Thursday, January 28, 2010

5th Anniversary

Here we are at the end of our 5th year of publishing our blog. In those 5 years we've never missed a week of posting. Currently we have over 5,560 photographs online and are seeing over 450 hits a day and have visitors from over 200 countries.

After our twins were born, I all but gave up on shooting because of the cost of film and the fact that I became a stay at home dad. But with the twins grown and the ability to shoot digital, these last 5 years have proved to be my most productive and the longest time I've ever spent on one project.

Titled Space Probe this first photograph started out as just a shot of snow in the yard on a sunny day.

Another shot of the snow, this time presented in black & white.

Even on a cloudy day this silk flower stands out and adds color to an otherwise ugly day.

I created this image from a photograph of Dr. Pat Fitzgerald, Executive Director of the DiSepio Institute for Rural Health and Wellness on the campus of Saint Francis University. Pat was conducting a tour during the Center's open house. She is in the small labyrinth meditation garden at the Center.

To get the next three photographs of the Black-capped Chickadee I used a camera setup on a tripod. I focus on the sunflower feeder and move the camera to the side so that we only see the bird flying towards it. A high shutter speed allows me to capture the wings fully extended by stopping the birds in motion. All of this action occurs in less time than a blink of an eye or the beat of your heart.

f8 1/4000 ISO 800 147mm

f8 1/2500 ISO 800 271mm

f8 1/4000 ISO 800 300mm

Trying to see the flight dynamics of the birds is the reason that I show so many bird pictures on the blog. This Red-bellied Woodpecker has just taken off from the suet feeder.

It's very seldom that I see the woodpeckers feeding on the ground. With the warmer temperatures over the last few days, the birds are now cleaning up the food that was dropped off the suet feeder and been covered up with each new snow fall.

There are two good ways to tell the Downy Woodpecker shown here from the Hairy Woodpecker. The first is size and the second is the black bars that you see on the tail of this female Downy. Hairy Woodpeckers lack the tail bars.

Almost hidden behind a room full of consignment furniture at the Duncansville Antique Depot I discovered a 1920's Dixon Truck. Due to all of the junk stacked near it I was only able to get a few decent shots.

Minnie Mouse

Originally a photograph of a cheap plastic disco ball. I used PhotoShop to add a little more interest to the shot.

You'll only see this in Cambria County, PA along old Route 22 near Cresson.

I spotted this Corman Railroad engine sitting on a siding about a mile west of Cresson along Old Route 22.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day and Night

Last week I titled the blog "Think Spring". That was Wednesday night. Little did I know. Thursday morning looked a little grim at 0630 but by 0830 the worm had turned and it did look like spring. So I grabbed my camera bag and headed for Lake Glendale at Prince Gallitzin State Park about 10 miles or so from home.

These first seven pictures were shot along the west side of the lake. The last four were shot on the east or marina side of the lake.

I can drive by this farm on 2 sides so there is always something different to see especially as the seasons change.

You can't drive around the lake without finding something that stands out.

To see what this part of the lake looks like in fall, visit the 15Oct09 blog.

I found this guy on his first day of ice fishing this year drilling his first hole of the day.

At this point of the lake the water is only 4 or 5 feet deep. The fisherman said the ice is about 6 inches thick under his feet.

With his first hole dug he looks like a happy man.

To avoid what would have looked like just another picture of some one ice fishing, I used the dry leaves of an oak tree to fill in some of the white space.

Located on the east side of the lake is the main marina. All of the State Park's rental cabins are here, also.

Looking toward the marina from the left side of the entrance.

This is the view of the right hand side as you enter the marina area.

I didn't really think much about it at the time but now as I get the blog ready, I find the combination of the two signs funny when they are read together.

No problem here.

Shooting at night is fun when it's warm but at this time of the year it pretty much sucks. After dropping off two prints for an upcoming exhibit of bird art at Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, PA, I took about 20 minutes to shot the exterior of the college's main and oldest building. This was my first time on the campus at night.

There is no way I could pass up the icicles hanging from the roof.

An entry door shot at 2.8 - 1/50th of a second, hand-held with an ISO of 800.

I'm not a big fan of using flash but I do find it useful once in a while. The top of this roof is a good 40 to 50 feet above me.

Entrance to Mount Aloysius College shot while exiting same. The entrance roadway makes a circle around this part of the campus.

Just a reminder, campers!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Think Spring!

This is probably the first sunrise we've seen in over a week. It actually stayed sunny most of the day, which was a treat.

Even though the sun was out it didn't do much in the way of getting some of the heavy snow off of the tree limbs, especially among the pines. But, it sure was pretty.

I really don't think I know who Bobby is, but my kids tell me he had his own show.

I took this picture out the window next to my computer.

While I was standing at the window in the family room looking out at the gray Monday afternoon sky, this Titmouse flew into the window and wound up laying head down in the snow with not much more than his wings and his tail sticking out of the snow. At first I didn't see too much movement, and I assumed it was a goner. But when I saw it's tail twitching I threw on a pair of sweatpants and mucklucks and went out, retrieved the bird, cleaned the snow off of it and tried to keep it warm while it tried to revive itself. Of course I had to take the time to get these portraits while it was sitting on my hand.

After about ten minutes of regaining it's composure, the Titmouse took off and returned to feeding.

Close-up of a slice of orange that was dried in the oven and used as a decoration over the holidays. It still hangs in our workroom window.

Mourning Dove sitting on a sassafras branch.

Nuthatch keeping its eye on a rival sitting about two feet away.

Male Downy Woodpecker and a Nuthatch sharing the suet feeder.

Normally, once woodpeckers take up residence in a particular piece of forest, they tend to stay around. But, for some reason, our Hairy Woodpeckers have seemed to disappear for awhile. They just returned on Sunday.

So far, I've seen three of the females and a male, but unfortunately I haven't had an opportunity to get a good shot of the male, yet.

This female is preparing to take off for the suet feeder and unfortunately my timing sucks because I missed the takeoff.

Another shot of birds sharing the suet feeder. Normally, this little Downy would have chased the Nuthatch off.

People are always asking me how close I am to the birds and what kind of lens I use to get the photographs. Shot at 170mm of 200 available, these two birds, a Red-bellied Woodpecker on the left and a Hairy Woodpecker on the right, are approximately 14 feet from the camera. The Red-bellied's feeder is 16" from the pole, and the Hairy's feeder is 12" from the pole.

Coming Attractions!