Category Archives: Inspirational Art

The trip that almost didn’t happen

The email Olympus Super Fan Experiential in San Francisco

 

It was late afternoon on Tuesday, Dec 19th that I received an email indicating I was invited to attend a “once-in-a-lifetime experience” entitled  ‘Olympus Super Fan Experiential in San Francisco’.  Unfortunately, this almost didn’t occur because I thought it was a scam.  I researched the email originator of the email but didn’t put too much effort into it since I had a very early flight the next morning and had to begin getting ready for the flight and put this out of my mind with no thought to return to the email.

 

Thursday afternoon when driving from North Carolina to Pittsburgh, I received an Instant Message from Olympus Visionary, Jamie McDonald asking if I got an email from Olympus earlier in the week.  Since I was driving, I didn’t respond immediately.  A few hours went by and I reread his IM then responded. “Yes, I received a note but I thought it was SPAM.” – Do you have time to chat? He responded – Yes, call me.  I did and he confirmed not only was it true but I needed to respond quickly since the deadline to respond was the next day. – Ouch! Was I going to blow the chance of a lifetime?

 

I immediately called the number on the email and began the adventure of a lifetime that would begin on my 61st birthday.  Yes, the trip would start on January 25th and I would get to meet new folks who love photography, ‘play’ with new gear and meet people whom I admired for a long time.

 

I was selected as one of ten photographers in the United States to attend the “Olympus Super Fan Experiential” fully paid for by Olympus.  To state I was excited is an understatement and as the date approached, I was filled with anticipation taking me back to my childhood when either my birthday or Christmas was close and I ‘knew’ my parents bought me something I wanted but I had to ‘pretend’ I didn’t know I was getting that ‘special’ toy. Yes, I felt like a kid again and loved every minute of it.

 

The journey to selecting Olympus as my gear of choice

 

A few years ago I purchased my first OMD camera, it was a used OMD-EM5 and my ‘love’ for mirrorless technology began.  I used this for some of my macro work during weddings and it became my exclusive ‘travel’ camera along with the Olympus 17mm f/1.8 lens and 60mm f/2.8 macro.  Over time, I sold this camera, bought a different micro 4/3 mirrorless but when the Olympus OMD-E-M1MarkII was announced, I pre-ordered it along with the 12-100 f/4 (more on these two items in a different article) and purchased a few more used Olympus lenses beginning my full migration to Olympus from Nikon.  There were many people along the way who kept fueling my interest but there was one person who stood above the rest, Olympus Visionary Scott Bourne. (Plus, I would get to meet him and another longtime favorite of mine – Derrick Story who wrote an article on our trip.  I started my selling off of Nikon gear and fully moved to Olympus in early 2017 telling everyone and anyone I photographed how much ‘funner’ shooting with Olympus was than Nikon. (No doubt, some thought I was annoying :D.)

 

As the date approached, our group connected on a ‘private’ Facebook group and group instant messaging and connect we did.  The IM seemed non-stop in anticipation from one of the members indicating this was the first time they were flying while another lived near and worked in San Francisco.

My birthday

The day finally arrived, my 61st birthday on this great planet earth and I was off to SF with my backpack of Olympus gear to my standard travel ‘food’. It was going to be a long flight and my body was more than juiced for the trip.  I sat by the door (I was ready many hours early) of our house as I waited for a limo to pick me up and drive me to the airport.  Yes, Olympus had a limo pick us up ensuring there was no expense on our part and that we would arrive at the airport with plenty of time for the flights across the country.

 

When we arrived in San Francisco, a limo picked us up and took us to our Hotel, where we hooked up with the others in our Super Fan group, great folks from MullenLowe U.S, and Olympus USA. and given some new toys that we would play with during our trip.  For me, the two items I wanted to play with was the new Olympus Pro line of f/1.2 lenses.  The 17mm and 45mm, both lenses I was ‘eyeing’ up since they were announced. To me, the 17mm f/1.2 (FF equivalent of 34mm) is the perfect event and street photographer’s lens.  The 45mm (FF equiv 90mm) is perfect for event and portraits.

 

After going to dinner where I was surprised with a nice ‘vegan’ desert and birthday celebration, a few of us went to a local park high above the city to capture the cityscape at night.  We walked back to the hotel via Chinatown and continued playing with the 17mm lens where I was amazed by the feel of the lens.  (I knew it would be difficult to return it to Eric from Olympus in a few days.)

E-M1MarkII 12-100

San Francisco Cityscape

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To state I stayed up too late is an understatement but I wasn’t going to miss one minute of opportunity to photograph San Francisco. Add in the time difference, excitement, and joy, I finally went to sleep nearly 24 hours after I started the journey on Wednesday.  However, I wasn’t tired and according to my Fitbit, I averaged 2-4 hours of sleep each night the entire time I was in San Francisco. 😀

 

Chinatown Wall Art
Olympus E-M1MarkII and 17mm f/1.2 Pro Lens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Golden Gate Opportunity

The next morning we met in the lobby and headed out to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge from atop a mountain.  It was very foggy but we came away with iconic images.  From there we went to Muir Woods and had lunch and continued photographing everything and anything.  Derrick Story was with us and documented the journey on his blog.

Golden Opportunity – Olympus E-M1MarkII and 12-100

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfect sunset

We had ‘free time’ and a few of us took an Uber trip to Treasure Island and captured a magnificent sunset and blue hour.  When we returned from our trip to Treasure Island, the Olympus Visionaries began arriving and a few went to the park from the previous day.

Sunset and Street Photography
E-M1MarkII 12-100

Sunset and Street Photography
E-M1MarkII 12-100

Blue Hour
Olympus E-M1MarkII 12-100

 

Sleep why?

 

Sunrise over San Francisco
E-M1MarkII 12-100

The next day our adventure continued but a few of us rose early (why not :D) and went back to the mountain and photographed the Golden Gate bridge again and this time there was no fog but we were given a beautiful sunrise.

We returned to the hotel and hooked up with the rest of the group heading off to Alcatraz (stay tuned for a story in a future post) and Baker Beach where I could have spent hours taking in the view of the Golden Gate bridge, excitement from the kids playing on the beach, and the unique feel of the sand unlike the sand from the east coast of the country.

 

We stayed out late again knowing our journey was coming to an end and I didn’t want it to stop.  Along the way we ate at some of the finest restaurants, traveled in a limo bus, laughed and talked until our voices where fading.  We didn’t want the trip to end but it did end sealing lifetime memories and relationships.

 

I could write for thousands of more words and my gratitude to Olympus, MullenLowe, the other Olympus Super Fans, and the Olympus Visionaries could not be expressed more than these words – “Thank you! Not only was this a tremendous experience, but I couldn’t have asked for a better 61st birthday gift!”

Beach Fun Olympus E-M1MarkII 12-100

Everyone got along well, talking, laughing, and enjoying this once in a lifetime experience.  We gained more than an experience but a lifetime of friends, a connection to tremendous people, and a unique bond with an amazing company (Olympus).

 

All of the images in this post were taken with the Olympus OMD-E-M1MarkII, the Olympus 12-100 f/4 (the very sharp, perfect ‘general’ purpose and travel lens), Olympus 7-14 f/2.8, and the new Pro 17mm and 45mm f/1.2 lenses.

 

To find the images taken but the Visionaries, Super Fans, and me during the trip, search this hashtag on Social Media:

#CapturingSanFrancisco

 

I posted the majority of my images on my portfolio site here.  Watch this blog for a write-up on the Olympus 17mm f/1.2 lens.

 

Me on Facebook and Instagram

 

As I state often, ‘photography is too much fun to be legal’ and using Olympus gear is like ‘cheating’ for it is almost impossible to make a bad image.

Alcatraz Island Lighthouse
Olympus E-M1MarkII 12-100

Tranquility
Olympus E-M1MarkII 12-100

 

Links to Olympus on the net

 

http://getolympus.com

http://facebook.com/getolympus

http://instagram.com/getolympus

http://twitter.com/getolympus

http://youtube.com/getolympus

http://flickr.com/groups/getolympus

Also posted in #CapturingSanFrancisco, beaver county, Camera Review, diary of a travel junkie, Gratitude, Landscape Photography, mirrorless camera, mirrorless photographer, Olympus, OM-D E-M1 Mark II, photography, street photography, Travel Photography

Inside Red Macro Photography

Focus Stacking | Inside a red flower

I bought this flower at a local flower shop along with a few other flowers but this flower was not open and presented little to photograph. However, after a few days of sitting in the container, it opened and I couldn’t pass it up as a candidate for focus stacking.

This image is a combination of five images focused from back to front then combined in Helicon Focus. I used the Olympus OMD E-M1MarkII and the Olympus 60mm macro lens. The water drops are a combination of water and glycerin sprayed on the flower to create dimension. Although the E-M1MarkII has IBIS, I use a tripod when doing focus stacking. It makes it easier for me to compose and reduces camera shake when I need to go to a slower shutter speed.

Some post processing work done in Photoshop and Topaz labs.

 


Recommendation for Topaz Labs and affiliate link: I highly recommend Topaz labs and they have a special until the end of June 2017.

New Free Features added as of 1.0.7:
– HEALING TOOL (we’ve added healing to the program and it’s available in the Tools toolbar on the right)
– Image rotation and flip
– More clear differentiation between free and pro adjustments (free or owned adjustments now have a blue icon)
– Better integrations with Plugins (Owned plugins are available automatically through the plugins menu upon install)
– Tons of minor bug fixes

We’re also working on a number of new features in the next minor update (which should be released in July) including
– Ability to save PSD-like Topaz Documents, so you can continue working later
– White balance picker in the Basic Adjustment to make color balancing simple
– Color pickers added to each relevant area
– Automatic Lens correction for more lenses with Raw images
– Social sharing of images directly to Facebook
– And much more!

 

Also posted in floral, flowers, macro, mirrorless camera, mirrorless photographer, Olympus, OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Candid Moments in Life

Candid Moments in Life

The best moments are not planned

I took this image of my wife and two eldest grandkids is 2009. We were walking along a path that borders our property and the moment seemed perfect for an image.  The grandkids are now 13 and 11 but this image is one of my favorite images of all times.  My wife and I were going through the thousands of images I took of the family since 2001 and this one jumped out as a ‘must print and hang’ image.  We pondered the best scripture verse and decided that Psalm 46:10a, “Be still and know that I am God…” is perfect.

I printed this as an 11×14 and matted it to fit a 16×20 black frame for hanging in our living room.  This will join many other prints that we proudly display of our family and life.  My wife kept saying, this looks like something you would buy and hang on your wall from a Christian bookstore. 😀  One of the greatest compliments a photographer can get is when their spouse states they would pay for the image.

Some of the best images I took were not planned, staged, nor posed.  They just developed (pun intended).  Although this sat on my hard drive for 6 years after I processed it, the image remained ready to become a story teller.  However, I believe that an image isn’t a true picture until it is printed and hung on a wall for others to see and cherish.

No doubt this might have more meaning to us than it would to others, the connection of the viewer becomes when they can relate.  A mom can relate thinking when they walk hand in hand with their child(ren) or a grandma thinking to the day when she walks with her grandchildren.  Life is short and too often the only thing we have to trigger a happy and cherished memory is to look and hold our pictures.  There is a saying that a picture is art when it connects with the viewer.  I would add that a picture is an image when it tells a story that connects the viewer to the subject.

It is very important to preserve memories with photography but it is more important to print the images to share and hold.

What many do not realize is the image we take today isn’t for our benefit (today) but for the benefit of future generations or to comfort us years in the future.  I hope that one day my grandchildren will be blessed with children and grandchildren of their own and that this image will provide conversations they have with their families.  As I type this, tears flow down my cheeks.  Not of sorrow but of joy that a God given gift (vision and photography) can bring joy and happiness.  Tears of joy that memories are captured and preserved for future generations to enjoy.

With the advent of digital and the fact that nearly everyone has a camera (mobile device) and images are shared non-stop, my concern is that too many people fail to print their memories.  They show them off on their smart phone but when the smart phone breaks where are the memories.  Yes, more and more people store in the cloud but how many retrieve them from the cloud and display the images proudly on their walls?

Candid moments need preserved and cherished!

Mother’s day is quickly approaching.  Plan a time for pictures, preserving today for future generations.  We offer a session that includes both still and motion (video) with a multimedia show that brings laughter and tears wrapped in joy and happiness.

Also posted in beaver county, high school senior portraits, hybrid portraits, photography, portraits, Wedding Photography Tagged , , , |

Monaca skyline at night | Bridge at night

Kendralla Photography-D61_7104-T.jpgKendralla Photography-D61_7105-T.jpgKendralla Photography-D61_7106-T.jpgKendralla Photography-D61_7108-T.jpgKendralla Photography-D61_7111-T.jpg

 Beaver County Bridges | Bridge at Night

The full moon and the lights off the bridge bathed the Ohio river in beautiful lights.

Full Moon Delight

Full Moon Delight

The air was cool and the sky was painted in all shades of blue and purple as I arrived at the Bridgewater Landing. I knew my time was minimal that would provide rich colors in the sky vs a dark black backdrop. The bridge from Rochester to Monaca was lit with the moon and man made lights creating a near perfect painterly effect on the water.

I enjoy the look of old bridges that have character and tell a story when the bridges in the area were made from local steel and from factories in states.  There is something about these bridges and viewing a bridge at night.  I am not sure why but they seem to cry out that our country was built on the backs of those who labored here.

 

Bathed in moonlight

Bathed in moonlight

With a full moon, the train bridge was bathed in light and cast a beautiful shadow on the Ohio river. Normally, this section is too dark to get a nice image at this time of night (earlier it is always back lit with a setting sun). However, the full moon created an amazing light on the train bridge.

 

 

 

If you enjoy these images and would like them for your home, they are available for purchase here and here Art Prints .

Also posted in beaver county, Fine art

Believe

Believe | Belief | DO

Believe | Belief | DO

 

Colorful flower pedals

I am a fan of colorful flowers as they ‘dry-up’. It appears their color changes and it seems as if the textures and ‘skin’ become translucent similar to what happens as we age. Maybe it is my hope that we get ‘better’ with age and add value to the world with each year. Regardless why, I find it fascinating to photograph flowers, leaves, and other parts of nature as they say goodbye.
The flower pedals were placed on a back-lit drawing table and photographed with enough back lighting to cause the beautiful veins of the leaves to show off.

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines believe as:

To expect or hope with confidence; to trust. To have a firm persuasion of any thing. In some cases, to have full persuasion, approaching to certainty;

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Matthew 21:22 . . ., whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Ps.27.

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
— Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh

Belief |Believe | Believer

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt
For the technical – Nikon D7100 – Tamron 90mm macro – f/36 | ISO 100 | 1 second exposure | Acratech Ballhead |
Also posted in Fine art, floral, Landscape Photography, light painting, Wedding Photography Tagged , , |

Pittsburgh Skyline | Sunrise over Pittsburgh

 

By chance or planning | Be ready for a great image | Pittsburgh Skyline

One of the best things about living in a city with mountains is the ability to get above the city skyline for either a sunset or sunrise. Since the sun rises ‘behind’ Pittsburgh when viewing it from Mount Washington, a backlit image of the city presents a tremendous image.

 

A few years ago, I had a client who wanted a sunrise image. Therefore, I suggested we do the session from Mt. Washington. It gives us a great view of the city and bordering rivers with a platform (overlook).

 

On the day of the scheduled session, I looked out the window and was greeted with fog so thick, I could barely see 20 feet in front of me.

 The Pittsburgh Skyline is tremendous from Mt. Washington

I loaded my gear and headed toward the city. On the way, I received a call from the client asking if we should cancel. I suggested that we continue as planned. When I arrived to Mt. Washington, I was greeted with an amazing view and look. Immediately, I set-up my tripod and camera attempting to capture a quickly fading look (the sun was melting away the fog) that bathed the city in a glow I never imagined.

 

Regardless how many times I photograph Pittsburgh, I never seem to grow tired of it but this image will always remain as one of my favorites. Why? Because it almost didn’t happen. If I would have canceled due to the fog, I never would have seen nor could I imagine this look. (Yes, the birds were flying by – they were not added later.)

 Portrait Session & the Pittsburgh Skyline

How did the portrait session go? Great! The client arrived ‘late’ but it gave me time to not only get this image but a few others that I enjoy. We still had time to get some tremendous sunrise image with the client and city for a very successful day.

 

If you enjoy this image, consider decorating your home with it or sending a friend a card. This image is available in a variety of formats from the link below.

 

Sell Art Online

Also posted in Architecture Photography, Fine art, Landscape Photography, Pittsburgh Wedding Photography, Portrait Photography, Travel Photography, Wedding Photography Tagged , , , , , , , |

He loves me | Inspirational Art

He Loves me, He loves me mostest

We hear the phrase, He Loves me, He loves Me Not but He will always love you.

This saying and the concept for the design came from my wife. When the grandkids are going home, she always says. Love you mostest! She then added the combination of saying to when folks pick the pedals off a flower and state. He loves me, he loves me not. She turned it around saying that He loves me more (speaking of God the Father), then added He loves me Mostest. Because He loved us first and last plus will never leave us.

We love him, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

. . . I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Hebrews 13:5

Also posted in Fine art Tagged , , , |