Orlando, FL – Train Tracks (Infrared)

Gatorland Train Tracks IR

NIKON D70S (Modified by LifePixel), Nikon 18-200 VR

Back in the summer I was in Orlando at Gatorland and took a few IR photos.   Here is one from the train track crossing.  At Gatorland they have a little train you can ride that takes a quick 10 minute tour of the park.   Nothing special, but cute.  I am eager to head back to Gatorland in the spring!   The Rookery will be busy!    If you have read my previous posts on Gatorland…I give it two thumbs up!   Just go when its cool!!    Enjoy!

London, England – Westminster Abbey (HDR)

Westminster Abbey HDR

NIKON D300, Nikon 12-24, HDR in Photomatix

When you walk across the street from Big Ben in downtown London you bump into the this side section of the Westminster Abbey.  Its very Gothic and colorful!   The front portion of the Abbey is the most famous.  I set my tripod up and took 5 exposures and post processed in Photomatix.

Here is some info on the Abbey:  The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, which is almost always referred to popularly and informally as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in Westminster, London, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English, later British and later still (and currently) monarchs of the Commonwealth Realms. It briefly held the status of a cathedral from 1546–1556, and is a Royal Peculiar.

Have a Royal Day!

Myrtle Beach, SC – Sunrise

Myrtle Beach Sunrise

NIKON D300, Nikon 12-24

A nice way to start a week with a beautiful sunrise from Myrtle Beach, SC.   This was  a summer shot taken around 6:30 AM in North Myrtle Beach.  I wanted to catch the sun in between the pier legs…and hoped to get a reflection on the water.

Here is some info from the web: Myrtle Beach became a town in 1938 and became a city in 1957.  It’s name comes from the wax myrtle, a shrub that grows abundandtly in the area.  History records that the first tourists here were a party of Spaniards from Hispaniola, who landed about 50 miles north of present-day Myrtle Beach and, in 1526, eventually established the first European settlement in the U.S. about 30 miles to the south.  That settlement, San Miguel de Guadalupe, was abandoned the following year, though, and the group returned to Hispaniola. In the next three centuries, the region’s population grew, but slowly.  In the late 1800s and early 1900s, people began to “vacation” here, although it was quite rustic.  Houses and camps were sparse, and there were only few permanent residents at the turn of the century.  But, drawn by the ocean, sand and trees, people began to call Myrtle Beach “home” as the 1900s progressed.  Today it is one of the nicest easy going vacation spots in the USA!

Enjoy and have a great week!

London, England – Parliament Building (HDR)

Parliament Building HDR-BW

NIKON D300, Nikon 12-24, HDR in Photomatix, Silver Efex Pro

I was going through some older HDR’s yesterday and post processed this one.   It looked cool, but needed something to make it stand out.  I truly love Silver Efex Pro – black & white converter and gave it a try.  Nice, but needed a little more of a kick.  This was a sunset shot and the clock was lit up…I just highlighted the clock, inverted the area and used Silver Efex pro to convert everywhere except the clock face black and white.   A little contrast kick to give it that dark feel…and here it is!  An instant favorite of mine!

I’m sure there are millions of photos of the Parliament Building and Big Ben…why not try something different?   Hope this one works?  Enjoy the spooky night shot…Halloween is coming soon!

Pittsburgh, PA – Cathedral of Learning (Infrared)

Cath of Learning IR

NIKON D70S (Modified by LifePixel), Nikon 18-200 VR, Silver Efex Pro

Pittsburgh has some great photo opportunities!  So many bridges and historical sights.  The University of Pittsburgh adds to this list.  This photo is an infrared of the Cathedral of Learning at the University Campus.

Here is some info from the web: The Cathedral of Learning, a Pittsburgh landmark listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is the centerpiece of the University of Pittsburgh’s main campus in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. Standing at 535 feet the 42-story Late Gothic Revival Cathedral is the tallest educational building in the Western hemisphere and the second tallest university building (fourth tallest educationally-purposed building) in the world. The Cathedral of Learning was commissioned in 1921 and ground was broken in 1926. The first class was held in the building in 1931 prior to its final completion in 1937. The Cathedral is steel frame structure overlaid withIndiana limestone and contains more than 2,000 rooms and 2,529 windows. An impressive scenic building, it is often used by the University in photographs, postcards, and other advertisements.

Looking at this picture…looks like the sky is the limit with learning here in Pittsburgh!!  =) Hope you enjoy the IR!

Chino, CA – B17 Bomber – Tail Section (HDR)

B17 Inside HDR

NIKON D300, Nikon 12-24, HDR in Photomatix

Here is a photo from the Planes of Fame Museum in Chino, CA.   As you walk up to the museum this lovely B17 Bomber is out front on display.  I crouched inside and set up my tripod and cable release to catch this HDR.   The circular tail section gets tighter and tighter as you get near the end!  I was fun getting in there with all my gear!

Here is some info on the B17 from the web:   The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is a four-engine heavy bomber aircraft developed for the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC), introduced in the 1930s. Competing against Douglas and Martin for a contract to build 200 bombers, the Boeing entry outperformed both competitors and more than met the Air Corps’ expectations. Although Boeing lost the contract due to the prototype’s crash, the Air Corps was so impressed with Boeing’s design that they ordered 13 B-17s. The B-17 Flying Fortress went on to eventually evolve through numerous design advancements.

The B-17 was primarily employed by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) in the daylight precision strategic bombing campaign of World War II against German industrial, civilian, and military targets. The United States Eighth Air Force based inEngland and the Fifteenth Air Force based in Italy complemented the RAF Bomber Command’s nighttime area bombing in Operation Pointblank, to help secure air superiority over the cities, factories and battlefields of Western Europe in preparation for Operation Overlord. The B-17 also participated, to a lesser extent, in the War in the Pacific, where it conducted raids against Japanese shipping and airfields.

I bet this plane at the museum had some stories to tell!!  Enjoy!

NEWS: Coffee Table Book – Places 2 Explore

Blurb Book - Places 2 Explore! I just published my Places 2 Explore photography book on Blurb.com.  You can click this link to take you to the preview…. Places 2 Explore Blurb has a great easy downloadable template software to use.

In a few minutes, you can be posting your own photo book!   The book too about 2 weeks after ordering it and it arrived yesterday.  Beautiful book!   I figured mine would be a coffee table book – size 13″ x 11″.

40 pages hard cover.  You can order it from the link or just check it out!  I would highly recommend Blurb for any photo book.  I studied these book sites and found Blurb was best suited for my needs.

After you publish your book…you can make it public and anyone can buy it!  Track views and sales on your dashboard.  Great idea!  Good luck and thanks for checking out my book!   Enjoy!

Newport Beach, CA – Pier

Newport Pier HDR

NIKON D300, Nikon 12-24, HDR in Photomatix

Here is version two of the Newport Beach Pier in HDR.  This version is looking back at the beach away from the ocean.

Here is some info from the web: Newport Pier is one of several prominent piers in Newport Beach. From this wooden structure you can look south to see the Balboa Pier, the second major pier in the OC city. Newport Pier, historically known as McFadden’s Wharf, is where the Dory Fishermen dock their dory boats and bring in their catch of the day, selling them to the public.

The Newport Pier is ideal for strolling and features a lifeguard station at its base, several rows of shops and restaurants, several hotels, lots of beach rental houses, a bicycle path, public restrooms, a ready teller machine, and a huge parking lot where you put coins in the individual pay meters and pay to park. The pier overlooks a beautiful sand beach and series of jetties  where tourists like to climb the rocks, and surfers head out to catch waves. On the pier is a sushi and fish restaurant with two floors for dining. The upper deck views offer splendid ocean dining.

When visiting Newport Beach’s peninsula that travels along Newport Boulevard, make this pier your first stop. You can grab a bit at Charlie’s Chili, Sharkeez, Il Gelato, Il Farnio other options. Then go for a relaxing stroll on the Newport Pier where dolphins and occasionally whales are observed.

This shot was taken on a tripod, cable release with 5 exposures post processed in Photomatix.  Enjoy!

Orlando, FL – Disney World

Disney World - Dancing Broomsticks

NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR

What kid or adult does not like Disney?  This was taken a year or so ago at the Disney World Parade along main street.  They are the dancing broomsticks or are they mops?   One thing they are is colorful!  Imagine dancing the street in that costume during the summer!   Whew!!  Kudos to those guys and gals.

This parade during the day or nite is so special.  It will bring a smile to you face no matter what age you are!  Grab a seat and watch all the characters walk on by…and you might even see Mickey Mouse!

Praying Mantis (HDR)

Mantis HDR

NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR, HDR in Photomatix

Here is a cut little guy that posed for me in my backyard one day.   Praying Mantis are great subjects as they stand very still!  He was cool and let me set up my camera and tripod with a nice telephoto zoom!  The lens was probably only seven inches away as he looked at what I was doing.

I was not sure how an insect would  look as an HDR.  One great idea I have would be to shoot a butterfly in HDR…but they move a little too much…so it may be difficult.   But this Mantis came out solid!   Here is some info on these amazing insects: Mantodea or mantises is an order of insects which contains approximately 2,200 species in 9 families worldwide in temperate and tropical habitats. Most of the species are in the family Mantidae. Historically, the term “mantid” was used to refer to any member of the order because for most of the past century, only one family was recognized within the order; technically, however, the term only refers to this one family, meaning the species in the other eight recently-established families are not mantids, by definition (i.e., they are empusids, or hymenopodids, etc.), and the term “mantises” should be used when referring to the entire order. A colloquial name for the order is “praying mantises”, because of the typical “prayer-like” stance, although the term is often misspelled as “preying mantis” since mantises are notoriously predatory. The word mantis is Greek for “prophet” or “fortune teller”. In Europe, the name “praying mantis” refers to only a single species, Mantis religiosa. The closest relatives of mantises are the orders Isoptera(termites) and Blattodea (cockroaches), and these three groups together are sometimes ranked as an order rather than a superorder. They are sometimes confused with phasmids (stick/leaf insects) and other elongated insects such as grasshoppers and crickets.

What was cool about this guy is that he must have had some babies recently as soon as we saw him, a little baby mantis came into our house when the door opened the next day!…so cute!  He was afraid of us yet curious.  I love when their heads turn as they watch you move…such beautiful insects!