Spring

Spring

Moraine State Park, Pennsylvania

One weekend, as I headed out to make photographs, the skies opened up with pouring rain just as I arrived at my destination. Not wanting to be deterred I decided to 'wait it out'.

During the rainstorm I drove around looking for the type of scene I had in mind when I left for the park. I wanted to make photographs of the soft appearing, pastel colored buds that were emerging on the trees. And I wanted red ones! After a bit of driving, I found exactly what I was after.

Once it was down to a drizzle, I got out my equipment and started taking some photos, all the while planning for the final image to be an interpretive one. I wanted the photograph to depict not just how the trees looked, but also how it felt to be at that location in the drizzling rain. It was light and airy there, as there was a gently breeze. It also felt bright as the sun was just starting to peek through the clouds. The rain made all the colors appear very saturated. And I had an image in my head of the whole scene being very soft focus, like looking through the drizzling rain. That's how it felt and that is what I wanted the image to convey.

 

Autumn Trees

Autumn Trees

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

At a roadside stop in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, I saw this grouping of trees displaying the entire array of autumn colors in what seemed to be perfect balance. They were perfectly posed and seemed to be begging to have their portrait taken.

Veils

Veils

McConnell's Mill State Park, Pennsylvania

I was photographing in McConnell's Mill State Park after a few days of particularly heavy rain. Off the trail, among some rocks along the side of a hill, I saw a waterfall that had formed from the rain's runoff. I climbed up the hillside with my gear and made this photograph of it. I had never seen this waterfall before, and, despite walking by the area many times, have never seen it again. I feel as if this photo has permanently captured something that was truly transient.

 

Red Tree And Bench

Red Tree And Bench

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

During the fall of 2012, I did not have much opportunity to photograph autumn color. Sometimes, life gets in the way. However, one Sunday I did get some time to photograph flowers at Phipps Conservatory And Botanical Gardens with some photographer friends. While I was leaving, I saw this gorgeous red tree. This was despite the fact that there wasn’t all that much fall color left to even photograph at the time. It seemed like fall was totally focused on this one tree, and the empty bench somehow added to the feel of the photo. So how could I give up an opportunity like this?

I took many photographs and tried various compositions, of which this was my favorite. I particularly like the way the light was falling on and around the bench at the time. Sometimes you are just lucky!

Reaching Out

Reaching Out

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Sometimes you have to go searching for photographs and sometimes they just find you. One foggy morning I drove by a farm that had a beautiful bare tree in a field next to the farmhouse. The light was fairly dim and I didn't have my tripod with me. Nonetheless, I knew I just had to make a photograph of the scene and pulled over to the side of the road. I needed to carefully brace myself against another tree in the dim light in order to keep the camera still enough to get a sharp image.

The added and unexpected 'gift' in the photo, which is not easily seen on the small computer screen, is the crow sitting on the large branch at the bottom left of the tree. I hadn't seen it when I took the picture, but it just adds that little something special to the final print.

This photo was taken in color, converted to black and white, and then toned. It is also available in sepia and red tones. The three, when hung together, make a very compelling triptych.

 

Canopy Of Trees

Canopy Of Trees

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

During a photography trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park I was constantly looking through the camera's viewfinder while out hiking, trying to isolate interesting patterns that the trees made. I was never really quite sure I knew exactly what I was looking for, but I would always know when I found it.  'It' usually revolved around finding an order or a pleasing pattern to the trunks, branches, and leaves. 

Trunks

Trunks

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

During a photography trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park I was constantly looking through the camera's viewfinder while out hiking, trying to isolate interesting patterns that the trees made. I was never really quite sure I knew exactly what I was looking for, but I would always know when I found it.  'It' usually revolved around finding an order or a pleasing pattern to the trunks, branches, and leaves. 

Evergreen In Fog

Evergreen In Fog

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Oconaluftee Overlook in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a wonderful location to photograph sunrise.  Not only can the sunrises be magnificent, but on days when the weather doesn't cooperate one is often treated to rapidly moving fog that dances among the myriad trees. This was one of those mornings.

 

Daydream In Red

Daydream In Red

When I saw this row of trees with their red autumn leaves I made several different photographs, but none of them seemed to convey the 'dreamlike' feeling that I had at the location. So I got to work trying to make the image look like the feeling I had.....that feeling of waking up in a hazy dream. Combining the photo with several textures gave me just the feeling I was after.

Pink Fantasy

Pink Fantasy

Who could ignore a tree fully adorned in pink flowers? A photo had to be made!

The Burning Bush

The Burning Bush

Michigan's Upper Peninsula

When the sun rose from behind a wooded area at the edge of this bog, it highlighted one particular tree and made the surrounding fog glow.

The British band "Book Of Birds" chose this image for the cover artwork of their CD entitled "Luthiern Lullabies". Lead singer Robert McCracken said he wanted to use the photo for the cover because "it projects a warmth that suits the music". The CD is available from the bands website, or by searching for Book Of Birds on iTunes.

 

Slippery Rock Creek

Slippery Rock Creek

Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania

The boulders that frame this cascade in Slippery Rock Creek made for an image that I enjoyed quite a bit.  But it wasn't until I printed it large that I saw the real treat that the image serves up.  On the far side of the shore, among the greenery, is a grouping of purple flowers that contrasts beautifully with the colors of the photo and, in my mind, becomes as important to the photo as the water itself.

Upper Falls At Old Man's Cave

Upper Falls At Old Man's Cave

The beautiful 'Upper Falls' is located in the portion of Hocking Hills called Old Man's Cave. The green coloration to the water at the base is 'real' and is related to minerals in the stream.

Upper Falls And Bridge

Upper Falls And Bridge

While I usually don't have man-made objects in my nature photos, I thought that in this case the colors of the stone in the bridge enhanced the image by blended beautifully with the rocks over which the water flowed.

Double Falls

Double Falls

Ohiopyle State Park, Pennsylvania

Cucumber falls is the tallest, but not the largest, waterfall in Ohiopyle State Park. Nonetheless, I have always thought that it was the most beautiful and delicate! This is the same falls as seen in the photograph 'Over The Top', only this time photographed from it's base.

 

 

Cucumber Falls

Cucumber Falls

Ohiopyle State Park, Pennsylvania

Fishing Heaven

Fishing Heaven

Moraine State Park, Pennsylvania

The pre-sunrise light was very ethereal looking on this particular morning and seemed to cause the fog and water to glow. To me, it appeared as if these fisherman were floating off on a mysterious adventure - Lord Of The Rings style. They were actually fairly far away from shore, as the photograph was taken with a 400mm telephoto lens.

To learn more about Moraine State Park's fascinating history, have a look at my article entitled "The Twin Jewels Of Western Pennsylvania".

Gone Fishing

Gone Fishing

Moraine State Park, Pennsylvania

This image was taken as the sun was rising, just a few short minutes after "Fishing Heaven" was taken, but by now both the water and fog were bathed in the warm light of sunrise. I was particularly drawn to the fog in the distance, the way the boat was floating in the pool of light on the water, and by the alignment of the three fishing rods.

To learn more about Moraine State Park's fascinating history, have a look at my article entitled "The Twin Jewels Of Western Pennsylvania".

Leaves and Falls

Leaves and Falls

Florence, Oregon

This area, which is a few miles inland from the Pacific Coast town of Florence, Oregon, was actually the floor of the Pacific Ocean 30 million years ago, but was then pushed to the surface by the advancing North American continent. The land mass that ultimately surfaced formed the Coast Range of Oregon.

In this image, I was intrigued by the shape made by the puddle of water, which seemed to point right out to the falls. Also drawing my interest was the alternating strips of land and water throughout the composition.

Swirling Autumn Leaves

Swirling Autumn Leaves

When I am photographing trees I am often looking through a telephoto lens to try to isolate an area that looks balanced in some way.  The branches here reminded me of the arms of an amusement park ride and the bunches of red leaves like the cars that go swirling around in a circle.  A ride I would never go on, but my kids would :)

Peaceful Trail

Peaceful Trail

Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania

Jennings Environmental Area is the only area in Western Pennsylvania where the Blazing Stars bloom every July and August. But even when they are not in bloom the area is a peaceful oasis.

 

 

 

Twisted Tree

Twisted Tree

New Hampshire

When photographing trees, I am usually looking for interesting colors, patterns, or shapes.  The interesting twisted embrace of these trunks, with fall colors in the background, attracted me to this scene.

Dancing Trees

Dancing Trees

I was drawn to make this photograph because of the light, the pink leaves, the reflections, and the way the tree branches swooped gracefully, as if they were dancing. While making this image and during its processing, I tried to bring these features out. It was a very peaceful location indeed!

Canyon Reflections

Canyon Reflections

Zion National Park

As I stood in the Court of the Patriarchs in Zion National Park trying to compose an image with this waterfall in it, I suddenly realized that instead of the waterfall being in the image, the image actually lay within the waterfall itself. The surrounding red rock and a bright blue sky reflected their colors into the flowing water, making for an interesting and colorful abstract photograph.

Last Leaf Of Fall

Last Leaf Of Fall

AuTrain Falls, Michigan's Upper Peninsula

To me, this image represents the passage of time and the seasons. People have sometimes asked me whether I placed the leaf on the rock or if it fell there on its own. My response, which corresponds to my philosophy of fine-art photography, is - why does that matter?

This image won a Merit Award in the 2011 Color Magazine Single Image Issue in the Seascapes/Water category.

 

 

Brandywine Falls

Brandywine Falls

Cuyahoga National Park

Something seemed wrong while I was making this photograph of Brandywine Falls. There were people mulling around that seemed to be in a group, but they weren't really looking at the falls.....they just seemed to be waiting. A short while later a couple came up to the falls accompanied by two friends and those that had been mulling about seemed to know them.

All of a sudden the man dropped to his knee and asked the woman to marry him. After the surprise and emotion wore off she said yes. The people cheered. So that is what they were waiting for!

Apparently the woman and I were the only ones in the group who had no idea what was to happen.

 

Over THe Edge

Over THe Edge

Ohiopyle State Park, Pennsylvania

At thirty feet in height, Cucumber Falls is the tallest waterfall in Ohiopyle State Park. Though I don't do particularly well with heights, I still managed to get fairly close to where Cucumber Run goes "Over The Edge" to form the falls. The better known Ohiopyle Falls is far wider and more powerful, but I personally find Cucumber Falls to be my favorite spot in the park.

AuTrain Falls

AuTrain Falls

AuTrain Falls, Michigan's Upper Peninsula

AuTrain Falls is located approximately 10 miles from Munising, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Though not a particularly tall falls, AuTrain is one of the prettiest I have seen. Here, I was drawn not so much to the falls themselves, but to the pattern the water was making as it fell onto the rocks below. This pattern has been accentuated by using a slow shutter speed, allowing the water to blur.

Fluidity

Fluidity

McConnell's Mill State Park, Pennsylvania

This waterfall is actually man made and was used to power the McConnell's Mill State Park grist mill. The mill belonged to Daniel Kennedy from 1852 until ownership was transferred to Thomas McConnell in 1875. When the water level in Slippery Rock Creek is just right, a vortex forms in the middle of the waterfall. I've seen the vortex several times since, but on this particular day the sky was a deep blue and the sun was at just the right angle to reflect the blue sky in the water. Because the vortex is out in the middle of the long waterfall, I had to capture it using a telephoto lens.

The black and white version of this photograph is in the Odds 'N Ends Portfolio and was awarded a silver medal by B&W Magazine in their Single Image 2010 issue.

For more about the fascinating history of McConnell's Mill State Park, see my article entitled "The Twin Jewels Of Western Pennsylvania".

 

Hidden Chamber

Hidden Chamber

Navajo Nation, Arizona

Antelope Canyon was considered a sacred location by the Native Americans, and it is easy to see why. The shapes and twists of the narrow canyon walls truly seem to speak towards a divine source.

I am often asked about the origin of the unusual purple and orange coloration of the canyon walls that are depicted in my photographs. The walls of the canyon are made of sandstone and when the sun is high in the sky, but angled so that it illuminates one of the canyon walls directly, that wall reflects bright red light onto the opposing wall. Because the canyon is quite narrow (in some locations a person can touch both sides with outstretched arms) the reflected red/orange light is quite intense and focal, causing discreet areas of the opposing wall to glow. But what about the purple? The walls that are not illuminated by the sun or by the reflected light is instead lit by the blue sky overhead. The light of the sky, produces an odd blue/purple color. Our brains tend to neutralize this unnatural purple color and we perceive it as a flagstone grey/blue. However, both film and digital sensors remove our brains interpretation and reveal the true underlying hue.

Visiting these canyons is truly an experience to be remembered.

 

Passages

Passages

Navajo Nation, Arizona

Antelope Canyon was considered a sacred location by the Native Americans, and it is easy to see why. The shapes and twists of the narrow canyon walls truly seem to speak towards a divine source.

I am often asked about the origin of the unusual purple and orange coloration of the canyon walls that are depicted in my photographs. The walls of the canyon are made of sandstone and when the sun is high in the sky, but angled so that it illuminates one of the canyon walls directly, that wall reflects bright red light onto the opposing wall. Because the canyon is quite narrow (in some locations a person can touch both sides with outstretched arms) the reflected red/orange light is quite intense and focal, causing discreet areas of the opposing wall to glow. But what about the purple? The walls that are not illuminated by the sun or by the reflected light is instead lit by the blue sky overhead. The light of the sky, produces an odd blue/purple color. Our brains tend to neutralize this unnatural purple color and we perceive it as a flagstone grey/blue. However, both film and digital sensors remove our brains interpretation and reveal the true underlying hue.

Visiting these canyons is truly an experience to be remembered.

 

The Vault

The Vault

Navajo Nation, Arizona

Antelope Canyon was considered a sacred location by the Native Americans, and it is easy to see why. The shapes and twists of the narrow canyon walls truly seem to speak towards a divine source.

I am often asked about the origin of the unusual purple and orange coloration of the canyon walls that are depicted in my photographs. The walls of the canyon are made of sandstone and when the sun is high in the sky, but angled so that it illuminates one of the canyon walls directly, that wall reflects bright red light onto the opposing wall. Because the canyon is quite narrow (in some locations a person can touch both sides with outstretched arms) the reflected red/orange light is quite intense and focal, causing discreet areas of the opposing wall to glow. But what about the purple? The walls that are not illuminated by the sun or by the reflected light is instead lit by the blue sky overhead. The light of the sky, produces an odd blue/purple color. Our brains tend to neutralize this unnatural purple color and we perceive it as a flagstone grey/blue. However, both film and digital sensors remove our brains interpretation and reveal the true underlying hue.

Visiting these canyons is truly an experience to be remembered.

 

Three Trees

Three Trees

McConnell's Mill State Park, Pennsylvania 

It was a beautiful autumn day when I found this stand of fifty or sixty trees. I knew there was a picture here somewhere, but the sheer number of trees made it hard to convey the feeling of being at this location. It took a while until I found this composition, which isolated three trees and allowed the picture to better convey a sense of place.

Blue Bird

Blue Bird

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

When out in the field photographing, 99% of the times things don’t go exactly the way you might like them to.  Then there is that 1%.

I was photographing trees during a trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park using a 70-200mm lens. Suddenly I saw a bird land on top of one of the trees.  I thought it would make a very nice silhouette, but I needed a much closer viewpoint than the 200mm lens could provide.  I had my 400mm lens with me, but never thought the bird would stay put long enough for me to change over to it.  So I first took a few photos with the 70-200. Not expecting success, I still decided to try to make the switch over to the 400mm.

After switching lenses.  I was amazed to find that the bird was actually still there!  I started moving quickly and was able to make a nice photo or two.

Then I got greedy.  The way I had composed the image the best pose, in my mind, would be for the bird to look off to the left where there was more empty space as well as another tree.  Yup, the bird did it and I got the picture I envisioned.

It doesn’t usually work out this way, but I was glad it did!

Foggy Morning

Foggy Morning

Moraine State Park, Pennsylvania

This small area of unnamed marsh is located right along the road that goes through Moraine State Park. On most days, the location really looks quite ordinary. Some might even call it dreary. However, in the autumn, the sun rises from directly behind these trees and on a cool foggy morning the light and fog can transform this spot into something magical.

The transformation reinforces the importance of lighting and mood, as on any other day I would have driven right by and not given the area a second look.

 

Red Rock Falls

Red Rock Falls

Red Rock Falls, Michigan's Upper Peninsula

A lung shutter speed allows the viewer to see the swirls of water that are invisible to us in real time.

 

 

 

 

Noisy Creek Cascades

Noisy Creek Cascades

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Noisy Creek Cascades looks like it took a long wilderness hike to reach. Nothing could be further from the trurh. One of the nice things about photographing here is that you don't have to haul your gear for miles. In fact, this location is right by the side of the road and all we had to do was park on the shoulder. What a pleasure!

Roaring Fork

Roaring Fork

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

On an overcast day you can photograph for hours along Roaring Fork, constantly finding new compositions..

Blue Hen Falls II

Blue Hen Falls II

Cuyahoga National Park

Blue Hen Falls once again (as seen in The Grand Landscape Portfolio). This time in Spring. 

Autumn On The Farm

Autumn On The Farm

Unknown Town In Pennsylvania

We were taking pictures from the side of the road when a car stopped and asked us if our car had broken down. My friend and I said that no, the car was fine, we had just stopped to make photos. It turned out that the driver of the car was the owner of the farm. Once he heard we wanted to take photos of fall color, he invited us onto his property to take whatever photos we wanted. That's the way it often works in rural Pennsylvania!

 

Lonely

Lonely

Mellon Park, Pennsylvania

Mellon Park is located in an urban area of Pittsburgh, just behind the Pittsburgh Center For The Arts. Usually in early autumn, while leaves are still on the trees, the park is filled with people. However, it snowed early the year this photograph was taken and all that was there was a lonely park bench.

Minimalist Tree

Minimalist Tree

I saw this scene from my car and had to stop to make a photograph. I was drawn to the simple starkness of the tree trying to survive the winter alone in a field of snow and ice.

I initially intended to present it as a black and white image, but the touch of color in an otherwise monotone scene seemed to suit it best.

Autumn Reflections

Autumn Reflections

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Autumn colors reflect in a small waterfall in Smoky Mountain National Park. Often these colors can only be seen from certain angles and under certain lighting conditions, but they are always beautiful when found.

Leaf And Wooden Door

Leaf And Wooden Door

In making this image, I was drawn to the way the wood of the door and the metal of the rusted hinge had an old and deeply wrinkled texture that was similar to that of the leaf. In addition, I enjoyed the way the yellow of the old paint on the door and the orange of the rusted hinge echoed the yellow and red colors of the leaf. Finally, I was intrigued that the green paint of the door seemed to symbolize the color of the leaf before its aging and that there was yellow paint emerging from underneath the green paint.

 

 

Palouse Canola

Palouse Canola

The Palouse is an agricultural region in western Washington and Eastern Idaho. One of the bonuses of visiting in the spring is the possibility of finding bright yellow fields of canola in bloom. Why do I say 'possibility'? The first reason is that there are not all that many canola fields and the second is that the canola flowers don't bloom for very long.

I decided to break one the usual photographic 'rules' of composition here and allow the frame to be divided exactly in half. Sometimes it works and the rules should be broken!

Fishing At Sunrise

Fishing At Sunrise

This image was made at the 'secret' 528 boat ramp that my friends and I often visit in order to photograph sunrise. Of course it is not 'secret', every fisherman in Portersville, PA knows about it as a way to get their boat into Lake Arthur in Moraine State Park. But the boat launch is quite small and poorly marked. It is one of those places that you just have to 'know about'.

I would estimate that about 90% of the time the landscape there is dull and uninspiring. However, it is that other 10% that calls us back. This particular morning was one of those times that waking up at an ungodly hour was richly rewarded.

Canola And Barn

Canola And Barn

The Palouse is an agricultural region in western Washington and Eastern Idaho. Visiting in the spring brings the possibility of finding bright yellow fields of canola during their short bloom.

In this image, the canola blooms are starting to drop and become green, but this has allowed me to make an image with all the primary colors!

Acceptance

Acceptance

I was initially very disappointed when I arrived at Independence Marsh one fall morning with plans to make photos of sunrise over the water. Not only was the sunrise obscured by cloud cover, but there was also no water. The marsh had almost dried up and the shoreline had receded quite a distance, leaving only mud.

But then I remembered the words of my friend, the late Nancy Rotenberg, who always reminded people that if one is receptive and has an open mind then the gift that is being offered will become apparent. It was only after remembering those words that the gift became apparent.....I just needed to be open to accepting it.

Cedar Falls

Cedar Falls

Cedar Falls is the tallest waterfall in Ohio's Hocking Hills State Park and seems to come straight out of the cliff face, seemingly from nowhere! I was intrigued with how the large rock seemed to split the falls into two.