Improving my photography skills.

One of my goals this year was to improve my photography skills.  To that end, I’ve taken a couple of online courses, subscribed to a couple of forums, and just been working hard.

I’ve no aspirations to become a professional photographer, I just want to be a GOOD photographer who takes more than snapshots.  I’m planning on entering the State Fair Photography Contest, also, something I’ve always wanted to do.

I thought I’d share a few of my recent works with you.

Eunan McIntyre, visiting from Ireland, and my wife, Holly, at the Indianapolis Artsgarden.  People aren’t my favorite thing to photograph, but I’m pretty happy with this one.

Eunan and Holly

The Scottish Rite Cathedral in Indianapolis

Scottish Rite

Seagull, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Seagull

Meerkat portrait, Indianapolis Zoo

Meerkat

So, those are just a few!  I hope you enjoyed them!

Hidden Corners of Indiana…Beech Grove Cemetery, Muncie

If you know me in real life, you know I spend a lot of time poking around cemeteries.  As an amateur photographer, they’re a great place to find interesting shots.  As a student of history, folklore,and culture, they’re a great place to research and learn.

Beech Grove Cemetery in Muncie is one of my favorites.  It was chartered in 1841 on just over an acre of land.  It’s since grown to one of the largest cemeteries in the area, with over 44,000 burials to date.

Beech Grove is one of the more interesting cemeteries I visit on a semi regular basis.  Once located on the outskirts of Muncie, it’s now located in a largely industrial area, and is a welcome green space and respite from the “busyness” of the area.  Lots of mature, old trees, and some of the most striking monuments I’ve seen.

You enter the cemetery through this fabulous, old stone gate.

beechgroveplanFI

One of the first things you’ll see is the office/receiving area, again, constructed of lovely stone.

office1

Beech Grove is home to many of the founders of Muncie.  Most of us in the area are familiar with the Ball Corporation, who were involved with anything from canning bars to aerospace research.  Much of the Ball family is buried here.

george-ball

If you’ve spend any time on the Ball State Campus, you can’t escape the Kitselman name.

Kitselman

The Bell and Stewart families are also familiar names in Muncie.

Stewart Tomb

There is also a very nicely done veteran’s cemetery at Beech Grove.

more-flag-rows

Although it’s not as grand as, say, Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, it’s still a fascinating place to visit  and spend a pleasant afternoon.  If you want to find out more about Beech Grove, you can do that here.

Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis

crown-hill-cemetery-s

Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis is one of my favorite places to visit.  It’s a photographer’s paradise.  Whether you’re wanting to shoot wildlife  (Deer, fox, all kinds of birds, and more are common), landscapes, interesting buildings and statuary, or something else entirely, there’s something for you here.

Crown Hill was formed in 1863, and is the largest non governmental cemetery in the United States, and one of the largest anywhere.  With well over 20 miles of roads inside the cemetery, you can spend a lot of time here!

As I mentioned earlier, wildlife is plentiful.  Deer are probably the most commonly sighted, but I’ve also seen fox, coyote, bald eagle, and much, much more here.

deer

There are a number of notable people buried here.  Richard Gatling, inventor of the Gatling Gun, President Benjamin Harrison, and perhaps the most visited grave in the cemetery, John Dillinger.

dillenger

There are also a number of chapels in the cemetery.  By far, my favorite to photograph is the Gothic Chapel.  Simply stunning.

crown-hill-chapel

The number of amazing memorials in this cemetery is mind boggling.  The Forrest memorial is my favorite, and each time I visit, I’m at once amazed and saddened.  I’m not  sure I’ve ever seen a memorial that arouses so much emotion in me.

forrest

forrest2

As I said, it’s simply an amazing place to visit.  If you want to find out more about Crown Hill, you can click here.

My 9 best instagram images from 2016

One of the blogs I follow is IndyScan by my friend Andrew Everhart.  He found a utility that shows your 10 “best” instagram images from the previous year.  Actually…they’re not the best images, they’re the ones that have received the most likes….which, to me, can be a huge difference.

Mine is below.  Starting at the top, and going left to right, they are the Wednesday night car show in Fortville, Indiana,  deer at Crown Hill Cemetery, T-28 at Indy Metro Airport.

2nd row,  hawk in our front yard, jamming at a Lions Club cookout with a random stranger (who later became a friend),  The Cosmic Preacher’s my wife’s band, at the Indiana State Fair.

3rd row, my wife, Holly, at Alley’s Alehouse in Fishers, Indiana, the Cosmic Preachers at Grove Haus, and myself doing stand up at the Fayette County fair in Connersville, Indiana.

n9gsu_full