Category Archives: Gallery

More Tinkering With Lightroom and Photoshop HDR Pro

The main greenhouse at Longwood Gardens
The main greenhouse at Longwood Gardens

This is another image that I ran through Photoshop HDR Pro, and Lightroom.   This was also taken at Longwood Gardens which is located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  It’s a great place to just walk around even if you don’t shoot any photographs.    I took this in winter so I only chose to walk around the greenhouses that particular day.  If memory serves it was about 20 degrees out which is far to cold to be shooting for my tastes.  For a related post – see this!

Where to show off Your Photos? Flickr? ZenFolio? Pinterest?

What are you guys using to display your stuff…comments welcome.  I’m curious to see what else is out there.

I have used Flickr for no particular reason.  Somehow I just landed on it so many years back and stayed.  I guess if I were to begin selling work I would go for a service that had eCommerce built in to the site.  Or even quite possibly host it myself.

What are you guys using?  Why?


Winter in Philly – The Philly Auto Show – Part 1

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See also Part 2 in the series.

We’ve made it through the holidays, and Superbowl time. It’s too cold outside to really walk around shooting for an extended period of time so what to do? Last week I decided to go to the Philadelphia Auto Show, and see what I could find cool to photograph. I had been there in the past, and had captured using my Canon 10-22mm wide angle. The great thing about that lens it that it allows me to get in really close, and also get the whole vehicle in the frame. This is especially important as the show was fairly crowded for a weekday late afternoon. The show was held in the newly remodeled section of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. It had been enlarged, and allowed the show to have about 50-60k more square footage to work with. As a result the show felt much more open than in years past.

Initially I was going to bring my new 24-105 to the show to be able to get a little bit more of a normal lens look. The 10-22 can really give you that wide angle distortion unless you shoot the subject at the right angle, unless of course I am going for the distorted composition. I wasn’t sure what to expect with the 24-105 as I hadn’t shot in close quarters yet. I knew what to expect with the 10-22, but I wasn’t used to the 24-105 coverage yet.

Before leaving I ran out to the driveway, and took a few close quarters shots of my car realizing immediately that I’d need the wide angle. I was a little disappointed, but figured better to go with what works. I swapped out lenses, and was on my way sans camera bag to allow for a bit more mobility. This was a first for me as I usually have my bag with me, and it was really nice not to have to worry about constantly keeping tabs on whether it was on my shoulder or not; something I may consider for my Phillies games in the summer.

I am really looking forward to getting some major use of the 24-105 which I think I will use when I hit the flower show in about a month. I don’t expect to be able to get smooth bokeh so I may look into some extension tubes for my rig. I have a 55-250 I could bring, but I want to try something new, and my 24-105 represents that. It’s my first constant aperture lens so I am looking forward to getting a bit more creative in terms of depth of field, and expanding my technique.

I did manage to get some images that pleased me from this year’s visit to the auto show. As I finish a few more images I will post then so that you can see them in Part 2.

Merry Christmas To All and To All A Good Night.

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This is a batch of images that I processed last year.   I have another series of posts on images that I processed this year after a revisit of the source images.  These were all hand held shots – not all technically perfect images but I thought they had a festive quality none-the-less.  I am hoping to have some new stuff for next year.

I hope you enjoy them – Merry Christmas!

Christmas Town – 3 Days and Counting

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I posted part 1 of this series yesterday.

I was taking a look back at some photos I took last year in Busch Gardens for fun.  It was the Christmas Town display.  It’s funny how your eye can change in a year.  When I first took these photos I ended up with a batch of about 15 that I will be posting soon.  I decided to go back to the source images this year, and see what else I could dig out of them.  I guess a photo is never truly finished.  When I edited last year I ended up with several images that I didn’t think I could use.  Now a year later I am finding that with a little work, and added skill I was able to dig a little deeper to find those harder to see images under those raw pixels on the screen. Ok – that sounds kind of hokey, but I have often found in life that sometimes leaving something alone for a while is the best thing.  When you go back you have a different perspective, maybe some new skills that allow you to better express yourself.  I am hoping that is the case now and in the future.  Sometimes it’s best to drop things for a while.

See also Part 1, Part 3, and Part 4!


Christmas Town – A Second Look – 4 Days to Go!

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Last year I visited Busch Gardens Christmas Town display for the first time.  It was pretty amazing.  This year I am going to Longwood Gardens to see their Christmas display for the first time, and have been told that the Busch Gardens display is superior so we shall see.  I have a set of images from last year’s visit to Busch Gardens that I will be posting here in the not too distant future.  Tonight I started to take a look back at the source images to see what else I could find that was interesting or fun to my eye.  Starting tonight I’ll be posting a few images each night as part of my countdown to Christmas.  I can’t believe it’s already here.

This has always been one of my favorite times of year – the lights, the excitement.  I can remember being a kid and how everything would relax at school, half days before the holiday break, hanging out at friends houses.  Good times.  Hopefully we’re all having them still.

For Part 2 of this series.

For Part 3 of this series.

For Part 4 of this series.

Christmas Lights at Peddler’s Village

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Finally some bulk images are done.  I hadn’t shot since July,  and was really itching to get out and shoot.  These are my best of the lot as I was becoming re-familiarized with my camera after a long layoff.  It’s like falling off a bike – comes right back to you.  I joined a group of photographers for an outing at Peddler’s Village in the New Hope, PA area.  I have been corrected several times that it is not New Hope but rather Lashka, PA – a town just over from New Hope.  Sorry about the confusion folks.  When your destination is distant you have a tendency to lump it in with whatever major destination you know.  Sort of how Brooklyn or the Bronx are known as New York, but am sure to the locals they are very different things indeed.

So I trekked up with a friend riding shotgun to see the Christmas lights.  I thought it would be a nice scene because I photographed Christmas lights last year at Busch Gardens Christmas town, and had so much fun.  We got there late, and only bumped in to the other photographers there for a short amount of time due to the cold.  I think I only shot for about an hour or so, and realized that using a metal monopod in 30 degree weather without gloves is a bad idea.  I need to get myself some knit gloves where I can cut out the fingertips to ease access to camera controls.  I meandered from the parking area (almost got my car stuck in a spot – grassy field with muddy tire ruts from a previous victim), and made way way slowly because I am still coming off a back injury, but the walking was good.  I got to use my new monopod whose purchase was inspired by Ben Willmore in a class I took this spring – it is a nice monopod.  I think I really need to get myself a nice tripod.  Something in carbon fiber (light weight), and portable that won’t break my bank account which is easy to do.

Finally I made it through to the main area where the other photographers were gathered.  It was a lot of fun talking, and interacting with them as I have been shooting solo, and in a vaccuum for a while.  It’s good to see others in action – makes you push yourself, and you learn a few things as well so I am looking forward to going to future outings.

So here are about 18 images I spent the last week editing.   I am re-finding my style in the editing process, and the source images were rough as I hadn’t shot in a while.  What I normally do in a situation where I have issues with images is try to find the good image within.  Sometimes that means deviating from a realistic look and going for HDR or applying some effect.   As far as I am concerned if it is aesthetically pleasing, and not overkill then it is a successful image –  which is very subjective anyway.  I do think that a New Years resolution of mine is going to be  to try to improve my skills to get better with my in camera capture, and be a bit more methodical when shooting to give me more latitude in the digital darkroom for processing.

I am sure I will have more Christmas related posts upcoming, but for now I hope you enjoy these images.  Feel free to comment.

A New Start

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Normally the end of the year is a time for reflection, and getting your ideas together for the coming year.  In my case having been laid up due to an injury for several months I am itching to change things up.  This is just a sample post in the spirit of Christmas as I get ready to redesign my site.  I took these photos on a trip to Colonial Willaimsburg last December.  I am unable to make the trek this year to which I am disappointed but thought that I would post these shots to get a little jolly!

As for changing things- this blog will be undergoing a lot of changes in the next month or so – both on the back end and front end.  Hopefully you will be patient as I get this running again.  I am looking forward to more shooting, editing, posting some “How I did this” videos and whatever else comes to mind.