Something Amazing in West Virginia

With the slightly warmer temperatures today I started thinking about a place that I haven’t visited in several years.  Located in the Monongahela National Forest is the ever beautiful Dolly Sods Wilderness.  Covering over 17,000 acres and with elevations reaching over 4,700 feet.  This is one of my favorite places to visit in the summer and a great lace to photograph some amazing sceneries.  If you have never visited the area I highly recommend taking a trip.  Nearby attractions such as Seneca Rocks and and Smoke Hole Caverns make the trip even more rewarding.

Hope you enjoy and I’ll let you know when I’m planning to journey to this amazing place again.

Dolly Sods

As the Sun Sets

As I was driving home from work this evening I had the privilege of seeing a beautiful sunset.  Unfortunately, I was unable to stop anywhere to get a shot.  But, it got me thinking of several photos that I have taken over the last couple of years and I thought I would share them with you.  I leave you with this poem that I found about sunsets:

The Sunset

The sunset glistens upon the land,
with people standing hand in hand,
the beauty that it brings to them,
the magic that it sings to them.

The sunset shines upon the ground,
with people standing, staring, astound,
the colors soaking into them,
the art evoking heart in them.

The sunset of life and love,
the sunset soaring in the heavens like a dove,
the sunset fills us up with mystery,
the sunset with an irreplaceable history.

Bette Kayley Jones
Let me know which of the sunsets you like the best.

Gettysburg, one of my favorite places…

Wow I was just noticing that I haven’t posted since July.  Wow how the time flies.  Well I guess a small update is in order, since the last posting I have received a promotion at work which has taken all of my fun time away.  Isn’t it funny how that happens?  We work so that we can do the things that we want to do but then work gets in the way of all the things that we want to do.  What a vicious cycle….

Well I did manage to get out one day and took a ride to one of my favorite places to visit,  Gettysburg, Pa.  I have spent many days wandering around the battlefield and always manage to see something new or different.  This trip was no exception.  I managed to come across a statue of a solider hiding behind a rock near the bottom of Little Round Top.  Now the exciting thing about this is that I have been driving past this spot for years now and I have never seen this statue before.  It goes to show you that sometimes we miss the obvious when looking for the extraordinary.  And sometimes the obvious turns out to be the extraordinary.

Well I hope you enjoy the photos and I’ll try to post a little more frequently.

This is the view that a Union Soldier would have seen from atop Little Round Top during the battle of Gettysburg in July 1863.

One of my favorite statues in Gettysburg is this one of General Warren which is found on Little Round Top

This is the hidden treasure I was referring to in the beginning of this post.  I like the shadows in the black and white version of this photograph.

A Walk Through the Garden….

Recently I had a little free time and decided to stop by the outdoor gardens at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. The inside always proves to have great flowers, patterns, and details to photograph.  In my opinion the outside has some very interesting things to photograph as well.  Included are just a few shots from the walk but I think I was able to come up with a few interesting photos.

If you in the area I would recommend stopping by and taking a walk around the outside of the building.  The best part is that there is no charge to visit the outside gardens.

Familiar but Different….

From time to time we revisit a familiar place and yet somehow it seem different than the way you remembered.  Recently I had a few hours to spare, which by the way never occurs, and I took a ride Ohiopyle State Park.  I have visited and photographed the water fall know as Cucumber Falls many times before and quite often I just go for a walk and don’t take any photos at all.

As photographers we are often faced with this dilemma of seeing the same subject over and over agin.  Often this causes me to not want to take a photo of this particular subject.  The question arises, “How do you make the Familiar Different?”, well my answer to the question is a very simple one.  Simply choose a  lens that you wouldn’t typically use and only photograph your subject with that single lens.  I will offer a suggestion here though, I would pick a lens that really doesn’t fit the subject.  In my case, at the ever so familiar Cucumber Falls, I chose to use a fisheye lens.

I guess that I’m trying to make myself see a familiar subject in a slightly different way.

Let me know what you think of the photographs.

A Trip to the Zoo…

Recently the photography group that I belong to took a trip to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.  I’ve ben there several times in the past, but each time I manage to find a different view, expression, or animal to photograph.  So if you have time this summer plan a trip to the zoo and have a nice day out.  Let me know what you think of the photos.

As the Lightning Strikes…

Recently on my way home I was watching an approaching storm.  The more I watched the storm the more I became interested in photographing the lightning.  I thought for a bit and then remembered a great place where I could get on the top of a hill and get a good view of the storm.  In all the years I have been taking photos this is the first real attempt at lightning and I was pretty surprised at the results.  I know after this experience I will be watching for more opportunities to photograph lightning in the future.  I hope you enjoy these three photos.