It has been a long week and I am honestly struggling with what to say. So I’ll just let the photo speak for itself.
It has been a long week and I am honestly struggling with what to say. So I’ll just let the photo speak for itself.
Hello. I hope you’re having a great Tuesday. Tonight I have an old photo for you, with a new twist. Meaning, I loved this photo when I took it in 2013 and processed it then. So I reprocessed it again this week and am sharing it again with my latest and current processing techniques. I hope you like it as much as I do.
In honor of Father’s Day, today’s blog picture is from W.A. Young and Sons Machine Shop and Foundry down in Rice Landings Pennsylvania. Now I have no idea what this machine produces in the machine shop, but it’s an interesting photographic subject. So for all the dads who like to work in their personal workshops, whether it is a garage, mill, barn, basement, or photography studio, have a great Father’s Day.
I captured a ton of photos when Jay and I visited Detroit last year. And I’ve probably processed about 20% of them so far. Heck, I am still processing photos from my 2013 San Francisco trip. Each HDR photo takes me between 20 minutes to 1 hour to process. So I can’t zip through my photos and I also get bored processing to many from the same trip in a row. Therefore, I hop back and forth between trips. These factors create two situations:
1. It takes me a while to finish processing each trip.
2. Since I hop all over when I am processing photos, I also post pictures from my trips out of order.
Some people might think I’m not efficient. I like to think my method helps keep my processing fresh (I don’t get bored and stale) and I don’t post to many photos in a row from the same area/topic.
So all that was to help explain why tonight I randomly posted a picture of a fish graffiti scene that I took in Detroit.
Here is a photo I took from the Roberto Clemente Bridge a few weeks ago with Michael Shilo Luzano. We were walking back towards the north shore, when we stopped and climbed up onto the bridge structure so we could capture this angle. I have to say, I like it.
Guest Blog by Kendall Smith: June 15th, 2015:
Towards the end of September, I was completing my first round of queries to literary agents in order to find a home, or publishing house, for my thriller, Vault 21-12. That process took six months, and as a writer, I knew it was time to change strategies. The next logical move was to pitch independent publishing houses and start crafting a cover concept to share with prospective editors.
The idea of using the vault as the main image is relevant to a core theme in the book: What is in the vault? Given it is located in Switzerland and was opened during World War Two, there’s a mysterious element to the story. Frankly, it’s the main hook, and what better way to entice readers than to provide a visual of the vault itself.
That, on many levels opened a Pandora’s box. Hours, if not days were spent searching the web to find the perfect visual. I hired a graphic designer to assist in the process. This element of the pitch helped to sell the story and concept to the team at Percussion Publishing. The story sold them, but my graphic designer and I were on the hook to find and design the covers (front and back).
Given the challenge, we tried a few different approaches but in the end we simply had to find an image of the perfect vault. One night, late in February and well past the deadline, my designer found Brook Ward’s visual – a picture of a bank vault located in the Washington Trust Building in Washington, Pennsylvania.
The second I saw it I was enthralled and grateful. We finally found the perfect image to represent Vault 21-12! We had complete control over the layout and design, and when we submitted it to Percussion Publishing, they were impressed.
After five more revisions, tweaks and color treatments, Vault 21-12 came to life. The title has already received thirteen 5-star ratings on Amazon and is selling well.
We tip our hat to the photographer, Brook Ward, for his skills behind the lens. We will recommend him to other writers and editors and speaking as an author, I hope you’ll check out my thriller.
Kendall Smith (Author, Vault 21-12)
Available on Amazon, Kindle and Nook.
I took this picture in the top of an abandoned church bell tower in the Pittsburgh area. The date on the bell is 1891. This wasn’t the easiest spot to get into, but it was worth the climb to capture this photo.
Last year, I was contacted by the Bic Company about one of my photos. They wanted to include it in a 2015 calendar they were creating for retail sales. We worked out an arrangement including a requirement that they mail me one copy. Well, it finally showed up in June 2015.
The photo they selected is one of my older photos (and least favorite). Regardless, I am proud to have my work displayed in the same calendar as Trey Radcliff. Trey is an HDR master photographer. I think the last time I looked, he has over 20 million subscribers to his website and even more social media followers. Anyway, it made me feel good.
We didn’t get a chance to enter this beautiful Roman Catholic Church, but we spent some time in the Plaza Mayor across the street. The construction started on this building in 1535. The construction was completed three years later in 1538 and has been remodeled since a few times.
It was very disappointing that every church is Lima would charge you to enter (just to look) and wouldn’t allow photography…. Ugh!!!! Anyway, it was cool to look at from the outside.
To get an idea of scale, look closely at the cars and people in front of the building. Cool stuff!!
Today I have something different for you. While we were in Peru, near Cuzco, we stopped by a local artist shop to watch him make clay pottery. He completed a small demo for us and we got a chance to look around his gallery. These mugs are about 50 percent complete. They’ve been created, but need to dry, be sanded, glazed, and have the final design/graphic added to them.
I realize this type of photo won’t appeal to most people, but I liked it.
This is one of many colonial catholic churches in Lima. The Catholic religious congregations were each allotted a piece of land in the early days of the city. Most of the congregations erected monasteries, convents, or churches in honor of patron saints. MJ, my dad and I visited a bunch of them as we walked around the city.
One of the best-preserved churches, San Francisco was built in the baroque-style of the late 1600s. It has several gilded side altars and an impressive lattice dome. It has a very cool library with a collection of ancient religious texts, some of them brought over in the first wave of Spanish priests after the conquests of the Incas.
Unfortunately, the church didn’t allow any photos of the inside of the building. I really wanted to photography the library. You have no idea how hard that was to only look and not capture it with my camera.
One of the more interesting areas of the church was the catacombs. These were part of Lima’s original cemeteries built under the church. They estimate that there are 75,000 bodies buried under the church and many are exposed and stacked in strange patterns in different pits. I did sneak a photo of this area…see below.
Human remains in the catacombs:
After a tour of the Salinas de Maras (salt flats) and Moray (Inca archaeological concentric terraces), we spent some time in the small village of Maras. This very small village had narrow cobble stone streets with lots of interesting residential doors. This picture is an example of one such door. You can’t tell by looking at the picture, but the doors were only about 5 feet tall, which was typical of the doors in many old residential structures around Peru. The old government and cathedrals were the exact opposite. Many of them had doors over 20 feet tall.
Anyway, something about these doors caught my attention and I spent some time capturing them with my camera. By the way, I’ll post some pictures from the Salinas de Maras and Moray in the future.
Have a great weekend.
Crossing from the Cuzco province (basically the same thing as a state) to the Puno province means passing this spot in the Andes Mountains. This was the highest elevation we experienced in Peru at a little over 14,100 feet. I can tell you that it was a little hard to breath. Not terrible, but you could feel it.
Anyway, we stopped at this spot for a few minutes to look at the roadside vendors and take in the view of this amazing mountain range. My picture doesn’t do justice to this beautiful spot. Sorry I can’t give you a picture to match the real world experience of standing there. Regardless, I hope you enjoy it.
Note: Don't forget to look at the video below to see how beautiful this site was via a different media format.
Sorry about the wind noise on the video.
Yesterday I went on a long photo walk to numerous locations with a friend from California. He was in town for one afternoon, so we made the best of it and hit a number of popular Pittsburgh photo spots. We started with this abandoned church in the Lawrenceville area of Pittsburgh. I’ve been in this spot a few different times and I am always surprised at what changes from visit to visit.
Yesterday, we ran into a lady who was trying to clean the place up. Probably a losing battle, but she was trying to get it done. Anyway, somebody set up these chairs to create a little seating area. So, I took advantage of it.
While we were in Peru, I met a photographer from Sacramento. He and I went on a few photo walks during the trip. One of the photo walks was along the Rio Vilcanota in the village of Urubamba at night. We did a little light painting, including this one. I took a 30 second exposure and used my cell phone to “paint” the word Peru into the photo. Do you like it?
While traveling through Peru, we spent some time at Lake Titicaca. We took a boat out into the lake to visit the floating islands of Uros, which are created by Aymara tribes. The Aymara people are an indigenous nation in the Andes regions of Peru, Bolivia and Chile. Two thousand years ago, their ancestors ran to the lake to escape attacks by other groups. They created floating islands that they and their families have continued ever since. The islands only last about 30 years, so they have to continuous rebuild and maintain their islands, which are made from reeds that grow in the lake.
Anyway, while we were there, I took this photo of one of the elders. She was one of 25 family members living on one island (there are 89 total islands). Something about how sad she looks make this picture interesting to me. While I interacted with her, she didn’t appear sad to me. But after returning home, I looked at the picture more closely. All I see is a sad woman, but that isn’t her.
By the way, that’s her hut behind her. They are simple one room (5 x 8 feet) huts made out of the same reeds they use for their floating islands, boats, etc….
Before Kristine, mentions it.....I will. Yes I photographed an actual person. I know it goes against my routine, but it happened.
First, let me start by apologizing. I know I’ve been absent for the last 10 days. MJ and I have been traveling across Peru with my dad. As you can probably imagine, the Internet access is limited in the Andes Mountains.
During our time in the country, we traveled to Lima, Cuzco, Puno, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo, Aguags Calientes, Machu Picchu, Juliaca, the floating islands of Uros, Lake Titicaca…..along with a number of other villages, historical sites, cool locations.
We had 6 flights, 2 boat rides, 2 train trips, taxi rides, tuk tuks, numerous bus rides, and I walked over 80 miles. It was a heck of a trip. Anyway, the highlight of any trip to Peru (and a must see) is Machu Picchu.
It was built by Incas around 1450, but was abandoned a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. It remained hidden from that time until Hiram Bingham brought international attention to it in 1911. It is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World and like I already said, it is a must see. No picture, including mine, will ever do it justice.
I'll be out of action for a few days. Sorry. bw
I had dinner tonight with one of the Detroit Lions’ scouts. We had a nice conversation about the team, the recent draft, past players, his job, etc… I appreciated his time and willingness to meet with me.
After that conversation, it got me thinking about how I am ready for football to start now. I am also starting to miss Ndamukong Suh. Say what you want about him….he’s had his share of cheap shoots and personal fouls. But he is one of, if not the best defensive player in the NFL and now he won’t be on my Lions. We had 5 great years with him, but he’s the type of player that should start and end his career with one team. Plus off the field, he is very generous with his money donating to many charities.
So now Miami will benefit from his talents and all I can do is wish he was still on the Lions team……
Percussion Publishing has asked me to be featured as one of their freelance artist for book authors. One of their authors (Kendall Smith) already selected one of my photos for his book's cover art. That book is called Vault 21-12 and will be released on June 4th. I'll share more on that later. You can learn more about Percussion Publishing here: http://www.percussionpublishing.com/services/