Season’s Greetings to You All!

Warming the Cold Morning

This photo, Warming the Cold Morning, has always spoken to me of warmth and safety even when surrounded by sub-zero cold.  May this holiday season find your life, family, friends and loved ones as happy, comfortable, warm, cozy and safe in every way.

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‘Tis the Season – Wreaths Across America – Arlington

View from the hill, looking over Arlington and Washington DC

Saturday, Dec 15, 2017, I tried to attend the annual wreath ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.  The goal was photography of the volunteers as they did their bit for service at this holiday season to those who have given everything for our nation.  Visions of close-ups of wreaths laid on the simple white stones, with softly out-of-focus foregrounds and backgrounds danced through my head….

 

Oh, how little I understood the magnitude of this event, leaving Frederick at 8 AM as I did.  5AM would have served my purposes much better.

Traffic driving down was light – right up until I neared the last few miles of the journey.  It was light because everybody who was going – and who knew – was already there!  Suddenly, on the George Washington Parkway, everything stopped dead.  Evidently, there was no more room in the parking lots, so the buses bringing volunteers from all over had parked on the exit and extended out onto the highway.  Like hundreds of other cars, I thought it was a waiting line to get in, not realizing the buses had parked and the volunteers had disembarked and hiked to the entrance.  30-40 minutes of waiting for the line to move forward, one car at a time, kept me hopeful, only to finally realize that what I’d seen as progress was actually people ahead suddenly seeing the problem, giving up and going elsewhere.

I went elsewhere, too, but didn’t give up, changing my destination to the Air Force Memorial, high on a hill overlooking Arlington, the Pentagon and Washington City – the white city – from up there.  In speaking to a sheriff’s deputy up there, I was informed that he had been on the team opening for business at 7:00 and there were thousands lined up already for the 7:30 security check-in for activities that wouldn’t really commence until after 8:30.

The memorial’s Missing Man Formation frames The Washington Monument, center distance

The temperature at 10:30 AM when I arrived on the hill was around 23F with a wind of about 15 mph blowing constantly.  For DC, that’s cold!  My hands numbed quickly, and the gloves in the car were too cumbersome for the camera.  (Have to locate my fingerless gloves for certain.)

Finally, complaints aside, it was an awe-inspiring event.  Seeing it from above led to a greater appreciation of the sheer enormity of the undertaking.  How enormous?  250,000 to 300,000 wreaths were distributed and laid between 8:30 and 11:30 AM, according to a tractor trailer driver at a restaurant after, where I met my older son for lunch at 12:30.  That driver had brought wreaths from North Dakota, and I was informed of the occasion by a friend who makes wreaths in Maine.  It’s a very big deal, all done as a volunteer service.

While I would have liked to have achieved my original goal, I learned a lot, and will certainly plan better next year.

By the way, another photographer, Mary Kate Mckenna Battles informed me that the real problem is finding enough volunteers for the clean-up effort that comes after the holidays.  Something to consider, for anyone seeking a way to contribute.

 

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Jewel of the Eastern Shore

A Gem of a Jewelry Store

On the Eastern Shore of Maryland, in the historic town of St Michaels, is a real gem.  Excuse me, that should be a capital “G” Gem, Guilford and Company.

 

Specialists in antique and estate jewelry, there is an air of grace and beauty throughout the shop.

From the accoutrement to the individual items available, everything is presented with elegance, whether it be a whimsical crab pin of coral, gold and diamonds or an exquisite necklace, bracelet and ring ensemble of finest jewels.  

http://www.guilfordandcompany.com

Jeff Behm Photography is proud to have been selected to provide photography for their amazing jewelry.

 

 

Outstanding jewelry – Outstanding photography – Jeff Behm – 724-730-8513

When only the best will do. 

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2017 John S Mulholland Family Foundation Gala

On November 10, 2017, the official celebration of Veteran’s Day, the John S. Mulholland Family Foundation had it’s CAPITAL EVENING IV, the annual Gala Dinner, Silent Auction, and one and only fundraiser for each year.

Last year – the first time I’d covered the event, I had a wonderful time!  Being asked back by Brian Mulholland for this year’s gala was personally pleasing, since the work is so valuable to the city of Washington DC.  JSM Foundation’s only purpose is support for the working poor and the various food banks in the capital city.  In this age of shrinking government largesse, the church and private foundations have to step up their efforts.  JSM is doing that.

This year’s gala was chaired by Sharon Briskman (Greystone), David Piscola (Capital Hilton) and Peggy Marilley (Precision Meetings & Events) and produced through the generosity of major sponsors and donors.

To learn more about the work of the John S. Mulholland Family Foundation, visit http://www.jsmff.org

 

For photographic coverage of your events, corporate or private, call Jeff Behm at 724-730-8513 or email jeff@jeffbehm.com

 

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Planning the Light

Abicor-Binzel Robotic Welding Arm

I love large photographic projects.

The challenge, the creativity required, the potential for strong imagery – all these excite in me the drive that photography first instilled so many years ago.

My original mentor, Brent White, explained that he believed there were two main branches on the tree of photography;  one branch saw the light and captured what was naturally created.  The other branch had a vision in mind, and shaped the light to create that vision.  Both branches are equal.  Both are different.  Over the years, I have decisively fallen into the ‘have a vision and create the light’ category for the bulk of my paid work.  My personal work is nearly always from the other branch, but this post is about creating the light necessary for this series of photographs.

One of the first things to address is the presence of magenta and blue lights on the hardware and background.  This is by design, as these are Abicor-Binzel’s corporate colors, and are requirements.

Another obvious trait is the implied motion as the wand works its way around the weld.  This is real, and required 3 distinctly different steps in the photography in order to make it work.  In other words, each image you see is the result of many exposures, around 30 each step of the way, times 3, equals 1.  Pretty sweet.

Planning is everything for photography like this

Thinking about photography like this is a carryover from film days, when I shot large format cameras for ad work.  Photoshop was still a glimmer in Adobe’s eye when I started this kind of work, so these were mostly completely done in camera on one sheet of film, exposed many different times and with different lights for each portion of the photograph.  Once you learn the technique, it’s like riding a bicycle to convert it to today’s technology, and it seriously enhances the richness of product photography.

Oh, and planning is everything for a session like this.  It’s like architecture with light; there has to be a plan.

Jeff Behm Photography is a full service, professional photographer.

For an equally challenging large project, see http://www.behmphoto.com/the-trolley-shoot/

Many thanks to Jessica Stoddard for her able assistance on this project.  This kind of work is definitely a two person job, and Jess is always super helpful.

Located in Frederick, MD.  Photographic assignments have taken Jeff all around the western hemisphere,  as well as serving Frederick MD, and the greater Washington DC/Baltimore metro region, specializing in food and jewelry and products at the highest levels.

For outstanding professional photography, call me at 724-730-8513.  Lets see what we can do for you.

 

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