Erie Senior Portraits: Levi

Today was our first snowfall of the year. Fortunately, the skies cooperated with us and gave us a good hour for outdoor images with Levi and his four-wheeler and hunting gear:
We captured some other great images outdoors, including this one:
Then we headed indoors and created more great images. Here’s a nice one finished in black and white:
Gerat images, Levi. Thanks for choosing us for your senior images.

Erie Engagement Portraits: Renee and Randy

Sunday was a great fall afternoon. Renee and Randy spent some time with us, and we captured some great engagement images.
First we started in the studio and created some traditional images:
Then we headed up to the PSU campus and took some great outdoor images with fall colors and team spirit:
Finishing in the woods by Behrend Fields, we managed to capture the spirit of the couple, and the warmth of the fall leaves. 

Great images, kids! I can’t wait to photograph your wedding next year!

Erie Portraits: Olivia

We escaped the rain tonight, and captured some great fall images with Olivia before darkness came. 
Woods, leaves, bridges and rock walls were our backdrops this evening. 
This one I finished in Black and White, showing the leaves in the background.
I put a bit of effects on this next image, taken around dusk. My trusty Image Stabilized lens helped me get this image sharp at 1/30th of a second!
Here’s a great sepia image.
And a great rock wall image:
Olivia’s expressions are great in Sepia!

Great images, Olivia!

Free Fall Foto Friday

I work at Knowledge Park in Erie, on the Penn State Behrend campus. As a hiker and runner, I have explored the many miles of woods trails that are part of this great area. The hike from my office to the bottom and back is a serious lunch break walk!

This week, I decided to capture some “fall colors”, before the leaves fell. Here’s the result!

The shot above included some of my favorite fall maple leaves in the stream.
There are tons of hiking trails up above the campus. I know damn near all of them.
The photo below is the “great view” of Wintergreen Gorge from the PSU campus. It’s starting to get colorful!
All of these were taken with my “backup camera” Canon 50D and my “backup lenses”: Tamron 17-50 2.8 and Tamrom 70-200 2.8. All shots were “hand held” – meaning I didn’t take a monopod or tripod with me. It required some improvisation with the water shots and darker woods shots. I had to adjust the camera’s ISO and f-stop settings to get the right exposure that would not blur the image as I hand-held the camera.
For images that didn’t have sky, I used aperture priority at -1/3 exposure, to pump the colors. In post, I pushed the darks a bit (using Levels) and pumped the saturation a but.
The whole “roll” is on my Face Book page at This Link Here
The image above is one of the paved walking trails at Knowledge Park. It’s amazing in the autumn season, and walkable most of the year.
 I dig the small details too – from weeds to mushrooms. The colors and shapes that emerge before winter are amazing.
I tried to keep my eyes open. I walk these trails often, and wanted to shot both the big picture, as if you were hiking with me, as well as the small details, like the tiny mushroom shown above.
The image above is a campfire setting that is a couple hundred yards from a paved road, but is virtually invisible to someone not looking for this specific trail. It’s very close to a running creek.
The next image shows me trying to use a really slow shutter speed to smoothify the water. Without a tripod, I was using a rotten tree and a couple of rocks for support.
It was overcast but not windy, so I it made for some excellent fall shots.
 The image above and below are shot from the same perspective with my 70-200 f/2.8 lens, at about 1/250 second. There are TONS of tree roots on the downhill portion of the PSU trail that goes from mid-campus to the bottom of the gorge. They take on a personality of their own when you focus on the light and shadow of the trees as they cover the hills of Wintergreen Gorge. They also save your butt when you hike the steep trails.
 I singled out a single tree trunk below, with the fall leaves behind.
I saw perhaps 50 chipmunks and squirrels Thursday. Below, this guy was doing the same as the rest: collecting acorns. I was quiet enough to capture him laying in groceries for the coming winter.
If you like these, contact me. I’ll be selling some of these for a benefit later this month.

Enjoy the fall colors!

Vacation Photos

We spent 9 days on the road exploring New England and the Finger Lakes region of New York. Here are a few images from our tour.

 These are close-up images of the USS Constitution in Boston Harbor.

 These images are from Boothbay Harbor in Maine.

 This is a very long covered bridge in Bath, New Hampshire. We visited at least three towns named Bath on our journey.

Now, back to work!