Tag Archives: 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
Posted in beaver county, Landscape Photography, mirrorless camera, mirrorless photographer, Olympus, OM-D E-M1 Mark II, reflections on the water, Travel Photography, Wedding Photography, winter landscapes Also tagged , , , |

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.

Posted in beaver county, diary of a travel junkie, Lumix GX8 Also 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. 

Posted in Landscape Photography, Lumix GX8, Travel Photography Also tagged , |

Chicago | October 2015 | Lumix GX8

Although I have been to Chicago many times, I never stayed in the city.  However, on this trip to Chicago, I had the opportunity to stay in the city at the Hilton Chicago.  Little did I realize how much there was to do within walking distance from the hotel.  On my list of places to visit was Millennium Park and the park didn’t disappoint.  It was clean and void of debris and vagrants.

In fact, I wish I had more time to spend in Millennium Park.  During my visit, the Cubs were in the race to the MLB play-offs which is why the buildings were lit with Cubs. If you visit Chicago, I recommend visiting Millennium Park.  No doubt in the summer, it is packed with people and street vendors.  On this fall night, it was warm but there were not many vendors open nor was the park crowded providing the opportunity to move around without bumping into other visitors.  I wanted to get a sunrise over the Bean, but time didn’t permit on this visit.  However, I did get some other early morning images of the city which I will post in the future.

On this trip, I took my then newly acquired Lumix GX8 and the Panasonic 12-35 f/2.8 lens and it didn’t disappoint.  Over the next few months, I will continue to post images from this trip and future trips, discussing my opinion of the Lumix GX8.  The camera didn’t disappoint, delivering excellent quality in a smaller body than my Nikon Full Frame Cameras.  I like the rangefinder-like look and feel and at first didn’t ‘get’ the viewfinder on the left side versus the middle.  However, now that I used it for more than a month, I like it and find it odd when I go back to the Nikon.   I can carry a complete kit in a shoulder bag with much less weight making the traveling with a camera more enjoyable.


Reflections in the Bean of Chicago

Reflections in the Bean of Chicago

The sky created an amazing effect in the Bean.  No doubt my image is one of many thousands, but I wanted my version as I saw it on this day.  The reflections were tremendous creating a globe-like effect into a different world of fun and adventure.

The Bean with the city of Chicago

The Bean with the city of Chicago

My version of a selfie

My version of a selfie

Reflective Selfie

Millennium Park

Millennium Park

Chicago at Night Cubs in Play-offs

Chicago at Night Cubs in Play-offs



Posted in chicago, Lumix GX8, Travel Photography, Wedding Photography Also tagged , |

Olympus OMD – E- M5 Great time to buy

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I love to travel and when I travel I love to document what I see.  I am not opposed to rising early as you can see from the sunrise image over the desert in Phoenix, AZ or staying out late as illustrated in the night images in NYC.

Tremendous view of the desert sunrise

What a tremendous sight of color


Additionally, when time permits, I am not opposed to attempting my hand at images when the light isn’t ‘golden’ as you can see from the infrared image in this post.

IR image in the desert

Infrared in the desert

My favorite travel camera and what I use for nearly all of my macro work is the Olympus OMD – E- M5.  For street photography I use it combined with the OMD 17mm f/1.8 lens and the small size of both combined make this a tremendous camera set-up for being NON-intrusive.  There are many features that make the OMD E-M5 a tremendous travel camera beyond the size.  I love the flip up LCD screen and the ability to compose an image without putting the camera to my eye.  This helps when photographing items close to the ground or to ensure I get a candid image.

I really like that I can ‘see’ what the image looks like before pressing the shutter even when using an IR filter to capture unique infrared images.

The images in the gallery for this post were photographed exclusively with the OMD – E-M5 and either the Oly 17 or Panny 20.  (I sold the panny to get the Oly which seems to focus much faster and is worth the difference in cost.)  This image was taken while walking around NYC and the reflections ‘popped’ out at me causing me to stop and take notice.

OMD-E-M5 NYC at Night

New York City at Night




The OMD combined with the Oly 60mm macro is tremendous for macro photography. This next image was photographed with this combination and shows its macro capabilities.

OMD - E-M5

The beauty of black and white

One of the main reasons I bring up this camera is because there are many ‘Black Friday’ Specials on this camera and lenses online. You can buy this tremendous camera new for the same price many of us paid for it used one year ago.

If you are looking for a tremendous mirrorless camera that will serve you for many years, then I suggest you look at this camera and lens combinations.


Wedding Rings and Heart

Wedding Vows are sacred

Vendor Shop Amazon – Black Friday Deals in Camera, Photo & Video

Posted in street photography, Travel Photography, Wedding Photography Also 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

Posted in Architecture Photography, diary of a travel junkie, Travel Photography Also 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.

Posted in Architecture Photography, diary of a travel junkie, Times Square, Travel Photography, Wedding Photography Also tagged , , , , , |

What to visit in Washington DC | Lincoln Memorial at night

Photos of Lincoln Memorial at Night


Lincoln Memorial at Night Photograph

Taken from the WW II memorial Entrance – Lincoln Memorial at Night

As stated in previous posts, I enjoy photographing at night to obtain unique and fun photographs. We started near the Washington Mall walking along Pennsylvania avenue chatting with the few folks we met along the journey. I saw multiple photographers walking with tripods on their shoulder and met another Nikon Wedding photographer who attended a wedding workshop during the day. We chatted about some of the fun areas to photograph and exchanged tips and ideas for areas in Washington DC with unique character and of possible interest. I suggested she try the area along PA avenue toward the area blocked off by the secret service to obtain photographs of tremendous architecture. Her suggestion to me were the war memorials and the grid covered Washington Monument. Off we went toward a well-traveled area with construction and barricades.



Image of Lincoln Memorial


Walking toward the Lincoln Memorial with tripod over my shoulder, I couldn’t help but think of the thousands of people who walk this road every year to catch a glimpse of history in the making. There is no doubt many amateur and professional photographers traveled this path attempting to create a unique image of the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, or other well-recognized historic site. However, I didn’t want to create the same look or feel in my images.


One tip I learned when photographing anything and especially well photographed areas such as on of the national memorials in Washington DC is to use different vantage points. Yes, take the traditional shot to show you have it but position the camera low to the ground or higher than the average person. Step back or to the side of the normal traffic looking for a perspective that most will not see when they enter the standard tourist spots in Washington DC.


I suggest using a tripod with a good ball head but another important part is to keep the camera stable. Another technique that I enjoy for night photography are long exposure images. In the first image I took the photograph from the entrance of the WW II memorial positioned in the grass.


Lincoln Memorial – Riverside view


Lincoln Memorial Riverside View

While traveling on a pirate boat in search of Johnny Depp, I was able to photograph the Lincoln memorial.

The following day we were told that we had the opportunity to ride a yacht. With visions of Miami Vice type yachts we immediately decided it would be a fun trip. Little did we know that a yacht in Washington DC is not the same as a yacht in Miami. There were three very nice large speed boats and when we inquired if these were the boats, the lady indicated politely “NO”. We suggested that she try to get us on the speed boat and her response “If you can get past the guy with the bubble on his motorcycle then ‘good luck’”. Oh well, we tried {no not getting past the motorcycle police officer}. The next boat to pull into the dock was the jolly Roger (okay, I do not know the name but what else do you call a bright red pirate boat).


I thought we would encounter Johnny Depp in a pirate outfit but that didn’t happen either. However, the trip was fun which produced tremendous images of a beautiful sunset over Georgetown and other areas.




Pirate Ship on Potomac

Our yacht to travel the Potomac at night.





Pirate Ship Gun Side

While traveling the Potomac at night we had the canon ready

{more to follow}



Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer | Kendralla Photography

We have a few open dates remaining for 2013 and are  booking dates in 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.

Posted in Travel Photography, Wedding Photography Also tagged , , , , |

National Geographic Travel Photography | Night Pictures of Washington DC


Washington Monument and Reflecting Pond

A different view of the Washington Monument. Notice the White House in the distance.

Night Pictures of Washington DC

I enjoy taking photographs at night for various reasons. At night, there is a unique look to many major cities with lights highlighting the structures and shadows creating mystery and stories. In addition, night photography produces less tourism style images. Typically because night photography requires either a tripod, ‘fast glass’, or extreme ISO settings in the camera or a combination. When walking around, I will normally use my 35 mm lens at high ISO settings and I am able to capture very unique street photography shots. However, when I want long exposure shots, I always use a tripod.


Washington DC Cityscape at night


Long exposures produce the beautiful star burst for most lamp posts without the need to modify in Photoshop. I enjoy the look because often we fail to notice it when walking around at night. In these photographs of Washington DC Memorials at night, I used my tripod from various heights to create unique looks.


In the image of the Washington Monument at night, the warm glow around it and into the Reflecting Pond was created in the camera. I wanted a unique look of the Monument, unlike most Washington DC pictures at night. The WWII memorial depicting the Pacific side reflected beautifully in the pond while the monument and White House were prominent in the left side of the image. The very warm glow appeared to be from city lights since this image was taken near midnight and could not be from the sunset. The silhouette of the crane tells the story of the reconstruction of the Washington Monument and the protective cage while the small dark marks along the sidewalk reminds visitors that this area is home to creatures who use the area as a rest room :p .


If you only have one day in Washington DC. What to See?


If you only have one day in Washington DC or better one night, then I recommend giving yourself 3-4 hours to walk along the memorials seeing the Lincoln Memorial, WW II memorial, and the other memorials within walking distance. Although the Capital is great to see, it is boring compared to the unique lights and structures in the memorial sections of town.


More in Part Three

This guide might help in your preparation for a trip to Washington DC.

Frommer’s Washington, D.C. 2013 (Frommer’s Color Complete) [Paperback]


Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer | Kendralla Photography

We have a few open dates remaining for 2013 and are  booking dates in 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.

Posted in Travel Photography, Wedding Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , |

National Geographic Travel Photography | Washington DC

National Geographic Travel Photography

WW II memorial dedicated to all of the men and women who served or were impacted by the war

Beautiful Pictures of Washington DC

I had the privilege of spending time in our Nation’s Capital this past week for a few days.  During the day I attended a conference but each night I took time to visit the city.  Without a doubt, I could spend months, if not years photographing all of the architecture and people of Washington DC.


The first order of business was getting from the Omni Hotel on Salvert St to the area surrounding the White House. We decided to take the metro the few miles and the ride was uneventful and the train clean and easy to use. Within a few feet blocks of the metro’s exit we were in front of the White house. Since it was very late at night the foot traffic near the White House and throughout Washington DC was minimal. Keeping to the theme of National Geographic Travel Photography, I decided to take pictures different from regular tourism pictures.


An interesting item to note while taking photos of Washington DC Photography Exhibits


  • Don’t make sudden loud clanging noises!


There was a small line of people in front of the fence of the White House and to avoid taking a normal photo, I decided to go across the street and set-up my tripod for some long exposure images. I opened the clasp on one of the legs of the tripod and it opened with a slight clanging sound. Immediately the police across the street turned and looked to me. My first thought – oh no a tripod isn’t permitted but then I realized the sound the tripod made imitated the sound of a weapon. The remaining legs of the tripod were opened quietly :D.


After taking a few photos in front of the White House, we walked around the next block which was closed to motor traffic and was able to get some very nice images in front of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. It is an amazing structure with beautiful lighting displaying its architecture.


I used the tripod again to get some very long exposures which eliminated anyone walking through the line of site. Since it was late at night, there were very few people near the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and this enabled beautiful images of a magnificent building.


Eisenhower Executive Office Building

Washington DC Photography Exhibits

This section on Pennsylvania avenue contained many beautiful buildings but I wanted to get to other areas within Wasthington DC.


{more in part two}





Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer | Kendralla Photography

We have a few open dates remaining for 2013 and are  booking dates in 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.

Posted in Travel Photography, Wedding Photography Also tagged , , , , , |