Category Archives: diary of a travel junkie

Beaver County Boom July 2016

Kendralla Photography-P1120161

While waiting for the Beaver County Boom to start, we were presented with an amazing sunset! The colors were amazing painting the river with a tremendous array of colors.

 

Sunset over the Ohio River

Once the sun set, Zambelli Fireworks presented an amazing display of lights and color.

Monaca Fireworks 2016 Show from Frank Kendralla on Vimeo.

Images created with a Nikon D750 and Lumix GX8.

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Ducky Tours | Pittsburgh

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Celebrating life in the city on a ducky tour.

 

“Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.” Michael J. Fox

 

We celebrated my wife’s birthday with our two eldest grandchildren, one of our brother in-laws, and my sister at multiple restaurants, a ducky tour of Pittsburgh, plus a ride up the incline.  After purchasing the ducky tickets, we went to the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch.  I am always hesitant for different restaurants since I am a “health nut” and often find it challenging for healthy alternative lunches.  However, the Hard Rock Cafe in Pittsburgh did an amazing job.  I asked for a ‘special’ salad, describing what I wanted and they delivered to the letter.  Now to my main point, if you buy tickets for DUCKY and decide to eat at the Hard Rock Cafe, look at the tickets.  They include a 15% off coupon for the Hard Rock Cafe and no I didn’t notice the coupon until we were getting ready to board the DUCKY. 🙁

We rode the white bus and were ‘entertained’ by a fun tour guy with a serious amount of hair (which I don’t have).  The weather was near perfect with slightly overcast skies and temperatures in the high 60’s to low 70.

DUCKY that we rode

DUCKY that we rode

The tour starts in Station Square and crosses the Smithfield Street Bridge into the city making its way to the North Side via the Roberto Clemente Bridge. Passing by his statue and PNC park, the DUCKY heads toward the access way of the river past the war memorials (which are amazing and are a visit in of their own). Entering into the river is fun and exciting as the kids cheer with the tour guide and captain of the ship.

The water motor kicks on and off we go into the Three Rivers of Pittsburgh.

 

 

 

 

 

DUCKY Tours

Passing by another DUCKY

 

 

We drove a short time on the water then the captain asked if any children wanted to drive the boat. One little boy raised his hand (so did I) and he had the opportunity to drive. Then the captain asked if anyone else wanted to drive and no other children wanted to drive. I kept asking 😀 – they then stated okay and I had the opportunity for a front and center view of the city and was able to get some amazing images.

 

 

 

 

Ducky Tours

I drove the ducky boat

Amazing view of the city from Ducky Tours Captain’s Seat

Ducky Tours Pittsburgh

Taken from the Captain’s Seat of a Ducky Tour in Pittsburgh

After floating along the water, we traveled past the war memorials and into the North Side of Pittsburgh. Since my grandkids never rode an incline nor traveled to Mt Washington to view the city from the overlook, I felt it was a must do! 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time to travel to Mt Washington via the incline

Time to travel to Mt Washington via the incline

Just passing by

Just passing by

Just passing by

View from the incline car to Mt Washington

View from the incline car to Mt Washington

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our amazing city of Pittsburgh from the first overlook near the incline.

Pittsburgh from Mt Washington

Pittsburgh from Mt Washington

 

Must see Mural

There were many cars in the parking lot next to this mural but it is located near the road by the first overlook in Mt. Washington and is a must visit for pictures!

Beautiful Mural in Mt Washington

Beautiful Mural in Mt Washington

Also posted in Landscape Photography, pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Wedding Photography Tagged , , , |

Weber Insurance Car Cruise Pittsburgh Area | Victory Family Church

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Summer is here, cars are cruising, and the time for fun amazing times meet.

Weber Insurance Car Cruise at Victory Family Church in Cranberry Twp

Slick vehicle by weber insurance

Slick vehicle by weber insurance

Many years ago I owned a 1968 white corvette convertible with a 427, 390 HP, and ‘4 on the floor’.  I doubt I will ever forget that car and for many reasons.  I was a teenager with a few thousand dollars to spend and left the house looking for a 1967 corvette with the tear drop back and unique look.  However, I quickly found out that the $3k I had to spend wouldn’t buy a 1967 corvette (at least not one that ran).  This was long before the internet and all of the options for buying cars of today existed.  However, I found a white 68 corvette that I purchased and immediately enjoyed.  A few of us ‘guys’ had various muscle cars.  A buddy had a SS and another a camera, while a third had a very nice Cadillac. We would meet at the various locations in the area to show off our ‘ride’ and there was something about driving slow to show off the car. I bought many books on corvettes learning about their styles and unique look.  Over the years I have not kept up with the newer corvettes but my love for ‘old’ cars never died.   The Shelby Mustang, SS, Z28, and many other muscle cars with their unique look and class.

Car Cruise Pittsburgh Area

There is nothing like visiting a car cruise knowing you have the opportunity to photograph cars and trucks from various eras.  There was a beautiful 1934 Ford and I immediately commented to the owner. “That is the year my dad was born.”  Grills, grills, and more grills.  No not the kind you cook on but the beautiful grills on older vehicles.  I am not sure what happened over the years but most grills produced today are ‘boring’.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some cars that have a unique look to its front (like the Mini Cooper S) but the grills on some of the older cars had ‘class’.  No doubt at the time, the designers looked at the grills as a symbol and were not concerned with wind resistance (since they seemed to have lots of it) or energy conservation (since they didn’t) and focused on style.

 

Car Cruise Pittsburgh Amazing Car Grills

Amazing Car Grills

I am not a car enthusiast in the true sense of the word but an artist who looks at cars, trucks, etc for the aesthetic value.  Thus, my opinion of these vehicles is based solely on aesthetics only.  ps I love the emblems on many of the

First Car Cruise Pittsburgh area of the year

This is my first Car Cruise of the year and if its like previous years, I will not attend too many. (This is wedding and portrait season and car cruises are on the same days of weddings usually.)  However, there are future car cruises on my calendar with two at Victory Family Church.

 

Link to a gallery of images for the Weber Insurance Car Cruise at Victory Family Church.

For more information on upcoming car cruises in the Pittsburgh Area please visit the sites below.

 

 

 

 

Love the look of this corvette!

Love the look of this corvette!

Also posted in car cruise, car cruise pittsburgh, car show, Wedding Photography

Bridge over waterfall | Seven Springs

Bridge over waterfall

Bridge over waterfall

I am not sure why but I love photographing bridges over water falls. Maybe it is a throw back to when I was in high school and a popular song was “Bridge over Troubled Water” Simon And Garfunkel

Oh, if you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind

Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

I was in Seven Springs photographing the PA TSA (scholastic) event and came upon this familiar bridge and enjoyed how the water looked as it flowed under the bridge and couldn’t pass up sharing it with everyone.  Enjoy my rendition of a black and white Bridge over a waterfall.

 

Technical Specs:

Nikon D600 | Nikon 24-120 f/4 40mm – f/22 – .6 seconds ISO 100 | Tripod – multiple images merged

 

Also posted in Fine art, Landscape Photography

Springfield Ohio | Long Exposure Photography

Springfield Ohio | Long Exposure Photography | 20 second exposure

Springfield Ohio | Long Exposure Photography | 20 second exposure

Long Exposure Photography

Springfield, Ohio

While approaching the hotel I was staying at for the night, I noticed a beautiful old building with the sky turning deep blue.  As the master light painter added a few different colors to the paint brush, the light started to set behind the building and the blues deepened.  Judging from the angle of the sun, I realized I had 20-30 minutes to check in and return to the parking lot for a beautiful image of this grand building.

The parking lot and street in front of the hotel had minimal traffic and the small park in front of the building a few people sat talking while a table to my left a man working on his laptop.   The air was warm providing a welcome relief after a long harsh winter.

Before setting up my tripod I looked for a good position to frame the building with the lamp posts. Hoping they would turn on as the sun set.  My plan was to frame the building and using a long exposure capture the star bursts coming from the lamp posts.  They didn’t disappoint.  As I positioned my tripod, all of the lampposts turned on and not one was burned out.  (Unlike some people I know.)

I set the camera on the tripod in a vertical position and focused mid-range into the building for maximum depth of field.  In post, I utilized a square crop to eliminate the area directly in front of me.  Since I was using a long exposure (20 seconds), the cars that traveled in front of me disappeared as ghosts in the image.

 

Springfield Ohio | Long Exposure Photography | 30 second exposure

Springfield Ohio | Long Exposure Photography | 30 second exposure

After taking a few images from this vantage point, I packed up and walked into the town looking for other interesting buildings.  However, following a trick I learned years ago, I turned around and noticed the sky and lights on the building from a different vantage point and couldn’t pass up trying a different look. In the second image, the exposure is 30 seconds pulling in even more of the star burst and turning the sky deep blue.  Very little post processing was done in the color images and in the black and white, contrast and clarity was adjusted bringing out some of the mid-range.

 

Also posted in Architecture Photography, Landscape Photography, Travel Photography, Wedding Photography Tagged , , , , , , |

New York City What to see | Reflections

 

Reflective Buildings in New York City

Reflective Buildings in New York City

 

Walking around New York City brings many sights, smells, and sounds. It is nothing to smell meat cooking from a street vendor while walking past an organic juice and smoothie shop. As you turn the corner admiring the architecture of years gone by you encounter some of the most powerfully lit signs you will ever encounter. Horns blaring from taxi drivers as pedestrians ignore the no walk sign walking into the path of oncoming traffic while street musicians play jazz from their saxophone.

New York City What to See

Reflections what to see in New York City

 New York City What to see – Observe the protection

Tourists walk with an overwhelmed look while others stand with a wide-eyed look of delight. It seems on nearly every street corner there are police officers protecting the city with a watchful eye. I have traveled to multiple countries and countless cities but New York always draws me into its wonder. Never do I feel ‘scared’ or fearful of harm while walking the streets of NYC. Maybe it is because of the number of people but I think it is due to the ‘organized’ chaos. While in a few other cities, I was very concerned and did not want to spend time walking along the streets.

 

New York City What to see – Reflections and Parks

New York City brings the city park next to the busy department store (Macy’s) and within feet of some of the most beautiful reflective buildings I ever saw.

 

Enjoy the reflections while admiring the beautiful park in New York City.  Do not be intimidated by the lights, sounds, and smells.  Enjoy the visit but plan on walking and walking.

 

 

New York City Park and Rest Stop

New York City Park and Rest Stop

All images were taken with the Olympus OMD E-5 and Panasonic 20mm f/1.8. {This camera quickly became my travel camera due to its size, weight, and performance.}

Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer | Kendralla Photography

We have a few open dates remaining for 2014 with special pricing for weddings in January to April 2014. If you would like to meet for a no obligation consultation for your wedding photography, contact me and I will meet you at a location and time convenient to you and we can enjoy a cup of tea or together.

– See more at: http://www.kendrallaphotography.com/#sthash.G9KXs87i.dpuf

Also posted in Architecture Photography, Travel Photography Tagged , , , , , , , |

A walk in the park | New York City | Times Square

New York City is one of my favorite cities to visit. I doubt that I will ever forget the feeling the first time I visited. Overwhelmed? Scared? Excited? All of these feelings plus more combined into one crazy rush of emotion. It was years ago when I first visited and I didn’t enjoy the visit as much as I do now. I love visiting Times Square and watching the people. Visitors from all over the world fill the area known as Times Square and most are carrying a camera and point it at everything. Just watching the people with cameras is as funny as any sitcom. They point, shoot, run, shoot, turn, shoot. It appears that many do not have a plan. I am not mocking nor making fun, I experienced similar feelings the first time I visited. I wanted to get pictures of everything and was afraid to miss something.

 

When I visit Times Square and surrounding streets, my initial plan is to document activity, architecture, then ‘time’. What does it look like today. On a recent visit I was disappointed to see that most of the architecture is covered by scaffolds due to endless renovations and construction. However, in the space of time, this is a great thing for the city. No doubt on my next trip, the architecture will ‘shine’ in its beauty.

 

Decorated Scaffolding in Times Square

Scaffolding Decorated

Some shop owners do not let the scaffolds ruin their look but decorate the poles and building adding to the look.

 

When I walk the streets, I look for reflections in the beautiful glass. The reflective glass creates a unique ‘picturesque’ look.

 

I hope you have the opportunity to visit Times Square and enjoy everything it has to offer.

 

 

 

 

A few tips from a traveler when visiting Times Square:

 

  1. Wear great shoes
  2. Dress for the weather but don’t over dress. The temperatures in Times Square seem 5-10 degrees warmer than the surrounding areas. {My thought is due to all of the people and lights/signs.}
  3. Bring a camera but put it away on the first night and just enjoy the city.
  4. Sit/stand in the bleachers provided and watch people.
  5. Bring a small bag vs a large bag.
  6. There are so many people that anything larger than a small messenger style bag hits everyone you walk by and hinders your enjoyment
  7. Water
  8. I carry at least two bottles of water in my messenger bag and go through it easily. All of the walking dries the mouth
  9. Enjoy the view
  10. Favorite Hotel
  11. My favorite Hotel is The Tryp
  12. It is operated by the Wyndham chain and is ‘affordable’ and nice
  13. Ask for the family suite
  14. Its on the first floor and it looks like you landed in Ikea
  15. Laminate floors with a pull out bed for the family
  16. Sky light
  17. The room has ‘room’
  18. The Tryp isn’t ‘in’ Times Square but it is close enough to walk. It is on W. 35th Street and between 8th and 9th Avenue. There are cheaper hotels further away and more expensive/nicer. However, I find for the money, it is a nice place to use for ‘rest’.
  19. My second favorite but very expensive is the Doubletree – Very nice and security prevents ‘non-guests’ from entering the hotel.
  20. I have stayed at the Hampton on 6th Avenue, Hilton Garden Inn, and multiple others. However, all of them are either very small/cramped and noisy.

 

 

Below is a show I created in ProShow Web / Producer for your enjoyment.   All of the images were taken with the Olympus OMD – E 5 mirrorless micro 4/3 camera.  The main lens used is the Panasonic 20 mm f/1.7. It is not the fastest focusing lens but it produces very rich colorful images.

NYC – A walk in the park – October 2013 from Frank Kendralla on Vimeo.

Also posted in Architecture Photography, Times Square, Travel Photography, Wedding Photography Tagged , , , , , , |

We will never forget | Pittsburgh Wedding Photography

We will never forget!

{Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. }

I remember like it was yesterday concerning the events of 9.11.01.  I can remember where I was and the unbelief that filled my heart as I watched the events on t.v..  As I was watching the events, I heard the announcer state that one plane went down in PA but he did not provide any details.  I was out of state and my heart raced not knowing if my family or friends were impacted.  I remember watching the smoke pour out of the buildings and the countless acts of heroics displayed in an attempt to help those in need during this tragic day in the history of the United States.  Throughout the week, the events unfolded on t.v. and for those of us that were out of state, airplane travel did not exist.  We couldn’t race home to be with our family but we could believe that our nation would rally and lift up those in need.  We could believe as we saw thousands of people pour out their love, compassion, and support.

We will never forget those who gave up their lives supporting and helping those in need.  We will never forget those who gave their lives before this tragic event and gave their lives helping and protecting others after 9.11.01.

In honor of those who gave and continue to give their lives to serve and protect.

We will never forget!

We will never forget! Composite image created using light painting. Remembering those who gave their lives and in honor of those who continue to serve and protect!

{Tech Notes}

This image was created using items on our property.  The flag flies daily near this magnificent statue of an eagle.  Using light paining (in the middle of the night), I painted the flag and eagle.  The fog is from me breathing into the scene (it was cold).


Also posted in Travel Photography

Full Moon | Blue Moon | Neil Armstrong

In honor of Neil Armstrong and all the other space explorers including Buzz Lightyear. Earlier today my backyard was filled with the glow of a full blue moon.

This image is a composite of two images from my yard.  The image of the soldier and flag was taken the night before using light painting to illuminate the statue and flag.

I mention this often but I believe most yards and neighborhoods have enough interesting items to photograph for a lifetime.  Unfortunately, since we see the statues, trees, and our surroundings every day we fail to see its beauty. Our yard is filled with natural wonders and items we added through the years. This statue is in our front yard in honor of all the military men and women who served this great nation.

Full moon in honor of all the space explorers

Also posted in Landscape Photography, Travel Photography

Firefighters Prayer | Travel Photography | Pittsburgh Weddings

Firefighters Prayer

Firefighters Prayer New York City – Travel Photography

Firefighter’s Prayer

While walking the streets of New York City, I ended up on a ‘side’ street that had this amazing statue in dedication to all the firefighters who dedicate their lives to protect others.  Too often these are the unknown heroes who protect us and rescue others.  It isn’t the rock stars or sports figures but these men and women who give up their safety for others.

As I posted yesterday, take the time to look around and find all the WOW items when you travel. There are many amazing memorials and statues in every city.  I always attempt find them and read the inscription on each statue.  My thought is if someone took the time to make a dedication then I will read it and decide if I want to document it in my travel photos.

When I came upon this statue I was immediately impressed with its size and detail.  Once I read the inscription, I knew that I needed to document it for others to read.

Below is a similar version of the Firefighters Prayer with a few differences at the end.

 

Firefighters Prayer

 

When I’m called to duty God
wherever flames may rage
give me strength to save a life
whatever be its age
Help me to embrace a little child
before it is too late
or save an older person from
the horror of that fate
Enable me to be alert
to hear the weakest shout
and quickly and efficiently
to put the fire out
I want to fill my calling and
to give the best in me
to guard my neighbor and
protect his property
And if according to your will
I have to lose my life
bless with your protecting hand
my children and my mate.

Firefighter’s Prayer – Firefighter Praying – Travel Photography

 

 

 

Firefighters Prayer - Firefighter Praying - Travel Photography

Firefighters Prayer – Firefighter Praying – Travel Photography

Images taken with Nikon D300s – Nikon 35 f/1.8

Also posted in Travel Photography Tagged , , , , |