Friday, October 11, 2013

One busy weekend filled with pumpkins

The weekend of Oct 5th was busy from a photography standpoint.  Saturday morning I went out to shoot The Lounatics Soccer game, it was my first attempt at sports photography and part of an on going project.

But that evening we took the whole family to see the "Rise of the Jack O'Lanterns" at the Westbury House.  Five thousand carved and lighted pumpkins displayed along a walkway on the grounds.  Some amazing carvings and although the path was crowded, I found that if you held back for a little while the crowd thinned out.  I must admit it was really well organized, we had a specific time slot at 8:30 and we started moving right on time.  Having the family there was really nice.

Taking photos of the pumpkins was a challenge.  At first I tried just my 50mm, set the ISO to get a shutter speed I could hold steady, but was unhappy with the results.  You could see the carving, which was lite, but not the pumpkin.  

Luckily I brought my whole kit with me and pulled out my speedlite.   Setting the speedlite, whick I learned to do from the camera ( told you I was learning), to -1 2/3s gave me just enough light to see the pumpkin with out lighting the background to much, I then cropped to a square image and I was pleased with the results.


To see all the Pumpkin Photos click Rise of the Jack O'Lanterns Gallery

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Steve and Rei Gene's Anniversary

On Sunday Sept, 29, Nikki and I went with my brothers family to the Planting Fields Arboretum for a picnic and a hike.  It's always nice to hang out with my brother's family and especially his infant son Liam.  I left the tripod behind and tried taking some handheld shot out in the woods, which made me wish I had my tripod.  I had much more luck with taking some portraits while we were lounging around after lunch.  I had one successful shot, multiple exposures combined in photoshop.  It's a nice photo of a field, and while it's not that exciting it a good test one using HDR with out the signature look of HDR.  You will have to let me know what you think.

This is my favorite from the day.  He was shadowed by his father, so the light was even on his face.  However, I was in the sunshine which reflected in his eyes.  I knew even on the camera's LCD that he was staring right at me and I was reflected in his eyes.  You can see me laying on the ground with my bright orange shirt.

In the photo below I used red eye reduction to remove the unnatural orange highlight.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

911 Memorial

On Sept 27 Nikki and I had the opportunity to tour the 911 Memorial at the World Trade Center Site.  We had a wonderful guide in Brenda Berkman ( one of the first woman in the NYFD) who spoke of her own experiences on 911 and the of the friends she lost that day.  While the tour was arranged through our union anyone can receive a similar tour from the 911 Tribute Center (, it changed the way I expected to see the memorial.

Most of the photos I took that day I took with my 50mm.  I find that it has become my lens of choice and while it took me a while to get used to 'zooming with my feet' I find the limitation refreshing.  The fact that I'm carrying less gear is an added bonus.

The North Tower Pool looking south west.  It was a beautiful day and the still water on top of the pools as well as the buildings around it reflected the sky.  I couldn't help but take these shots.

911 Memorial
Tower 1

Of course the most moving aspect of the memorial are the names cut out of the metal plates that at night are lite from below.  While we were there a dignitary from Poland was on site laying flowers and flags at the names of Polish citizens.  The victims of 911 come from as many as 90 countries.

On the birthdays of the victims are remembered by the memorial by placing a white rose at there name.  That drew my attention to the the name of Sylvia San Pio Resta.  She is among the eleven woman memorialized at the site that include the mention of their unborn child.  When I returned home I did a search on her name and discovered she died with her husband John Resta.  You can see his surname in the lower left corner of the photo, I was so taken by the thought of the lose of a mother and unborn child that I didn't even notice.

To see a slideshow of all the photos from this tour click 911 Memorial Tour

The Beginning

My purpose in starting a blog is to share my adventure in photography with anyone who is interested.  To have a place to post some images with explanations on the how and why they were taken.  I'm finding more and more varied opportunities to express myself though photography and want to share that with you, my family and friends.  It also gives you an opportunity to comment and tell me what you think.

In the next few weeks I'll post some images from a tour of the 9/11 Memerial that Nikki and I took and a day at the Planting Fields Arboritum with my brothers family.  Also, I'm going to start a project of photographing my nephew's soccoer team in action.  I'll will keep you updated on the progress of that.   Hope you enjoy it.