By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 6/28/2017
Page Views: 970
Some photos I've taken in which the photo is more significant than the subject.

Any glance at my blog, or travels, or experiences will reveal a great many illustrative photographs, almost of all of which I've taken myself.

I've been fascinated by photography from the time I first learned to flinch from a flashbulb. One day when I was eight years old, I stumbled upon our family's Brownie flash camera and, heart pounding, snuck to the door of the house—somehow, I knew I would not need a flash for outdoor photography—opened it, and snapped a quick shot of the giant oak tree across the driveway, before furtively returning the device back from where I'd found it. There were only 12 shots per roll in those days but it was still months before my mom finally took the last picture and dropped the film off at the drugstore to be processed. When she got the prints back a few days later—there it was! A picture that I had taken by my very own self!

Even better, for some reason I did not get into trouble. I'm not certain Mom even realized that photo hadn't been one she had taken.

There are photos I've taken that stand alone, regardless of whatever story might lie behind them. This section of my site is devoted to them.

Click the links below to see the pictures I've taken on various subjects.

Tropical Depression 11

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 9/1/1968
Posted: 1/12/2016
Topics: #Weather #Photography Page Views: 627
All the photos I took at St. Augustine Beach of the aftermath of 1968's Tropical Storm 11.

Every place gets its own type of drawbacks. Arizona has heat; Minnesota has cold; California has earthquakes. And Florida has hurricanes and tropical storms but also tropical depressions that are sometimes even worse. Still, the aftermath can be a photographic treasure.

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Mary Joan on the Beach

By: Paul S. Cilwa Topics: #St.AugustineBeach #Florida #MaryJoanCilwaEngel Page Views: 207
Pictures of the hurricane aftermath.

My notes on these photos of Mary Joan Cilwa Engel, made a few years after they were taken, says this was the "aftermath of a hurricane". It also suggests they were taken in May of 1971. However, I can't find a suitable hurricane that would have caused this damage, other than 1964's Hurricane Dora. Dora definitely did cause the end of the pier to break off. Did a nor'easter or tropical storm in late 1970 expose the remnants? If I can find out, I will updte this page.

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Coast Guard Tender at Dawn

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 4/19/1969
Posted: 2/14/2012
Topics: #St.Augustine #Florida #CoastGuard Page Views: 670
All about the time I boarded a Coast Guard tender and had to find its bathroom.

Shortly after I turned 18, I talked my way onto a Coast Guard tender "to take pictures", a thrill that was made more intense when I drank my first cup of coffee…and learned what it did to my digestive system.

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Digital Paintings

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 8/26/2010
Topics: #Photography Page Views: 697
All about my newest art form.

There are those who pick a medium—oils, acrylic, photography—and stick to it. There are others who pull in pieces, willy-nilly, using any tool they can find to produce the effect they want.

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By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 8/30/2007
Topics: #Humor #Fauxtography Page Views: 647
Blog Entry posted August 30, 2007

Fauxtography is the word, recently coined, for special effects photos that seem to display something that can't (or, at least, doesn't) exist in reality. You know, like a photo of one person that looks like twins, or of a person floating in mid-air, or of an empathetic Republican.

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Form and Substance

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 3/28/2007
Topics: #DigitalPhotography Page Views: 892
Learn how photos are displayed on a computer screen by comparing to embroidery.

In previous posts, I've vaguely described digital photographs (including scans of traditional photos) as being broken into a great many pieces, with a numeric color value assigned to each. That's the substance of a digitized photo. But since you are going to need to deal with computer files containing these photos, and there are several popular formats for these files, we're going to have to understand what forms these files take, at least, at a high level. I could simply list the file formats and ask you to trust me. But I think it's a lot more interesting if you know—at a high level—what's going on inside.

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HDR Photos

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 3/9/2010
Topics: #DigitalPhotography Page Views: 849
All about the new techniques of HDR photography.

If you enjoyed my previous post of photos from my trip up Mount Lemmon, you might have noticed that a few of the pictures seemed to "pop out" at you more than others. You may also have noticed than some "professional" photos look better than yours, no matter how expensive a digital camera you have. And you might wonder, what are these photographers doing that you aren't? The answer is, they are creating HDR photos, arguably a step above mere digital. And the good news is, they aren't that much harder to create, and with a little extra effort, you can make HDR photos of your own.

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The History Of Photography

By: Paul S. Cilwa Topics: #Photography #History #DigitalPhotography Page Views: 602
A brief tour of the processes and inventions that led to today's digital photographic revolution.

It wasn't that long ago—two centuries or less—that ordinary people simply had to rely on their memories to recapture their pasts. Prior to 1790, anyone who wanted a visual representation of a person or event had to commission a painting of it—a relatively expensive proposition, and one which did not guarantee accuracy. And yet, now, everyone and his brother has a digital camera of amazing capacity located in their cell phones.

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Organizing Your Photos

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 3/15/2017
Topics: #Photography Page Views: 231
How to arrange and tag your digital photos so you and your descendants can find the one you're looking for.

On a recent visit to Key West, I met my daughter's mother-in-law, Snow, who has an enormous and well-organized library of photo albums filled with pictures taken throughout a long life spent traveling all over the world. There must be thousands of pictures in those binders. And yet, when she wanted to find one, specific photo of her sons and my daughter, she had it in her hands after less than a minute spent searching. Sadly, few people can claim to be as organized. In the days of film and paper prints, the majority of people stored their precious photos in shoeboxes; in these days of digital photography, when every phone is also a camera and everyone has a camera on his or her person during every waking hour, there are more photos than ever; yet, without a method of organizing the pictures, most people can't find any picture they've taken without a lengthy search—and sometimes, not even then. I'm here with tips as to how you can accomplish that organization.

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Rescuing A Photo

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 10/5/2007
Topics: #Photography #PhotoRestoration Page Views: 2450
How to digitally restore old photographs: State-of-the-art in 2007.

In working on the photos I had taken when I was nine years old, I had some real challenges trying to restore them. After all, it's been almost fifty years; for much of that time I had no idea how to store negatives safely and when I did learn, it was too late—they'd already been scratched. Add to that the fact that even black-and-white negatives deteriorate with age, and you can see that I would be lucky if I could even make out some of the images.

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Scanning Old Slides

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 2/28/2015
Topics: #Photography Page Views: 681
I share my method of scanning and restoring old, color-faded slides.

I've been fortunate enough to be asked to convert five trays of color slides from the early '80s. They are over 30 years old, and the years have not been kind to the color dyes used in color film in those days. In addition, many of them were commercial slides, which are often pre-faded when purchased. But I have software to the rescue.

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Sunset Photography

By: Paul S. Cilwa Topics: #Sunsets #Photography Page Views: 605
A few of my favorite sunset photos.

We humans are not unique in our love of sunsets; chimpanzees in the wild have been documented going out of their way to arrive at a suitable setting from which to watch the sun descend.

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