A Trip to the National Aviary

Allison and I recently visited the National Aviary here in Pittsburgh. It was a nice opportunity to take wildlife photographs in a relaxed and climate controlled setting. With the birds used to being around people, I was able to set up shots that reflected each animal’s personality.

Here’s more about the National Aviary from their website:

The National Aviary is America’s only independent indoor nonprofit zoo dedicated exclusively to birds. Located in Allegheny Commons Park on Pittsburgh’s historic North Side, the National Aviary’s diverse collection comprises more than 500 birds representing more than 150 species from around the world, many of them threatened or endangered in the wild.

The National Aviary’s large walk-through exhibits create an experience unlike any other – an intimate, up-close interaction between visitors and free-flying birds, including opportunities to hand-feed and meet many species rarely found in zoos anywhere else in the world.

Click on a picture to see a higher resolution version on my Flikr page. If you enjoy my content, feel free to follow this blog. Also, consider liking my photography page on Facebook.

National Aviary

National Aviary

National Aviary

National Aviary

National Aviary

National Aviary

National Aviary

National Aviary

National Aviary

National Aviary

National Aviary

National Aviary

National Aviary

National Aviary

National Aviary

National Aviary

The Last Days of Fall Foliage

Here are some woodland shots from a hike Allison and I went on last weekend at Frick Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Less than a week later, most trees are nothing but bare branches, save for a few withered and frost-damaged leaves. Click on an image to view a higher resolution version, complete with shooting information, on my Flikr page.

Frick Park in November

Because of the flat lighting, this shot was almost all mid-tones and required some additional help in the contrast and saturation setting of lightroom to give a sense of depth. Looking closely, one can see houses on the hill in the back.


Frick Park in November

I like this shot for the primary colors of red, yellow, and blue. The red tree was the only red thing on the visible landscape and really stuck out. The little stream has a layer of ice on in, showing just how cold it has gotten in the last few weeks.


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This winding path is called Falls Ravine Trail. There’s a little stream that runs along the side that occasionally forms a small waterfall. Nothing particularity impressive, but a popular area due to its mild hiking difficulty.


Frick Park in November

I was initially planning on taking this shot without people. When I saw the dog walking symmetry, I couldn’t resist. There’s a subtle Yin Yang quality to the balance on this one.


Frick Park in November

Here’s a wide angle vertical shot towards the direction of Falls Ravine Trail (mentioned above) from a the higher up Bradema Trail. I like the bright yellow and orange contrast of the leaves against the purplish-blue haze in the background.


fall colors

This is the fall shot of my “Same shot different season” series that I am working on, mentioned in my last blog post.

I really feel that this past weekend was the last of the fall colors. This is a massive contrast to my the Fall Foliage and Flowers series I did only six weeks prior at the same location! Thanks for checking out my pictures and please consider liking and following this blog.

Same Shot, Different Seasons: Fall Update

I’ve been working on a series of photos that chronicle the same woodland scene throughout the four seasons of South-Western Pennsylvania. The subject is a mysterious looking tree that seems to be well on its way to becoming hollowed out at its base. Follow this blog or check my Flikr page to see this series develop!

Winter 2017


winter snow

Spring/Summer 2017


late spring/summer

Summer/Fall 2017


early fall

Fall 2017


fall colors

Pictures of Downtown Pittsburgh

Presented below is a series of recent shots taken of downtown Pittsburgh from the back of a Just Ducky aquatic bus. The tour went through the city streets before taking things to the Monongahela river. Click on an image to see a higher resolution version on my Flikr page. Please consider following this blog for more pictures.


Downtown Pittsburgh


Downtown Pittsburgh


Downtown Pittsburgh


Downtown Pittsburgh


Downtown Pittsburgh


Downtown Pittsburgh


Downtown Pittsburgh


Downtown Pittsburgh


Downtown Pittsburgh


Downtown Pittsburgh


Downtown Pittsburgh


Downtown Pittsburgh


Downtown Pittsburgh


Downtown Pittsburgh


Downtown Pittsburgh


 

Long Exposure Autumn Landscapes at Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania

Here are a few long exposure shots from a recent hike Allison and I went on through parts of Ohiopyle State Park in Pennsylvania. I would normally try a neutral density filter on the front of the lens to get the slow shutter speed needed to blur water movement, but in the case of these low-light, early evening shots, a low ISO and an aperture of around f8 were all that were needed. I am certainly glad (a least after the fact, not necessarily during) that I suffered through carrying the tripod- it really made all the difference. In the case of the blurred water, without that added stability, the shots themselves would be more or less impossible. Click an image to see a high resolution version on my flikr page.


Ohiopyle fall 2017 (1 of 5)


Ohiopyle fall 2017 (2 of 5)


Ohiopyle fall 2017 (3 of 5)


Ohiopyle fall 2017 (4 of 5)


Ohiopyle fall 2017 (5 of 5)

Fall Foliage and Flowers

Here are 29 photos of early fall foliage and flowers from a recent late-afternoon hike at Frick Park, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For this series I decided to edit with a softer, saturated, and almost “matte finish” look, which I think compliments the subject matter and gives the images an almost dreamlike quality. Click on a specific photo to link back to my Flikr page in order to see shooting information as well as a higher resolution version.


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I’m Now on Flikr and Instagram!

Not a huge update, but I wanted to let everyone know that I started up a flikr page as the new host for all my images. I am really enjoying the service as it is easy to embed images back to my main site as well as share on other social media pages. Please check out my albums and favorite a few photos if you have a flikr account. Here are some recent photographs from a visit to the Oakland area of Pittsburgh:

Fountain

reflecting_lotus

phipps at night

locks

Not as exciting, but still worthy of note, is that I also put together a profile on Instagram. I really have no intention of posting photos that weren’t taken on my DSLR and edited, so this service is not as valuable to me as flikr. There are workarounds that make uploading images from PC a possibility, rather than strictly using the app, but they are somewhat limiting. Maybe I’ll warm up to Instagram with more use. The plus side is that there are a lot of people on there and it is really easy to interact with followers.

I have a huge back catalog of images that I’ll be going through and will be adding them to my Flikr site as I see fit. As it stands now, I could easily add a new photo every day well into next year. I am also on Facebook. Once I hit the 5000 friend cap, I might consider starting up a proper dedicated page for my music and photography. Until then, feel free to add me on my normal facebook profile.

Frick Park, April

Here are a few pictures taken on April 26 in Frick Park and the surrounding area, including Duck Hollow Trail along the Monongahela River, near Pittsburgh. We starting walking a little after 6:00 and didn’t get back until 8:30, after the sun had set.

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A duck found along Nine Mile Run
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Dandelions along the path leading up to the Monongahela river
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Blue Jay in a tree on Nine Mile Run

The Sun was pretty low by the time we got down to the river at Duck Hollow, with the receding light making it difficult to get sharp shots with the zoom lens and no tripod.

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Man wading into the Monongahela
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There were quite a few of these hanging from the telephone wires along the river
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Parked coke cars on the tracks along the Monongahela
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Close up of coke car and graffiti
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Crossed wires
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Allison on the tracks
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The cameraman getting a taste of his own medicine, compliments of Allison

By the time we walked back towards the car, the sun had completely set. We had run into deer along the path before, so I was holding out for a shot or two. We did come across two younger deer, but it was so dark at that point, clear shots were basically impossible. Maybe next time.

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Blurry shot of deer crossing the path far up ahead.
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Managed to sneak up on this young buck, but it was way too dark to get a good shot on the zoom lens shooting handheld. Pretty sure I’m focused on the branch in front of his face too. Oh well.

Here’s a gallery of all the shots in this post. Click on an image for larger resolution plus shooting info.

The Site Gets a New Look + Photos

I updated the look and layout of the site, which, in my opinion, looks a lot more streamlined than the older version. Everything is essentially all on one page: music, photos, everything else. Speaking of photos, I decided to feature my photography a little more prominently. I now have various galleries available to view on my home page. If you don’t feel like going there right now to check it out, here’s a sampling of some recent images I’ve taken this month so far. These pictures were taken in either Frick Park, or McConnell’s mill, Pennsylvania- all in the span of two weeks. The fact that there is so much snow in some photos and it is so green in others really illustrates how quickly the weather can change in this part of the country!

Art for the New Album, (((HUM)))

I just finished the artwork for my new album, entitled (((HUM))), which is scheduled for a bandcamp release sometime in mid-October. The artwork cover is a mix of photography, text, and freehand drawing using the paintbrush tool in GIMP.

hummergedCANVASSHARPEMBOS

This will mark the third release of my music featuring some sort of moon-like object on the album cover. This wasn’t something I was doing intentionally, at least on a conscious level. It was actually only after the art was finished that I realized I was continuing the dusk and moon theme from Trap Door and the Blue Hour Sessions. Interesting how that works out.

dusklight bluehour

humART
moons, moons, and more moons