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.

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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.

small (1 of 1)

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

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.