July 2018
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DAJ Designs Photography
Summer Adventures
A big shout out to all who stopped by our booth at the Westminster Art in the Park on June 2. The rain held off, and it was a great day. We enjoyed talking with you and hearing about your photography adventures. If you missed us in Westminster, we will be at the Bel Air Festival for the Arts in September. So come on out!!
Skyline Nightscape
Skyline Nightscape
By: Benjamin DeHaven
I am often asked if the Milky Way really looks like it does in the pictures. And unfortunately, no - not quite. Capturing the Milky Way is not a post processing trick or Photoshop job. It is all about knowing the right technique needed in order to capture the beauty of the night sky. Our eyes can only see things as they are in an instant, however a camera can actually collect light over a period of time allowing the photographer to expose more light then our eyes can see. So while the Milky Way to the naked eye simply looks like a faint fuzzy cloud, a camera can collect all the light over a period of time showing us what we could see if our eyes were more sensitive. For example, the image above was an 11-second exposure, thus capturing more light then our eyes ever could.

In this image I also used two artificial sources of light in order to light up the foreground. (This is a common technique used by photographers to add interest to a dark landscape, and avoid continual silhouetted images.) I had one LED light shining up from under the big tree on the left, and an LED flashlight to light up the trees further back on the right. It took a while to get the balance of light correct. Since the Milky Way and the tree on the left were shot in a single image, I needed to keep lowering the amount of artificial light so it wouldn't overpower and thus overexpose the tree. As a result, this one image took nearly a hour and a half to compose and correctly balance the lighting. 

The image was taken during a new moon from Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park. Despite the orange light pollution, this is considered a very dark sky site for the east coast and the new moon made for an even darker night than usual. However, I was far from alone down there at 1:00 a.m. Nearly every scenic overview had photographers already jockeying for space. I needed to drive further and further into the park before I finally found this pull off which had a combination of no photographers and interesting foreground features. With the exception of the fear of running into a bear, I love being outside at night under a blazing starry sky.
Marsh Morning
By: Debbie Jordan
Last week, Ben and I traveled to Bombay Hook NWR for the day. This meant another very early morning in order to catch the golden hour at the marsh. The golden hour is the time right after sunrise when the sunlight casts a beautiful golden glow on everything. I have to say that I love being out in nature in the early morning - basking in the golden glow, and listening to the marsh come alive at sunrise. And there is a certain cool crispness in the air. It rejuvenates my soul and reminds me that there is beauty and peace found in nature. So when the hectic pace of life gets to be a bit too much, Bombay (or anywhere out in nature) is where I want to be...and Bombay never disappoints.

I photographed the scene above just at the beginning of sunrise. I did not use a filter, and there is minimal post-processing. The color of the water reflects the soft orange color of the early morning sky, and the grasses and reeds are aglow with the dawn. The mist is still rising from the water, giving the scene an ethereal, other-worldly feeling.  This unique time of day produces a warm, inviting image that can only be produced by nature...Hence the name "golden hour".

I captured the egrets below later in the day when the sun was high and the skies were a crystalline blue. The two Snowy Egrets were vying for fishing rights. Their expressions and wild hairdos, and the mud being splashed up show the intensity of each to gain the right to fish this spot. In this particular area, the water was low and the fish were numerous, so there must have been 25-30 birds of different varieties all trying to fish the same small area. This of course resulted in quite a few squabbles for space, and great photo opportunities if you could keep up with the action.
My Space
My Space
By: Debbie Jordan

To see more of our photography, please visit our website galleries at
Contact Us
Buy Our Book
Skyline Nightscape
Available On Website
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My Space
Available On Website
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Select photos available at:
Gallery Framing, LTD.
Cockeysville, MD

Upcoming Art Shows:

Bel Air Festival for the Arts
Sunday, September 16, 2018
Bel Air, MD
Booth #146
Until Next Time
Copyright © 2018 DAJ Designs, All rights reserved.

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