Well, well,  is what I’m sure your saying right about now.  No hay bales, no rolling hills, no flowers or fall foliage in this picture.  Nope, this is a shot from New York, New York, the town so nice, they named it twice; as David Letterman used to say.  If New York has a heart, it is in Times Square.  It’s the place where the ball drops on New Years Eve, and where the city’s theater district makes it’s home.  It is such a vibrant and alive place to be.  On this particular evening, my family and I were in the city to have a bit of fun.  We had tickets to see Billy Joel at the Garden the following night, and came into town a little early to shop, and take in the sights.  I once lived in the city, and know my way around Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn very well.  It was great to be back, even if it was only for the weekend, and even though I didn’t make it to B & H, my wife and daughter shopped the heck out of just about every store between 34th street and 50th.  My son and I just took pictures, and carried the bags, and it should go without saying that Billy Joel was awesome.  I’d seen him before in other venues but as he himself said, the Garden is his home turf, and all I can say is, they’re lucky to have him, because he puts on a great show.

Todays picture was taken shortly after we arrived in the city, and dropped our stuff at the hotel.  We all wanted to get out into the city and soak up the energy.  I don’t know how to describe the boost you get as you go out into the night and there are there are thousands of people rushing in every direction.  At the same time, billboards illuminate the entire area with a flickering light that is constantly changing as the ads change.  Finally, add in that it was a particularly warm evening for the fall, and you can’t help but feel drunk off the energy coming from so much activity.  This shot is actually a panorama, digitally stitched in photoshop from three different pictures.  I think you can click on it for a larger view, at least that’s my intention, but I am still trying to figure out this theme, and how that feature actually works.   I’m a big fan of panos, and have many more to share with you in the future.  This was a particularly difficult one because the billboards are constantly changing, and as such, you need to act fast so the billboards on the stich points match.  Also, exposure is a tough one because you need to find the happy medium between keeping the street well exposed, without letting the billboards blow out.  I had a lot of rejects because of this problem.  All I can say is, thank goodness for LCD screens on the back of today’s cameras.

Sorry for the long pause between posts this week.  The time leading up to the holiday was crazy, then the holiday was crazier, and I don’t even want to talk about the time after the holiday.  Anyway, I value the patience you’ve shown, and hope to stay on schedule a bit better in the future.  Have a great rest of the weekend.

Corn Maze for Days


In the fall, it’s a right of passage to explore a corn maze.  I actually don’t know if that’s just around where I live, or if that’s a thing everywhere.  Basically, once the corn has been harvested, the farmer cuts paths into the field, and charges people money to waste the better part of an afternoon trying to find their way through the darn thing.  Trust me on this, there is no worse feeling than stumbling along in one of these things, and finally seeing the exit…only to realize it’s the entrance!!  This was a hard core maze too, so if that happens, they won’t let you out.  They tell you to turn around, and find the real exit.  Imagine getting paid to do that job!!  This corn maze was huge.  It actually had an area cleared out in the center of it with a refreshment stand, complete with picnic tables, and a full menu of junk food.  People were just standing around, eating Hot Dogs, and comparing notes on the best course to take, but the truth was…no one really knew what they were talking about.

For this picture, my daughter and I stumbled upon a look out tower you can climb to see the maze from above; and hopefully find your way out.  As you can see, the light was fading fast, and I fortunately had my D810 with me to grab a quick sunset shot.  I love the lens flare!  I suppose I could have removed it in post, but if your shooting into the sun, that’s the sort of thing you get.  It’s kind of ironic that camera companies put all this technology into special coatings and such to reduce lens flare, and then photoshop actually puts a filter setting into it’s menu to add flare back in.  Anyway, this lens flare is 100% the real deal.  I actually didn’t plan it that way, but I consider it a happy accident. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, no they don’t care if it’s dark and your still in the maze.  I did, but they did not.

Fall Reflections


I was trying to decide what to post today and had a tough time coming to a decision.  Fall is in its last stages here in the northeast, and most of the trees are bare.  The nights are getting cold, and we’ve already had more than a few frosts.  I was debating on putting up something winterish, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.  Even though it doesn’t really feel like fall anymore, it is definitely not winter yet either.  Although, if I traveled west, there’s about a foot of snow falling as I write this post.  Fortunately, I raked leaves today in a light jacket, and when the snow gets here, I’ll be ready with my camera.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this shot I took at a pond not far from my home.  Honestly, I was hoping for some Great Blue Herons to photograph, but none were to be found.  I guess they were hanging out at another pond that day, but I see plenty of them this time of year.  They seem to stick around a lot longer than the geese.  For lack of a Heron, I found some amazing reflections on the water, and since I had my long lens on my camera, I could isolate some interesting compositions that could almost be considered abstractions.  I know lots of photographers like to take those glassy smooth reflection shots, but you have to get up pretty early in the day for those.   This shot was taken in the late afternoon, so there was no chance of a smooth reflection.  I still loved the contrast between the reflected fall colors, and the green water plants enough to grab a quick shot.  I hope your weather is just perfect wherever you are, and I’ll see ya soon.

Now That’s a Load of Hay



I happened to be driving down the road when I noticed these haystacks, and they were too good to pass by without a picture, or two, or fifty.  It was the middle of the day, which is hardly the light you want to shoot anything, but you get what you get as they say.  I was further frustrated by the fact that I couldn’t get the compositions I wanted since I didn’t have permission to go on the farmer’s land.  So, I walked up and down the road a few times trying to get a larger global picture of this amazing site.  I did like the way the light was so patchy, and the big puffy clouds, although that gave me quite a challenge for proper exposure.  I pictured the farmer looking out his window at me while I was doing this and calling out to his wife, “Hey Honey, there’s another one of those photographers taking pictures of my hay!!  What an idiot!!”

Overall, I wasn’t sure about posting this picture.  I like it, but my confidence was not at 100% that it was good enough for the blog.  Ultimately, I slept on it, and decided to go ahead.  A few months ago I was doing the same thing about even starting the blog, but here I am.  A few inspirational reads, and I got past it.  Lack of confidence, and the fear it breeds, can be a paralyzing force.  Some of this is a good thing which helps keep us safe, but too much of it causes us to settle, and stunts our growth.  If you can channel that energy into something positive, and put the fear behind you so it no longer controls you; you’ll be a better person for the experience.   So whether you “know the triumph of high achievement or fail while daring grealty”, you move forward, and that’s the important thing.  I guess that’s true for everything in life not just photography.  Have a great day.

Keep Back!!


So…what do you suppose is going on here?  I love telephone poles.  They’re like snow flakes in that no two are ever alike.  This one is thankfully NOT anywhere near my  house.  All these crazy wires, and what do you think those red things are?  Whichever utility company is in charge of this thing,  has it’s hands full.  I got nervous just waking under it.  It looks like a four alarm fire waiting to happen, but I couldn’t resist snapping a picture as I walked by.  It was face on to the sun, and really seemed to stand out against the blue sky. It’s apparent age seems pretty obvious.  Probably because no one wants to go near it to do an upgrade.

Anyway, I hope you like the shot.  I thought I would throw in a non-nature picture for a change.  I do love natural landscapes, but you’ll see a few travel and urban shots soon enough.  Today marks only 2 weeks for this young blog which still has so much more in the planning stage than in actual execution, but I wanted to take a moment and say “Hi” and “Thank You” to all who have subscribed and visited.  I can hardly believe the response with views from over a dozen countries on five continents and counting.  Queue the old adage on the  “Power of the Internet”!!  The ultimate goal of this blog was to begin sharing my images with the world, and connect with those who find the same passion about photography and life as I.  It has been very heartening to begin the realization of that dream over the past two weeks.  So see y’all soon!!

Water Fall Relief


There’s no place better on a hot summer day to take refuge from the heat than a waterfall.  That’s exactly what happened a few months back on a crazy hot day this past summer.  We decided to pack up, and hit the trail.  This place is so cool.  There is a huge lake on top of the mountain, and it cascades down a  five mile slope resulting in close to 40 different waterfalls, some of which are 100 feet (30  meters) high.  The trail has some challenging elevation changes but that’s what gives you these awesome waterfalls, and on this day, some much needed relief from the heat.  If your ever near Red Rock, PA, check it out, it’s Rickets Glenn State Park.  It’s a bit of a drive from my home, but well worth it.  It’s funny because I always knew it was a nice place for photography, but when I started seeing pictures taken there by people from Europe, I was so surprised.  I guess it goes to show you a truth we often ignore in photography, that some of the best shots to be had are practically in your own back yard.  I once believed I could only get amazing shots by traveling somewhere exotic, but not any more.  Rickets Glenn proved that to me.  Challenge yourself to see what you’ve been missing in your own hometown.  Look at it with a strangers eyes and you’ll be amazed at what you’ve missed.

With that said, I’ve included a shot of one of the many waterfalls at Rickets.  I love photographing waterfalls, but I have such a difficult time framing them, or finding the best point of view.  Then there’s the whole, ” to long expose the water or try to freeze it” conflict.  If I made a top 10 list of favorite things to photograph, waterfalls would definitely be in there, but if I made a list of most frustrating subjects I try to photograph, waterfalls would be right near the top.  (I think this just gave me an idea for another post)  Anyway, I hope you like this one, and remember we’re on the downslide to the weekend at this point.  Have a great rest of the week.

Twin Stars


Enough with the fall colors and early spring shots!!  It’s time for some real color from the source that wrote the book on it.  And by that, I mean flowers!!  I love flowers, and I especially love taking pictures of flowers.  Not only are they colorful, but their intricate designs and diverse shapes make them a challenging subject, and a source of constant inspiration.  What are some of your favorite subjects to photograph?  I know some people really don’t like flower photographs.  How many times have you heard someone say, “I’m not a flower person”, when describing their photography.  They can sound so condescending when they say it.  In the future, I want to explore flower photography more.  I’ve seriously been considering the addition of a macro lens to my gear for that very purpose.  I’ll be sure to let you know how that  goes.

In the meantime, here is a flower shot from this past summer.  No flowers were harmed in the taking of this picture.  They were shot on the stem, handheld in some beautiful morning light.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think these are Purple Astors.

Two Speeders


While this may look like a shot from just last week, since there are no leaves on the trees and it’s looking pretty Fall-ish, I actually shot this last Spring.  It was one of the first nice days outside, and it was finally starting to warm up, so we went for a quick hike through a local park.  The late afternoon sun made for some great light, and the Geese were new arrivals after returning from their defection to the warmer South for the winter.  Actually, they caught me by surprise.  I heard them coming, it wasn’t hard with all the honking,  but they were moving really fast across the water. I only had a split second to snap a picture before they were out of frame again.  I never even brought the camera up to my eye, I just shot from the hip all Western gunslinger style.  I was with a few people and they were quite impressed.   Of course, I’d be lying if I said the image didn’t need a little straightening in Lightroom.  I still can’t believe how fast those geese were moving.  I would have loved to try a panning shot and give a sense of their speed, but there was no time to set up for that.  I think it must be cool to speed across a lake just inches above the water like that.  That’s the way I’d fly if I was a goose.  Have a great weekend everyone.  I know Call of Duty is coming out today, but get out there and take some pictures!!!

Fall Colors, A No Brainer!!


Wow! The last few weeks here in the Northeast have brought color to a whole new level.  The leaves are all changing, and whatever it is that determines how bright and how varied the colors get, well it happened, and the trees are “on fire”.  Shooting in the fall is a no brainer.  Everywhere you look there are gorgeous pictures waiting to be taken.  It’s like a last gasp of nature before winter replaces all that color with the whites and greys we are so accustomed to here in the north.  There’s plenty of beauty in that as well, you just have to look a bit harder.  For this picture I had just finished some yard work, and the golden hour was in full swing.  So I put the lawn mower away, and went for a walk.   It couldn’t have been more perfect. I really liked how the low angle of the sun was causing the leaves to cast their own shadows on the tree behind them.  It’s funny how I had been planning to take a big hike to get some fall shots;  you know, pack a lunch, put on the Merrells, grab the backpack and such.  Then one of my favorite shots of the season was taken literally along the road in front of my own house. Who knew!!!

I hope your liking the blog so far.  I’m still trying to figure out a few things with the set up and choices.  It’s kind of like moving into a new house and you move the furniture around a bit to see how you like it best.  You can definitely consider this a site under construction, so don’t be surprised if you see some changes.  I hope to mix in some technical content from time to time too.  Let me know what you think.  More to come for sure, see Ya later!!