Category Archives: Landscape Photography

Landscape and Travel Photography

Fire in the sky | Chippewa Twp Park

As I was driving home on route 51 in Chippewa, I kept watching the sky.  One minute it was pure white and snow was blowing creating a minimal visibility white-out and the next minute, the sky was as bright as a summer evening.  After arriving home I kept watching the sky change colors and told my wife, I will be back soon, I need to get an image of this sunset.  “What sunset? Its a whiteout!” Grabbing my camera bag, I was off and my goal was to head to Monaca and catch the sunset over the Ohio River but I didn’t believe I would make it before the sky changed again. Therefore, I went to a nearby park in Chippewa Twp, only minutes from my home.

Grabbing my tripod and bag I was off to the edge of the pond and was not disappointed with how the sky kept getting deeper with color.  I am not sure if it was a combination of the snow swirling in the sky or something else but it was beautiful.  I decided to use the widest lens I have which is a 7 – 14 mm f/4 (Panasonic) and welcomed the strong reflections on the water without the use of any filters.

Fire in the sky | Sunset over water in Chippewa Twp

Knowing that I didn’t have much time, I quickly set up my tripod, leveled the camera, exposed the scene, and was blown away with what the Lord provided me in the sky and painted on the water.

If you know me, you will often hear me say that we don’t need to travel far to find beauty in our neighborhood. There are an unbelievable number of places to photograph in Beaver County to show off the beauty and wonder that we were given.

 

Photography humor: Ever since switching to digital, I find there are only positives and no negatives.

 


Technical Specs: Olympus E-M1MarkII f/8 ISO 640 7mm (equiv 14mm) | Panasonic 7-14mm f/4 | Manfrotto Tripod with Acratech Ultimate Ballhead | Landscape Photography | Gallery of Beaver County Images


From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’S name is to be praised. Psalm 113:3
Also posted in beaver county, mirrorless camera, mirrorless photographer, Olympus, OM-D E-M1 Mark II, reflections on the water, Travel Photography, Wedding Photography, winter landscapes Tagged , , , , |

Exposure Triangle and Aperture

How does aperture impact my image?

In this short video, I show a few examples how changing the aperture / f-stop impacts the look of your image.

My goal is to get you off of auto and in manual mode.

Additionally, my intent is to show you that each of the images shown in the video are exposed properly but a properly exposed image does not mean it is the image you intended to photograph.


Stranger: “That is a beautiful child you have there.”
Mother: “That’s nothing. You should see his photograph.” – Anonymous


 

Technical Specs

Olympus | E-M1MarkII | Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lens | Mirrorless Camera | MeFoto Tripod

Also posted in beaver county, mirrorless camera, Olympus, OM-D E-M1 Mark II, photography, Photography Education, photography quotes, Wedding Photography Tagged , , , , , , |

January Beauty in Beaver County

Winter Beauty in Beaver County

There is no doubt that some will not believe I created this image on January 21, 2017 in Beaver County. It was a Saturday morning and I knew the mixture of the Sun and fog would create something that was pleasing to the eyes. This pond is minutes from my home in Chippewa Twp and one of the many treasures found in this area of the county.

The sun was peaking through the trees bathing the water and evergreens with an amazing color and the reflections on the water made it look almost as if it were a painting. I couldn’t pass up not capturing its beauty for others to enjoy.

I have traveled to many of the states of this beautiful nation and to other wonderful countries but there is nothing like visiting the areas around my home in Beaver County, PA.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalm 1:3

Click for a full size version of the image


Technical Specs

Photographed with the mirrorless Olympus E-M1MarkII and Olympus 12-100 lens. f/22 | ISO 200 | 60 second exposure | 44mm – equiv = 88 mm | Manfrotto Tripod

Also posted in beaver county, mirrorless photographer, Olympus, OM-D E-M1 Mark II Tagged , , , , , , |

Sunrise | Wrightsville Beach

Sounds of birds chirping woke me from a deep sleep after more than ten hours on the road a few hours earlier.  The journey to North Carolina from Pennsylvania was eventless and the traffic minimal for a Sunday before a holiday.  Even though birds were chirping, it was very dark outside.  Why?  The sound of birds was my alarm sound and not the sound of the ‘real’ birds welcoming a sunrise.  Looking at my phone where the bird sounds originated, I noticed the temperature outside was slightly above 32 degrees.  Didn’t the weather folks know this was a beach town in the south and this temperature is reserved for the north?  Rubbing sleep from my eyes, I got ready for a cold sunrise on the beach thinking, all of this for a photo?  Yes, it was a cloudless night and the sun was predicted to rise three hours from now in all of its majestic glory and warmth (:D).

The car was covered with drops of ice and the thought of running back into the hotel and under the warmth of a blanket raced through my head.  Maybe I should enter a rehab program for photographers that are crazy?  The car warmed up and the heated seats were a welcome to a chilled body making the short ride to the beach easier.

Navigating my way toward Wrightsville Beach provided a new display of lighted decorations.  Maritime figures such as mermaids, dolphins, and more were on many of the light poles providing a holiday look to the town.  Few people were on the streets this early on a brisk morning.  I drove by a few runners dressed in warm running outfits who might need a rehab program similar to the one I need for crazy folks who go out in the early morning on a cold November day.

Finding a parking spot near Johnnie Mercer’s Pier was easy with quick access to the beach.  There were a few walkers and workers cleaning up the area for the day’s activities.

wrightsville beach pictures

Wrightsville beach pictures

“If you want to be reminded of the love of the Lord, just watch the sunrise.”
Jeannette Walls, Half Broke Horses

Before the Sun rose, the sky was filled with great color!

As anticipated, the early morning sky was filled with bright stars and a beautiful sky.  I walked along the beach near Johnnie Mercer’s Pier and found a few spots that would provide a great sunrise image.  Huddled near the tripod and camera, I waited until the sky started to change colors and I was not disappointed.  Experimenting with a few different settings on the camera with the intent to ‘freeze’ the water and create a glow in the sky.

Two plus hours passed from the time I arrived at the beach and a faint orange glow peaked the horizon providing a slight mist and fog like effect over the water.  I could hear real birds in the distance but most remained huddled around each other staying warm.

A lady gathering sea shells walked the beach dress similar to me in a few layers of clothes and warm gloves while a few others ran to the beach, grabbed a quick sunrise image and immediately jogged to their respective cars to escape the cold morning air.

Birds staying warm on a cold morning

Keep tight to stay warm!

The time spent was rewarded with a beautiful sunrise that is fully appreciated after the anticipation.  The sun seems to creep up to the horizon then in all of its glory, rises providing light and heat.

The sun in all of its glory
 The sun in all of its glory

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Was it worth the time spent?  Yes!  A loud YES!  – visiting the beach for a sunrise or sunset is always worth the time spent listening to the sounds of the ocean, the birds, and the feel of life coming from the rising sun! To me, it is like the Lord saying to all of life – “Good morning!”  I have provided another day for you to enjoy!

Surfchex – Watch the beach from the warmth of your home!

Tech Speak:

All of the images were taken with the Panasonic Lumix GX8 and the Panasonic Lumix G 12-35 f/2.8 lens.  This set-up is my new favorite for lightweight travel and urban street photography. 

Also posted in Lumix GX8, Travel Photography Tagged , , |

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 diary of a travel junkie, pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Wedding Photography Tagged , , , |

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, Inspirational Art, light painting, Wedding Photography Tagged , , |

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 diary of a travel junkie, Fine art

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, diary of a travel junkie, Travel Photography, 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, Inspirational Art, Pittsburgh Wedding Photography, Portrait Photography, Travel Photography, Wedding Photography Tagged , , , , , , , |

Valentine Poem

While walking among the rose bushes this beautiful Valentine’s day, I found this perfect rose with a light sprinkling of dew on the edges. The sun was perfect casting a beautiful warm glow. With not even a slight breeze to cause the flower to move. (okay – truth be told – I am thankful for flower shops who sell perfect roses – from Posies by Patti, Ellwood City

Valentine Poem

Roses are Red

Roses are Red – Violets are Blue – Agave is Sweet – ILUVU2

 

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Agave is sweet

& I luvU2

 

I searched way too long for great roses are red or Valentine poems. I then altered my search for love poems and more and found a few great poems about love and Valentine’s day

 

 

 

 

I asked God

I asked God for a flower, he gave me a bouquet

I asked God for a minute, he gave me a day

I asked God for true love, he gave me that too

I asked for an angel and he gave me you.

Some goofy

Roses are red, but there are also pink, white and yellow varieties. Violets aren’t blue, they’re violet, hence the name. I’ve got OCD. And my poetry skills are also lacking.

Some nice

  •  Rose are red, violets are blue Love never crossed my mind until the day that I met you
  •  Roses are red. Violets are blue. Angels in heaven Remind me of you!
  •  Roses are Red, Violets are Blue I feel so lost, unless I’m with you!
Valentine Poem

Enjoy a dinner together

Then a Valentine poem by a ‘kid’ – for fun

OK, now you’re ready to get into a fun, creative session. Start off with a “fill in the blank” poetry completion exercise. Pick one of the colors on your list, say “pink.” Recite the following stanza, then fill in the blank at the end.

Violets are blue.

Roses are pink.

Put on your shoes,

your feet really ____.

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day

Also posted in Fine art, floral, Gratitude, roses, Wedding Photography Tagged , , , , , |