Annual MWCC Holiday Party

The Annual MWCC Holiday Social and Gift Exchange. This year’s event will be held at the Brookside Community Clubhouse: Brookside Community Clubhouse – Meet-up link
7197 Riley Rd., Warrenton, VA (map)

We will kick off the festivities with snacks and soft drinks. We are asking each member that attends to bring a snack and/or cookies to share. The club will provide the beverages. Gifts should be photography related. They can be in new or in a serviceable/used condition. There are no limits on value. Try to think of something that someone “might” want to use; however, fun items make for an interesting evening as well. Here are the rules:
Each participant supplies one wrapped gift
Participants determine the order for choosing gifts, by selecting a number from a hat
You take turns according to your number
The first person opens a wrapped gift and their turn ends, with the number being discarded
The next person gets the choice of “stealing” an unwrapped item or choosing a wrapped one from the gift table
If that person steals the gift from a previous person, then the first person is given the number of the one who took the gift from them to use later in the game.
If a person takes an unwrapped gift, their number is discarded.
Once all the numbers have gone one round (i.e. everyone has had a chance to pick a gift) we go round again with the remaining numbers until eventually no numbers are left.
Finally, no gift can be stolen more than 3 times. We have had a lot of fun in the past and it’s a great way to be able to socialize with each other. Hope to see you there!

Photograph Wreath Laying at Wreaths Across America @ Arlington National Cemetery

Join us on National Wreaths Across America Day – December 15, 2018

Each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, our mission to Remember, Honor and Teach is carried out by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as over 1,200 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea, and abroad.

Ceremony On: 12/15/18

Ceremony At: 9:30 am

Address: Arlington National Cemetery, 1 Memorial Ave, Fort Myer, VA 22211

Opening Ceremony

Join us at the McClellan Gate (,-77.070865,17z/data=!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0x89b7b6effa3a9e4d:0x2e88f076d9242a6d!2sArlington+National+Cemetery!3b1!8m2!3d38.8783252!4d-77.068671!3m4!1s0x0:0xa8aaa715facd7322!8m2!3d38.8787975!4d-77.0671559)
located just off of Eisenhower Drive, on McClellan Drive, between Sections 33 and 12 on Saturday, December 16, 2017, at 9:30AM for the Opening Ceremony. The public will be allowed entry to the cemetery at 8:00AM. The ceremony will provide some introductory remarks and a short briefing to provide basic information to volunteers. It is not necessary to attend the opening ceremony to be able to place wreaths. If you would like, you can proceed to any truck in any section of the cemetery and await the 10:00 AM start.

Laying the Wreaths

After the ceremony, volunteers will move to the trucks located throughout the cemetery where they will participate in the laying of wreaths on headstones beginning at 10:00AM. We want to remind you that when you place the wreath, you may be the first person to visit that particular grave in years, so we hope you will take time to read the stone and honor the memory of that hero. Our theme for this year is to “#I’mAnAmericanYesIAm.”

Parking Instructions

Parking at Arlington National Cemetery on Wreath Day will be VERY RESTRICTIVE. Parking at the ANC Welcome Center Garage will be available ONLY to those with ANC Family Passes and/or valid Handicap Permits. Keep checking for additional details later in the year. We suggest volunteers to utilize the Metro Rail System to get to the Cemetery.

Again for the safety of all involved, parking at the ANC Welcome Center Main Gate Parking Facility will be very restricted. ANC officials have advised that the ANC Welcome Center parking garage will only be for individual vehicles with an authorized ANC Family Pass and vehicles with valid Handicap Permits. Those with Handicap Permits will later be directed out into the Cemetery itself through the Administration Building gate to park in the Administrative Parking lot adjacent to Section 54, which is a more level section of grave sites within the cemetery more suited for individuals with mobility restrictions.

No private vehicles will be allowed to enter the Cemetery grounds until after 3:00pm on Wreath Day. There will be no General Public parking at the Welcome Center until after 2:00pm on Wreath Day. There will be Bus parking available in the Welcome Center garage for 33 buses.

Due to the limited and restricted parking requirements, we encourage volunteers to park elsewhere and use the Blue Line Metro Rail system to the Arlington Cemetery Station stop.

Wayne Hanson
Arlington Wreath Project Coordinator

41st Annual Festival of Lights, Kensington, MD

The 41th Annual Festival of Lights will be held November 30th-December 31st. The Visitors’ Center of the Washington D.C. Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 9900 Stoneybrook Dr, Kensington, MD 20895

Additional details to be determined!

Meetup Time:
Meetup Place:

The Festival of Lights is one of the D.C. area’s great community traditions. Beginning December 1st, the Festival features free performances nightly in the comfortable, state-of-the-art theater located in the Visitors’ Center?

A different performing artist or group is showcased each night, including bell ensembles, choirs, orchestras, and more! Each performance is presented twice nightly.

The Visitors’ Center of the Washington D.C. Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Temple grounds glow with over 650,000 lights, December 1st through January 1st

Nightly performances in indoor theater

Christmas trees decorated in international themes

Exhibit of crèches from around the world
Life-sized outdoor nativity

Bear Rocks Sunrise (WEEKEND!) at Dolly Sods West Virginia

The goal is to shoot at least one sunrise and maybe two. The first will be Saturday morning. For those who plan to drive down in wee hours of the morning instead of coming down Friday and spending the night, here is a discussion on best way to get to Dolly Sods. The Southern Route appears to be a favorite:

Check out the map info of the location for Bear Rocks Preserve: Bear Rocks Preserve, Forest Rd 75, Davis, WV 26260 (3M7W+JV Jordan Run, Union, WV)

Tripods, wide angle lenses, sunscreen, hat, water, insect repellent and perhaps a jacket and gloves to ward off any morning chill. Will update with more info as we get closer to the event, especially initial Friday evening meetup location for dinner in Davis or Canaan to plan our Saturday sunrise shoot at Bear Rock located at Dolly Sods. The Canaan Village Inn in Davis is a possible hotel to reserve based on reviews for this weekend shoot. We will end the shoot late Sunday morning or early afternoon.
The Dolly Sods Wilderness — originally simply Dolly Sods — is a U.S. Wilderness Area in the Allegheny Mountains of eastern West Virginia, USA, and is part of the Monongahela National Forest (MNF) of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Dolly Sods is a rocky, high-altitude plateau with sweeping vistas and lifeforms normally found much farther north in Canada. To the north, the distinctive landscape of “the Sods” is characterized by stunted (“flagged”) trees, wind-carved boulders, heath barrens, grassy meadows created in the last century by logging and fires, and sphagnum bogs that are much older. To the south, a dense cove forest occupies the branched canyon excavated by the North Fork of Red Creek.

The name derives from an 18th-century German homesteading family — the Dahles — and a local term for an open mountaintop meadow — a “sods”.

MWCC Board of Director’s (BoD) Meeting

MWCC Board of Director’s (BoD) Meeting – All MWCC Members are welcome to attend the Board of Director’s meeting. Please be aware that this is ONLY a business meeting on the general operation of the club.

The Great Falls Race at Great Falls

The Great Falls race this Year will be using the Fishladder line that can only be seen on the Maryland side of Great Falls and is best viewed along the C&O Towpath. Photographers can not leave the boardwalk and hike along the river side of Olmstead Island as well as camping out on the footbridge to shoot the race. This line has a couple of class V rapid designations.

Arriving an hour and a half earlier than the 10 AM start time will allow you to pick a spot you are comfortable with to shoot the race. Water levels on this day will determine what the race course line will be through the falls. I would recommend a 70-200 zoom or a 100-400 zoom to capture the action of the kayakers as they navigate the rapids of Great Falls.

Participating meet-up members are free to find the best spot for them to capture the action but the first viewing area, depending on the race course chosen due to water levels, often provides the best angles from the Virginia side of the falls.
Again the race starts at 10 am but plan to be there earlier to find your shooting spot before the race.

This is a National Park so there is an entrance fee of $10.00 per vehicle if you do not already have a pass. Car pooling could of course allow you to divide this fee among the riders in the vehicle and reduce the cost for each person.

Meadowlark Early Morning Photo Shoot

When paying the entrance fee, If you tell the cashier that you belong to a Meetup group in the past we have gotten a discount. Normally it is $5.00 for 54 and under and $2.50 for 55 and over. Discounted prices would be $4.00 and $1.50 for the two options above. Bring equipment based on what you want to photograph. Flowers, architecture, birds, insects are possible subjects. I would recommend bringing a tripod, wide angle lens, a long lens if available such as a 200 to 400 capacity for birds such as humming birds, and or a macro lens for flowers or insects. Don’t forget to bring insect repellent and I also recommend wearing comfortable shoes, a hat to keep the sun out and loose fitting clothing

Green Spring Gardens Park Photo Shoot

Think about bringing water, (although the visitor center should be open later and they have a fountain and bathrooms). The camera gear you bring would depend on what you want to shoot. Tripods can be helpful for long lenses and macro work. Lots of beautiful flowers and birds such as goldfinches and ruby-throated hummingbirds. Hopefully it will be sunny enough for low ISO work, especially if shooting hummingbirds. I like to shoot them at least 1/2000 shutter speed at F 6.3 to 7.1. Faster shutter speeds are required to stop the wings.