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

Posts tagged “available light

Photographing Photography at the Beach

watching beach photographers 2

I observed other families and their photographers.  Hurry cause the light is going fast


watching beach photographers 6

See how the light changed in just a few moments




watching beach photographers 4Here is another family following directions from a family member ( I think cause of the matching shirt)






watching beach photographers 8

The light changes so quickly


watching beach photographers 9

I could see this large group from afar. The photographer seemed far away, too.  Used a monopod.


I did find an article on 10 Beach Photography Tips (from Australia)  I did try to take care to not get the fine sand and saltwater on my camera but could see where it could happen anyway.





Here is an anonymous group at the beach at night.

people on beach at night




Because I didn’t get permission to blog the families I photographed at the beach recently, I am posting Berkeley, enthusiastic for the waves.




dog at beach

Eclectic Collection of Color from Monday

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Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!


Swim Meet Monday afternoon into the evening and night.

Ohio State University.

Just the older two swam in the meet.

michael swim dive

Michael diving off blocks


Coach Jeff inspires his team by wearing a duck suit


The duck mascot takes a break on the Lifeguard chair

t shirtHadn’t really thought about it. Good shirt for a swimmer


Promoting team spirit ( not our team but loved the hair)

watching the coaches swimWatching the coaches relay

red in puddleRed light in the puddled.  The magic of wet pavement.

after the swim meetAunt Lala came.  Daddy’s car was in the other direction.  The magic of wet pavement.  It was pretty dark but shot with the 70-200 lens.


Wet basketball court Ohio State University

Color Car WashWe drove by the car wash on the way home Erika slowed down the van so I could get a quick shot.

Practicing Portraits on the Front Porch

The grandkids came out to the porch, one at a time, and let me photograph them. Willingly.

I told them I was practicing. The ambient light was nice as it was late in the day, after supper.

They look to be enjoying their vacation at Grandma’s house.

They didn’t mind  helping me check out my replacement 24-70mm lens.  We went over to the playground afterwards since the rain stopped and the sun appeared.

I’m photographing a wedding on Saturday and wanted to get the feel of the weight of the lens.  It’s lighter than the 70-200mm of course, but heavier than the 50mm I’ve had on this particular camera.  This is my favorite lens. It was a year ago, almost to the day, that my lens fell and broke into smithereens.

Maura Clare









Playing in a tub of water

Jack playing with his sub in a container of water on the front porch. I liked the light on the shirt wrinkles.



St. Mary of the Mount- Grandview Avenue- Pittsburgh PA

When we were walking around the Three Rivers Arts Festival, I looked up and saw this church on the top of Mount Washington.

The lighting really stands out.

Here are several views to give the perspective.  St. Mary of the Mount

St. Mary's on the Mount





cSt. Mary's on the Mount 3





St. Mary's on the Mount 5




St. Mary's on the Mount 4



Outhouse Roofs and a Threatening Sky (plus plural of roof?)

Drama where you find it.

Rule one. Get out of car to compose better shot.


Such a great light and I was lazy.  Sitting in the driver’s seat.  Had to turn around because Larimer Avenue was in the process of being blocked off for some kind of light up night festivity last Saturday afternoon.


Why oh why did I not get out and take more than these two shots?  The white on these roofs was so nice.

and in case you are wondering rooves is obsolete  I thought about it.       Plural of roof. Like hoof.  Hooves.  But rooves is now deemed obsolete.


outhouse roofs

The white on the roofs of these outhouses caught my eye. And the sky.  And the eerie wind blowing as if some storm was brewing close by.



outhouses and a threateneing skyOh yes, there was a very interesting tree blowing in the wind.

Mark and His Grandmother- Natural Light or Flash?

Last Saturday at the First Communion party, Mark wanted to recreate a photo he found from a little book I made him years ago.  The original was photographed in 1976!

He was sitting on his paternal Grandmother’s lap in a rocking chair in the original.

I took the pose with available light first and then with the flash.  Here are the two different versions.  I see more light his their eyes in the flash version yet am drawn to the available light.

Either way, Mark was very happy his grandmother flew in from Kansas City to help celebrate Michael’s special day.

with GrandmanitaMark and Grandmanita in 1976 and 2014


mark and his grandmother

Ice Crystals on the Window in Morning – Solar Light on Snow at Night

Crystals on a Window in the MorningHere is the view from my bedroom window.

Although the sun was shining, the thermometer dipped enough to cause schools to be closed today.  In fact, they were calling it Arctic Blast.  We weren’t in as bad shape as Atlanta, though.  What a mess.


Lemon Cheesecake

A friend picked me up, drove me down the hill  to Park Bruges Café where I ordered the Lemon Cheesecake for dessert, serious comfort food.  We used to work together but don’t see each other often so it was fun catching up. You can see how the sunlight streamed into the window where we sat.



Forty years ago my sister gave me a set of Farberware Pans. They have seen a LOT of use.

Mary’s  coming to visit for the weekend and I was trying to get the dark burned- on grease off the bottom of the pan. I only noticed it as it hung on the rack, thinking about how she keeps her Revere Pans’ copper so shiny as it hangs over her stove in NYC.  I solved the problem of not being able to get it all off.   Tried some internet remedy with vinegar but it didn’t quite work so this is what I did so the bottom didn’t show.  What I should post  is a photograph of the bottom so you could be horrified but the idea is to camouflage the undesirable pan bottom.

Farberware pan










Solar Light on SnowDropped off a birthday gift for a friend and then I was over at the neighbors and on my way home, I noticed their solar lamp’s rays radiating on the snow.

It was quite dramatic.

iPhone captures today.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Let There Be Light

I like the title of the challenge in this time of year when the days are growing shorter.  We’re asked to show the light source in our photos.

Just today I saw a box with a HAPPY LIGHT for sale, to ward off the season’s darkness and the impact it can have on your mood.

At school I teach about the different sources of light, manmade and natural.  There are so many different types of light.

Here are some examples of photos showing a variety of light sources.


backyard moonlightMoonlight in Ohio Backyard






Bonfire in Virginia


St. Patrick Candles



Candles at St. Patrick’s Cathedral



St. Rocco Fireworks


Fireworks at Saint Rocco’s Festival   Pittsburgh PA


Pocorn neon

Popcorn Neon at Kennywood Amusement Park


Screen Shot 2013-11-29 at 10.29.19 PM


Birthday candles- Laura covering the boys mouth so they don’t help blow them out!



angel lightErika’s Angel Lava Lamp last Christmas




wedding lanternsWedding Lanterns Somerset PA




sparklersJack July Fourth with Sparklers

Night Light on the Holocaust Sculpture “Keeping Tabs”

I was wondering what I’d post following the dedication post  of the Gary and Nancy Tuckfelt Holocaust Sculpture from yesterday.  Thank you for the thoughtful comments and for sharing it with those who were unable to attend.

And then the artist Elena Hiatt Houlihan called me Monday night to say she’d taken photographs of Keeping Tabs at night with a borrowed tripod.

She said to me, “You have to see it at night.  The light is beautiful.”

I was half asleep-

but after we hung up, I pulled jeans over my pjs,  threw on a coat and grabbed a hat.  I drove up Beechwood Boulevard to photograph the sculpture even though Elena had already left.   It was 10 PM.

My tripod was at school in my classroom so I took up a Swifter with a flat top pole to steady my camera.

No moonlight to help the effort.

As I got out of the car, I  saw the light reflecting off the six million pop tabs encased in the glass blocks. All was quiet.  It was moving.

I was all alone until a single figure arrived and entered the sculpture for a  time.

I tried a number of settings, shutter speeds, aperture and white balance, trying to get the best quality shot I could, given lack of tripod or remote cable.   It was in the low 40’s and I was wishing I had my tripod.  Night photography takes practice.

This post seems to complete yesterday’s photographic essay.  Good idea, Elena.

keeping tabs at night 2





keeping tabs at night 3




and then too much light, blown out- but autumn colors in the surrounding trees


keeping tabs at night 4

keeping tabs at night

Photo on the Wall Illuminated by Window Light

After school, I was sitting on the sofa, sipping a cup of tea
The sun must have come from behind a cloud as all of a sudden the photograph on the wall lit up!
(Okanogan WA- After the Wedding)

Captured with the iPhone


Homecoming Heels Study

Atop the closed bleachers.  In a darkened gym

On the table amidst the plates that held the pizza.

I was taking a shot and then the cell phone lit up with a text.  As if responding to the lens…..

Killer shoes.  No kidding.

So many of them taken off and placed high on top of the bleacher ledge.  Shoes on bleachers




High Heels on a table









Gold High Heels




Shoes and corsage





and without the flash

Silver High Heels

Grove City Magnificent Tree

When you read tree I hope you didn’t start to snore z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z

After the football game, Steve said "Look at that tree!"

After the football game, Steve said “Look at that tree!”


And then as we walked to the car I said, “Steve, that is the same tree, backlit from the stadium lights!”



tree from front

Tried to find out the use of the building online with no result. Steve saw a sign that said
Mineral Hall?


I needed Frank Relle of Frank Relle Photography  in New Orleans to instruct me how to light up the building at night,  He is a master of night photography.


But it was a magnificent tree.






Light Writing in the Backyard


Four grandchildren in the backyard

+Four White Lightning Sticks with strobe effect (@$5)

+Fading light

+Grandma’s camera on bulb setting, propped on the garden fence.

+Energy and Enthusiasm for the experiment

= ________________________  FUN!

Light Writing


We started out slowly, sitting down on the lawn.



Light Writing 2


I suggested a little more movement.   I’d say they complied on both of these shots.






Light Writing 4

Michael, Maura, Anna and Jack with their White Lightning Sticks in the Backyard

The final one, directed by Anna, Circles all around.  She staggered her siblings so no one hit one another.  It started to get buggy. We’ll try again another night.


Diving Board Silhouettes, a Lifeguard, and Clear the Pool for Lightning









Touch Toes Silhouette


Swim and Dive Team Pool Party Celebration Tuesday July 16th  A hot, humid day so the water felt refreshing.

Diving Board at Dusk



Lifeguard on Duty



Lifeguard on Duty




Empty Pool


The whistles blew and everyone got out of the pool due to lightning.   Time to go home.

Dear Followers, Readers, Friends and Family,

Thanks for all the lovely comments and emails. I appreciate the good words and your cheering me on.

It was fun to share celebrating the four year mark of the blog.  

I think my headline/title confused some people as I meant I was just starting the fifth year of blogging as the four year anniversary occurred.







Iris and Lace Curtain

ISO 250  f 1.2   1/40    50mm lens  available light

ISO 250 f 1.2 1/40 50mm lens available light

Wordless Sunday.

Black and White Weekly Photo Challenge: Toys

I follow a blogger from South Africa at Sonel’s Corner and you may have read some of her lovely comments on my blog.  She hosted Flat Ruthie and introduced FR to the Vervet  Monkeys  .  You can see what a Vervet Monkey looks like at Sonel’s Corner blog post on B and W weekly challenge of Nature here.

She’s started a black and white challenge and I’ve been thinking about participating but kept missing the deadline. The Black and White Weekly Photo Challenge  theme this week is TOYS.  Here I am in Ohio,  visiting the grandchildren and there are plenty of toys.

I shot these toys today specifically for Sonel’s challenge.

Then I converted them into black and white in Aperture and am posting a few from today’s effort. Shot with Canon 5D -50mm 1.2 L series lens. I used the cable remote to avoid camera shake.

My DIL Erika’s Grandmother Marion (Marlene’s mother)  crocheted this doll dress, bonnet and undergarments for this doll I took down from the high shelf in Anna’s room.

Caught the afternoon light on her through the dining room window. I asked Erika if she had a name and she said no.  Crocheted doll clothes were “in”.

Erika's Grandmother Doll


Mark(from Aunt Bobbie) and Erika’s Teddy Bears.  Mark’s Brownie on the left and Erika’s Teddy on the right. Presently residing in their daughter Anna’s room on the high shelf, not getting any “play time”.

Teddy Bears


First DollThis  little doll was given to Anna in 2003 by my dear friend G. Anna’s first doll.  Maura popped into the photo shoot.   She is also in charge of tending this dolly now. I knit the old cotton dishcloth pattern extra large for a dolly blanket. They drape so nicely.


Found the missing puzzle piece today.  Ooops, the puzzle was discarded a long time ago. (this one shot with the iPhone) Always liked those knob puzzles.

missing puzzle piece

Thanks to Sonel’s Corner for the Black and White inspiration.

Okay Can You See?

We’re celebrating the Fourth of July in Virginia.  I’m grateful for another birthday.

When I was Maura’s age I used to think all the fireworks were just for me on my birthday.  Ha!

Not sure if there will be fireworks to celebrate the fourth as there’s rain and more rain.

My granddaughter Maura (4) sings the Star Spangled Banner with a slight alteration of the opening lyrics.

“Okay, can you see?” or more like  “O-O-O-Okay can you see”

The title for this post could also be  How to Photograph Four Kids at a Time.  I’ve had a lot of practice.  It’s not impossible but to get ALL four with their best expression is not an easy task.               Add the new puppy Henry to the effort.

I’ve used the -get ‘em in action method- quite a few times.  On the playground, the backyard, the hula hoop, the swing, the bicycle.  Anything so they aren’t conscious of Grandma’s lens.

The sitting around all in a row or even staggered grouping and looking at my lens with the old CHEEEEESE doesn’t work for me.  Or them  Not that I haven’t tried.    Canon 70-200mm L series lens   ISO 100  f/2.8  1/125   I’m up on the front porch.


On Your Mark

On Your Mark-

And they're off

And they’re off-

all the way down to the tree


headed back to the finish



uh oh I see his derriere

Uh oh not that view of Henry.  Henry, turn around.



Oh Henry, turn around.   Nah, too posed looking.   ACTION!



running towards home


Maura, Anna, Michael and Jack and Henry



watch the puppy


Here they come.

Anna calls to Henry to join them.





He’s getting it now







A moment of childhood captured.



Maura doesn’t like coming in last.  Henry is watching the cows in the field next door.

Henry and Maura watch the cows

Just Past Midnight- Columbus Ohio

My son Mark drove me and my sister downtown so Mary could catch a 1:10 AM bus to DC to visit some friends. We’ve had a nice couple of weeks together, first in New York City and then with the family in Columbus.

After we dropped her at the Greyhound station, he drove me around the downtown area so I could get a few nighttime shots of the city.  The Ohio Statehouse- just a bit of it as I shot it from the car window. Had the 70-200mm Canon L series lens on the camera.  I should have gotten out of the car but we were on our way to take Mary.  I had envisioned flags flying as they had been the last time we drove by in the daytime, but not even a breeze.

Ohio Statehouse

Ohio Statehouse (Greek Revival) Built 1839-1861

Christopher Columbus Statue

Christopher Columbus  in front of City Hall-  a 3-ton bronze statue- Uncrated Oct 10, 1955   A gift from Genoa

LeVeque Tower

LeVeque Tower- second tallest building- Art Deco with red white and blue lights on it tonight for the upcoming Fourth of July

The Palace Theater

The Palace Theatre

Eternal Flame

The Columbus Fire Department Memorial Eternal Flame 

The Santa Maria

(You hear about “noise” in a photograph.  This is a fine example of “noise”)

The Santa Maria in Battelle Riverfront Park on the Scioto River

Nationwide Building

City buses lined up headed north

Columbus Dispatch SignThe Columbus Dispatch Neon Sign across from the State Capitol Building

Thanks Mark for the just past midnight tour of Columbus downtown.

Weekly Photo Challenge:Fleeting

Several ideas came to mind but I’m posting a single shot of the fleeting sunlight on the curtain in my living room today.

Under a cloud, the sun shifts –   it’s gone.


Fleeting Sunlight





The Beerman Cometh

New York City.  Spring Break.

Beerrman New York City

Black Pussywillow Branches Cast Wall Shadows

When we lived in Germany, we’d get  Pussywillow with fuzzy gray shapes along the branch and hang wooden eggs and rabbit ornaments to make an Easter Tree.

Add MediaI’d never seen Black Pussywillows until Wednesday night at my friend J’s home.  I was to take a photograph over to her and the evening  turned into an impromptu supper.  My crazy part is I went over without the picture I was to take.      J followed me back to my house after we ate and got the photograph to take back to her own home but she didn’t seem to mind.

 A great blog post  about this unusual looking plant is here. The Latin name (Salix gracilistylus ‘Melanostachys’)


Black Pussywillow

 I can’t remember the name/type of ceramic vase holding the branches. (Taken with the iPhone)

NYC Locksmith and Metal Artist: Philip Mortillaro

Philip Mortillaro

Do you know how many times I have walked by this locksmith on 7th Avenue and it was always closed?  The intricate collage of keys always caught my eye.

Wednesday morning,  Mary and I were returning from the Post Office and the locksmith’s door was open.

Mr. Mortillaro was speaking with a customer. Mary walked on ahead but I signaled to her to wait.  After the customer left, I entered and although I’d photographed the facade on other occasions, I asked the proprietor if I might photograph him.  Mr. Mortillaro was totally welcoming and agreeable and here is the portrait I captured.  He told me he has been a locksmith since age 14!

The links to his website and a trailer of a video are found at the end of the post.

Keys Made Locksmith

Ket to Heaven

Although he says he is not religious, he has actually made St. Peter (a gift)  the Key to Heaven 

Complaint Department



Just like the New York Public Library-  Patience and Fortitude guard the entrance.

You can see a trailer to Mr. Mortillaro’s video Do Not Duplicate 

and visit his website to see his Metal Art

Do Not Duplicate Trailer

Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense

This week’s challenge is just that- a challenge. How could I capture the future in a photograph NOW?

I’m going with this portion of the challenge…..Anything that involves the present and a hint of the future all in one frame.” 

Freedom Tower,  New York City.  Under construction. 1 World Trade Center.   We walked farther downtown and the gusts of wind went up to 35 mph according to the weather.  Sunshine and chill.

Daytime view and nighttime view of Freedom Tower.

And when I looked at the shot I took from my sister’s apartment window, I saw a stream of light come down from the clouds.

















Freedom Tower





Freedom Tower from the Village




Freedom Tower Night View






Other bloggers interpretations to check out here

Francine in Retirement from Pittsburgh with O Death Where is thy Sting? and a photograph of a Pittsburgh cemetery

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Vernal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere- 7:02 AM


We are eager for it to begin.  In earnest.

Monday there was a two hour delay due to ice, snow and sleet. It was unexpected and I heard it on the radio as I was already driving to school.

Can we trust the groundhog?  Phil said it would be an early Spring.  Well Phil,  it’s Spring tomorrow on the clock and calendar but it feels like WINTER today. Chilly and gray.  We are ready for blossoms, muddy earth, warm breezes.   Saturday I saw my first robin in the back on the porch post.

Now I know, no one reads the blog for the weather report but the change of seasons is significant.  We just want to be reassured that a true Spring is coming and will warm us up.  SOON.  (Florida readers- I saw those photographs of you in short sleeved shirts!!)

Before school I stopped in at the Giant Eagle and bought this bouquet.   I took the daffodils to school for the students to photograph.  They were buds in the morning and by the afternoon they had opened.

You can see the set up with the background of folded white paper to eliminate clutter.  When I was ready to go home and the lights were off, this is what I saw.


IMG_5257 IMG_5251





Just received from a Florida friend who is visiting friends in Boston-First Day of Spring.Thanks Kristin

Just received from a Florida friend who is visiting friends in Boston-First Day of Spring.
Thanks Kristin


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