"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Archive for July, 2011

Michael Contemplates the Jukebox

Still in the COSI Progress exhibit.  Last week we had a nice day trip to downtown Columbus, driving around the city to check out Laura and James wedding venue, reception and the hotel where we’ll be staying.  When we went through the Columbus Science and Industry center the kids showed me their favorite room.  There is a vintage soda fountain and in one corner the jukebox and the other corner a pinball machine which you can play if you have a dime.

Actual VINYL plays inside this gem of a coin-operated jukebox Seems everything is moving to a digital file.  Records, 8-tracks. cassette, CDs.

He was taking it all in......


Old School Metal Ice Cube Tray

Do you remember metal ice cube trays? There was a certain sound of the metal and the hinge. The ice clinking out into a tall glass. You could pinch your skin real easily. That’s what I remember.

This one’s on display at COSI(Center of Science and Industry) in Columbus OH where there is a  whole section called PROGRESS. You walk through the different decades of technological and electrical and societal developments.

The kids love to crank the old fashioned telephone and there is a juke box and pinball machine. They are housed in a soda fountain.  There’s a horse drawn buggy next to a VW bug.  You can look through an antique camera and use a switchboard to connect phone calls. There is a television studio and items from the Space Age.

It is hot and humid here in Pittsburgh.

I was looking for a photo that looked cool.   It looks like someone left the freezer open and everything melted.


City Bridge in a Bike Trail Mirror Along the Monongahela

 Along the Monongahela River  Pittsburgh PA

There was a photo in the paper of the laser lights projecting on a downtown building last night.  They’re filming BATMAN downtown and there was the Bat Signal.  Unfortunately, I did not get down there to capture the scene.  So I looked through the recent photos as I wanted to change it up from the themes of late and I  always return to the city views.  They are so varied.

It’s almost midnight and I am still thinking about the Bat Signal on the Highmark Building and wondering if it is still there. Should I get in the car and drive downtown to see?  Christian Bale coming to town, Big News Big Movie.  Good for Pittsburgh all around.

here is my simple offering of the city bridge reflected in a mirror along the Bike Trail.


Summer Salad Lunch- Spinach, Raspberries, Gorgonzola, Pine Nuts and Red Onion

What else can I say?  It was fresh and delicious and the berries, cheese and nuts were a wonderful combination.  Pine nuts are so pricey these days.

At the Italian store today pine nuts were $19.95 a pound!

We drove over to Labriola’s on Freeport Road and I bought some provisions for supper on the front porch for another friend. Romano chicken, tomato/fresh mozzarella salad, lettuce, Vietnamese Spring Rolls from Tram’s on Penn (Thanks Steve) with a peanut or chili sauce on the side, and Breadworks Rustic Italian bread and Sour Cherry Pie from Patty’s Farm Market for dessert.  That’s the stand where I bought a dozen or more pies when Mark and Erika got married 9 years ago and I had the rehearsal dinner in the backyard.

My friend R and I caught up over a refreshing lunch outside the Phipps Conservatory.  Lemonade to drink.

After lunch there was a Farmer’s Market on the front lawn and there were some incredibly pushy customers that surprised me.  I guess if there are only 8 boxes of blueberries, you have to get right in there and grab them or they are GONE! There were lovely organic beets and garlic scrapes and blackberries and tomatoes.  Basil and dill scented the air of one table as I waited my turn.  R bought some ripe peaches to make peach ice cream. I used to make a peach ice cream out of Joy of Cooking when I was married in ’74 as my SIL gave us a fancy ice cream maker ( it needed rock salt!) and was electric.  If you need some ice cream recipes here is a link I found.  I should go downstairs and retrieve the Joy of Cooking recipe.


A Cooler, Zip-Loc Bag or Blow Dryer Are Supposed to Solve This Problem

Lens fog!  You may have experienced it.  It’s cool inside in the AC ( at M and E’s house, not mine!) and then I’d go outside to snap Jack coming home from his first swim across the length of the pool- LENS FOG!!!  Maura in her car seat looking dear in her new flower headband- LENS FOG!  We got out of the air conditioned van and the kids were patient with me as I suggested a photo of going to Day Camp.  I had been doing pretty well on the vacation with the candid shots but they cooperated as I wanted to document the scene.<a href=”http://www.blogcatalog.com”>BlogCatalog</a&gt;
They got on the wall, and I shot the picture after wiping the lens with a microfiber cloth and the same result- LENS FOG!  I went online and read suggestions how to combat this issue and the putting the camera into a cooler or a thick Zip-Loc bag or using a blow dryer to warm it up first were some of the suggestions.

The family greets Jack as he arrives home with his white ribbon for swimming the pool length for the first time.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Colorful

As part of the WordPress postaday 2011 challenge (I am a participant) there’s the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.  I have read the emails with the themes of the week and thought about them but haven’t posted to one before today.   This week the theme is COLORFUL. Most of my photos of the day are in real time and what I encounter as I go about my daily routine.  I did a stretch of iPhone photography when it was difficult to wield the heavy camera and lens and I have posted from the archives but most photos are from the day itself or a day or two on either side. I guess some are after the fact.

Some readers love the city views, others enjoy the  food shots, the varied locations, others get a kick out of the dogs and the family shots and catching the action during movement. Others like architectural details.   You know how I am attracted to all things nostalgic and also what people put in the trash- the pink toilet shot, the console televisions, the aquarium.  I started the People at Work series and am always trying to improve my portrait photography. I enjoy hearing from readers who tell me they saw something and I came to mind and if I were there I would have photographed it!  Sometimes friends send a photo on the phone to show me. I haven’t run out of things to notice and shoot-

but today it’s a simple red pick-up truck parked behind a house on a clear blue sky day!

Some of the past themes of the WordPress Challengeshadow, one, old fashioned, light, hot, sky, water, Spring, boundaries, refreshing…… Not sure why I haven’t shot and posted to the weekly challenge before but here’s my first response to Colorful.

What I liked about the photo is the tension of the parked truck behind the back of the house.  I didn’t see a cement block or a guard rail to stop the truck from going over the hill.   Pittsburgh topography; hills and valleys, rivers and steep streets, stairs for sidewalks.  You’ve seen these features in many of my city photographs.

Pittsburgh topography illustrated

Red truck, gold house, burnt orange roof, blue sky, green grass= COLORFUL!


Queen Victoria, Sir Thomas More, Anne Boleyn and Lord Byron on my Front Porch Sunday Afternoon

 

We had a good lunch together before the family had to drive back to Ohio.   Anna found the stack of National Portrait Gallery of London masks on the desk in the hall.

Amazing how paper masks change everyone’s look!  The masks are printed in England but I bought them through a catalog for a project I had in mind but ended up using a different set.


Olive Oil, Apple Juice and Tiki Torch Fuel Still Life

All three of these containers are in the garage on shelves and the Tiki Torch Fuel is in a high cupboard but this is the type of thing that makes me worry.  That one could be mistaken for another.  The nutritional information is a clue for the one bottle and I wish I didn’t worry so  much.

Photographed these three lined up with the late afternoon sun streaming into the garage. I guess this post could be like those public service commercials, creating awareness.

Similar packaging, two edible. One poison.


Women Walking Into Work


Two Riding Toys -Three Kids

Last day for grandchildren post. Michael found the solution.  


Murphy the Airedale’s Summer Cut

Taken just as the sun was slipping below the horizon.

 

Wednesday night was the swim banquet and I came home in one car with Jack and Maura.  Jack opened the door and Murphy came out to greet us.  Such excitement and welcoming greetings.   He had been to the groomer’s earlier in the day.   He was so happy to see us come home.  Erika told me that he was feeling left out since I don’t photograph him like I used to. I asked her how she knew. She said he had texted her.

So there he was sitting so nicely on the driveway and the sun was setting and I had my camera from the swim banquet right there and I called him and he looked right at me.

He is a sweet dog.  I know everyone has their breeds they are loyal to and Rob has his OPD’s as his favorite breed( other peoples’ dogs) Murphy adores his family and they adore him.  He is affectionate and patient and likes to be near people.  I don’t have my own dog but enjoy Murphy when I visit.  Sometimes he comes to stay at my house when the family goes on vacation.

Since the temperature was 99 degrees plus humidity factor today and it felt like 110 I’m sure it felt good to have his hair cut.

As far as photographs go this is not my best as he looks like a bit like a cardboard cutout against the concrete but I think it captures his personality. Don’t think I have a future in pet portraits.


Playing in Summer Rain

It was an easy decision.  Mom said YES!   We looked for rainbows as the sun was out in places.  I brought out the umbrella so I could protect the camera and lens.  When the rain stopped, I put it down.  Maura picked it up immediately and then when she put it down, Jack picked it up.

The rain was gentle and warm. Not like the wild thunder and lightning storm last night.  An easy summer evening rain. The kids had a blast.

 

 

 



Aunt Lala Pushes All 3 Swings, Anna Moves the Pink Flamingoes and S’mores-on-a-Stick*

Aunt Lala took turns pushing her niece and nephews on the backyard swingset.  The kids didn’t want her to stop.  You should have heard them squeal.  Anna was moving the two pink flamingoes that Pap purchased and installed in the back garden. She said,”They’ll look better over here.”

 

*Laura found the  recipe for the S’mores-on-a-Stick through a blog she reads so check it out. She and Anna made them together and put them in the fridge during dinner.  La brought white lollipop sticks to hold the s’mores.  The kids devoured them! Fun to eat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Up and Down Game in the Pool

Maura's head bumps the top of the frame and a slice cut off but I liked the way the water ran off the lifejacket and Anna's ponytail. It was fun to watch them have so much fun. Big sister-little sister enjoying the refreshing pool- the temp outside was 88 degrees!

One thing I noticed this visit is that we no longer hang out at the baby pool. How quickly everything changes.

I used to sit there for hours while the kids painted the concrete with paintbrushes, poured one bucket of water into another and the filled the sprinkler cans with the handles and spouts- fill and dump, fill and dump, and do it a hundred times.   They always loved those beach toys at the pool.  Now the three oldest are on the swim team, the eldest two the dive team and Maura at 2.5 isn’t too far behind.  Still sporting a life jacket, she wants to jump off the side of the pool repeatedly and she even makes a motorboat sound as the older two pull her around.  So the pool game is up and down and she loves it!

Tomorrow is a big swim meet in New Albany and so tonight at the pool the kids had their hair spray painted green and received new green swim team shirts with ducks on them. The team mascot.    A pep rally of sorts, to get everyone pumped up and excited for the effort.

Won’t be long and Maura will join her brothers and sisters on the swim team I’m sure!

 

 

 


On Walters’ Pond- They Had to Throw it Back

A cookout. Kids running around playing ball. Some on the swing set. Men teaming up to play cornhole. A group of kids on the dock.  Hamburegers hotdogs on the grill.  Salad and fruit.  Macaroni and cheese.  The kids actually caught a little fish and threw him back.  I photographed several of the families so they could have a family picture.   It was a beautiful summer night.


Tulip Festival Dancers in Cambria City-Johnstown PA

One of the tulip ballerinas flashes the peace sign to the audience awaiting their performance.

 

Artists Laura Jean McLaughlin and David Ziller and a community of volunteers created the stunning Mosaic Tulips on the side of the Tulip Bottling Company, now an art gallery called Bottleworks.  You can read all about the creation of this colorful and inspiring work here.  Artist Bill Pfahl told me about the Festival and he had paintings inside the show at the Bottleworks Gallery. My colleague and friend M accompanied me on the adventure to Johnstown PA.  We each ate a $2 BBQ ham sandwich.

 

 


Moonrise Over Bocce Court in Bloomfield

As I an writing this post I think that it is almost two years that I started the blog.  And when I checked the stats I see that the first post was 7-14-09.   Two years and a day. Happy Blog–aversary. Thanks to all the readers who have followed my blog, written comments on the blog, written nice emails to me or told me about which photo they enjoyed seeing. And to the friends of friends who have shared the posts and photographs, whom I have met only online, I appreciate your good feedback, too.  SO here is the today’s post-

Stephanie cuts my hair. She asked me how the photography was going.  I told her how I photograph and post a photo of the day on the blog. (Today is the #658 post.) She told Jack, her husband and he looked at my photos online and invited me down Thursday night when he  plays Bocce. Here is his website.

It was a perfect summer evening and the men were gracious, allowing me to photograph the games.  Tried to be unobtrusive and hung there for over two hours. One gentleman is 97 years old!  I sat on a bench at the end of the court for a time, shooting intermittently. A little conversation here and there.    And there was the moonrise over the bocce court.

Although I was invited to the mid-season party at the Pleasure Bar on Tuesday, I already have plans with the grandchildren….but I got to hear the menu!  Mmmmmm.  I am really missing out.   Fortunately there is an end of season party in the fall!.

Thanks Jack and to the Bocce League, playing under the cars passing over the Bloomfield Bridge on a summer night.


Doing Her Sister’s Hair

Maura (2+) doesn’t let me brush her hair or add a barrette or bow when I visit.  And if you get a band in she is likely to pull it out.  I went upstairs to see how we were coming along on getting ready to load up the car. Drive to Laura’s and James’  for the 4th of July.  Anna(7+) was brushing and putting Maura’s hair into a ponytail. This is never an easy task.

Anna had just set the pink brush on the bench.  And Maura was sitting there with her feet dangling. Looking in the mirror.     I thought it best to get them unaware. No time to clear up the background.  Just shoot.   After a few minutes, Anna turns to me and said “She is my WORST customer.”

( The tattoo is temporary!)


Tending the Veterans Rose Garden- Washington PA

The garden is behind the old train station which is now a Visitor Center.


Looked Nuclear to Me But It’s Coal Burning

Sometimes you just have to pull over on the side of the road and hurry up and get the camera out.  Hurry.  cause the daylight is scant.  You see something – want to make a note of it.  Driving home from Indiana PA last Saturday night, I saw this scene on the horizon at dusk.  Limits of photography, the photograph can’t capture the expansive and open feel of the country, the space. This plant touts the third tallest chimney in the world.  I went and read about it. I discovered it isn’t a nuclear plant. Those big coolers made it look nuclear to me. Flip a switch, turn on a burner, twist a faucet. We use energy daily. Don’t think much about the source, how it gets to us.   You can read about it on Wikipedia. Here’s my visual.


Old Fashioned Pulley Clothesline-Lilies and Dinner

My friend J cooked a bday dinner for me the other night and I was checking out her garden. Everything so lush and green. Stunning lilies blooming. J shows me what is a weed and what is not. When she splits her perennials I will plant them in my garden. The plants might not be too happy about the move to my place, though. Her clothesline jumped out at me and I thought of sheets hung on the line and how quickly things dry in the summer. The refreshing scent of the sunshine. I didn’t stay late enough but when it gets dark she has a fish pond and glass orb that lights up so have to plan a return trip. J is an excellent cook, too as you can see by the dinner on the table below. A nice summer evening. Thanks J.


Ukrainian Church Reflection-McKees Rocks PA

McKees Rocks Bottoms. I was coming from the funeral home in Sheraden and saw these churches from the bridge and decided to exit.  The sun was setting.   Two Ukrainian Churches in one town.  Just blocks from one another.  This one is St. John’s.  The other is St. Mary’s.  I have more photos for a different day.  There’s a Russian Orthodox church with beautiful domes and a Byzantine church as well.   They are still open and active.  St. Mark’s Roman Catholic church has been closed and sold to Dargate Auction Gallery.  All of these different churches within a few blocks of one another. Click on the links for more information about Ukrainians and the  Ukrainian community in Pittsburgh


Custom Framing for 30 Years and He’s Not Even 50 Yet!

That’s what he told me. And he’s been in business for 25 years! I went over to Panza Gallery in Millvale and owner/artist Mark Panza was busy busy busy. He really didn’t need me there Thursday afternoon but he was gracious. Kept on working. I broke his concentration at first by showing up and wanting to shoot him for the People at Work Series, even though we had talked about it on the phone, when it is actually happening it might not be so convenient.

Let me tell you I have a new understanding of why custom frames are not inexpensive. Lots of steps and precision, measure, measure, measure. Concentration, strength, math, craftsmanship. Thanks Mark for allowing me to capture you working. And remember he’s open Wed-Friday 10-5 and Sat 10-3.

That is a pneumatic stapler and you can hear the compressor gear up!


My Sister Guest Blogs from Fishkill, NY via Phone

It wasn’t her idea but when I got this photo from her on the phone I thought it was a perfect picture to post. A scene you don’t see everyday!  When I visit her in NYC she shows me the coolest places to take  photos.  In fact, she has spotted many of my blogposts when we traveled to see our brother in WA, too. I am thinking of the train car that was a hamburger stand for sale.  She’s visiting friends near Albany then went down to Fishkill,NY. She said this  hot dog place is next to the Hardware Store.  Thanks Mary. That was fun!


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