New DC Area Collection!

New DC Area Collection!

Well… Washington and Arlington at least.

I have a few collections at my website that are getting a little big so I’ve divided them up a bit. Instead a ‘Patriotic, Military and History’ collection, there is now Patriotic and History, it works for me (me me). In the process it seemed like a good idea to get all the DC photos in to one collection as well, since these photos have generated interest it makes sense. I honestly hope to add to this collection once back in the US, hopefully set up a fare alert from El Paso to Washington, DC. While I only lived in northern Virginia for a year, I shot a ton of photos. There is SO much history up that way it made my head spin, when I headed out to shoot after my wife went to work and the kids went to school, I’d lump locations together so I could shoot more than one site in the time I had. Except for DC, DC requires time to shoot because there’s so much in one little area. On the next trip, I need to shoot at sunrise and sunset, something I failed to do last time and during winter if possible. All of my DC and Arlington National Cemetery photos now have a home in the Washington, DC Area collection, I hope you’ll take a minute to browse, maybe even purchase something if you find something that flips your trigger!

As always, I appreciate the support I receive for my little hobby, whether personally from family and friends online from photo friends on my Instagram or Facebook Pages, thank you all!

Photos in The Atlantic!

On December 13, 2020, The released an online photo collection entitled, Virginia: Images of the Old Dominion. The article contains 33 photos taken at various picturesque locations in Virginia and three of those photos were mine. Virginia has had a special place in my heart since first visiting as a child in the mid-seventies. Later, in the US Navy, I would live there on and off for three years or so in the Virginia Beach area and another year at Fort Belvoir just south of Alexandria, Virginia (probably my favorite city in the US). I have many friends in VA and will always visit there and am looking forward to my next trip there!

In The Atlantic’s list and coming in at number 22 is Boush Street, taken in Norfolk at the USS Wisconsin. Number 24 is Mount Vernon, the was taken on our first day living at Fort Belvoir. My kids and I were out driving and I turned my head to look through a break in the forest and there was George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon with sheep grazing! Finally, at 30 is Summer at the Palace taken in front of the Governor’s Palace at Colonial Williamsburg, this is THE place that got me hooked on Virginia as a child in the seventies. As a completely nutty history geek, I could not be happier! As anyone who know me can tell you, I’m never happier than when my little photography and history worlds collide. It doesn’t matter if it’s where and when my photos get used or when I’m out shooting, in this case they collided hard. Living on Fort Belvoir for one year of my life was the absolute best one year of my photographic life, and yes, I miss it.

While 2020 was not the best of years for anyone, I’m hopeful that 2021 will be much better. Happy New Year to all of you following my blog!

Two more pics for expositions!

I recently found out that two of my photos were selected to be shown digitally, this time they are both from special places for me. ¬†I am a lover of history and while I’ve had a few jobs in life, two were great. ¬†The first was as a US Navy Musician for 30 years and the second was as a US History adjunct professor after retiring from the Navy. ¬†In the latter I learned what you’ll hear several people say, it’s not work if you love what you do. ¬†I really miss that job, loved going to work, and loved discussing history. ¬†Both of these photos are at historic locations.

The first photo was taken at Arlington National Cemetery¬†(ANC) in Virginia. ¬†I remember visiting here as a child on a family vacation in the early 1970’s, even then the history amazed me. ¬†However,Snowfall¬†later in life, after having a few friends buried here, it has taken on a different meaning. ¬†Whenever I’d find myself shooting photos at ANC I’d pay my respects if I was in the area. While I loved shooting here, I never took photos of those grieving or burial services and if a procession was passing I put my camera away. ¬†Besides, there’s plenty of other photo opportunities inside this hallowed place given all of historic people buried here. ¬†This photo, Snowfall, of winter graves at Arlington National Cemetery¬†was selected for a digital exposition in Berlin Germany at the BBA Circle at the Mostly White Exposition. ¬†

The second photo today was taken at Colonial Williamsburg, also in Virginia. ¬†This is another place we visited on that seventies family trip and it’s as amazing today as it wasAfter Darkthen. ¬†Frankly, it’s amazing to walk with my wife and girls in the exact same places that I walked with my parents and brother on that trip. ¬†I only hope my girls will visit some day with their children. ¬†This photo of the Governor’s Palace was a night shot that my oldest daughter came along, it’s always more fun when my family is with me. ¬†I don’t think they can say the same… ¬†I’m a pain to be with when I’m shooting and it’s probably worse in a historic place. ¬†About two year prior to when this photo was taken, I visited by myself, and before I knew it an entire day had passed. ¬†Anyway, this night photo, called After Dark, is of the Governor’s Palace¬†and was selected¬†for a digital showing at the Valid World Hall Gallery in Barcelona, Spain in the Dramatic Lighting Exhibit on November 1, 2019.

Many thanks as always to all of you follow this blog and support this thing I do!

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Two pics @ digital expositions!

I found out today that two of my photos are to be shown digitally, it’s always cool when this happens! ¬†Both of these exbitions were possible through Gurushots.com. ¬†I like Gurushots not only for the exposure from these exhibitions but also to see what other photographer’s are doing creatively. ¬†Viewing photos at Gurushots, Flickr, and a few other places only helps me to get better.

This photo was taken recently near where I currently live in Yokosuka, Japan. ¬†I was walking near Verny Park in the morning and able to see the base where the US and Japanese ships are¬†Morning Subsdocked. ¬†The sun was obscured mostly because of the buildings but a little light was hitting these Japanese submarines making for a cool effect. ¬†Really hoping to get some shots of these heading to, or from, the sea. ¬†This shot, Morning Subs, was selected to be digitally shown at the Blank Wall Gallery in Athens, Greece in the Mostly Black Exhibit from December 13-15, 2019. ¬†Living in Japan has been a great experience so far, I’m trying to capture as many ‘daily life’ type shots and while a photo like this might seem to not fit that category, it does. ¬†Yokosuka is a HUGE Navy town, not just for the US but the Japanese as well, something I was unaware of prior to living here.

I lived in northern Virginia in 2017 and loved every minute of it. ¬†I didn’t really know much about Alexandria, VA prior to living at Fort Belvoir, but it quickly came to be one of¬†all-time favorite cities.Plum Crates¬† This was for a few reasons, first I’m a huge history nerd and¬†Alexandria is history nerd central! ¬†Second, for shooting stock photography it was a target rich environment. ¬†Whether I wanted/needed food shots, generic patriotic material, or flags (literally EVERYWHERE), it was all there in front of me! ¬†This shot, called Plum Crates, was taken at the Old Town Alexandria Farmer’s Market held on Saturday mornings next to City Hall. ¬†It the four corners of wooden plum crates, I shot a few others but this one stuck with me more. ¬†The photo was selected to show at the BBA Circle in the “Artistic Still Life” exhibit from January 31-February 2, 2020.

As always, thank you to all of you for the support I receive and hope you enjoy the blog.  I really am trying to keep it going this time around!

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About this… Colonial Beach, VA

Photo: Headless

Location:  Colonial Beach, VA

Date:  October 8, 2018

Camera & Lens:  Canon 6D mkii and 24-70mm lens

 

About This Photo: ¬†I post my photos at many sites, you can find where from this blog or my main website, I’m not difficult to find. ¬†While I was living on Fort Belvoir, some folks about two hours down the road in Colonial Beach, Virginia reached out to me on Instagram asking if I’d come to Colonial Beach and take some shots of their town. ¬†My wife and I decided to drop in on our way back from visiting friends in Norfolk. ¬†This was October, not much happening, it reminded me of Italy the way everything shuts down for winter by the end of September. ¬†In the same way, you could sense that this little town on the Potomac River gets busy in the summer and I’d love to check it out during the summer if I’m ever back in the area. ¬†

Before leaving, I consulted my good friend Google Images to see what was already online and the plan was to shoot nothing I found there. ¬†I usually do this so my photos, fingers crossed, don’t blend in but stand out. ¬†Once we arrived, our girls just ran to the beach which was cool as I was free to shoot. ¬†I immediately noticed swans, and there was one in particular that was swimming the water’s edge. ¬†When he came out, I carefully approached as to not scare him/her (not sure what this bird identifies as…), and the swan started grooming and I just happened to get a shot with its head tucked on the other side of the body. ¬†The result was the photo at the top, Headless; it came out kind of cool as the shutter clicked just at the right time. ¬†It was a fun little stop on our way home, I took a couple of other photos that came out decent (below). ¬†Thanks to the people at Colonial Beach for asking me to come down! ¬† ¬†

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About this…

Photo: Dirty Glass

Location: Norfolk, VA

Date: June 30, 2016

Camera & Lens: Canon 6D and 24-105mm lens

About This ¬†Photo: ¬†This is about Wisky, Wisky is not a typo, yes it’s without the H. ¬†Wisky, not the bourbon kind, this is Wisky, the Navy kind. ¬†Wisky was the nickname of the USS Wisconsin (BB-64), a WWII era battleship that, like her three mighty sister ships, America couldn’t seem to do without. ¬†She was originally¬†Wiskycommissioned in 1944 near the end of the Second World War but would be¬†recommissioned two more times and decommissioned a total of three times! ¬†This beautiful ship, and piece of history, now sits in Norfolk, VA. ¬†Back in 2016, I was going to one of my bestest bud’s retirement from the US Navy and decided to turn it in to a photo trip. ¬†Having lived in Norfolk a couple of times, it originally wasn’t my cup of tea but over the years it really grew on me. ¬†Going there just for a ceremony was cool, but turning it in to something much more could be even better. ¬†Besides Wisky, the plan was to get some shots at Williamsburg, Jamestown, and¬†some rural shots as well. ¬†Shooting well-documented sites and objects in a new way is¬†Centeredalways a challenge, sometimes I’ll research before leaving just to see what NOT to shoot. ¬†Upon arriving at BB-64 in Norfolk, I set up right in front of the battleship and tossing the rule of thirds out the window, shot straight down the middle of the bow to get this BW shot called Wisky. ¬†With the clouds behind BB64, no wind with calm waters to reflect, and no tourists at this given time, I took quite a few shots like this. ¬†While I tried adhering to the rule of thirds, it just didn’t speak to me on this occasion ¬†Shooting to the left would leave out the apartments and shooting to the right would miss out on the museum that houses the warship. ¬†It felt to me like both of those aspects needed to be included. ¬†Another photo, the similar color shot called Centered, came out decent and I really like both shots. ¬†Confident that I got what I wanted, I wanted to find other angles and include items located there as well such as statues and park benches. ¬†Checked all those off the list!

After shooting plenty in the immediate vicinity of the ship, I noticed a parking garage across the street and wanted to see if I could get up high and have a look. ¬†There was an elevator, why not take it? ¬†Well… ¬†it’s what I call the Chizek Luck. ¬†Here’s a summary of the Chizek Luck; almost any time that I’m fortunate, like being the guy who gets in the shortest line at the grocery store, it’s usually followed by having the “closed” sign go up with the person in front of me. ¬†Sure, the cashier is always sorry, tells me how bad they feel, but I understand the Chizek Luck well. ¬†Heck, even my 7 & 10 year old daughters picked up on my luck. ¬†If I were to take that elevator to the top, somebody, somewhere, would tell me about some missed opportunity or show me their award winning photo THEY got by taking the stairs in that building… ¬†Deciding to hoof it up five or six floors, I came around the corner on about the third floor and was looking at Wisky through a dirty window in the stairwell. ¬†I’m honestly not sure why, but something inside said, “shoot it” and up I went to the top. ¬†I reached the roof of the parking garage, forgetting about the window shot, and went to work with the intended shoot. ¬†Both of the below photos were taken from the garage, on the left is Norfolk (B&W) and on the right is Anchor Up. ¬†While I like both of these photos, it’s Dirty Glass, the photo taken in the stairwell that hangs in my little office. ¬†After returning from the Virginia trip and beginning to work on the photos, I noticed this window photo, it clicked with me. ¬†Maybe it’s because my usual luck didn’t hold true or because of the little voice inside that said “shoot it” had compelled me to listen. ¬†This was a spontaneous shot that just worked, the angle of the ship, the light and shadows, even the dirt on the window make it cool. ¬†Anyway, I love this shot and it gets looks when my Navy friends come over, and for me, that’s the best part.

 

Third time‚Äôs a charm…

For those of you who don’t know, when it comes to photography I’m what you might call a late starter.  I became interested in photography after joining the US Navy in 1981 and my first camera, the Canon AE1 Program (left) cost half of my monthly salary.canon_ae_1_program_35mm_slr_305135  I was living in Italy and shooting with film was crazy expensive, plus I was a really crappy shooter.  To save money, I sent my film to a company in California, they would develop the film as slides and send them back; it was cheap.  Then I could pick out the keepers, send back the slides, and they would return the slides with prints. Why all this?  Well, it prevented paying for multiple blurry photos shot with different settings (the crappy shooter thing) but it also took weeks to get prints.  At just twenty years old, living in Italy, I wisely chose sell the camera gear and spend the extra cash on Napolitan pizza, pasta, and European beer.  In the last years of my Navy career, I took up photography again with a little Sony DSC-W7 digital camera
Morning Bluesand eventually moved to DSLR’s. This photo of Mount Vesuvius, at right called Morning Blues was taken with that camera.  Retiring in 2011 after 30 years as a US Navy Musician, my remained on active duty.  By 2014, photography was getting to be a serious hobby so I began blogging, it was a way to post what I was doing as well as talk about my photos.  I currently hold the titles of military retiree, military dependent, and stay at home dad which is WAY harder than it sounds.  In the summer of 2017, my wife transferred and we moved from Coronado, CA to the Washington, DC area.  I couldn’t have been happier, my love of photography is paralleled by my love of history!  My wife’s transfer put us smack in the middle of everything I loved!  I was so floored by everything around us in the northern Virginia/DC area that I completely let the blog fall by the wayside…

By the summer of 2017, the blog was a memory, not intentionally, there was just so much to do and see near our new home.  I didn’t leave the house without a camera it seemed.  We lived thirtyDiving Duck minutes from a half dozen Civil War battlefields, the Smithsonian Museums, near the colonial city of Alexandria, and everything that comes with Washington, DC!  The last blog post in September 2017 was The Old Switch-a-roo detailing my recent switch from a Sony a7R II back to the Canon 6d Mark II, a move I don’t regret to this day.  I had also been a user of Peak Design bags for a couple of years and loved them. However, after moving to DC, there was another company that I loved, more on that later – maybe a future post?  I was selling stock photography at this point for about six months and was making a few bucks.  screen shot 2018-02-20 at 10.29.51 Since then it has taken off in a big way, it has become a small business.  Stock photography is tricky and it’s difficult to know where photos are used unless I search or someone tells me.  By the time the blog died in September, I discovered one of my photos had been used on the cover of National Geographic India’s Road Trip Edition the previous April.  My car photo, The Fifties, was used as a composite image where another photographer’s photo was used in the hubcap (right).  I couldn’t have been happier, especially when credited for the photo inside the cover!  It seems every photographer’s dream is to end up in NatGeo any way possible, that was simply amazing.  Since then, my stock photos have been used many times, pretty happy about that too; click [HERE] to view them.

After a little more than a year in DC, my wife was transferred again; this time to Japan where this post is being banged out.  While I hated leaving DC, at least it was for a place as cool as this.  However, I recently pondered the mistake of not blogging while in DC and decided not to make that mistake again.  I went back to WordPress, reactivated the old account, and quicker that jack rabbits making love – everything was sitting there just as I left it.  It was as if Congress was asked to do something with it, nothing happened at all!  Everything was there, even the previous followers!  The goal now is to post something thought out, or as much as this brain can manage, every two weeks.  In between those posts I’ll post live from wherever I happen to be shooting from, something for which I currently use Instagram (@ BillChizekPhotography).  If you’re checking this out for the first time, THANK YOU!  You can follow or subscribe on the right side of this blog to receive notifications for new posts.  If you’ve returned, welcome back and thank you as well!  I’m really looking forward to this blog and future feedback, hope to hear from you!

Bill

Fuji 1 My first time shooting Mount Fuji as seen from across Sagami Bay near Hayama, Japan.

 

Hampton Roads

StopsLast summer one of my best friends retired from the US Navy after a long and distinguished career. ¬†His retirement ceremony was held near¬†Norfolk, Virginia, a place I used to live years ago. ¬†To say Norfolk is a Navy town is like saying there’s a little bit of ocean near San Diego. ¬†When I lived in Virginia Beach¬†I wasn’t in to photography, I played music back then, but I was in to history. ¬†As a result, I regretted those years without a camera, chalk that up to “what were you thinking?” ¬†Two things I knew about the Hampton Roads¬†area and my trip was that there would be¬†many¬†sights to see and that I’d be meeting up with numerous friends living there. ¬†I also knew¬†I’d be up late and waking early to shoot the places I wanted. ¬†There was¬†so much to see that I couldn’t possibly squeeze everything in to just a few days. ¬†Online research was necessary to find what I wanted to see, prioritize them, and have back-up plans for each day and site. ¬†In the Norfolk are there were a number of things that could prevent me from getting to where I wanted to shoot; the¬†Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel¬†and closures, traffic, meeting up with friends, weather, and the possibility of sights actually being closed were all things to consider. ¬†One place in Virginia Beach¬†that seemed an interesting place¬†to shoot was the Ferry Plantation House, a former slave plantation, where¬†this photo on the right, called Stops, was taken.

Spokes

Given the¬†many places I wanted to shoot, only one would happen rain or shine and I’d need to allot an entire day, Colonial Williamsburg. ¬†One of the really cool things about Colonial Williamsburg is that if you just want to shoot outside, it’s totally FREE! ¬†That’s right, FREE as in you pay nada, zero zero point zero zero! ¬†That was exactly what I wanted because I had no intention of shooting indoors with¬†so many cool buildings, streets, and residents walking about in period clothing. ¬†If it rained, I’d get wet and that was just fine because anybody who knows me will tell you that I love shooting in just about any weather, except sunny. ¬†The photo at the top of this blog, Riders, was taken¬†in Colonial Williamsburg and is not an uncommon scene if you visit. ¬†To the left is Spokes, a revolutionary war era canon sitting behind the¬†Colonial Williamsburg Courthouse. ¬†Williamsburg is littered with colonial items that make for interesting¬†photographs. ¬†The best thing about shooting outdoors is that you won’t be trying to shoot around tourists. ¬†Had I paid to go inside the historic building, I would have been filing through buildings on one of the many tours hoping to get decent pics with indoor lighting. ¬†I could go back to Williamsburg and spend another day shooting completely different subjects. ¬†Yes, it’s that cool.

FiremakerThere were another three locations that I wanted to¬†shoot and they were all close to each other; Historic Jamestowne, Jamestown Settlement, and the Yorktown Battlefield¬†where the British surrendered to George Washington ending the American Revolution. ¬†One thing to consider about a Jamestown visit is that there is a considerable difference between Historic Jamestowne and Jamestown Settlement. ¬†If you want to visit the true¬†Jamestowne site, the historic location of the British colony and where archeologists are actively digging to this day, this is¬†Historic Jamestowne. ¬†This is where the history actually happened and an incredible place. ¬†However, the other location, Jamestown Settlement, is a living museum nearby that is a reconstruction of the historic colony; these are completely different. ¬†The good news is that they are only about ten minutes apart and you’ll pass by Jamestown Settlement on the way to Historic Jamestowne. ¬†The photo above at right, Firemaker, portrays a Native American woman tending to a fire and was taken at Jamestown Settlement.

The USS Wisconsin (BB-64), a World War Two era battleship is the centerpiece of Norfolk’s maritime science center called the Nauticus. ¬†It sits in the heart of the city and makes for great photos, especially if you climb the stairs fo the parking garage across the street!
Here I was able to capture three completely different images from the same location. ¬†The photos on the left (Anchor Up) and the in the middle (Norfolk) were taken from the exact same location but with different lenses. ¬†The photo on the right (Dirty Glass) was taken walking up to the roof of the garage. Country Road¬†The nice thing about the Norfolk area is that there is so much to see that I actually found thing to shoot on the way to thing I PLANNED to shoot! ¬†One of those times is in the photo at right,¬†Country Road, taken one afternoon while driving to one of my destinations when¬†shooting rural areas was part of my back-up plan¬†if I got caught north of the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel during a closure.¬† Guess what? ¬†The tunnel closed because of an accident and I had a plan! ¬†Virginia has some of the most beautiful countrysides if you get off the trail a little bit. ¬†Sometime in the future I’d like to just drive Virginia’s countryside searching out places like this, no agenda, just drive and see what’s out there.

In the end, the weather held out and everything went mostly as planned, even enacting my back-up plan proved great for photos! ¬†On the left below is the Royal Palace at Williamsburg which seems like it could be straight out of England and on the right is the Cape Henry lighthouse (1792) located in Virginia Beach. ¬†Returning to Norfolk with my family is now a priority, not just for visiting friends but getting our girls out and to have some fun seeing incredible American History. ¬†If you like history, you need to check out the Hampton Roads area, there is so much to see! ¬†I’m thankful that my parents had¬†me traveling when I was a kid and it stuck, hopefully the same will happen with my kids and they’ll appreciate the history of our country!