volcano and from our lofty height we were able to see other volcanic mountains at a distance; some just dormant and not extinct. Mount Merbabu

Later, that day, I remember jumping from a high wall that surrounded a cemetery; I fell hard with bloody results. A scrapped left hand, bloody knees and ripped holes in the knees of my pants; I was embarrassed. But, Sid, who had jumped successfully before me, stood there clapping as I held my camera high in the air — safe and sound — with the right hand that didn’t hit the pavement.

It was a day, I have told him many times, that I will never forget.

Tranquility, adventure, and another year older. Yet, it was just another memory and story that was in fact — stopped in time. But, progress, it seems, never stops.

BTW — Thank you Lisa Richardson — you were the reason we were there in the first place.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


(Original Post 2017) I admit it – I am a leaf peeper, and foliage fanatic. Camera in hand, I will search for fiery seasonal spices like cayenne red and saffron yellow to add to my color palette. Usually, the dangers faced in these pursuits are limited to the occasional acorn falling on my head, or missing dinner and the last hunk of pumpkin pie. Darn!

Last fall, things got scarier. It was a sunny morning with a cool breeze. Needing some shots, and being afflicted with autumn wanderlust, I donned my brown fleece jacket, grabbed my D90, and headed to a new shoot location. Once there, I spied good vantage points downstream. All I had to do was walk a path that turned to jungle, scooch and butt-slide over big boulders, watch out for copperheads, and not fall in. What could go wrong?

Those of you who have traipsed through the woods with me know that I will blaze my own trail. Some might say I don’t even follow a trail, but just blunder like a graceless wildebeest through muck, briars, and all manner of obstacles. I neither confirm nor deny those claims, but in the story I impart to you now, they seem more true than false.

I made it but realized the view would be better from the middle of the river. Thus, began the leapfrogging. Still, all went well. I got the shots and began heading to shore. Somehow, the trip back suddenly looked more dangerous. I must have jinxed myself with those thoughts because on the next jump I hit a slick rock and fell backward into the cold torrent.

I won’t call what I did next swimming because it wasn’t that pretty, but I did manage to heave my bruised carcass onto a big rock and catch my breath. Eventually, I made my way to the car, but I learned a valuable lesson – D90s can’t swim! After a few weeks of drying out, it came back to life – kind of. Like its owner, it has its share of odd quirks.

That led me to another valuable lesson – if you ever need a new camera, just accidentally “fall” into the next body of water you come across. Your wife will be so happy that you’re okay, that she’ll let you get a new camera. (Assuming she doesn’t read this story!) I went with the D750. The subject photo always reminds me that anyone who saw me slosh out of the river that day probably recalls their encounter with the great brown dunderhead and his leaky camera. It was a soggy memory; a story caught in time.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Myanmar (Burma) 2/17/15 Nikon D750 f/10 1/500sec 2 24mm

(Originally posted in 2017) We visited the Thailand/Myanmar border on a previous trip to Thailand in October of 2011, but were restricted from crossing over into Myanmar. However, a short four years later we spent a month (February 2015) in Myanmar. We visited in a girl’s school helping with the English language; we visited with Counselors, Teachers, and Professors; our interactions were about Marriage and Family Therapy. We were restricted to the city of Yangon for most of our time, but what a time it was. To be in a place that was cut off from most of the Western World for many years was challenging. The people were gracious. I learned for the first time to really use chop-sticks. We stayed in the local hotels and ate at the local restaurants. As we always do – we had a jar of Jif Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter as back-up.

Now, about the image. In our travels, mostly by taxi, I was always ready to “grab the shot” of anything interesting. The roads were crowded and traffic stopped frequently. (One of my other favorite images from that trip was a traffic jam of buses, cars, trucks, and Trishaws – but that’s another story.) For this image – we were going about 2 mph; the window is rolled down and my camera lens is sticking out of the window just to capture anything. Ahead of us I saw two Buddhist Monks cross the street. When the taxi got closer to them they were walking up some steps. I clicked the shutter, probably a couple of times. I didn’t see the full-sized image until we got home and I downloaded them onto my desktop. Amazing, I had caught a “Decisive Moment,” the term attributed to Henri Cartier-Bresson in images like this one. The monks were climbing the steps and each one had a foot up in the air. I recolored the image, in Lightroom, to keep the colorful saffron robes and desaturated (took the color out) the background. I wanted the Monks to be the focal point. A philosophical question arose from my colorization. Are they walking into darkness or bringing light?


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NYPD BLUE by Steve Sattler

The year was 1996 and I was enrolled in a B/W darkroom class at a local community college. Our subject assignment that week was street photography, so I decided to take a day off from work for a New York City adventure.

Destiny that day led me to a decision to park in New Jersey and train it into the city. After climbing the steps out of the subway, I was soon immersed in something I hadn’t expected. Before my eyes were many police cars, fire engines and ambulances. I thought I was witnessing an active crime scene. Policemen were everywhere and people were moving around at a very fast pace.

I walked into the scene as fast as I could, and of course out came my camera ready to capture the action. I soon learned my first impression was wrong. I had not walked into a crime scene. I had walked into the filming of “NYPD Blue”, one of the most popular television shows that year.

I took many shots that day but this image continues to resonate with me, and haunts me at the same time. The person on the left is not an actor. He is a real-life fireman. The person on the right is the actress Kim Delaney, who had begun her role on NYPD Blue the year before, and who went on to win an Emmy for her role in the series.

This image resonates with me because I see a very young man with his eyes sparkling, with a beautiful actresses’ hand on his shoulder, and with a glow of happiness written all over his face.

The image haunts me. Five years in the future would be 9/11, and if this young man was still with the fire department, based on where we were that day, he surely would have been sent to the towers. I’m haunted in wanting to know if he was involved with 9/11. I wonder if he lost his life that day. In a strange way taking this picture gives me a connection to a story stopped in time, but forever living on!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ANGEL DOGWOOD by Jerry Taylor

Pylesville, Maryland Pentax K-1000 Kodak Tri-X 400 50mm at f/2.

The memory is pretty vague; the year was 1976 or 1977. I know it was a very rainy week when the Dogwood trees bloom in the early Spring. I liked to go out when the sun was just rising. We lived on six and one-half acres and had just built the house for our young family. Our dog Max would go on my little adventures as I walked the property with my new toy – the Pentax K-1000; my first real camera with interchangeable lenses.

Photographically, I was looking for deep contrast for my Tri-X 400 film. Looking for that brightness against the dark background. Dogwoods were everywhere. This one was different. I have seen diagrams of the cherubim, the angels that were on the Ark of the Covenant, of Old Testament history. The Ark that carried the tablets of the Law of Moses. To my artistic eye, the arch of this Dogwood flower reminded me of the angel’s wings. I had never seen a Dogwood bloom like this one before; not even a photo or print or painting. It was alone at the end of the branch. The sun was rising above it. The translucence of the petals and the leaves were nothing like I had ever seen before; the light shining a thin line on the branch. It was a moment it time. I have searched for another Dogwood bloom like this for decades; I’ve never found one.  As you can see this image is soft. The great Bokha was created from the sun and the leafy trees behind the bloom. Even though it is not sharp it is a favorite image of mine and hangs on our living room wall, stopped in time.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Nikon CoolPix P900 f/3.5 0.8sec ISO 800

If you were walking through the second floor of the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC and you saw this face – what would you think? If you said “Rabbi” or “Jewish Ancestry,” in the context of the environment, I would agree. The place was crowded, as it is every time we’ve gone, lots of school age children, people bumping and squeezing past each other. At first, I saw him at a distance, and yes, I bumped and squeezed to get closer; I finally reached out and touched his shoulder to get his attention. He wasn’t startled. He was a short man compared to my six feet something frame. I asked if I could ask him a few questions and take his photograph. He hesitated. I said a few more words of introduction; he said, “Okay.” followed by, “It was the beard wasn’t it?”  “Yes, and the glasses.” I replied. (I didn’t say what I was thinking earlier.) He said, “Don’t see that many wavy full beards here in the East, do you?” As it turned out he is from Washington State. “I know people in Wenatchee, WA.” I said. “Yea, I occasionally drive through Wenatchee. I am a long-haul truck driver.” At the instant I took this photo someone pushed by me, thus, it’s not a great photo, but hopefully, you see what I saw and why I wanted the photo.

We were in Wenatchee, WA on what we call our “34 Days Across America” . We visited one of our former Marriage and Family Therapists, Tim Van Rheenen and his wife Tiffany. It would be a hoot if the bearded guy, I never got his name, had said, “Oh, I know Tim.”

The point of the story. We can pass interesting people everyday and we do. What would make you want to stop and talk for a couple of minutes? Share? Ask questions? Are you willing to try? Or, would it be too pushy?  Maybe, you’ll discover your fabled six degrees of separation. (One day I will tell a Six Degree story from Thailand.)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


“Flight” Nikon D700 f/5.6 1/40sec ISO 100 70mm

It was just a piece of paper! One of twelve given out at the Eighth Annual Joseph Miller Abstract Photography Exhibit in Gainesville, Virginia. There were 396 entries from a worldwide entry pool and only 123 entries were accepted into the show. To be accepted was the first recognition; the second was an award. The final potential is one of those twelve will be chosen as “Best of Show.” (The show ends May 31, 2018.)

“I personally consider abstract photography to be modern art. …the camera can produce art if the photographer will take the time and make the effort to see beyond the obvious.” J Miller

Yes, as you can guess, I did receive one of those twelve pieces of paper for the image above. But, I began to think about the event on the two-hour drive home, “Why is a piece of paper so important?” Most of the time the paper is about accomplishment. Think about all the awards you received from schools – beginning in Elementary all the way through High School, Community College, Technical Schools, College, Graduate School, etc. Each time you received that piece of paper it proved an accomplishment of some kind. Classes passed. Once you have “That Particular Piece of Paper” it symbolizes advancement into another world. Why is it that some of us still pursue another piece of paper? I think we still want praise, recognition, and a seal of approval for what we accomplish in the rest of our life. We are still in “Accomplishment Mode.” My suggestion – Never leave it!

“Work and creativity should be its own reward.” is quoted by many. For work, we get a pay check; for creativity, we often get praise. However, when praise comes in the form of “Award” written on a piece of paper – Wow, we get all “twitterpated,” at least I do. We fall in love all over again with our favorite pursuit. There is an excitement when a Judge (brilliant or not) has chosen your image for an award. But, it’s still just a piece of paper.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment