Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008

Here we are at the 4th Christmas since we began publishing Life of a Small Town Photographer. Thanks to you, our visitors, we now average over 12,000 hits per month. We truly appreciate the time you spend at our site and the kind words of encouragement you post to the blog or send to us via email. We look forward to starting a new year with you with next week's post and hope that you have a wonderful holiday season!

When my wife was getting her Christmas decorations together, I mentioned in jest that the only thing that I would like to decorate for Christmas was my Buddha and that he needed a Santa hat. While doing some shopping in a $1 store I spotted a Santa hat that would fit perfectly on Buddha.

A White-breasted Nuthatch and a House Finch tussle over a spot at the feeder.

Male Hairy Woodpecker on the suet feeder.

A Goldfinch does it's best to get a meal from our ice-encased thistle feeder earlier this week.

Male Cardinal.

Close-up of a Mourning Dove on the mixed seed feeder using a 2X converter on my 200mm lens.

I sandbagged these pictures from a recently held Christmas Fair and Breakfast with Santa at the Cambria Heights Middle School so that I would have a bunch of photographs that I could use in this blog because, after all, it is Christmas Day.

Deciding what to eat for breakfast.

Sure is better than cold cereal or a Pop-Tart!

Students from Cambria Heights High School volunteered their time to help the younger children make Christmas decorations.

The stage area of the Cambria Heights Middle School gym was transformed into the perfect place to visit with Santa Claus.

A brother and sister from Carrolltown, PA bend Santa's ear.

And a dolly, and a game, and a puzzle, and a Barbie, and a...

One of Santa's helpers stands by with a bag of treats for each child after they finish giving Santa their list.

The man of the hour.

The sun through the western window casts a Nordic looking shadow of Santa Buddha.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Last Week of Fall 2008

Tanner Carpenter of Bishop Carroll JV basketball team driving toward the basket for two.

Group hug during the Cambria Heights vs. Bishop Carroll varsity basketball game

Cambria Heights players watching the close game between Bishop Carroll High School and the Highlanders of Cambria Heights. Bishop Carroll won the contest 53-49.

As most folks in the Northeast of the United States know we had a bit of an ice storm in the past week. In this part of Pennsylvania we got away lucky with this one.

Sunrise, with the sun lighting up the ice on the tree.

I shot this winter scene along Route 219 near Johnstown, PA.

Pennsylvania Winter Wonderland.

A friend of mine, Bill Rogers, has a month long photo exhibit at the Ethnic Arts Center in the Cambria City section of Johnstown, PA. The show is titled Upstairs Downtown: The upstairs view of downtown landmarks. We went to the opening reception on Saturday afternoon. The next seven frames are from that trip.

The Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center

Wall art.

Bill's show concerns itself with the views of the upper front facade of buildings in Johnstown's historical district.

Bottles in front of a glass block window inside the Bottle Works.

Lamp fixture on the outside wall of the Bottle Works building.

Horses in a winter pasture.

On the way to an early Christmas party on Sunday, we stopped at the Headache Hill area of Prince Gallitzin State Park outside of Patton, PA where I shot a couple of pictures of kids snowboarding.


Another view of our garden shed. This time the trees are covered in ice and snow.

Christmas is only a week away, so it's about time we said,
"Happy Holidays from Our House to Yours".

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Between Holidays

Mourning Doves outside my work room window.

Several years ago my wife tossed an ivy plant or two into the woods and they never looked better. They now cover about 20 square feet.

A fern leaf sticking up through the snow.

The next nine shots were taken at the site of two abandoned trailers.

I was out driving around the township the other day enjoying the first sunny day in a week when I passed these two guys doing their best trying to get a load of corn out of a really muddy field.

Upper Barn Door.
Once used to get hay bails up into the loft.

A pretty country creek.

Mourning Dove, landing on the sunflower feeder.

A woven basket.

Suncatcher in the window of our family room.

Abandoned farm house.

This gray squirrel is showing a lot of skill as a feeder raider.

School's out!

House finch.

Hastings burbs.

Two minutes later, and we were in a white out.

Red-bellied woodpecker leaving the feeder. It took several steps in PhotoShop CS2 to get this final photograph. First I shot the Red-Bellied at 1/2000 of a second at f2.8 using a manual exposure and a EF70-200 f2.8 L USM Canon lens on a Rebel body. In PhotoShop I did the color correction, and then the next step was to go back into the image controls where I chose adjustment, clicked on selective color and then clicked on colors. Once there, I hit the neutrals tab. At that point I went down to the color black and moved the slider to the right 100%. My next step was to go to the filters tab where I chose Artistic and then Palette Knife. The last step was to use the history brush tool to re-paint in only the bird itself to obtain this result.