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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
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.
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!
Divide the Sky
Snow Path #2
Old Millstone #7
View from a Cave
Snow Path #1
Old Millstone #5
Snow Path #7
There must be a path somewhere around here…
View of a Covered Bridge
Snow Path #3
Old Millstone #4
Tree and Roots #2
Snow Path #4
Ice and Moss
Snow Path #8
Four Seasons in one Shot
Old Millstone #2
Snow Path #5
Old Millstone #3
Snow Path #6
Old Millstone #6
Old Millstone #1
View of the Mill
View of the River
Tree and Roots #1